Alexe gave me the greatest gift last night. (After her love, hand in marriage, and a cute little baby, of course.) Almost 7 hours of sleep!
We have all been pretty well fried since Saturday.
But as of today:
Alexe is feeling much better, able to walk around with little A, and looking less pale, and emotionally feeling much better. Her milk has come in, which has pleased everyone. (This morning little A's face, all snoozy and looking like she had a question on her mind, was covered, nose cheeks and chin, in dried milk. Super cute.)
The house is finally caught up, laundry done, everything mopped, dishes and kitchen clean, bathrooms bleached down, compost out, trash out, last minute necessities and prescriptions picked up, and I think things should ease up a little bit. (We knew there wouldn't be much rest once she came, but we didn't think the starting point was a sleep starved 38 hour marathon. If we had been handed a new baby without that first step, who knows, so all you not-yet-parents, don't forget that slippery little fact.)
My chores are to keep everyone other than Annaliese in food, drinks, and doting attention. Shadow has taken to staying outside most of the day; she seems very uncomfortable in the house. (Cannot thank our landlords enough for that dog door and fenced in yard.) Dido, on the other hand, is fascinated and worried sick over the bundle that smells funny and cries periodically. She's in almost every picture I take, peeking over the side of the bed, sitting at attention staring up at wherever little A is, or, when she can reach, trying to lick any exposed part of little A.
Alexe is feeling much better. We've made improvements with the latching on, and with milk flowing, Alexe's worries and self doubt that had piled into her exhausted, fragile mind have eased a bit.
We've started to work out a process: Alexe is resting whenever she can. The feedings take a long time, and there isn't much time in between, so that's her sole job, along with consuming whatever food, tea, etc. I put in front of her.
When little A has had her fill, I swoop in and put her in a sling, where she snoozes while I do the dishes, sweep, take out the garbage, and generally act like Alexe did while little A was still in the womb. It's amazing how she'll sleep through me mopping, with her knocking into my chest, or clanging garbage can lids, or running water in the tub, or doing dishes. She seems to be more peaceful at these times than when I sit still.
Whenever that delightful odor drifts up to my nose, the sling is perfectly shaped to funnel it straight up, we visit the changing station and yet again break the 2 hour old record of ginormous amounts of poo. I had been using her cloth diapers without the plastic liners, but the amount of laundry that little bundle was producing was mind boggling. On one fun occasion she managed to thrust a poo covered leg into a clean stack of diapers. Rookie mistake, keeping clean diapers within reach. So, we're in plastic liners, and that seems to be containing things nicely.
Eventually little A starts seeking with her mouth for something to suck on, and will attach herself to anything within reach. Her hand and the cloth wraps will keep her happy for a few minutes. My pinkie, nose, neck, shoulder, will do for no more than a minute. Then it's back to her mama, who has mastered the side by side feeding method, and is sleeping right now while little A is snacking away.
It's all quite fun, and helps that she's so cute.
(I don't have any pictures downloaded to this computer. Those will certainly come later.)