My sister’s son, Jacob, was born Wednesday night without complication. I found myself pacing about anxiously the entire day, something I don’t typically do over a baby being born. But then, my last birth was very difficult, and her last was as well, and you just never know. I don’t want to be a worrier, but sometimes the worry is so deep within me that I am not even aware. It wasn’t until I received the phone call and heard the words, “I have a baby in my arms” that my shoulders relaxed, and I had to fight back tears and I realized that I had been worried, really worried.
This is the hardest postpartum period I have ever experienced. A phone call with a friend yesterday concluded that it’s no surprise. A difficult birth, a crowded house, a fussy baby, wintertime. The perfect storm I guess. I’m up and down. And I suppose this will continue until the sun returns and the violets bloom. In the meantime I remind myself that no matter how bad I might feel one moment, things might feel better the next. I hug my baby and smell his head. I treasure him as you would a baby you believe to be your last.
The other day Beatrix proclaimed over Q-tips and watercolor paints, “I’m a great genius at making S’s!” For some reason her words tickled me so much. She’s such a confident child. Shy Larkspur always sends Beatrix ahead to make the preliminary introductions when it comes to making friends with other little girls. I wonder how I produced such an outgoing little girl. I’m so glad though, so glad.
I spent a few hours in the kitchen yesterday, a little gift it felt like. I made quiche, breakfast casserole for the boy who hates quiche, started chicken broth in the crockpot, and made a big batch of homemade deodorant. Later that evening I cleaned the top of my cluttered dresser, tidied my room, and then watched an episode of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitting Workshop while I nursed Job. It felt like a good day.
Job’s skin is looking so much better. And the good news is that I am almost positive wool isn’t the problem at all. The worst thing for Seth, the other eczema sufferer in our family, is dry air. I’ve been religiously coating Job’s face in salve, and I think that is helping the most. Have I mentioned that we think that Job looks nearly identical to Seth as a baby? I think it’s interesting that they are my two eczema sufferers.
Oh, and the mitts are finished. I needed to finish them before this weekend and thanks to the season premiere of Downton Abbey and the Call the Midwife Christmas special I did!
p.s. Deodorant recipes are all over the place, but I’ll share mine for a big batch just in case someone asks. All measurements are approximate. To a glass jar I add a scant cup of coconut oil along with a generous tablespoon of shea butter. Sometimes I add cocoa butter as well. If it is wintertime I add about a half tablespoon of beeswax pellets, if it is summer I add a whole tablespoon. The beeswax really improves the consistency of the deodorant. I place the jar in a pot of simmering water to melt the oils and wax. In a bowl I add 3/4 cups of baking soda and 1 1/4 cups arrowroot powder and mix. Once the oil and wax are melted I remove the jar from the pot and add essential oils, typically lavender and tea tree oil. Then I pour the oil into the dry ingredients and stir until smooth before pouring into containers.