Bubbles are serious business around here.
I love how a few dollars spent on soapy water will entertain this Littles for....the time between when I give it to them and until they spill it all.
My garden is starting to grow. The days are warm. The grass is green and my anemic winterized soul is soaking up all the spring color. You really don't know how much you miss the colors of nature until you have survived several months of only seeing white..and dirt brown. Even the dandelions make me happy. Happy simply because Spring is here. In fact I should be packing our trailer right now instead of blogging because tomorrow we pull out for our first camping weekend of the year.
This week was a pleasant lull between the hectic pace of seeding season and all the extra activity/yard work that comes with summer. I also had no appointments this week...which lately amounts to a small miracle. Next week I'm back driving kids around to various specialist appointments. I appreciated a slower pace week. The big kids are wrapping up their school work (just a bit more to go!) and the Littles are enjoying the sunshine. I indulged in a daily nap.
This is where I spend the majority of my time.
I tell you she is only about 6 lbs but she has a lovely way of ordering my entire day (and night).
She is a precious distraction. I love to just sit and hold her while she sleeps. She loves to be held. It's a pretty good match, although my messy house and malnourished children might disagree.
I've had several newborns over the years and have generally become quite proficient at getting babies into a flexible routine and gently leading them into good sleep and eat habits. But this one is different. Maybe because she was a preemie. Maybe I've grown lazier and softer in my old age. Maybe I just realize how short my time with her could be and how quick babies grow up. The focus with her has been to invest as much love, touch, and nurture as possible and keep her growing. I have been feeding her anytime she desires to eat which typically works out to about every two hours day and night. This includes the time it takes to feed her, burp her, and then of course I sit and enjoy the sleeping baby for a bit. She's like a strong force of gravity...I can't quite make myself get up. By the time I lay her in her bed and decide I should get something done she's mewing for a bottle again and I start the process over again. She is growing and thriving so its worth it. Eventually, as she is starting to have more awake time, I will space her eat/wake/sleep cycle out to about three hours. Everything in it's time though.
Right now it feels like I'm living in a happy little bubble. I like my bubble.
In here this baby is safe, loved, and every grunt, squawk, and cry is responded to. I kiss a sweet neck, and inhale the delicious baby scent. My arms hold a warm soul soothing weight.
In this bubble my days revolve around the bowel function of a tiny baby (no joke...babies pooping is a big deal. A constipated newborn will rearrange your life). My hours are filled with the gentle thumping of my hand on her back and waiting expectantly for that glorious belch. Caring for a newborn takes every bit of you. The best I can describe it is like a dance. During those hours spent together you learn the subtle cues, she responds to me and I to her. I am poured out. It's both draining and life giving.
Being a foster mommy to a newborn is really no different than being a regular mommy to a newborn. The only difference is knowing that with one phone call that bubble can be popped (and I can't show you her gorgeous little face).
In this bubble little girls are adored, and protected by their Daddy,
Big brothers learn empathy, gentleness, and how to nurture and protect those who are fragile
and a nuzzled into a mommy's neck is always the best place for baby to be.
It was just over a month ago that I walked into the NICU and saw her laying in the hospital bassinet. I ached to get her home, and now she's been home for nearly a month.
Each day, week, and month will be a gift. She's so worth it.