Monday, August 29, 2016

6 week check up/the proof of love

New baby is 6 weeks old tomorrow. I can't believe time has moved this quickly... again. It always does. A year ago about this time I had a baby only a few months old and pregnancy was the furthest thing from my mind. Until I found out I was pregnant and then it was the only thing on my mind. I already waxed long about my feelings then. About how impossible it felt to accept, how impossible it felt to manage. How could I parent both Joe and this new one? How could my body handle these huge changes, back to back?

But time moved along then, just like it's moving now. Then I maybe had an achy back and a desperate need for rest. Now, I've got a baby in my arms. And my body is awake to the possibility of getting strong again, of sleeping well, of buttoning my pants.

Time just moves. It moves past the hard stuff and on to the good stuff.

Baby Joe was always surprising us with his mellow demeanor. He weaned easily and slept better than my first 4 children put together. My long-lashed, blue eyed little sanguine. And as I spend my days now carrying Francis, with happy Joe crawling after Peter and Clem, I realize how it really does all work out. It's not just a baby you're dealing with when you have a new one, it's the dynamic of every member of the clan. It's striking me more and more how well built my kids are for a big family. For babies that need me, for toddlers that need older kids, and for older kids who need their little ones.

This weekend Kirby took Hero, Mary, and John on a backpacking trip. He told me how impressed he was with the way they spoke of their younger siblings to strangers they met on the way. When we facetimed on their ride home, they wanted to see each one of the littles through the screen. And they doted on every one. Hiiiiii Petey!! We miss you. Where is baby Francis? Let us talk to Joe! We love you, Clemmy.

I need these reminders to check me. Last fall I worried that I just couldn't give what was needed when this new baby came along. But here I am, giving it. And there they are, giving it, each in their own little way. It was never just me, it was all of us together. And for as complicated as it seems ahead of time, it's pretty easy to do when the time comes around.

The new little bean just sweetens the pot.


  1. My mom always said it just got better and better with each baby, and number 9 was the cherry on top.

  2. This is so good to hear. I'm not pregnant, but I'm afraid of what the transition to 3 kids will be like someday. Going from 1 -2 was awful .

  3. This is so good to hear. I'm not pregnant, but I'm afraid of what the transition to 3 kids will be like someday. Going from 1 -2 was awful .

  4. YES. We just added baby #5 last week and it's thrown me for a loop. (The first four came in 6 years and then we have a 6 year gap between #4 and #5 - a surprise adoption from #4s birthmom). It's a huge huge blessing but I still had WORRY and it's not going to be easy but is already so good like you say. Anyway, I've been longing for more books blogs and whenever from people who cherish motherhood and parent a larger crew across the stages so thank you. <3

    1. You're so welcome. Gosh, I just love that anyone could experience something good from a post. Blessings on your new lovie!

  5. Hugs and blessing. You made me all teary eyed.

  6. With number six due any time, I needed this encouragement. Thank you. ♡

  7. I had a "surprise" pregnancy about the time you found out you were pregnant. These words are so sweet and so true. I'm so thankful he's here now, part of our clan, he fits in just fine.

  8. Beautifully written. Thank you! You are so right. Every baby is such a treasure and the family is made by God to welcome and shelter it. I had visions of my own children (now and when they are older) as you wrote how it all works together.

  9. So wonderful to read. What a lovely encouraging post. Thanks for sharing. I have three little ones, and sometimes my energy feels low and I think, how would I add more (even though I want to)? So good to be reminded that you cope each time, and the whole family is involved, not just the mother.

  10. Well, Blythe. You know my commenting ways, & my complete lack of brevity, so go get a cup of coffee & make yourself comfortable because this make take some time....
    I've just been on a conference on spirituality and disability and the best comment I heard was how one of the gifts of being disabled was that you realise the truth of interdependence. As opposed to our modern western society which so prizes independence and denies the truth that we are all interdependent. (The biggest dependence of all being that of our dependence on
    God). I loved that comment & have been mulling over it since. It kinda blew my little mind as I'm fiercely independent & have always thought Independence=Good, dependence=Baaaddd. But of course, as with all spiritual truths, there is a inner megaphone that kind of booms forth it's truth and leaves you tilting your head to the side like a labrador and questioning "Independence=not always good?. Arrooo??"
    Such a lovely serendipty then, to find this blog post which for me celebrates the interdependence of large families.
    Cos, you know, I'm still lurking about blogs written by Catholic mamas with huge families & still asking myself "Why do I do this? I'm not from a large family, nor do I have a large family, nor am I catholic!" But I think at least some of the answer is how often the theme of interdependence & sacrifice comes up. It seems a really common wrangle.I don't agree with every mama's take on it but I'm fascinated by the differences expressed & love the return to these themes. I also love how many of you seem to write completely honestly as it means I'm taken on the journey and see the struggles, the joy, and the teeny and seismic shifts. So, you know, Thanks. I love the glimpses into a world so unlike my own and I love the commonality that I find so often amongst your words & all the folk who comment.

  11. Such a great post. Beautiful and true.

  12. Such a great post. Beautiful and true.

  13. Ok, I am NOT a crier, but this post just got me. I even just switched from my phone to the laptop so I could comment! :) But yeah, this is so helpful to read. I have 3, 3 and under and I often feel like I cannot give them enough/what they need. But they totally work out together, as a unit. I can't wait for older sibling moments like you described!

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