Thursday, January 8, 2009

Insomnia Files: The Charm

5am. I've been awake almost an hour, and finally just decided to get up. I went to bed at a decent hour, and sure enough, six hours later I was staring at the ceiling, so today I decided not to fight it. There are just too many things spinning around in my head.

The final straw was when I found myself visualizing how to swaddle a baby. Fold down the top corner, lay down the baby. Fold the right side around and tuck under, then fold the bottom up. Fold the left side around and under. Square blankets work best, and flannel is lightweight but sticks to itself perfectly. My Nana has supplied the perfect swaddling blankets since day one, and I find I am getting really eager to open the box of blankets and bring those particular items back to the light of day.

So much has changed since I entered motherhood. Next week will mark seven years! I could start reflecting on how much life has happened in that time, but I believe that's another topic for another post. For now, however, I find myself wondering if it will hold true that the third time is the charm.

When Miss Boo entered the world, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn't sleep more than two hours at a stretch for ten weeks as we fought to find each others' rhythm. My internal processors were completely maxed out simply trying to diaper, nurse, dress, and get a colicky baby to sleep. Not to mention getting ready to move from an apartment into our first house and maintain a small job in which I primarily worked from home. To say I had little interest in frills is pretty much of an understatement.

Three and a half years later, I was armed with experience and plans for improvement as Rooster arrived on the scene. But he was a totally different baby. He measured a startling 23 inches, weighed a hair shy of 11 pounds, and ended up in the NICU by the end of the first night because he kept turning blue. So two days later I went home without him, visiting him at the hospital 2-3 times a day for the next three days until his antibiotics were finished. We finally settled on a name for him mostly because the hospital objected to discharging a nameless baby.

Once home, this boy child proceeded to sleep at least 5 hours at a stretch for months while the rest of us got back into our normal routine and waited for him to be ready to play. It was a year before he would meet my eyes and gaze into them in the way to which I had been accustomed with his big sister. Nothing was wrong with him, he just needed more time to warm up. As the second child in a family of firstborns, he had something to teach all of us.

Over time, I began to realize that I could not even hope to apply the same parenting principles to him as I had to big sister, because big sister added her own element to the parenting equation. Another three and a half years later, sibling issues are my biggest struggle.

Now the time for Lulu's arrival is nearly upon us. What will she have to teach us? And dare I hope that I will finally feel like an adequate parent in the early days?

What I know is that I am thrilled to have another chance at a girl baby. I was never big on babies, nor was I particularly interested in girly things. Boo Bear flipped a switch in my soul on the day of her birth, as I gazed at her in the hospital bassinet and thought how appropriate her pink stocking cap appeared. From that moment until this, I have been undeniably, passionately, insanely drawn to pink.

As I prepared for my second childbirth experience, pink became my focus. We did not know whether we were expecting a girl or a boy, but whenever I visualized pink, my whole body would relax. Imagine my surprise when the delivery room coaching nurse was dressed head to toe in pink scrubs, pink tinted glasses and pink smiley face earrings. Trust me, I relaxed! But my second baby was a boy, so it turned out the pink was just for me.

I am now ready for a baby doll. I intend to girlify this baby to the best of my ability, from headbands to bracelets to cute pink shoes. Will that prove to be the big challenge of this newborn, or will something entirely new arise to demand more of me than I knew I had in me to give?

Whoever Lulu turns out to be, we will thank God for bringing her to our family. I know it's time for her arrival, because I can hardly wait to meet her! But it is comforting right now to think that maybe the third time really is a charm. And just maybe, our seven years of parenting experience will work together to make this baby's arrival a smooth transition for our family.


  1. That's great. I had a similar experience. I hated all things girl until Squeaker was born. I don't know what happened. I held her and that was all she wrote. Now the whole house is pink and she even has a castle in her room. I love it.

  2. I found the third baby to be the easiest. Ours are girl, boy, girl too. And the oldest girl loved having a baby to take care of so she was really a big help. And I was so much more relaxed. I definitely think the first is the hardest. Of course I don't have 5 so what do I know?

    You write really well. I enjoy your blog. Go for published! Then you can tell me how you did it. : )

  3. Sounds like our insomnia thoughts mirror eachother these days! : )

    and there really, truly isn't anything quite like a little girl and her pink.

    Hope you're feeling ok!


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