| | |

Every Day in Every Way

It’s getting better and better.

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

The other night I was thinking about all the ways I’ve changed in a year.

At some point late last year, or maybe early in 2020, I had a brand sponsorship with Chuck E. Cheese all the way nearly in Rhode Island. Scarlet was busy that night so I took Des for a perfect mother and son night. We got free dinner and free games and played for hours. He really wanted to win a basketball net and didn’t have enough tickets, so I threw down a few bucks for him to get what he really wanted. We drove home and talked the whole way – about weather, Star Wars, music, food, and more. I can’t remember when that night happened, and I can barely recollect the parts of me that made it happen. The work parts of me, the non-pregnant and non mama of a newborn parts of me, and the parts of me before the pandemic. So close, and so far.

chuck e. cheese where a kid can be a kid

It must have been right before it all changed. I got super sick with a weird fever and cold in late January and was still sick when we went to Florida in early February. Cassidy flew to Orlando before me, for a work conference that was already struggling with people from China having COVID. I made some semblance of a Super Bowl party for the kids and then paid the extra money on Southwest to make sure they’d both be in the same row as me. We had a few days with Cassidy and then he flew back here and we went to St. Augustine for a few days. I drove the rental car to the airport right at dawn, in the pouring rain, with no other parental help, and with the inkling that I was probably flying home with three kids, and not two. It was my secret then.

And for a few more days. Before I knew what I knew.

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

Every day in every way, it’s getting better and better.

Is it, though? Is it? The clogged ducts and nipple pain of breastfeeding haven’t gotten better. The baby is amazing but crankier now that he’s not sleeping through all of life, like in those precious and achingly odd first days at home. I have the Postpartum Blues and I look back on pregnancy with fondness and nostalgia – even the harder parts of it – and I feel like I’ve been kicked out of an elite club and now I’m here. With this precious and achingly perfect newborn. It makes no logical sense to breathe him in and be so relieved that he’s here and healthy, but also miss the unknown and the kicks and the excitement. Right now it’s the multiple letdown (and yes that’s a breastfeeding term), of a long winter with COVID and uncertainty and nipple pain.

Although the sun shines on all of it. Even nipples, and definitely winter and COVID.

baby boy

Every day, in every way. Yes, it does get better.

I heal every day, physically and probably emotionally too. There’s a part of you that dies when you become a new mother, again and again. A new mother of this one, making me feel like a new mother all over again. With all three of them, I had a brief (or not) hypochondriac period after the births, and that’s because of the part of me that was dying. By now, though, (at least I think) I know that part of me rises as well. I spent the other night sad that I couldn’t recollect and retrieve the woman from Chuck E. Cheese, who was more untethered than the me from now, but maybe that’s a good thing overall. Tethers are ok – they ground your heart and soul.

You can feel that little tug, and that’s how you know you’re home.

newborn lounger by boppy

Now this is a big job, but to celebrate one month (today is one month!) I’m going to share all of the Rider-specific Facebook captions and photos I’ve shared since the first one, which I shared here to announce his birth. It’s really fun and heart-tugging to go through this specific journey:

Day 2:

“Hospitals and newborns don’t make for a good night of sleep. But oh – to sleep on my back and not have heartburn or restless legs or Braxton Hicks contractions!

I’ll write the birth story on my blog but the short story is that I had four consecutive healthy ultrasounds so there was no need to induce at 39 weeks. We chose his due date, yesterday, as an induction date not thinking we would need it. Well he was happy in there!

Checked in yesterday at 7:30am and I was 4cm. Started Pitocin at 8:50am and he was born at 2:49pm! Honestly I went drug free because of some lasting trauma from Des and because even at 8cm, I can calmly walk and talk. By the time it got unbearable, it was time to push. It was no moral or medical decisions, really. Just happened. I had epidurals in the past that felt like magic.”

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

“They let us go home!

The kids were jumping up and down to meet him, and were delighted to get to see a meconium filled diaper too within minutes.

