It’s possible that by the time you read this Monday morning I will have died.

Well, either died or am sitting on the basement floor with one sock on weeping.  Rylie is probably dragging Gideon around in her wagon while he screams for food.  If we got the WB channel, I’d have old re-runs of 90210 on, too. 


It’s not been that bad, but Lordy I am spent.  Tired.  Confused as to which day it is.  My parents left early this morning, leaving us to our 4-person family self and I am a little nervous.  How the heck do I get Ry to school on time?  Do I have to be clothed?  Does Ry have to be clothed?

This kid- this Gus– he eats.  That’s what he does.  He eats.  Ry, Ry didn’t eat for the first 2 months.  We used to beg and plead with her to finish 2 ounces.  Gus, Gus will nurse.  Gus will take a bottle.  Gus will take ounces upon ounces of anything you put in front of him.  He poops it out immediately and then asks for more.  He’s crazy.  He’s amazingly handsome, but he’s crazy.  I was thrown into the world of cluster feeding– which NO ONE EVER TALKS ABOUT because it is a deep and dark hole of early baby life. 

Ry comforting Gus

The first week, Gus would eat for 5 hours and then sleep for 4, eat for 5, sleep for 4.  This weekend, he seems to be evening out a bit but can still marathon the tar out of a session.  Fortunately, his longest periods have been at night.  I move into his room at 11pm.  I feed him.  And then we sleep.  If we sleep for 6 hours, rock on.  If not, I feed him.  For now. I know every doctor and website out there says not to let a newborn sleep longer than 5 hours, but this kid is eating and gaining weight and so for now it’s how we roll.

The hardest adjustment has been sweet Rylie… who has not been jealous or angry, just sad.  She wonders where I am.  She wonders when Gus will give her a high-five.  She wonders why I am always feeding him.  She misses me and I miss her terribly.  Sometimes when I am nursing, she’ll crawl up on my lap facing me and hug me so tight… and I just smile and cry.  She’s amazing.  She’s had my parents here for the past week, which has been invaluable.  Lots of field trips, lots of laughs, lots of attention.  But, as I said, they left his morning and real life begins, um,  immediately. To you who have sent Rylie cards and letters and photos- thank you.  Truly, so incredibly sweet. The kindness of others during this time has been overwhelming and so greatly appreciated.  May I just say that I love all of you… in a hormonal, post-pregnancy, tired but very happy Mom kind of way.  I do.  I love you.

We’ll make it.

It’s just going to be really sloppy for awhile.

[photos: So, they’re obviously siblings, right?]

About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

25 responses to “siblings

  • Laura

    Hang in there, girl. Doesn’t seem we often get blessings in life without a struggle holding that blessing’s hand, do we? Wishing my work schedule still allowed me to stop by with a Dr. Pepper for you and a Shamrock Shake for Rylie. Thinking of you all and saying some prayers…

  • Amy

    oh honey—-those first few weeks are such a blur of feeding and changing diapers and craziness. If i may, a couple of bits of advice?

    #1-BLACK YOGA PANTS. Shanna introduced me, and I have never been the same. You can sleep and then go in public without changing clothes, all while looking semi put together. i think i now have like 4 pairs. They are cheap too.
    #2-If the baby is pooping, peeing, eating, and gaining…DON’T worry about waking them. Aub did the same thing at night and we went with it. She would eat a ton, then sleep a long time. We slept together for quite a while so that this was easier on me.
    (maybe its boys with the whole nurse forever thing? Walker would wear. me. out. eating non-stop).

    #3-it gets easier. You are doing a great job. Pat yourself on the back and love both of your children and remember that they won’t remember this phase….and you probably won’t either 🙂 Whatever works best for you is fine!

    • Jessica

      black yoga pants and a tank top with built in support!! a shanna uniform to die for!!!

      • shanna Riggsbee

        i’m wearing gray yoga pants and a green tank today. feeling a little rowdier than normal.

        ave was physically attached for 2 SOLID weeks, and mostly attached for another month. i finally figured out the Ergo to hit just the right spot, so that she could stay attached even when in the grocery store with out exposing all of my gloriousness. sleeping with her was my life saver!!

        of course, she’s almost 2 and nursed 12 times yesterday, so this may be related.

        you will be fine. all of you. sending lots of love your way…

  • Sunday Grant Photography

    oh my word girl, I HEAR YA! I feel like Hollings is ALWAYS nursing!! i am so happy we have newborns at the same time so we can relate with each other and not feel like we are crazy! i feel like i just past the desperate feelling, but still so tired. aren’t people amazing! taking care of Rylie like they are. A gift always comes for BellaRose along with a gift for Hollings. So sweet. i want to hug all of you and help you and take Rylie to the zoo (which I guess means going into your backyard :)). love you katie. you are rocking it!

  • Aunt Ron

    hang in there sweetie, I knooooowww what your going thru, you have to say goodbye to say hello again, it will be fine, doesn’t fine like that now, but it will be.. xoxo Aunt Ron

  • Jessica

    I remember when Wyatt was born all I wanted to do at night was go crawl into bed with Rylie. I missed her. I missed us. ITs hard this was the part where I lost it for a little while and it all works out ok. They start to play together and the angels sing….its heaven.

    I agree with amy, I think its a boy thing. Like I said before Wyatt nursed until just last month. Rylie was done by 6 months. He was always attached to me.

    and who cares what the doctors say….never wake a sleeping babay is what I say!!!

