Friday, February 4, 2011

The dreaded post-partum period

I always wished there was a book about post-partum pregnancy that was real. It seems so many things are sugar-coated with talks about this wonderful baby-moon spent in bliss with your beautiful newborn. Oh don't get me wrong. I love the downtime getting to know my new baby and our family using this time to grow and adjust to each other as a new member has entered making us a family of five. However, no one ever tells you that it can suck, it's hard, there are tears, frustrations, pity, pain, sadness that go along with the laughter, tears, joys, and accomplishments.

No one tells you that you'll still have to go pee 14 times a night. But only now it's because you're retaining so much water that your ankles blend into your calves. No one tells you that the ability to wear your pre-pregnancy clothes doesn't return the day you leave the hospital...or for that matter, may not return at all! No one tells you that you will now have the ability to cry uncontrollably because you ran out of bar soap during your shower. No one tells you that you'll feel so much joy over only looking "5" months pregnancy. No one tells you how you can feel such love for all of your children while still feeling so much guilt during your children's adjustment period. No one tells you that your significant other fears this time more than menopause or even childbirth itself!

The post-partum period means different things after different pregnancies. After our first child was born, we spent that time adjusting to our new roles are mom and dad and the changes that meant to our relationship. After our second child was born, we spent that time helping our daughter adjust to her new role as big sister and our own adjustment of two children. We expanded routines, added new routines, ironed out old routines, shifted and adjusted until everything fell into place.

Now after our third child, we have new roles and adjustments to make. We have children that are older and need more help in adjusting to our new family. Our children love their new brother so much but as with all things, have emotions and feelings that are new to them, and us, that we need to work on together. There is a need for each parent to make extra time for older siblings along with including them in the newborn's daily activities.

This has also been a time for us for adding and expanding new routines in forms of organization to our household and finances. I've found that sometimes pregnancy and new births are sometimes that best times for adding and modifying routines. There are often so many changes going on that nobody seems to question another change. Some of our changes began during pregnancy when we were organizing and rearranging our house for our newest member. The toy closet was by far the biggest change and has been a wonderful addition to our household. I find that the kids have more respect for their toys and actually play with them more because they go into the room and look for them. They also have to put away bins before pulling out another bin and *usually* all toys are put back at the end of the day.

Other changes that are or have been taking place are with organizing our finances, laundry, mail, bookkeeping/recordkeeping, scrapbooking, sewing and crafting supplies. We're still working on tweeking these so we have the best fit for our family.

Also with this pregnancy we've taken another look at our diets and nutrition. We generally eat organic and most of our food is from our animals or our gardens. However, we our 2 year old becomes more independent, we've found he has an extremely big sweet tooth and does not mix well with sugar and corn syrup as it tends to send him into a crazy, wild spin where he goes about 482 miles per hour. In making changes to the sweet part of our diets, this mom has had to look at one culprit that should have been given up years ago....her diet mtn. dew. Our children have never been allowed to have soda pop but we also know that our children will make better choices when mom and dad make good choices. To avoid headache withdrawals, I'm allowed 12 ounces of coffee (a safe amount for nursing mothers) and non-caffeinated tea. This is a good switch because there are so many lovely, yummy, good-for-you teas out there my tastebuds will not get bored.