Monday, October 5, 2015

All the usual questions

It seems like various stages in life come with a set of questions that you can plan on being asked by just about everyone.

Single: Are you dating anyone?

Engaged: How's the wedding planning?

Newlywed: How's married life?

Married 6 months or more: Are you guys planning on having kids (unspoken: any time soon)?

Pregnant: When are you due? Boy or girl? How are you feeling?

Very pregnant: Are you still pregnant?!

The newborn stage is no different. I feel like I answer the same questions over and over. Not that this is a bad thing. I mean, I ask the same questions over and over to other people, so it all evens out.

But I thought I'd go ahead and answer a bunch of these questions for you in one fell swoop, just in case any of you are dying to know what life is like with Miss Amelia in our lives.

Is she a good baby?

Generally, yes. I've only heard her earnestly cry once in her not quite six weeks of life. Most of the time, if she's unhappy, she just squirms and grunts and lets out a little squawk every few seconds. She really, really loves to eat. So much so that she sometimes overeats and spits up large amounts of milk all over the place. So there's that.

I think she might have some tummy troubles that weren't there with my other kids, and I have no idea how to handle them. It's nothing serious, because she's gaining weight and growing well, but I feel like it just makes her uncomfortable. I've tried gas drops and gripe water; neither had too much of an impact. It seems better now than it did even a couple weeks ago, so hopefully we'll keep moving in that direction.

Oh, and she won't take a binky! It blows my mind. All my other kids have loved the binky. But Amelia is basically offended by it. I think of this every time I try to give it to her:

What's life like with four kids?

Not too bad. Busy, but not too bad. I feel like a lot of the busy-ness is more because of my older kids having different activities and such, rather than because of adding another one to the mix.

I do feel like it's a little unreal at times. It's almost like the concept of having four kids freaks me out even more than the reality of it. Like sometimes I step back and think "I have four kids?!" and just wonder when the heck this happened.

How are the other kids with the baby?

Really good. Maddy is so good with her, and so helpful. Charly, though, is truly obsessed. She wants to be hugging and kissing Amelia all the time. She talks baby talk to her and is just thrilled when Amelia seems to respond to something. The other night I walked in on Charly talking to the baby in her rocker. She was saying "I'll always take care of you, Millie," and it kind of melted my heart.

And Parker...doesn't really care. He's pretty oblivious. He is fascinated with the "baby's food," though, and always wants to "help" feed her. As you can imagine, that never really works out.

Are you getting any sleep?

Ah, the million dollar question. I know a lot of new moms get really bugged by this question, because "NO I'M NOT GETTING ANY SLEEP THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR REMINDING ME," but I honestly don't really mind it. I mean, sleep deprivation is an infamous side effect of having a newborn, so it makes sense that people would ask.

As for my answer...well...I'm getting some. Amelia seems to sleep for the longest stretch of time in the late afternoon, and then she wakes up all well rested at about 6 or 7. At night, we'll usually get 3-4 hours in between feedings. It's not terrible, and it's pretty typical for a newborn, but it does start to weigh on you after a while. Those little chunks of sleep are just not the same as nice, long stretches. It's frustrating, sure, but I keep reminding myself that it'll pass soon enough.

{the snuggles make up for the bags under my eyes, right?}

How are you?

It's funny, but this simple question is the toughest to answer. And every time someone asks me, I find myself taking a little internal inventory. More often than not, what comes out of my mouth is "We're doing well," or "Hanging in there!" But the truth might be a little more complicated.

I'm physically spent. I've had a cold for over three weeks now. I'm eating sporadically at best, and consuming quite a lot of caffeine (oops). Sleep...well, see above. I still get weird aches and pains that I'm attributing to childbirth. I've got weight to lose (obviously) but I'm not too worried about that yet.

Mentally, I'm hanging in there. I'm certainly busier than I've ever been, with work, kids' activities, housework, and breastfeeding on my plate (breastfeeding is time consuming, people!). Sometimes I feel like I'm just barely scraping by with the bare minimum on everything. It feels good to be able to stay on top of the most urgent things, but at the same time, I can't help but wish my time was under control a little more, so I could pay attention to the "important, but not urgent" tasks. Sometimes I feel like I'm doggy paddling through my tasks (especially at work), but hey, it's better than drowning.

Emotionally, I'm kind of all over the place. I love my little newborn but it breaks my heart to see her getting so big, so fast. I'm dealing with some anxiety about keeping track of four kids, which has also developed into anxiety about other, sillier things. I'm having to deal with not having a lot of time to myself, which can have a pretty negative impact on a raging introvert such as myself. So it's a bit of a roller coaster.

But honestly, I'm okay. Some days are better than others, but that's true for us all, right? I've got an amazing teammate in Dallin, that's for sure. I'm lucky to have him. And I'm lucky to have my faith. I'm trying to make it a point to rely on that faith and to focus on the little things that make life good.

Oh, and to all of you who have helped, visited, texted, given gifts, brought meals, thought about us, or thought about thinking about us, thank you. We are blessed to be surrounded by good people who care about us!

And of course and as always, thanks for reading.


  1. That was very informative! The only question you didn't answer is how can I help? :) Seriously Katie, cash in on the offer to take Parker and Charly anytime! I would love to help you get a nap!

    1. Thanks so much, Megan! I need to take you up on this sometime. Thank you for being willing to help!


Your turn.