Pregnancy and pandemic: 2 weeks postpartum

So we are two weeks into being a family of five and seven weeks into being at home.

Seven.

Weeks.

At. Home.

With toddlers. And now a newborn. It’s been really hard some days. Lesson plans aren’t really being followed and there is far more screen time than I really care for, but right now we are in survival mode and the big humans of Suddreth Manor are being fueled strictly on caffeine and dreams at this point. The only human being who sleeps more than two hours at a time is #TheSequel (🙌🏼 – but also TEACH YOUR BIG BROTHER!). And the wonder idiot dog keeps rolling around in raccoon poop because apparently he isn’t getting enough attention. 😑😑😑😑😑

BUT, it isn’t only crisis management at The Manor. It’s beautiful chaos. Brett takes the boys outside to play as much as possible. The Cozy Cottage arrived and the kids LOVE it – I mean who wouldn’t? It has flower boxes and a doorbell that WORKS! The tree swing is up and the swing set/playhouse was finally delivered and is being put together this week.

The state and county stay at home orders are set to expire Sunday, and while things are definitely far from over, just knowing that people are thinking about how to safely bring some sense of normalcy back to life has been comforting. Soccer and swim classes are trying to figure out how to safely continue to serve the community and The Sequel’s school is preparing their reopening plan.

The last two weeks have been a very different recovery than I had originally expected, but everyone is starting to adjust to having another person living with us. I had my post-op follow up with my doctor today via video conference, which was an interesting patient experience, but I definitely appreciated not having to leave the house yet. The best thing is that I was cleared to start picking up The Sequel again. I didn’t realize how much I missed holding him until I wasn’t allowed. I definitely gave him a big old hug as soon as I could – it was awesome.

Probably the hardest part of the last couple weeks has been clearing events off my calendar. The very hardest one was canceling Baby Suddreth’s birthday party. I might have cried deleting it from my calendar. But, when we are allowed to gather in groups again, I’m throwing him the most ridiculous, over the top, extra, don’t care what it costs, party because he deserves the entire world and it’s not his fault a pandemic is ruining everything.

I’ve noticed that the longer this goes on, the more aware Baby Suddreth is becoming to the fact that nothing is normal. And his conversations are becoming more focused on things we can’t do “because of the germs.” Like, “there’s no baseball or Royals because of the germs, right?” And, “all the stores and swim class and soccer are closed…because of the germs, right?” Or “are the germs gone yet, so we can go to a football game?” He misses his friends and his teacher and as a parent all I want to do is fix everything for him.

So, I’m still working through my emotions of not being able to control any of this and trying to focus on what I can do – which is heal…and love my babies hard.

Pregnancy and pandemic: 1 week postpartum

So, it’s actually closer to two weeks postpartum, but life is a little more hectic the last 11 days so let’s just pretend it’s still a week.

We brought #TheTrilogy home less than 48 hours after delivery which seems insane to me considering her arrival on earth. My recovery is going well though, but I really wish I could help more with the boys; especially #TheSequel. He’s still too little to understand what’s going on and doesn’t get why Mommy can’t scoop him up for snuggles, or put him in his chair for snacks, or get him down when he’s finished. That’s been really hard.

Also not being his bedtime buddy – that’s harder than I thought it would be, too. I’ve put him to bed (nearly) every night of his life and now I can’t even walk up the steps to at least be part of the routine. It’ll get better, I know that. And I’ll heal and be able to go back to picking him up and snuggling him before bed, but I wasn’t ready for recovery to take those things away from me.

But, that’s sort of par for the course these last five to seven weeks. Not a single thing has gone according to plan. Nothing. For a person who schedules, plans and coordinates things for a living, not being able to control the outcome of my own daily existence is maddening. I’d be lying if I said it isn’t affecting me. I’ve cried a lot over the last 11 days.

Today marks day 44 of my quarantine. In case you’re curious, day 42 was my breaking point. It’s the day I cried the most and the hardest at the loss of normalcy. At the loss of physical connection. The loss of control. But I’ve given myself permission to feel all the feelings. To recognize they are valid. But I’ve also given myself permission to not live in those feelings. And to find some peace and comfort in the loneliness of having a newborn that requires 100 percent of your time and attention.

One moment of peace and comfort came just a few days ago as Brett was putting #TheSequel to bed. Every night we sing a bedtime song indicating it’s time to go upstairs for bed. It goes:

Night night Baby (insert baby’s name)

Night night Baby

Night night baby

It’s time to go to bed

I don’t know the tune of the song we use, it’s something we modified from our swim class. If you take lessons through Emler Swim School, it’s their bye bye song for the littlest swimmers. Anyway, we sing that to him so he knows it’s time to go upstairs. And when we start singing it, he waves his little hand and says “bye bye” and walks towards the steps. Wednesday night as he was walking to the stairs I said “good night, buddy; I love you!” And he responded “I love you” and that’s the very first time he’s said that and my hormonal, emotional, quarantine weary mama heart couldn’t handle it and I cried all over #TheTrilogy’s head. Sorry ‘bout that, Sis.

But those are the moments I’m trying to remember. The ones that are surprising and new. The funny ones. The silly moments that make me belly laugh (even though it hurts to do so). #BabySuddreth has been particularly threenagey lately and I know this quarantine is a large reason why, but tonight I played him a video of the Happily Ever After fireworks display from Disney World and he was mesmerized. He shouted excitedly as he saw characters he recognized “MOANA! WRECK IT RALPH! LIGHTNING MCQUEEN!” And he pretended that he was the person making the fireworks appear in the sky. It was magical.

So postpartum life in quarantine isn’t exactly what I had planned, but it’s also creating some pretty incredible moments I might not have gotten otherwise.