Little miss Audrey is one month old today although, she still isn’t “due” for another two days. One month of baby snuggles, of sleep deprivation, of joy, of frustration, anticipation and worry. I forgot about the worry. When Ella was born, I swore the worry was grounds enough for not having another child. But then you watch them as they sleep, you hold them tight and brush their soft skin with yours, your heart swells and the worry seems like a small price to pay – not necessarily absent, but not as consequential. I must confess that I am not the type that falls in love at first sight. I never have been (ask Ben). For me, love, and by love, I mean the love that everyone talks about in the movies, creeps up on me. To begin, love is a choice. That choice is then acted upon until one day I realize how madly, deeply in love I really am. That happened about a week ago with Audrey.
Life with Audrey, is like molasses through an hour glass. Few days have agendas. Sleep, feed, burb, change, repeat. And while I savour these moments I have with Audrey – to hold her for hours on end whilst binge watching Friends and Departures, life has taken on a different rhythm in our house as we adjust to being a family of 5.
Ben has stepped up to the plate like an all-star and works from dawn to well after dusk making sure the house is up to my standards – washing dishes, vacuuming, tidying, doing laundry. You name it. All the while, he has his own responsibilities and stresses.
Jakob, while being infatuated with Audrey from the start, is still, I believe was unnerved from having a new baby around. Every night he has some complaint – his tummy hurts, he needs the light on, he can’t sleep, he wants to sleep in my bed…the list goes on. He complains that he is too busy and has too much to do, although, this is usually brought on by us asking him to do something that is on Ella’s chore chart like set the table. With the start of Spring Break, I assured him, he would have plenty of time to play. My boy definitely has a maximum capacity and once he has reached that, he benefits exponentially from time to decompress. We saw the same moodiness just before Christmas break. That being said, he loves to hold his baby sister. He wants to help as much as possible – burping her, giving her her pacifier, scaring the hiccups out of her. He loves her, I can see that.
Ella, obviously, as my youngest, is needing the most time to adjust. It took her a good week and a half but she eventually warmed up to Audrey. I think she just needed time to realize that Audrey did not cry all the time and she would still have her momma. The hard part about Ella is that she is unable to articulate, verbally how she feels but you can see it. Anyone close to her can see it. She doesn’t understand why I can’t lift her up or stop to give her cuddles at the drop of a hat like I used to. She asks for hugs often these days and we have seen this not only at home but at school as well. I know that it is a natural part of life and dare I say, most children have to face the adjustment of a younger sibling but I feel for her. We never know how much she really understands. Sometimes, she seems to understand so much more than we give her credit for and yet at other times, when we ask her a simple question, we cannot get a coherent answer. And yet, she is one of the most genuine people I know, and I know her love for Audrey is just that.
Are you still with me? There is so much to say, so many things I want to share, but this is just a snapshot of life unabridged as a family of 5. Life has revealed much, taught much, and tested much in this last month. These thoughts in due time however - you can't hold a baby and type at the same time.
Thank you to Kat, at Stone Photo for capturing the early days - basically, I am in LOVE with these photos...and it was love at first sight.