As with many new additions, the first few days are always the most surreal. This thing is here that wasn’t before and everything has been a little different since then. I mean, life goes on and we try to keep things as normal as possible, but things are different. And exciting!
When Briony was born, it was my favorite story to tell. We were invited back to our Bradley class to share the story of her birth with the next class. It was so nice to share the story. Now we have Gabriel’s story. Hardly a typical birth story; and certainly one that Nick was not expecting (at least I don’t recall him brushing up on how to deliver a baby prior to the birth). It has taken me a few days just to process what happened. It was so fast and unexpected. During labor, I thought about getting the music out and filling the diffuser with my essential oils, but all I could do was tell Nick to keep talking to me. And then suddenly the baby was born.
At first he was so calm and sleepy; completely the opposite of Briony when she was first born. He nursed wonderfully and everything seemed way too easy. I was still feeling pretty good after such a short labor, and still pretty high on hormones. Poor guy was pretty beat-up from the fast birth. That must have also made him pretty exhausted.
By day two he had caught the Bullard fever: strong-willed, vocal and not afraid to tell us how he was feeling. It became a non-stop nursing marathon and suddenly I felt very exhausted. Having not slept much was also starting to wear on us. We still didn’t have a name, so I wasn’t calling him anything.
Day three was more of the same, except that we got news at the doctor visit that he had very high levels of bilirubin and would have to be tested. You can catch that exciting story on another post, William Rubin.
On day four, we finally decided on a name, which was such a relief. I could finally call him something that was going to stick! I was finally getting into the nursing schedule (being non-stop), though now that I had milk, it was a constant dance between nursing and changing these itty bitty diapers and little time for sleep. For some reason, it wasn’t all that stressful. Perhaps because we had already been through it before and when sleep deprivation and exhaustion is expected, it is easier to cope with.
Day five leaves me in a state of complete happiness. First of all, I have been able to rest, which has been key. Nick has really taken over running the house and looking after Briony. He offers full service meals in bed and special treats like fresh, toasty bread smothered in Nutella. Briony pops in frequently, excited to see “brother baby.” She’s still working on his name, which usually comes out like “Gagabul” or “Bowaga.” It is so fun to see how she has really welcomed him.