| Written by Ronnie |
Every three months or so, I try to record an entire day in as much detail as I can manage. This particular account was written when Lewis was just two weeks old. I didn't write hourly like I normally do, as it just wasn't possible with all the frequent feeds. Nonetheless, I still tried to capture the day as best as I could because I knew that the future me would want to remember the blur of those early newborn days...
Monday, the 9th of May
All seven of us do big school drop-off together. Rick lets Angus out on Bear's side of the car, while I hop out of the car, open the back door, and grab the three school bags before Pete and Jamie jump out. They each put their bags on. Rick quickly prays for the three boys. I attempt to give them all kisses and hugs, but Pete is already halfway to the school gate. Jamie comes back for a second hug, and to my pleasant surprise, Pete rushes up too. I watch them walk off with a slight tug in my heart. We drive to Bear's preschool, and I take Bear in. He shows me his locker and we put his bottle in the tray and his morning/afternoon tea into the eskies together. Without any prompting, he goes to the Play Doh station and starts playing. I watch him for a while (he wanders to the back of the room for a bit) and just before I leave, he sees that I'm still there, rushes over, puts his arms around me, and tells me that "me be safe, mummy." He then returns to Play Doh. I smile and leave, incredulous at how well he's settled into preschool. Rick and I drive home.
I put Lewis down for a brief nap just before 10am, then manage to accomplish five things before he wakes up again: unpack my bags, tidy the playroom and dining room, use the bathroom, make/eat peanut butter on toast, and read Proverbs 9. He starts to cry before I finish but I am happy for him to wait for a little bit. At half past ten, I load up Ranma into the DVD player and bring Lewis downstairs for a feed. Once he's finished and burped, I stop the DVD and spend the next half an hour or so talking and singing ("Ask Me" in Cantonese) to the boy. When he starts yawning, I bring him upstairs and decide to initiate some sort of nap time routine with Lewis. So I change him, zip him up in the Love Me Baby wrap, read him Goodnight Moon on the bed, wrap him up in the grey blanket, then sing Away in a Manager to him next to the cot and as I lay him down. The timing is so perfect that as soon as his head touches the mattress, his eyes close (and stay closed). I am ecstatic and rush downstairs to tell Rick, who is working in his office.
I set up my laptop on the meals table and get to work for an hour: I schedule FB posts, reply L:C emails, reply to L:C Instagram messages, and curate our Instagram gallery for the following week. I move onto some personal admin tasks like deleting media off my iPhone so that I can actually start taking photos and videos again. I also heat up Lea's chicken congee for lunch (it's delicious!) and prepare Lewis' next bottle. At half past one, Lewis is up again. I get the playroom couch ready for feeding and bring him downstairs. This time, I watch Masterchef (Encore) on television while feeding, as well as ten minutes of Grand Designs. Lewis drinks 110mL really quickly, and I think, "Awesome! This is going just wonderfully!" I then see that he is about to do a vomit, and then sure enough, what seems like all the milk he just drank come right back up - all over his wrap, down the front of my top, into my hair, and even onto my pants.
I let out a yell, and Rick comes in to see what happened. I hand him my cardigan, my tank top, and also my scarf. I wander upstairs and throw on my black thermal tank and my ivory sweater. I am now thrown, as I don't know whether I should keep feeding Lewis or whether his tummy is actually full (and therefore was getting rid of the excess). I decide not to give him anymore milk. Around half past two, when he starts to yawn, I do the same bedtime routine and put him down again. I then rush to my studio to take a flatlay photo of the Mother's Day presents from the boys and attempt to update our daily timeline. Lewis is unsettled, however, so at 3pm, I give him some more milk and he drinks about 30mL before finally falling asleep around quarter past three.
Just as I put him back down, Rick pulls into the driveway with the four big boys. I rush downstairs, grab my bag and the Corolla keys, and manage a quick "Welcome back from school, boys!" before jumping into the green car and driving straight to Susan Eaton's physio practice. I get there about five minutes late but the parking is full. I ask the receptionist if I can park right outside their front door and she says yes. Susan and I have the most efficient appointment ever. Her diagnosis: I am actually in pretty good shape! Although my ride side has a bit of torsion (which should improve as the pregnancy hormones subside), my pelvis is not actually out of alignment! My tummy separation is only about one finger, which she thinks is amazing considering that most women in similar circumstances would have a whole hand's worth of separation. She runs me through the exercises that I need to build up my abdomen muscles, and I lie there practising while she scribbles it down on paper. I leave around quarter past four and am home by half past.
Lewis is asleep upstairs (after drinking another 75mL at 3.50pm). The boys are watching television and Rick is preparing Nan's pasta bake for dinner. I ask Pete about his News Day prep, and he tells me he's done it. I talk to Rick about it, and Rick says that he's going to re-write it a bit for Pete, which he does. At 5pm, Lewis is crying again so I start feeding him on the couch while Rick and the boys start on dinner. Lewis drinks half a bottle and stops, so I join the others and wolf down my dinner as I'm pretty hungry. The boys finish up their rather small portions of pasta bake pretty quickly (though Jamie and Pete take a lot of encouragement to eat the "green bits" aka spinach) and then Rick serves up "purple yoghurt" with muesli for their dessert. Rick goes through Pete's News Day speech with him and we both suggest that he write it out in his own handwriting. He willingly obliges.
Rick takes the other boys upstairs for bath and bed while I stay downstairs with Pete and Lewis. After 15 minutes or so, Pete says he's getting tired so I suggest that he go up and have his shower first. I join everyone else upstairs. After Rick gives Lewis his bath, I give the little boy another 20mL of milk and he falls asleep happily in my arms in our bedroom. Meanwhile, the other boys are all downstairs because Pete needs to finish copying out his speech about his favourite toy (Lego!) for his News Day tomorrow. They are all in bed by about 8pm.
Rick heads downstairs before me and is on the phone with Centrelink by the time I join him. The customer service rep confirms that they've received our paperwork and that it's just waiting to be processed, which is great to hear. We then both work in Rick's study together - me in the blue chair and him in the orange chair. He does sermon prep while I try to do some journaling. Around half past nine, I realise I'm utterly exhausted and declare it's time for bed. We shower, and Lewis wakes up around 10pm for his final feed of the night. We manage to go to sleep ourselves somewhat earlier than usual...
You can read the other posts in this series here.