by Ann Waterman
Baby John arrived one day past his due date in the early afternoon of a cold February day. At 8 pounds, 9 ounces, he’s the runt of my brood, but unlike his brothers (who arrived 11 and 9 days late, respectively), he was punctual — and for both these things, this mama is grateful!
I’ll regale you with the full-blown birth story later, but I was able to have a successful second VBAC, and I’m happy to report that this has been my easiest recovery by far, though breastfeeding has been kicking. my. butt. You’d think nursing would be a breeze, this being my third baby and all, but the first week is always tough, with engorgement and sore nipples making every latch painful. It’s not nearly as bad as my first nursing experience, but I think it’s just going to be one of my postpartum recovery trials.
Breastfeeding woes aside, I’m relishing all the things I love about newborns: their heavenly smell, downy heads, furled hands, and satisfied milk smiles. John also has a propensity for snoozing on my chest, which makes him particularly winsome and has given me a great excuse to just lie down, rest, and recover.
Meanwhile, my husband has been doing a great job holding down the fort. He’s fortunate to get two weeks of paid paternity leave, and he really enjoys this time, since he’s a homebody and loves to hunker down with the family.
The big brothers have also adjusted well to their newest sibling. James welcomed us home with a little confetti shower to celebrate (and responsibly cleaned up afterwards), and Peter — who was most recently the baby — has surprised me with how warm and gentle he’s been toward John. I was a little anxious about that initially, seeing as he’s still little and quite attached to his mama, but so far his favorite thing to do is to sit beside me and “pet” the baby. Of course, I’m prepared for some regression when I’m flying solo and things get a little bit crazy, but I’m glad we’re off to a good start.
To celebrate his arrival — and to help win over his older siblings — John came home from the hospital with some birthday cake:
The boys loved it. We also got them a few small gifts, which served as a welcome distraction when everyone was oohing and aahing over the baby.
What do you love most about newborns? Do you have any tips for helping children adjust to a new sibling?
Images: Ann Waterman, Kathy Waterman