Much is to be said about this past week...
A ray of emotions and adjustments have taken place...
The joy of having the long awaited arrival of Elizabeth Hope was experienced...being greeted by all her brothers and sisters. Marveling at God ~ the Creator and Giver of Life ~ the intricacy of how He grows that little baby in a womb for months, being totally dependent on the mother to nurture the life He has given...the way the baby lives and breathes in that water protected environment AND then directly after birth takes the first breath of air. How the Scripture about laboring to eat comes to a literal reality when now this sweet babe that has been fed by umbilical cord now has must 'work' to eat.
The adjustments (physical and emotional) a mother goes through. From having sleepless nights due to size and discomfort to sleepless nights due to nursing. :-) The bonding that takes place from feeling all the little bumps when the baby is growing in the womb to bonding that takes place from actually holding that precious gift in her arms.
The roller coaster of emotions one goes through as the body's hormones adjust...tears (which is one way these hormones are released), the sense of 'how am I going to do this?', 'the need for getting back to normal routines' (which is now learning what the new normal will be), not to mention the physical changes...milk coming in (engorgement) on day 2, after-birth contractions each time you nurse, the angst of that sweet little babe 'latching on' knowing the pain associated with it :-), and the back aches and head aches lingering from labor position and blood pressure adjustment.
Praise the Lord for the encouragement He gives through good friends...those needed reminders they provide...the care and love extended by the dear sisters in Christ of caring for our children and ministering to our family through the gift of meals. Truly not having to fit meal planning and preparation into full days is a great ministry to any family that has just had a baby! Visits with friends (for me and the children) as meals have been delivered...having my husband home for that first week was a tremendous blessing, too.
Taking a few days 'off' from bookwork (school) was not what I had originally planned to do, but under wise counsel, did do. This gave some time for the children to bond more with Elizabeth, spend time with me and their daddy and even the blessed time of going to several friends' homes for play time (which allowed time for their dad & I to get some needed rest). By Monday though, I felt the need to start our schedule again, which was equally good for them. Having the routine in place gave them focus, kept the home functioning peacefully and did help to provide those times of rest needed (for them & us) in the afternoons.
Yesterday was a test...as dad went back to work and oldest brother had classes in the afternoon, then rehearsal after that. Testing did happen with computer slow-downs challenging business that needed to be done, the fact that it took all morning to accomplish business work that should have only taken 1/2 that time, that sweet little one not sleeping like she should have in the morning, a few glitches with chore time and extra help being needed to keep on track with school work. It made for a very full morning and caused some discouragement in me. BUT...the afternoon was redeemed by enjoying the beautiful autumn-want-to-be weather, which seemed to bring rejuvenation in us all. Good naps were taken by the younger children allowing peace in the home before dinner. Some encouraging words from a friend and a visit from another friend along with some play time for the children with their friends was a blessed way to bring the day to a close.
Elizabeth Hope is now 9 days young today. She is doing very well ~ gaining weight (not losing the usually several ounces most babies do after birth...she's a Smith) ~ learning to sleep better and other than bouts of belly bubbles, is a sweet wee one. She is the apple of her siblings' eyes and is not lacking in attention... ;-) My physical and emotional well-being are close to normal. Maternity clothes have been packed back away for this season, sleep patterns are adjusting much better than a week ago, lessons are taking place daily (deeper than bookwork and surely will be longer lasting), relationships are deepening as one more has joined the sweet word called "FAMILY" and God continues to be the center of all that takes place.
And the mediation of my heart these days is "My grace is sufficient for thee...".