Notes from the Trenches
My babymoon is going so well. I’m tired, but I’ve just felt really happy and content this postpartum period. I’ve also really made peace with the fact that I just don’t have time to piece together perfect prose (or much prose at all) these days. I love this blog and writing, but they’re definitely not a priority right now.
It’s all good. Life is all good right now.
So for now I’m popping in here for a few quick notes:
2. My mom is back home today after having surgery to remove a tumor in her jaw. The surgeon is fairly confident it’s benign, and Mom once again amazes me with her courage, her optimism, and her refusal to give in to self-pity or to start complaining about anything. She called me today, sounding like her happy self. Unfortunately, the procedure has resulted in some worse pain from her trigeminal neuralgia. We’re hoping this won’t continue. She’d just started having a little relief from her facial and head pain. Prayers for this saint-in-the-making are always appreciated. (I also continue to be impressed with my dad and his dedication and love for his bride.)
3. Thomas slept one five-hour stretch last night. I’m in shock. None of my kids have ever done this. He’s just over five weeks. I probably should have kept my mouth shut because sometimes it seems like you just curse yourself when you yammer on about sleep milestones, but I’m just so giddy. The only bummer is I woke up with rocks for breasts. I did pump before I nursed him after he woke up (a crazy 4 ounces in two minutes – sheesh), but the poor guy was still gulping like a frat boy doing a keg stand. I had to keep him upright for a long time after he nursed, and wet burps and hiccups kept him from drifting off to Slumberland for about two hours. Still, it’s amazing how seven hours of fragmented sleep can feel like total nirvana to a sleep-deprived mama.
4. I recently received an athletic shirt from Mamas Movin’ with Mary, and I was blown away by the quality. I actually wore the shirt today when I braved pushing the double stroller with my 2-year-old and Thomas for a short walk (I stupidly took along our Great Dane-Lab mix and kept tripping over her). Not only do I love the mission of Mamas Movin’ with Mary to strengthen your body and your soul, but the shirt is made with moisture-wicking fabric, which is so much better to wear than cotton when you’re working out. It also features the creative words “Hail Marys Aren’t Just for Football.” Sweet Madeline said that Uncle Josh would love my shirt because “it’s Catholic and about football.” Do check out their mission and their great lineup of products. (I am not getting paid to say any of this. Promise.)
5. We’ve moved Mary Elizabeth (2) from my husband and my bed this week into the big girl bed with her sisters, and she’s doing great! The girls look so cute piled together on one bed. We have a top bunk for them, but no one wants to sleep up there alone. They’re much happier with the family bed, or I guess I should now say the sister bed.
6. Two great but very different books I read while on bed rest and the early postpartum period: Room by Emma Donnoghue and A Little Way of Homeschooling by Suzie Andres. Melanie Bettinelli inspired me to read both. I have lots to say about A Little Way and hope to get to it one of these days. What I’ll say for now is it’s a wonderful book to read whether you’re an unschooler or even a homeschooler or not. My family is still discerning what we’re going to do for next year, and the book really helped to remind me to pray about this and to know that my kids will be okay no matter what we decide. I went crazy highlighting passages, but I keep returning to these words:
“He says that His yoke (our work, done in union with Him) is easy, and His burden (which He shares with us in our daily duties) is light. How can we, alongside St. Thérèse, find a way to make our children’s education light and easy? For us and for them?”
That’s key, I think. Finding a path that does not feel burdensome or weigh you down. This doesn’t mean you won’t have rough days or even rough months or years, but there will be peace, even if it’s just on the interior and your life looks a little messy and chaotic, if you repeatedly turn to Him for help, guidance, and heaps of grace.
That’s all for now. My husband is around today, and he told me I should try to take a nap. He’s right. (He almost always is.)