I wrote about my apprehension before I made this trip. Now it is over and I am so glad I was able to help and to have the strength to be with Laura's family through an important time in their lives.
In some ways, it was like being a new mother again. Memories came back of the unpredictability of living with a newborn. I didn't sleep well for the first week--due to interrupted nights but also my own tendency to stress about sleep.
My friend Sue said everyone she knows takes a sleep-aid when at their children's homes so I tried Sleep-Eze but it left me feeling awful the next day. Melatonin was helpful a few nights, but mostly I just got over it and was able to doze even with little A in my bed when he joined me to let his mom get some sleep.
The days were alternately very quiet while holding A and doing nothing else--or very hectic with three kids all wanting "cream cheese on my bagel, warm water not cold, an S in chocolate syrup on my waffle," etc. At one point, the older ones came home from sledding with their nanny and all three were talking at the top of their voices telling us about what they did.
And these kids are their mother's children--they don't need a lot of sleep. J can stay awake until 10 in his room and still bound out of bed to join me in my bed at 7 am. Bathtime for three is a hassle but doing it right after supper and then having playtime or screen time seemed to help. They love their Kindles, their Wii and their videos.
So now I go home to quiet. I will miss snuggling the littlest one and looking into his beautiful face. A smile will come soon--it's almost there. I'll miss the "Grandma, grandma" that I heard a lot.
I admire my daughter and her mostly calm spirit through this all. She has begun working more but is limiting her commitments for now. She says she loves babies and that is obvious. She also says four is a lot of kids and it is. I'll pray for her strength and stamina.