Whenever I have a baby, I get what we like to call “Time in the Cave” — and that is when the baby and I stay in my room (aka “The Cave”) and do not leave it for at least a week. The “rule” is that we cannot step over the threshold of my room into the hallway – into the “outside” – until the designated time was up. Rich tends to the other kids during this time, and my meals are brought up to me on a tray. The kids are kept away from The Cave for the most part, allowing me to rest. They do come in to “visit” throughout the day, but they have to ask first. My room is pretty much off-limits to everyone except Rich.
Now, most people when they hear of our little Cave ritual will say, “Oh, I would go crazy being locked up like that!” and I guess that could be one way of looking at it. But for me, it’s HEAVEN. Seriously. I absolutely love the first week after I have a baby! I feel like I’m on vacation. Well, except for the fact that I’m in my own bedroom. But still. It’s a good time for me! I don’t need to cook for anyone – not even myself! And my other kids are being taken care of. All I need to do is sleep, eat, and get to know my new baby. For me, it just doesn’t get better than that!
Aiden and I resting together in The Cave a few days after his birth
I didn’t always have time in The Cave. When I used to birth my babies in the hospital, I would have my two days in the hospital…and THAT was my recovery time! Just two days! The hospital room was The Cave. Then once baby and I were back at home, I was right away thrown into the mix of the regular routine with kids, chores, and all that comes with running a household.
But once I started having the babies at home, things changed. I have had the last four babies in my bedroom, and once each baby was born, I did not leave the bedroom until the designated time was up. Sometimes, if I needed something, I would open the bedroom door and shout from the doorway…but I was always careful not to cross over into the hallway. It became a kind of a taboo thing for me to do…until the designated time.
And the designated time changed with each baby. Aislynn, our baby number 7, was our first one born at home. After her birth, I stayed 7 days in The Cave. Then Andrew was born at home, and he was baby number 8, so I stayed 8 days in The Cave. Then Aria, our number 9, came along … and yes, I spent 9 days in The Cave after she was born. This was just something Rich and I thought was a fun thing to do. We added on a day for each baby.
And then our baby number 10 arrived…
and you’d think that I would have had 10 days in The Cave. Oh, I was looking forward to it, let me tell you! But, I just couldn’t do it that long this time. It was the end of the school year, and I needed to be places.
Andrew’s last day of Kindergarten was an important day: The Kindergarten Carnival. I just couldn’t miss that. Plus, Andrew really wanted to show off his new baby brother to his teacher and his friends. So on June 10th – just 7 days after his birth – Aiden and I emerged from The Cave …
Aiden’s first time out in the sunlight
and we went to the Kindergarten carnival.
Aria got her face painted
Aislynn and Aria had fun in the “photo booth”
and Andrew had a good time
and was happy that his family could be there on his special day!
The very next day was Afton’s high school graduation, which was another BIG reason why I had to come out of The Cave early! I had to be there to see my baby graduate!
Rich took this picture of us in the stands, waiting for the ceremony to start.
Aiden was SO good for this long, 3 hour excursion. He slept most of the time. But I did have to take him out of his car seat once when he started to fuss. He was hungry and I had to nurse him…right there in the stands. Oh, I’m not going to say that was easy. He was a new nurser at that time and didn’t latch on with grace and proficiency (like he does now!) and I was trying to be discreet, knowing there are people sitting above me and to the sides of me. But, we managed…and he quieted down and was fed and happy. And back in the car seat he went, and slept for another hour.
You know, it’s not like I wanted to take him out of The Cave before his 10 days were up.
But THIS was worth it.
My baby…the high school graduate!
Off to college at the end of summer.
I can’t believe it.
So anyways, my Cave days are now over. I’m a little sad about that. No more births, no more Cave time. That’s just the way it goes.
But since Rich is still off work, I sometimes sneak up here with Aiden and shut the door. And if I’m really, really quiet…
no one misses me! And it’s just me and my sweet baby boy — once again — just the two of us….back in The Cave!