First, a word of thanks for all the lovely comments on Scarlett’s birth story. I’m more touched than I can say by all the kind words and well wishes. Thank you!
In a comment, Stacey asked -
How is Kevin doing? I noticed his body posture was rather aloof, so I hope that was either his standard teenaged boy pose, or that he’s coming around.
The truth is, Kevin has been pretty standoffish about the baby ever since he found out I was pregnant. It has been disheartening, because this is the first of my pregnancies that he’s reacted that way. I think there are a lot of factors coming into play with him, though. First of all, his age – he’s 15. ’Nuff said. But seriously, I think this time around he was just old enough to have a full realization of exactly how Mom got into that condition, and to be completely horrified by it.
Secondly, I know he was worried throughout my pregnancy. He remembers – probably more clearly than any of the other kids, although they all remember, too – very clearly what happened after Finn was born. It’s not the Down syndrome – it’s not Down syndrome that has caused any of us a bunch of worry over this baby – it’s just the knowledge of all the things that can go wrong with any baby. It’s the possibility of health issues, of surgery and hospitalization. And I know that Kevin has spent a fair amount of time thinking back on Finn’s hospitalization immediately after birth, and worrying about what could happen with this new baby.
Lastly, there’s the vast age difference between him and this newest sibling. I finally dragged this out of him just in the last couple of weeks, that he’s been feeling ambivalent because it seems to him unlikely that he’ll ever know her well since he’s so much older and very well might fly the coop when she’s still pretty young. I told him that it’s up to him to make the effort to have a relationship with her, and that it can be anything he wants it to be. Honestly, it touches me that he even thinks about stuff like this.
All that said, he is coming around. Despite his posture in the post-birth pics (which I have to chalk up to the fact that he’s 15 and there’s his mom sitting in a pool half naked, for god’s sake – probably gave the poor boy nightmares), he kind of digs Scarlett. And last night, I was in the bathroom and I could hear her crying on my bed, and when I came out, this is what I found:
He dotes on all his younger siblings – no doubt he’ll dote on this one, too.
As for Joey, he’s quite smitten with her:
Ever since he was a two-year old tyke and became a big brother for the first time to the twins, he’s been enamored with the new babies that come into our family. I remember way back then, forever telling him, “Joey, get off the baby,” because he just wants to love on them so much. It’s no different with Scarlett; even though Joey will be 10 soon, I often find him on our bed snuggled up to her.
The girls, too, are completely taken with her:
They’re completely fascinated with everything about her, and I suspect they’re just biding their time till she gets just a little bigger so they can claim her as one of their tribe.
Ahhh, Finn. Finn was pretty standoffish for the first day or so (for anyone wondering, by the way, he was there with all the other kids pre- and post-birth; he was just way more interested in all of Sue’s equipment than he was in the baby, so he didn’t make it into any of the pics). ”What the heck is that thing that squirms and makes so much noise?” he seemed to be thinking. ”Is it safe?” When he finally decided to venture near her, he, of course, patted her on the head just a wee bit too enthusiastically and made her cry, which didn’t seal the bond between them right off. Now, a couple of days later, he loves to come and kiss her on the head when I’m nursing her, and he already says an approximation of her name (sounds something like “Garlic”). He can often be found gazing at her -
He is, however, feeling displaced, I think. Although he’s not taking it out on the baby (so far), he is suddenly having EPIC tantrums where he will lie on the floor and yell and cry and wail, “MAAAAAMAAAAAA! MAAAAAMAAAAA!” over and over. I’m making every effort to make sure he knows he hasn’t lost his place with me, but I think it’s just going to take time for him (and all of us) to adjust.
This is quite a juggling act!
As for Miss Scarlett, she’s a peach.
I can’t get over how pretty she is! Okay, I know I’m biased.
When she was first born, we couldn’t figure out who the heck she looked like. Now that she’s not all swollen and waterlogged, though, I think she favors both Annabelle and Lilah. And her hair! It’s the most beautiful golden color – none of the other kids were born with hair quite this color.
She has quite a temper and is happy mostly when she’s nursing and/or swaddled tight.
So that’s how all the kids are doing four days into this adventure. I’ll write about how this old postpartum mom is doing sometime in the near future.