  • Jtp

    hang in there… When we left the hospital my doctor said my goal was to “survive, just survive the first six months” I thought she was joking, but reading your post I sooo remember that tired feeling and I didn’t have another child to deal with. You tell sweet Rylie baby William is putting something special in the mail for her today 🙂

  • Julie

    Goodness, that cluster feeding sounds painful. It seems to me that you are doing a wonderful job and this hard time will pass. I hope you get some rest soon.

  • Amy L

    If the kids butts were clean and their tummies were full I remember calling it a good day. I feel for you Kate and would love to come keep Rylie entertaine or hold Gus so you could spend time with Rylie -but alas I’m a bit too far. Just know I’ll say a prayer or two for you for strength and patience (with yourself)!

  • Mandi

    Hang in there, Friend!! It will get better, but it won’t seem like it for a while. I agree with the sentiment that you never wake a sleeping baby! Never. Ever. (Unless there are legitimate health concerns). I wish I was closer so I could lend you a hand. Know that I’m rooting for you from a distance!

  • Mary Carol Phillips

    I know the feeling of having the parents leave. My mom made it so wonderful when she was here and now it’s the real world- of course I have only one right now and I can’t seem to get the dishes out of the sink or the piles of mail off the table, so you’re rockin’ it, sister!
    Gus is ADORABLE- oh my goodness!

  • Kate

    ::hug:: Hang in there!

    Rylie seems like an amazingly astute and compassionate kid and I”m sure that once Gus becomes a playmate instead of just “that stinky blob that cries and is stuck to Mom’s boob all the time” it’ll have all been worthwhile for her.

    Is this a time that you could start some new – probably small – Mom & Rylie traditions? Breakfast together in the morning, a special song at night, that sort of thing? Something to give her a continued reminder that she’s important, too, and something to look forward to every day.

  • Margie

    Goodness, Katie. You reminded me of something I had forgotten: Elizabeth used to try to crawl on me – over my back or into my lap – when I was pumping. And I only pumped b/c Sarah would not breastfeed. She’d just lie there and cry. Then she developed jaundice her first week and I had to pull an all-nighter with hourly feedings and making sure the bililight didn’t get in her eyes and make her blind. You will get through this, and will one day laugh. But, goodness, it’s hard right now. But that boy is gonna GROW, by golly, with all that eating. And he and Rylie will be Best Friends and she won’t be sad anymore. I promise.

    We all support you, Friend.

  • Zoe Speer

    The difficulites of adjusting to life with 2 people who need you a lot… I think that is something else no one tells you about. It is hard, you are doing great! I agree with whoever said it is heaven when they start playing together. Ry will have a best friend and it will be SO fun. We will keep you in our prayers.

  • Lou Kuhn

    I hear you Katie. Ella does nothing but eat from midnight till about 6am. She can eat forever.

  • annie

    o katie. thank you for being so honest. i know you know that this too shall pass, but i have to say it again.
    you will look back on this time not too long from now and laugh.
    and, think of all the wisdom you can share with me when i’m going through it.
    a package is coming to you shortly with some special and your check. love you girl and am praying for you.
    if you need to cry with one sock on, it’s ok.

  • Christy

    Moving from one to two was killer for me too! My Davis was soooo sad at first. It does get better–every week a little better on everyone. I will be praying for all of you.

    btw–Gus and Ry–super cute!

  • elly

    oh the black hole. i think i might be in it too….. after 7 years…this 9 month old is killin’ me, just a little. maybe i’ll come on over and we can share socks and weeping. i’m with you. sadly, with you. xo

  • beckyswann

    Gus oh Gus what a cute little guy he is!
    Wow cluster feeding? who knew! You are going to get through this and eventually you will get some more sleep! Wish I could help you out somehow! Like I said on Sunday’s blog the other week, it is good to need to lean on God!
    You are doing great!

  • Christan

    Oh my Golly!!! If he isn’t the cutest thing EVER!!! Amazing isn’t it… it doesn’t matter how tough things get… one look at that little face and somehow all is right with the world! 🙂
    When Canaan was born, Corban was amazing, but a few days into it he said, “he isn’t as fun as I thought he’d be”.
    When Caiyah was born (thanksgiving break), Chad was home for a wk, then my mom for 2 weeks, the Chad for 2 wk Xmas brk. It wasn’t til mid-Jan that Canaan realized she was stickin’ around and there was no one to share the attention anymore. He new favorite phrase is “Mommy, Hold you”. Break my heart! But Ultimately you have to realized that in giving her a sibling, you have give her the best gift EVER!!! You have given her a bestfriend, a playmate for life, a co-warrior in battle, and even “little” brothers become protectors of their sisters!
    Finally, on days when you feel like you MUST be the most unproductive member of society, Remember… you are investing in 2 Eternal Souls!!! You are answering the HIGHEST of callings!!!!
    Ok. Headed out to buy me some yoga pants.
    I love you.
    (no advice re: being on time. I can’t get anywhere on time)

  • Carley

    Rylie and Gus look like they belong to the same mom and dad… that’s for sure! What cuties!
    Having two gets easier with time! If anyone can do it, it’s YOU!!

  • Lisa

    They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach! Ain’t that the truth??!!

    As for Ry, have faith. She is learning so much from you about what it means to be a great mom. A human mom. A mom who loves both her kids madly and is doing the best she can.

    Even if you are half clothed with a boob hanging out and your hair standing on end!! 🙂


  • ecky

    i wish i had some grand advice to make this all better…but unfortunately i am struggling with just the one.
    it is i who will be looking to you for advice some day and you’ll be laughing about all this and saying to me, “i remember when…” and telling me how it will get better and to hang in there.

    you are a great mommy!!!
    tired and smelly and cranky…
    but great!!!
    always remember that!!!!

    nursing tanks are the bees knees!!! target sells some for moderately cheap.

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