Keep Calm and Carry Idan / by Susie Lubell



I figure I better write this one quick before I forget again and have another baby.

Having a baby is rough. Even the third time around. I will admit that I sort of thought, well I've done this twice and my kids are older now, so how hard could it be to just add one more to the mix. He'll just get dragged around and he'll sleep though anything and he'll raise himself, kind of. I knew it would be a lot of work but somehow I thought it would be easier than it is.

It's not easy. Those first few weeks are horrible. Even if we take out the sleep deprivation and the hormones and the two other kids and the constant appeal for your attention, even without all of that, it's still so difficult. Because your body is wrecked. I was in constant pain for those first two, even three, weeks. I honestly forgot about the pain - nature's way of ensuring the survival of the species. And then add in everything we subtracted before and it's almost impossible. A former colleague of mine once told me that in her culture a new mom and baby are not allowed to leave the house for the first month after the birth and I used to think that was crazy. Now I think it's wise. And with my mom and mother-in-law helping me out this past month, it's basically what I was able to do - stay put. But now they're gone and in fact, everyone's gone.

I've actually been on my own with the baby the last few days. My other two are with Mr. Rosen and the extended Rosen clan in the Eastern Sierras for a camping trip (this morning my sister in law sent me a video of Mr. Rosen in his underwear playing Neil Young on his guitar surrounded by snow capped mountains, a flowing creek and green meadows - not bad). The day before they left I had a nervous breakdown wondering how I will manage with this grumpy baby who appears to be more in his tenth month of gestation than his first month of life. And how will I get anything done if I'm the only one around to hold him. Plus I was a little weepy about my kids being away for six days. That will be the longest we've been apart. And also wondering when my husband would ever bond with our son. I was basically an irrational basket case. The next morning the place was a complete circus getting ready for this trip but once they were gone I felt a calm wash over the house and over me. And the baby. For the first time since the hospital he could nurse without having his sister rubbing his head or kissing his feet or his brother asking a million questions. We didn't have to be anywhere. We finally had a moment to get to know each other a little.

So with the first tumultuous month behind us we are enjoying a few days of calm. We don't have to take anyone to camp or pick anyone up so our days are free to go grocery shopping or go on walks or see friends or do nothing at all but eat and poop. I even got around to filling some ETSY orders. And because I don't have to worry about when I wake up in the morning, the nights are easier. And then the whole day is easier and I can carry around this yummy little baby without carrying around the weight of the world.