Monday, March 26, 2007

The New Reality

Liam is now nearly a week old.

It seems like he was born over a month ago. The hospital visit seems like a distant memory. Sleep deprivation will do that to you.

In just five days, his appearance has changed somewhat, as have his behaviours. He looks around a lot with those dark (kinda evil-looking!!) baby eyes, especially at night, which is when he seems to most enjoy being awake. Count Liam?

Poor Savannah is feeding the guy every 90 minutes or so. She is very short on sleep but continues to do a great job and is very patient. This morning, about 3:30 a.m., he needed another feeding and diaper change, but after that I got up and dropped him into the sling and puttered around the house until 6 a.m. so Savannah could sleep. It seemed to help, and I'll probably repeat as needed.

Lots of people told me "your life is about to totally change" or some version thereof before Liam was born, and I guess I was waiting for some kind of lightning bolt of change to hit me when he arrived, and was kind of disappointed when it didn't. I was a bit scared of it, truthfully, and a bit let down there was no sudden I've-seen-the-face-of-God moment. He was born, and there we was.

I felt guilty that I still had this constant feeling of "this will all be over soon," as if relatives were visiting or something, and Savvy and I would soon be back to movies on a whim, dinners out, free time to play with my big-boy toys and budgets that did not include things like diapers, doctors and $40 cowboy pajamas.

But nearly a week later, I can better see what people meant. We drove Liam to the pediatrician today for a checkup (all is well), and it took nearly 30 minutes to move the boy, Savannah, myself and the needed luggage (diapers, sling, etc) to the car. Holy cow! WIll it be this way each time? New systems will have to be put in place.

With the whirlwind of activity surrounding the home care of a fresh newborn who essentially will die without total support from us, the changes kind of creep up on you. I skip showers. Meals. Bike rides. Dog walks. Editing projects. Motorcycle repairs. Pretty soon, it all seems to stack up. It's all dirty diapers all the time. You just have to manage the time better. And I'm not even working right now.

Soon, I'll be back at work at KATU. I'm extremely lucky in that my shift is great: 5:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (barring major breaking news). If that holds, I'll be able to pick up Liam after school, go to Little League and so forth while still working full time. And I still go to bed about 9:30, which is pretty normal. I'm very lucky to have a job that has given me time off (three weeks) to support Liam and Savannah, has solid health insurance and is something I love doing, news/tech junkie that I am.

So, slowly, I am beginning to see the future differently. It's not a lightning bolt of change, it's more like a change of seasons. Time management will be paramount. As Liam gets older, gets toilet trained, learns to speak, and goes to school, things will change again and again. We'll adapt as needed, panic is not required.

But for now, it's diapers and breastfeeding pretty much 24/7, with some early, early morning sessions online, checking news web sites, answering emails, and puttering around the house doing chores while Liam dozes in the sling and Savannah gets a much needed block of rest.

It's the new reality.


RichardGoodrich said...

Looks like a little Buddah here!

Patti said...

Really nice post...made me really does change... and change... and change... ongoing and constantly. So happy for you all.
Love, Patti (Breana's mom)