It’s the little things.”

Day 3:

“We made it through the first night! It was challenging but successful.

Anyone who has ever been a new parent or has loved a new parent, knows of the challenges. If there isn’t postpartum depression or anxiety, and that’s an if, there are the postpartum blues, the existential crises, the crying jags, the adult diapers, the aches and pains and fears and whirling thoughts. The guilty feelings of knowing he was so happy in there for 40 weeks and I pushed him into this cold, loud weirdness!

That said, there’s also the beauty and humor and newness of it all. The chances to do and be better. I hope to ride these waves of life with at least some real time acknowledgment of all my big feels.

Now for some fun moments! The kids and their brother. Leaving the hospital. Entering the hospital. The fancy fun dinner that Cooley Dickinson gives to the new parents. And more!”

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

Day 4:

“I had a meeting tonight that I couldn’t miss, even three days postpartum, and apparently Scarlet was the one to finally get Rider to stop crying.”

Day 5:

“This is not a “Woe is Me” status because I am so in love with this squirming healthy child, that it isn’t even close to funny. Although I want to acknowledge that going from nurses and midwives and lactation consultants and pediatricians, and more, at the hospital, to going to lactation consultants and pediatricians, and more, at the pediatrician office, and all of their poking and prodding and differing opinions are hard, and especially hard on someone with anxiety and PTSD.

And if we made a list of the painful physical symptoms that arise 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. days after labor! Holy cow.. we are warriors.

And can we please take a minute to discuss the man who works in the lab at Northampton Area Pediatrics? If you know who I mean, then you know who I mean. And if you also took your 10 minutes of time with him to talk about Phish concerts and foliage and CA vs MA living, then you really know.”

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

Day 6:

“I love the way she loves BOTH of her brothers but this is so new and exciting.”

“Scarlet: “Mama, how did you make something so perfect?”

Me: “I gave up sugar for four months.”

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

Day 7:

“It’s weird and stressful having kids and pets of all ages, and keeping pets from a newborn baby. Luna may be tied with Astro for cute and gentle curiosity about Rider.

(Lucy loooves him but is a galloping wildebeest so those encounters are slim and controlled. And Athena couldn’t care less about him so far but is protective of me so that’s good)”

“You can’t have show and tell like this unless it’s a pandemic!

She was so proud to show him off, and as a bonus, I got some breakfast eating and a phone call in.”

Day 8:

“It’s been one week since you looked at me…

I wanted this child so very much, and I waited somewhat patiently for him – during a pandemic, away from my family and travel and hugs and stability. He always kept me calmer.

I don’t even remember when I fell in love with him. It’s not always before birth or even at birth. It just happens like an explosion that was always there – with no concrete starting point, and definitely no ending.

When he was born, they kept saying how cute his face was and they asked me if I had seen it yet. I lied and said I had, but I didn’t even care! I was just so relieved that my searing pain was over and that I was seemingly ok and that he was seemingly ok. I was afraid to move or shift him just to see his face.

Now I gaze at its peace and beauty for hours.”

Day 9:

“Beautiful beautiful beautiful… beautiful boys..

Yes, I’ve had that song in my head for a full week.”

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

Day 10:

“This little blissed out gremlin.

He’s only a week old. He can’t see well, or smile, but every now and then we lock eyes. And often, he looks so darn happy when I go to pick him up. People say having a kid later makes you appreciate more, and I swear I did 8 and 11 years ago too, but gosh – every newborn snuffling and Ewok sound grabs me by the heart and throat.

I love the smiling, giggling chubby baby phase but for now I’m in a panic to eventually have to give up this most precious newborn phase. Precious is the word for him. He is pure light and love, and I’m honored to be his mama.

I vow to channel that rising panic, into breathing in these precious moments instead. They’re finite, but there are enough.”

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

“Since I can’t do a bubble bath like last time..

Instead of watching the debate tonight, I’m going to think about the fact that a little over a week ago, this guy was living inside me.

