A Third Baby's First Week of Life

03 March 2016

My, if it hasn't been a few months of totally unexplained if entirely explainable absence.

Three kids.

Three kids has me whooped. I'm pretty sure our fourth kid will be an accident.

We're gonna dive right in with a catch up post just in case little Romie ever wanders through the archives and asks if he had an infancy.

You did, Romes, a really jolly one.

Roman is remarkably good-natured. As I'm lugging all 22 pounds of him from room to room while I chastise a four year old and potty-train a two year old (her choice not mine), sometimes I remember to look into his face. He looks at me so adoringly. It kinda floors me. I do my best to stop and love those moments, but I'm not very good at it.

Ok. Here we go. Roman's first week of life.

When his brother and sister came to visit him in the hospital the first time, I was holding him in my lap, and when he heard their voices, he craned his head back and forth and his eyes searched the entire room. Meanwhile they were beelining for him: Lucy June couldn't contain her glee when she first saw him. It was magical.

I'd never seen one of my newborns respond to voices so obviously.

He came just a little bit early - earlier than all the other kids. I had scheduled a loan closing on Tuesday, but he was born on Monday. Jacob went to the appointment and while he was signing a million documents I was watching all three kids by myself in the hospital room. With some help from Winnie the Pooh and Netflix Too, it went remarkably well. It was stressful though. I held my breath and waited for everything to devolve for the entire two hours.

Roman's early life has had many of those moments. Darker moments. Moments where his stubborn mother doesn't seek out the help she needs and puts too much on her plate until her stress and anxiety start to leak out all over her house and into her relationships.

I couldn't skip the closing even though I'd had a baby, so I was scheduled to sign my name a million times on Wednesday right before we planned to take two day old Roman to have his bilirubin checked. So I would go sift through papers for twenty minutes and then we'd take the baby to the pediatrician. I was not excited about this, but it would be OK. We could do it. It would be fine.

Then Lucy June fell off the top bunk. Right onto her head. My was it horrible. It started swelling immediately, and we were just a few minutes from leaving for the closing/pediatrician outing, so we figured we'd muscle through the closing and then get some eyes on the little girl's head at the doctor's office.

Jacob dropped me off at the closing, while he drove around the block a few times with the kiddos. Lucy was unhappy, but lucid with a lump. I shuffled into a swanky office and sat down in a leather chair at a conference table and signed and signed. I felt like such a body - a fragile body in a room designed for pantsuits. Then there was a knock on the door. It was Jacob carrying Lucy June, and both of them were covered in vomit.

So we expedited the pediatrician visit. We piled in the car. The newborn was crying, everything reeked of vomit, I was hyperventilating.

At the pediatrician's office I tried to settle the baby down and feed him in the newborn area. The triage nurse who was checking on our probably-concussed daughter came over to ask if a suspicious triangle-shaped indentation on Lucy June's forehead was normal. Through tears I shook my head that I couldn't tell. Had she fallen on a lego? She did have a widow's peak. Maybe that was it? The triage nurse patted my shoulder, told me we would probably need to have some imaging done on her, and left me to my tears and my newborn.

Things quickly got better. By the time we saw the doctor, Lucy June was playing with toys and sporting her black eye like a clumsy champion and was pretty much her normal self. He told us to go home and call if she vomited some more.
Jacob had a huge job starting the next day that he couldn't reschedule. So my mom descended on our house like an angel of mercy and took care of everything. My friends picked up Jake for playdates. Lucy June and her shiner hung out with my mom. I nursed my baby and my very bruised postpartum tailbone.

Then it was Sunday - Jacob's day off - and the toilet backed up into the bathtub, so Jacob got to spend the day digging a hole in the backyard to reveal a broken sewer line.
And that officially rounded out the baby's first week of life.

I don't write these things to complain or to elicit a rush of combox sympathy. I write them because I'll probably want to remember them.

Some of it is funny. Some not so funny. I want to write it down. I need me some catharsis or something.

Or probably should remember them. There's more craziness to add to this. This was just week one.

Life is exhausting right now.
But I'm learning how to settle into good moments.
Also, these are all pics from back in September. Roman now looks like this:
Perpetually flanked by siblings.

And like this when sausaged into a size newborn baptismal gown.
Working Caption: Husband leaves room for the Holy Spirit at Baptism


  1. Kate! You've been in my prayers. I assumed you were adjusting to life but ohmagoodness! I can't even imagine! So glad Lucy is okay and pray that you were able to rest like a champ the rest of that postpartum time. We're almost three months out and I still feel like my body is recovering! Roman is a cutie and that caption - hilarious. ;)

  2. Three kids totally has me drowning some days too. Solidarity

  3. Three kids totally has me drowning some days too. Solidarity

  4. Three kids was the hardest, for sure. It gets better, I promise. I remember waking up and being surprised when I realized that life hadn't sucked it awhile. I hope you wake to that revelation sooner rather than later! (PS I go to lunchtime mass at your parish. The BEST homilies ever! Small world.)

  5. Your last caption, HA! Oh it is so good to read your words again. As you put it, "Three kids is eating my lunch."

  6. I have missed your writing!! So good to get caught up!

  7. It's so unfair when you don't get to postpartum the way you deserve to. I was just thinking about how two days after Trixie was born I was wrestling the 2 year old for diaper changes and hobbling around the kitchen fixing him breakfast because my husband had to be in class. My (as you put it) fragile body felt so Awful. But some how, by grace I suppose, we get though it. I actually believe we can handle way more than we'd ever imagine. But I digress...

    Anyway. Nice to read your words again, you're babies are darling, and I hope that things are settling down a bit for you all.

  8. Love that last caption, you're hilarious. Three kids man, woah. If you can get through that, you can get through anything!! And you look gorgeous doing it!

  9. Wow! So many adventures! I have to think of them as adventures because holy hell, so stressful! But my whole childhood growing up in a big family is filled with adventures like that, and now that we're making our family I have to accept that these types of vomit-filled predicaments are part of the life I chose. It's a good life though, right? It's worth it.

  10. Go Team Rhodes! You guys are awesome.

  11. Oh my gosh Kate I've missed your writing and am simultaneously so glad that you've taken a break from it because you definitely don't need even ONE more thing on your plate.
    You got me right out of the gate with that line though..."our fourth child will probably be an accident." Preach.... :)
    Hope things are settling in. Wish I could drive over and pick up the littles for ya for a couple of hours.

  12. First of all, so nice to hear about how your sweet family has been and see some bonus photos! But wow, what a whirlwind. Definitely something you'll look back on and laugh at how ridiculously insane it all was! So glad yall survived and I can't wait to see you in a month! :)

  13. I've missed your writing! That baby is such a chubby ball of cuteness!

  14. Glad you're back! And there are 4 1/2 years between our 3rd and 4th. I'll just leave that there......! :)



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