I’m so happy to say….our little baby boy is here! He just turned three weeks yesterday, which seems like a lifetime and a split second all at once. Luckily for me, Theodore James Kubly is a pretty laid-back guy, much like his dad and brother. I didn’t stand a chance. I’m completely smitten with him.
In a fun turn of events, I got to call Zach at work and say “this is not a joke, my water broke!” We rushed off to the hospital to have the baby. Zach even screeched his tires as he pulled in our driveway to pick me up, so classic. And we spent a lot of the afternoon walking the hospital halls and talking, which felt like a date since the toddlers were at home with Zach’s parents.
The newborn mothering has come back like riding a bike, and it feels incredibly different (less anxiety-ridden) than when I was a new mama with our firstborn. However, parenting toddlers WITH a newborn is not a piece of cake, and I’m beyond thankful that Zach was able to take some extended time off work to help them adjust and that my mom has come to stay with us. Evie and Tommy have been very loving towards Theo, but they have still had some stress as our family has grown, which has mainly played out with some behavior and regression issues. Three weeks in, I think we are past a lot of that, and we are all starting to find some sense of a new normal.
First, I should say the only way I am writing this is because my mom is here and she is amazing. The thing is, each time I try to lay down and sleep during the day, my mind starts racing. As any introvert can tell you, this isn’t totally unusual. My inner voice is hard to turn off, but with a hormonal surge and lack of sleep, it’s taken a frantic tone. All that to say, this is my attempt to get words out of my head and documented on “paper.”
Life at three weeks feels like a mini breaking point.
On one hand, Theo (or Teddy as we sometimes call him) is eating and gaining weight like a champ. This is huge for me, because Evie really struggled to gain weight and felt so fragile. He sleeps as well as you can expect for a newborn, and I don’t feel angry most of the time in the middle of the night nursing him (again, different!). Instead those quiet hours have taken on a sweeter tone, especially since it is rare to simply get to snuggle him during the day. I’ve made it through the uncomfortable days of my milk coming in and swelling from the hospital IV fluid. Some of the baby weight has slipped off my frame as I’ve recovered from the delivery, leaving behind a few stretch marks to forever remember the babies that grew there. I’ve been saving The Mindy Project for these newborn days, and it has not disappointed. Ending the day with laughter, newborn snuggles, and lit candles is such good medicine.
On the other hand and not surprisingly, I miss sleep so much. Even in college, I loved nights when I could go to sleep at 9pm. Such a nerd, I know. And even more than actually sleeping, I miss the even temper that comes with deep sleep. At three weeks in my body is feeling it, and I know I probably have three to five more weeks at least before Theo can sleep longer stretches at night. My tolerance for noise, patience level, ability to handle the baby blues, and irrational hormone swings are all wearing thin. So having my mom and Zach here to help with everything is such a gift. Poor Theo is in the awkward stage of baby acne, wearing my hormones on his face. And I am in the awkward stage of nursing and feeling partially undressed constantly, yet nothing fits this weird, in-between body of mine. Also, night sweats, hair loss, and breakouts. Oof.
I’m not sure three weeks is worth documenting. It would be easier to gently erase it from my memory and only save the purely happy days of superb parenting, an affectionate, well-tended marriage with plentiful date nights, a body that is strong and lovely, babies that sleep and smile. But. We’ve made it this far. The truth is – everyone is ok, Theo is healthy and smells like heaven, and we just have to keep going one day at a time for a little longer. No matter what the day feels like, I’m trying to fix my eyes on what is real. This season will pass. If pregnancy is like a marathon ending in an epic finishline, then infancy is like sprints on repeat, each day (and night) looking much like the last and you don’t look much farther ahead than sunset. The changes are almost imperceptible.
“As each day ends: forgive and forget. As each morning begins: today is a new day.” – Rachael Ringenberg
ps. Evie talking to Theo in this last photo is so tender. She was telling him that God made him, just like he made Thomas and her. If I only remember one thing from these three weeks, please let it be this.