The baby is two weeks old today. B"H he's doing much better. He's nursing better, and waking himself up when it's time to eat; I didn't even need to set an alarm clock last night. If the baby scale I borrowed from a neighbor can be trusted, he's up from 6 lb 3 oz on Monday to 6 lb 7.5 this morning. I know a couple of ounces each way can be one feed or even one diaper, but he's been going steadily up instead of steadily down, so I'm feeling pretty pleased with him.
He's also pretty much got that latch-suck-swallow thing down. Between being born at 37 weeks and having had the whole jaundice thing, he had been finding eating--even when awake--a little overwhelming. I got the impression he thought it was like trying to pat your head and rub your stomach while riding a unicycle, and no matter how hungry he might be it just didn't seem worth the effort--easier just to sleep. He's still sleeping almost all the time, but when he's not sleeping he's eating, with much less need for help and interference from me. Which is very nice for me, because now, even though it might take me an hour to feed him, it doesn't take an hour of total concentration and wishing I had a few extra hands. A few times a day now, he wakes up and looks around and makes funny faces. He hardly cries at all, except when I'm doing something really unreasonable like changing his diaper. It's quite a change from our usual newborn routine around here, which has to date always involved an awful lot of screaming.
Our babysitter came three mornings this week, and I availed myself of this well--once she turned up, I absented myself with the baby to my bedroom and slept until an hour before she left, at which point I got up and nursed the baby so I wouldn't have to do it with the other two jumping on me. I'm definitely the best-rested I've ever been with a new baby. It's strange, but I look back at the last two weeks and all I see is yad Hashem moving things in ways that I might not have been happy with at the time, but were so clearly for the best: on Tuesday, when I had just gotten home from the hospital and was feeling so overwhelmed and both boys were being monsters and I hid in my bedroom and cried, well, that was when the phone rang and it was the doctor's office telling me to take the baby to the hospital. Not that I wanted to take the baby to the hospital, but in the end it meant five days of sitting still whether I wanted to or not--which was really what I needed. The delayed bris has taken a lot of the stress out of the first week--we don't have to plan a simcha yet. Having the baby erev Shabbos meant that there wasn't much to do for a shalom zachor, and my friend across the street had it at her house. And having a jaundiced baby in an incubator meant that as much as I would have preferred to sleep cuddling the baby, I didn't really have any choice but to just lie down and sleep--I couldn't hold him even though I wanted to.
Right now MHH is out with the boys--now the big boys--picking up diapers and milk and other sundries before Shabbos. The baby is in his carseat, making the distinctive little snuffling sounds that mean he is thinking about waking up and nursing sometime soon. A friend of ours--the same friend who came to the hospital right before Shabbos bearing a bag full of food, including four Diet Cokes and a whole pound of corned beef--turned up an hour or so ago with chicken and soup and cholent and salads and an entire lime meringue pie. The house is clean, the kids are not too nuts, and MHH's grades are finally, finally done. Things are settling down. The world is coming back into focus.
And tonight, I get to do something I've been waiting to do for what seems like an awfully long time. Tonight, for the first time, I get to light five candles for Shabbos.