Thursday, May 15, 2008

Adjusting to Life with Two Children

Events from Tuesday May 13

The first few nights home Becca had slept quite well, and seemed content to nurse late at night, once during the night, and then early in the morning. This was very nice as we were going through the viewing and funeral late last week. The last couple nights, though, she had needed to have a bottle of formula during the night. (Brady ended up needing a mix of formula and breast milk particularly at night because Laurie's supply seemed inadequate at times.) Laurie was feeling a bit frustrated that she was having supply issues again, but the she spoke with a lactatian consultant at Franklin Square who said it is normal to have ones supply of milk dwindle at night, especially when you are under the kind of stress we have been under. Frankly, I think Laurie has done remarkably well at nursing consider all we have had to go through since the girls were born. One normally does not have to deal with all we've had to deal with when one has a newborn baby.

Overall, Becca seems to be adjusting pretty well to life at home. She seems to have stayed healthy despite the fact that everyone else in the house (me, Laurie, Laurie's mom, and Brady) are struggling with coughs and colds. I have heard her sneeze a bit but I'm hoping she will continue to avoid getting sick.

Meanwhile, her parents adjust to having an infant again, and the sleep deprivation that comes with a new baby. Hopefully, it will only last a few months and we can survive it but it seems like a long time when you are in the middle of it. (Of course, Brady started teething very early so no sooner had he started sleeping through the night than he was up all night with teething pain; here's hoping Becca is a little less anxious to start eating solid food—but she is a Ward after all. ☺

Brady is still trying to figure out what to make of his little sister. Overall, I think he's doing quite well. Sometimes he strokes her head gently and says: "I pet her." And he is clearly interested in his sister and knowing where she is, but at the same time, he clearly gets a little jealous when mom or dad holds Becca and not him. He wants to get up on our lap at the same time. He sometimes does things he knows he shouldn't just to get attention from his parents. His reaction is probably fairly typical for a 2-year old adjusting to the shocking reality that he now has to share his parents with another sibling. I think in the long run, his adjustment will be easier than a sibling that lives much longer as an only child—for example my brother had 6.5 years before I came along and I think it was really difficult for him to adjust to my presence.

We had a fairly relaxing day today, which we need right now. It was a bright sunny spring day following yesterday's rain. We took Brady over to daycare around mid-day so we could run some errands and Laurie's mom didn't have to try and take care of him. I got a chance to take a walk in the late afternoon and just think about all that we've lived through the past 10 days or so. Who knew when this month began that all this would happen? I would say that only God knew. We are coping the best we can with this completely unexpected turn of events, but it has been and continues to be a difficult journey. Our family just needs time to be together and regroup and figure out what "normal" means in the aftermath of all this.

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