Good morning! I’m hoping to be back online today with Quantum Leap +13 updates. Yesterday, every spare minute was spent making sure the three new babies were adjusting well and making needed weight gains.
How did it go, introducing three new Tinies to Quantum and Leap? I posted a video on Facebook a few minutes ago, and you can see Leap took it in stride, all “no big deal” and “you got any more of those?” We’re not quite 48 hours later, and Leap is treating them like her own, cleaning and nursing and responding to their cries. I’m supplementing their feeding to be sure the Bigs don’t crowd out the Tinies. But otherwise, Leap is convinced it’s business as usual.
Quantum, though? Well, it’s been an adjustment for her. An ADJUSTMENT, you know? In the video you can see Quantum check them out initially, then grumble and growl (at 1:02 in the recording), then hide under the couch. She was very NOPE. No. Nope. No more.
After I had the Tinies settled, she and I had a mommy heart-to-heart. Quantum said—and this is a direct quote—“WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? I HAVE ENOUGH BABIES, YOU FREAK.” And I said, “I know. You’re right. You’ve been through the ringer, mama. THROUGH IT.”
Vaginal birth x5 INCLUDING Quasar 😳, then C-section to save her life. Then surgery recovery, the mama blues, dehydration, and another emergency vet visit. Then, immediately on her return, acting as Leap’s doula and co-parenting ten—TEN—babies.
In other words, QUANTUM IS NOT WRONG. If some asshat had arrived at my front door after I delivered my 4th and 5th babies—my twins—and handed me three more premies, I would have ripped her face off and there is no court in the land—no jury of my peers—that would’ve convicted me. SELF-DEFENSE, they’d call it. So I sympathized with Quantum, and I did not push her.
Leap and I had a separate chat about the Tinies and their needs, and New Mommies and their needs, and how we’re ALL fragile and vulnerable. We went back to Quantum together and said, “We got this. Do not worry.” And she relaxed, trusting us, which makes me a little weepy because that’s, like, the highest honor, but also, what choice did she have, you know?
And yes, I may be projecting THE SLIGHTEST BIT. I may be remembering the unbridled joy of adopting our first child, followed by the devastation and despair of adopting the second and third amid marital trauma and depression, and the shock of discovering our fourth child was bringing a FIFTH along with him. I may be remembering the isolation of new mommyhood; the expectation that I was finally joining the Mommy Club only to feel lonely and sad; the feeling of hardwood under my ass as I sat alone in the hall outside my baby’s room at night, listening to her cry, not knowing how to comfort her. Or how to comfort myself.
So I may be projecting. Maybe.
But also, maybe not. This may just be a universal experience. This being maxed out and at our wit’s end and truly overwhelmed. This I CANNOT WITH ONE MORE THING. I cannot. Looking at the world’s endless needs—the innocent ones suffering—and WANTING to help but feeling growl-ly and grumbly because WHAT PART OF MAXED OUT DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?
And I can’t help but think Quantum and Leap are here to teach us. They’re here to show us the complexity of our experiences and our desperate need for connection. WE CANNOT DO IT ALONE, friends. We cannot LIFE alone. That’s not a failing. That’s how we’re built. To rely on each other. To share burdens. To give and take and work together. The grief we feel in isolation? That’s the longing for connection… that’s our bodies and minds and hearts driving us toward being vulnerable, reaching out, admitting when we CANNOT. EVEN. And we really must stop beating ourselves up for it. We really must stop believing the lie that we can go it alone. We really must learn to sink into each other. Whether we’re at the Quantum stage of NO. Nope. No. Or at the Leap stage of I Can Help. Let Me Help You Carry This Burden. EITHER way, BOTH ways are acceptable and valid and normal. It’s easier, frankly, when we’re Leaping tall buildings in a single bound. It’s more comfortable to be the Helper than the Helpee. But the truth is, we will vacillate between the Quantums and the Leaps, like a pendulum swing, many times throughout our lives. And we need to learn to embrace both. It is, truly, the only way forward.
Sad news, friends. The tiniest of the Tinies didn’t make it. 💔 She was holding her own for a while but not gaining weight. When she grew more tired, not seeking the nipple, not willing to swallow, I bundled her up and held her fur-to-skin on the way back to the shelter so they could incubate and tube-feed her. They tried valiantly, but they just let me know she passed away. This is the part of rescue that’s the hardest. It’s impossible to save everyone. We will try anyway, and we will celebrate both our successes and the lives of those we lost. Celebration always. Celebration anyway, even while we grieve. Both/And. I’m comforted that this little one was surrounded by love for her short little life. (Picture from when she first joined us. She’s the one with the blue collar. Her name was Chickweed, given to her at the shelter in the hope she would grow like a weed. Now she’ll grow in our hearts, instead. ❤️)
Just a few sweet kitten pics before I put us all to bed. Quantum snuggling Quasar. And Lyra, Quasar, and Quark nursing side by side. ❤️ Good night, friends. Until tomorrow…