Two Weeks!

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Henry is two weeks old today. In some ways, I can’t believe it’s only been two weeks; haven’t I known him my whole life? In other ways, those two weeks feel like an eternity.

“How long does this whole ‘going-on-almost-no-sleep’ thing last,” I have asked several friends. It is really amazing how many things I’ve forgotten in the years since my last baby. Because the four older boys all came in such quick succession, labor and childbirth and having a newborn were just a normal part of life.

And then things slowed down. And boy did I forget a lot.

I am assured I’ll be feeling a bit more normal within a few weeks, a few months tops. I’m mostly concerned about the tremendous bags under my eyes. Even when I get decent sleep (read: three whole hours at a time) my face still looks like Puff Mommy. (Note to self: google some good eye-bag remedies.)

But the love and joy and gift of new life far outweighs the little inconveniences of this (very, very short) season. I look at this baby and am overwhelmed — in a good way. And I know that instead of counting the minutes to when I can fit into some normal clothes, I’m going to treasure every second of having Henry’s tiny hand grabbing my finger.

One thing I do know now, that I didn’t appreciate before, is that these precious little creatures grow up and become real people with real personalities. And they are so fun and wonderful. But not small, never again. There is something about that fact that stings. Seeing my newborn Henry makes me miss my newborn Ethan. And Elliott and Charlie and Augie. I love who these boys are now, of course. But who they once were is gone forever.

“I love Henry,” Charlie says almost every time he walks past him. And then he adds, “I wouldn’t trade him for anything, Mom. Not even a thousand dollars.”

Elliott asked me today if I had to choose between having Henry and getting $2 million, what would it be. “Henry,” I told him, “of course.”

The boys, it seems, are trying to figure out a dollar amount, how high a person would have to go, to equal the worth of this new life in our midst.

I think they’re learning they will never find that amount.

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  1. Aie! I’m SO going to have to stop reading your blog because NOW I’m starting to look around my house thinking “Hmmm. Maybe …” My husband should be nervous. Very, very nervous!

  2. Makes ya wonder how in the world someone could sell their kid into slavery or for a hit of crack, doesn’t it?
    Even though it is a magical time in countless ways, I don’t really enjoy the emotional roller coaster ride of post partum hormones.
    My remedy for puffiness…believe it or not, tons of water!

  3. Now I need some puffy eye remedies-that post made me bawl! How sweet! Each and every time I am overwhelmed by my boys I read your blog and it really brings things into focus for me-thank you.

  4. Ruth Anne Adams says:

    Brand new from Mary Kay. Talk to your consultant.

  5. My name is Dianna says:

    How do you ever put him down? Gosh, I want one.

  6. Amy Parris says:

    Hmmm…what you’re experiencing about your newborn is like what I’m experiencing about this pregnancy. I don’t remember being this sick with any of them. How did I get anything done? When will it end?

    I will pray for your belly to shrink while mine grows:).

  7. This is a wonderful post. It makes me kind of sad. My husband and I have talked about having my tubes tied because this 5th baby will be my 5th cesarean, and it’s just not safe anymore–no matter what the birth control.
    But your post makes me think about completely trusting God with my body. Completely trusting that if #5 is last, He should decide, not us.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I really love your blog. I have three boys – Joseph, age 3, and twins, age 16 months, named Henry and John. I love your choice of names for your children, especially Henry and Augie. What is Augie’s full name? August? Augusten? Did you have a girl’s name in mind in case Henry was a she? Just curious!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I know this will probably stir things up, but God calls us to responsible parenthood. He who has the most children is not necessarily the best Catholic. God calls us to be good stewards. St Ignatius preached that we should pray as if everything depended on God and act as if everything depended on us(I paraphrased). Do the abusive parents and crack hoes keep having kids because they are leaving it up to God. Sometimes biology happens.


  10. Pete or Kathryn says:

    Bring the comments back to oohing and awing over Henry!!

    I loved this post, having a newborn myself I completely understand and couldn’t agree more!


  11. Michelle says:

    What a sweet picture Rachel of your two boys! To snuggle with a newborn is one of those “natural highs” that life provides, including the warmth and yummy sweet smell of babies. Your son is surely to not forget that wonderful feeling and will probably carry it on to when he grows up and is thinking about becoming a dad.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for putting to words what so many of us feel … the time when our babies are tiny babies is irreplacable and so, so sweet.

    You are a great writer and a joy to read!

  13. The Estrogen Files says:

    How sweet. Happy 2 weeks!! Hang in there – 3 hours is nothing to sneeze at. It will get better.

  14. From the Heart says:

    This is a great post. I couldn’t agree more. My 2 1/2 month old is already sleeping through the night – at least 6 hours is sleeping through the night, right? He has given me one 12 hour night and a couple of 10 hour nights, but of course I was up checking on him. Time goes so quickly. How I already want another one! Blessings to you and your family.

  15. I love this picture. Thanks for your blog. You are such a joy to read!

  16. Kiwi Nomad 2006 says:

    Such a precious photo of this newborn Henry with his ‘big’ brother. Thanks for the joy you have shared.

  17. I loved the photo too. I have three sons, aged 7, 5 and 4, and my wife will find it amusing but I think I’ll send her the URL for this blog. 🙂

  18. What a wonderful post. My husband and I have 7 children and so many people tell us that we shouldn’t have another one. The anti life culture is so alive that posts like this really are a light in the darkness. Thanks for your wonderful post.

  19. Rachel, congratulations to you. I came here via Niall Mor’s blog,

    This is a wonderful post. It makes me kind of sad. My husband and I have talked about having my tubes tied because this 5th baby will be my 5th cesarean, and it’s just not safe anymore–no matter what the birth control.
    But your post makes me think about completely trusting God with my body. Completely trusting that if #5 is last, He should decide, not us.

    Leah, I will reply to you, because I am in exactly your position. I have just had my fifth baby, all were c-sections. I understand what you mean about the safety of more births etc. I am thinking we too, may need to try not to have more babies (although we love them).

    I can only say that:

    1. the doctors can be very good at manipulating us emotionally (although I’m sure it’s often subconscious on their part and they are worried about lawsuits etc) so I am going to talk to a friend of mine who is a GP and a committed Catholic, to see if I can get better info.

    2. ultimately, I believe my husband and I will just have to trust in God in this matter. This may be quite hard for us.

    God bless you. You have my sympathy.