I hereby declare myself officially completely recovered from pushing a 7-lb. human out of my body!
Ha, ha, ha.
I know I won't be completely "bounced back" for awhile. But now, at just over two weeks postpartum, I'm feeling myself again. I'm not exhausted by pottering around the house doing a few chores. I can handle waking up every two hours with a baby and occasionally with a toddler. I can pull a few weeds without feeling awful afterward. My pelvis has finally firmed up and doesn't feel all sore and floppy if I try to carry the baby around the house. Nursing, by the way, no longer hurts, at least 90% of the time.
And I'm taking advantage of all that not-in-pain-ness to finally take back over a lot of my job. I intended to be taking it easier than this, but on the one hand, I have to admit John is rather overwhelmed by having to do so many of the chores after a full day's work, and on the other, I have been antsing to do it. I don't really know when I got so attached to doing housework, but it just feels like MY job, that I ought to be doing. Especially since no one else does it MY way.
The other obstacle to my doing anything, though, is this baby who insists on being held 24-7. But that's getting better too. On the one hand, I can now stick him in the Moby wrap and do some chores while he sleeps for a good hour or two at a time. And on the other, he now has a few "awake and happy" times during the day -- say for a half hour or so -- when he doesn't mind being put down to kick around or sit in his bouncy chair while I get a few things done. Last night he had one of those right around my bedtime, and it was lovely -- I got the last of the dishes washed, myself in pajamas and with teeth brushed, and my "nighttime supplies" (diapers, water bottle, wipes, spare blanket, etc.) all gathered together while he sat contentedly and watched me. Then I was able to sit down on the couch with Middlemarch and nurse him to sleep before rolling into bed myself, actually feeling "unwound" for once. I could totally make a routine of this.
Right now I am doing: dinner prep (which takes all day, because 5-6 p.m. is just NOT a good time), basic tidying, daily laundry (oh, and it is definitely needing to be done daily now), all care for both kids during the day, a teeny bit of yard/garden work (trying to take it easier here because it's my "hobby" and not strictly necessary), and most of what crops up and needs doing. I'm very proud of myself.
Unfortunately Marko has decided to stop using the potty. I don't think it's just because of the new baby, because he was fine the first week. But with no one available to keep track of when he might need to go, physically lead him over to the potty, and sit down and read to him until he goes ... he's just not into it. If I just call from the couch "please sit on the potty!" it does not work at all. And he just doesn't seem to know when to go on his own. After the time when he peed on a stack of library books, and the time when he begged to be on my lap and peed on that, and the time when he sat in the baby's carseat and peed in that, I finally decided I was done with this, for now. I don't mind cleaning puddles off the floor -- it's a heck of a lot easier than changing a diaper -- but they don't always end up on the floor, but the couch, the clean laundry, his toys .... you can imagine, I'm sure. So I put him back in diapers.
Unfortunately it turns out to be very difficult to change a toddler with one hand, especially if said toddler doesn't want to be changed and would much rather escape halfway through and run around naked. But you gotta do what you gotta do. Sometimes I feel like I do nothing but feed the ravenous mouths and then deal with the inevitable consequences afterward.
Anyway, I'm back in action, and I think I'm doing a pretty good job. It's not perfect, and there are stressful moments (i.e. when they both want or need me at the same time), but so far it's easier than I feared. Take heart, anyone who's reading this while expecting a second child ... it is really not so bad as all that.