What’s your alternative debate activity?”

Day 11:

“If you like babies AND cats, this one is for you.

Scarlet took the photo.”

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

“Raise both hands, if you too, have ever jumped up and yelled, “Oh no! I haven’t felt the baby move or kick all day!”

And then you remembered that your baby has already been born.”

Day 12:

“They kept “talking” to each other. Des says that Rider makes a lot of dolphin noises. Pterodactyl noises when he’s upset.”

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

“Sibling goals.

Has anyone ever been as ecstatic as Scarlet is to have a new baby in the house? Maybe I am.”

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

Day 13:

“Baby soothing is an art form. You just pull out whatever trick is in your heart – whatever songs, movements, words, massages, forms of swaying.

I heard Scarlet singing “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka (and Thor Ragnarok) to the baby! 👏🏻 👏🏻 👏🏻

It worked.”

Day 14:

“I know I’m supposedly a writer, but I need a little help composing and editing my “out of office” email for my clients. What do you think of what I have so far?”

“Hi! Please expect a slight delay with responses. You see, I was changing a diaper and then he projectile pooped during the first diaper, hitting my hand. Then he peed twice – once hitting the wall and once hitting the clean towels. He was screaming at the top of his lungs, and meanwhile, Cassidy was ripping out the downstairs carpet because of dog pee, Lucy was chasing Luna and barking at the top her of lungs, Scarlet was at a (loud) zoom saxophone lesson, and Des was in third grade class. Meanwhile, I yelled the F word so loudly that probably the kids’ teachers and classmates heard me, as well as the people outside setting up the invisible dog fence because two of our three dogs run away often. I’ll get back to your email as soon as possible, and can you recommend a good nipple cream? Thanks!””

Day 15:

“Two weeks postpartum! Baby is the size of.. well he’s still close to birth size and weight. Maybe he’s the size of those Real Baby dolls we coveted in the 80s and 90s. Remember them?

Symptoms: Morning engorgement. I’m still a little sore. Sleepless nights but so much better than pregnancy sleeplessness!!!! I do dream, and it’s vivid.

Likes: His dolphin noises, his soft, freshly washed spiky hair, his siblings with him, his little “eh” noises when he wakes up looking for food, his dad calling him “Boo Boo” and my explosive love for him. Plus, knotted gowns and chin dimples:”

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

Day 16:

“Do you think he knows he’s being held by an elf?”

Day 17:

“There aren’t a lot of recent photos of me, since I take them mostly, but had this moment yesterday. Scarlet ran to get my phone because she said we were sooo cute.

We’re figuring out things this week. Helped each other through my first clogged milk duct with him, and definitely the worst one I’ve ever had. I swear I thought it required an ER visit. That could have been the sleep deprivation talking, though.

Like I said – figuring hard things out, like boobs on fire, choosing remote or hybrid learning, and wondering what day it is, anyway.

(does anybody really know?)”

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

“Hipster Rider (who somehow looks like a hipster in the hat that was hand knit by kindly volunteers to the hospital) wants to thank loved ones for the generosity this week.

Actually he wants to thank loved ones for generosity ALWAYS but this week has felt like drowning so the entire Chinese food delivery and cards and sweet texts and a whole apple freaking pie have felt like love.

Love trumps drowning.”

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

Day 18:

“It looks like he’s developing a faux hawk, and a deep admiration for his sister.”

“Happy Mando Day!

Happy Halloween Eve!”

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

Day 19:

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

Day 21:

“Des visiting the changing table and telling his brother about the wonder of waffles.”

Day 22:

“Our little cherub is three weeks old on Election Day and I want so badly to give him the world he deserves, and I realize that’s on us and also not on us. We can’t control the world, but we can control OUR little world, and gosh, our two older ones are kind and resourceful and still believe in the best kinds of magic. So you, little one, may be just fine. And maybe you’ll get a kinder and softer country too.

