I come from a family of four- four kids that is. My parents thought they couldn’t have children and so what a miracle it was when after four years of marriage my mom discovered she was pregnant. A year and a half later another miracle popped out and so they continued every two years until mom decided she was blessed enough and had her tubes tied. Four kids in six years must have been a real lifestyle adjustment.
My parents rarely talked about life before us kids but the snippets I’ve overheard from friends and relatives lead me to conclude that the adjustment was indeed massive…and I can relate- sort of. When Calixa was born I remember the jarring and torturous about-face life took when days ceased to be measured by day and night, awake and asleep, and were instead counted by number of feedings and the blessed silence that slipped away like a cute little ticking bomb to the next shift of incurable colicky wails.
I did not adjust well. My chest felt like someone had placed an enormous rubber band around it, pulling it out and thwacking it against my heart every time the baby screamed. Sleep evaded me even when Cally dozed for hours and lets not even talk about the infrequency with which I washed my hair. I was a mess! Desperate and helpless I appealed to my mother, “I don’t know how I’m going to survive this,” my bloodshot eyes begging for an answer that would make everything okay again, “How did you do this with four?!”
My mom laughed, then reaching way back into her memory, sighed. “We drank a lot of coffee and all the moms drank it together.”
It wasn’t long after that that I began to go to a mom’s group. Sometimes I’d have the energy to stand on the perimeter and rock my bawling baby- straining to catch part of the conversation. And sometimes I’d just lie there while someone else (God bless their souls) rocked my inconsolable babe. There was always coffee. Time went on and my fussy infant matured into a sensitive baby. I started to be able to sit and converse without having to constantly move. I started to sleep a little better at night and my eyes were noticeably less bloodshot. Coffee and coffee with moms was really something. I could survive if I wasn’t alone.
When baby number two arrived I knew what to do. The kids and I make a regular habit of attending at our local moms group and for the days in between there are lots of friends with children to visit. Leela is seven months old now and I think I’ve come through the hard part fairly well. I drink coffee and I drink it with friends. Almost anything can be wonderful when good people share it together.