Symptoms: Still regulating this breastfeeding thing and have hit some painful hiccups, despite being initially smug, all, “This is my third kid – I know what I’m doing. Leave me alone.” In fact, I don’t know what I’m doing. Don’t leave me alone.

Likes: The way he looks around the world in awe, and is always spinning his hands like he’s conjuring magic, so we call him Doctor Strange. I also like sweet and crisp apples, whipped cream that freezes well when you don’t finish your sundae, and sinking under warm sheets.”

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

Day 23:

“Scarlet: “He looks like a caterpillar trapped in a spiderweb.”

Des: “Was he crying because people actually voted for Mitch McConnell?”

Me: “Probably.””

Day 24:

““I believe the children are our are future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside””

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

Day 25:

“Always up feeding him in the middle of the night these days, and I freaking love this freaking face.”

baby boy

Day 26:

“I took this just after dawn after nursing – when I’m clearly exhausted beyond belief.

Rider was sleeping and it looked like he was smiling in his sleep. His breathing reminded me of the sound of his heartbeat when I used to hear it on the sonogram.

And all I could think about was giving him a kinder and softer world.”

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

Day 27:

“I can’t believe he was in newborn sized clothing for three weeks. Now he’s finally transitioning to a new size and that means lots of rainbow treasures.”

Day 29:

“The work at home parent’s guide to staying sane. Moose pants, coffee, See’s Candies, and a trusty dog at his or her side.

Also, he’s smirking.”

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

Day 30:

“Something that was important to me before Rider (and will be when things settle down) was one on one time with the kids (and pets).

Scarlet really wanted an ice cream date with me over the weekend to enjoy the nice weather, so she arranged all this for me!

Cute baby, ice cream, sprinkles, check.”

Day 31:

“All four of us can swear we’re seeing the starts of social smiles.
He’s young for it, but four people can’t be wrong!”

Every day, In every way, It's getting better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful boy. Baby Rider is one month old today!

“Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)”

“Before you cross the street,
Take my hand,
Life is what happens to you,
While you’re busy making other plans,

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful,
Beautiful boy,

Before you go to sleep,
Say a little prayer,
Every day
In every way,
It’s getting better and better”

“Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” was song #13 on our birthing playlist.

Similar Posts

8 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing all your Facebook posts here as I am barely on Facebook anymore and just don’t have the stomach for so much of the negative bull over there. But made me smile getting to see how far you all come in such a short time here. Hugs ❤️

  2. Such a terrific capturing of the whole experience. Rider is just so handsome, and it looks like Scarlet is definitely your “second mama.” You are a warrior – it can be very rough. I am wishing you sleep and pain-free nipples!!

  3. Wow, what a great idea to list the facebook posts here and make it into a blog. Rider is so beautiful. I recall the feeling of loss after the birth. It’s so strange because you have this brand new life in your hands but you miss the life inside you. So hard to explain. All these photos are spectacular, Tamara. I’m surprised it’s kitty who is more interested. I’m sure Luna will become more curious when he is bigger. Scarlet will be a big help to you! Have a great weekend. Thanks for sharing this most intimate part of your life. Hugs. xo

  4. I really do love watching his second little mother with her loving care of the newest family member. Some of my kids were more excited than others about new arrivals, but your Scarlet could not be more in love with him it looks like. Not that Des isn’t i am sure, it just boys have things to do 🙂 Thank you for sharing your lovely pictures and stories with us.

  5. Thank You from me too Tamara for sharing your Facebook posts with us. I’ve been scrolling through all of your beautiful Pin It photos and reading this nearly daily diary for the past two days. Your smile is beaming and Scarlet looks lovingly fascinated with her baby brother. I’m delighted to read that she is singing “Pure Imagination” to Rider. I especially like the versions by Glee, Lou Rawls, Jackie Evancho, and Josh Groban. Together they sing a lovely duet version. Enjoy this exciting riide all of you are taking with Rider!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.