Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Baby #2- What I've Learned

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motherhood, mom of 2, daughters, sisters
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On August 2nd I gave birth to our second little girl, Ruby Jean. 

baby #2, daughter

I had a pretty normal pregnancy and though both my husband and I agreed that we were ready for our second, and happy that there would be 3 years separating our girls- if anyone asked me how I was doing as it neared my due date my answer was always that physically, I was doing great. The only aside was one major difference that became apparent immediately: being pregnant when you already have a child is an entirely different and not as enjoyable experience. No one really tells you this! Everyone just assumes that since it's your second go around everything will be easier. No false alarm emergency visits to the OB (none of the "<gasp> I think I'm leaking amniotic fluid!" "Nope- you just peed a little," moments,) no need to purchase a crib, ask a million questions about baby paraphernalia or spend hours researching the safest car seat and how to correctly install it. You know what else there's none of? Rest. When Violet was born I had a killer tan. I spent the entire summer floating like a whale on a noodle raft in the pool.
 See?!? Violet was born at 12:22am and this is the very next day! I still couldn't even feel my legs and had just labored for almost 24 hours then had a c-section, but somehow I look rested. You want to see a picture of me this time around? You can't! I don't have any pictures of myself from the hospital this time and anyone who does is under strict orders not to share them. <Sigh> I look so young and clueless there...I think I've aged a decade in that last 3 years...

So, when it comes to comparing the first pregnancy to the second lets just chalk it up to "different." The positive side? My feet were only Shrek-like the last month as opposed to my first pregnancy when they swelled up at 4 months and I kissed my ankles goodbye until well after the delivery. Still, I didn't hate being pregnant the second time around, but I surely didn't adore it as much as I did the first time so don't let that pic fool ya   --->

This is one of the only "Preggy Meggy" pics I took this time. The angle definitely diminishes the hugeness that was me (or at least how I felt) and the smile is genuine as I was about 7 months in. That smile was a bit less frequent two months later...

Anyhow, as soon as we brought Ruby home reality set in and a few things became apparent that no one really elaborated on when we were in the midst of family planning...

1- Amnesia sets in. True, it had been 3 years and I'm not exactly a spring chicken, but how is it that I suddenly forget how to hold a newborn? I thought one of the best things about the second go around would be that I was now a "seasoned pro" and here I am Googling things on my Iphone every 20 minutes and asking for my "What to Expect" book back (which we affectionately dubbed "The Baby Bible.") If I had a dollar for every time my husband and I say, "did Violet...(poop this much, eat this much, sleep this long...) " we'd be hiring a nanny ;)

2- Gimme a G! Gimme a U! Gimme an I! Gimme an L! Gimme a T! Whats that spell? The story of my life.
During my 1st pregnancy, the majority of the guilt I was feeling had to do with all things breastfeeding (see #3) Now guilt is a normal part of my daily routine. Trust me, I'm no stranger to Mommy Guilt, but I promised myself up and down that I wouldn't let it get to me this time and yet I can't help but feel guilty that I don't hold Ruby nearly as much as I held Violet. Every time I have to tell Violet that "I can't" because I'm feeding Ruby or "after" I'm done changing, burping, bathing Ruby, I let it creep in and then I feel guilty for feeling guilty. It's a vicious cycle.

3- Breastfeeding still sucks. No pun intended. I was well aware of how difficult it can be, and is for most women, and I am by no means looking to start a debate, but instead will reference this post written by Penny Chevalley on her blog The Real Housewife of Caroline County as it pretty much speaks to exactly how I feel about the topic. I know it may seem harsh to make such a statement, but if I'm being true to myself and really expressing the thoughts I've had while nursing and pumping, pumping and nursing- it is usually, "this sucks." Much of the awe and beauty of the moment wore off with my first pregnancy. Not all, just most. I still love the closeness and cuddly moments, the little bit of rest it sometimes provides, and the strain it takes off of my wallet, but I don't love being a milk factory, having sore nipples, feeling ridiculous milking myself while hooked up to my double breast pump, and inevitably left wondering why I even bother wearing a shirt. I should just go all National Geographic up in here.

4- It is MUCH harder to accept help. I am lucky enough to have a close support system of family and friends all who have offered to take my 3-year-old for the day, or come by and help with Ruby. Still, I find myself constantly assuring everyone that I'm "ok," then choking back tears, miserably counting the number of days its been since I've showered or left the house, then wondering if it's too early to have a beer. Part of me wants to be all, "look at me, look how put together I am. I totally got this," and the other part of me hears "no I'm fine" coming out of my mouth and then looks around like "wait, who said that?"

5- There are moments where you will feel like a superhero for accomplishing the most menial tasks, you will find creative ways to do some of the things that used to be so easy, and meeting the baby's basic needs involves a whole lot less pomp and circumstance. If it wouldn't have been more than mildly inappropriate, I would have documented my morning yesterday as I was preparing breakfast for Violet while
nursing Ruby in the football hold. I'm talking toasting and buttering waffles, left handed, using a stick of butter (not that easy spread stuff either!) I kinda felt like a rock star. As far as the menial tasks, this time around we realize that all the bells and whistles aren't necessary or practical. Where we used to have the pack and play all set up and stocked with our arsenal of diaper changing supplies, we now have a small diaper caddy on the coffee table and we change the baby on the couch. My sister recently had her first little girl, Quinn (there's Quinn w/ Vi-->)
We were all at my Aunt and Uncle's new place for a family BBQ. When Kel (that's sis) had to change or feed Quinn, she and her hubby retreated together to my aunt's bedroom together as a team. We all laughed when it was time for me to change Ruby and I just threw a receiving blanket on the table (to be clear, I was at an empty table where no one was sitting...)

I have only been a mother of two for three weeks and in the coming weeks I know there will be many more challenges to overcome, things to learn and blog posts to share it all, but despite my sometimes cynical tone, I truly wouldn't change a thing. Every beautiful morning when Vi wakes up and crawls into bed with me and Ruby I marvel at my beautiful little girl who now looks so big next to her little sister. Watching her gently stroke Ruby's face and cuddle her brings tears to my eyes and I know I have to hang on to each and every one of these special moments.






How about you?

What is the biggest change you observed when bringing a second child in to your home?

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Have a "superhero" moment you'd like to share? I'd love to hear it!



Mommy Monday Blog Hop

29 comments:

  1. Great blog post. My hubby and I are thinking of have another baby soon.

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    1. Thanks Robyn! It is definitely different for everyone, but I hope my reflection was food for thought. I will say that having 2 is a lot less terrifying than I thought it was going to be!

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  2. thank you so much for the blog mention! I'm glad you enjoyed what I had to write!

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    1. No problem, girl! I couldn't have said it better myself, so I didn't try!

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  3. So great! I love the making breakfast while nursing in the football hold part! Hilarious and definitely something to be proud of! You're totally a superhero...all the best as a mom of 2! :)

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    1. Thanks Nancy! It was a proud moment for sure, and one that had me thinking I should problem invest in some kitchen curtains...

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  4. this was a great post! I don't have kids myself but still enjoyed reading your experience. COngrats on another beautiful lil girl!

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    1. Thanks so much!! It definitely felt good to get all of that out. Blog therapy and whatnot ;)

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  5. She's so very sweet! I love how you said that Amnesia sets in. But isn't it funny how it's like riding a bike. You just pick up where you left off!

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    1. It is like riding a bike for sure, and most of the time it's the toddler who I'm having trouble with and not the newborn!

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  6. This is very informative for me. We have a 16 month old and I am ready to get pregnant now so we're expecting it to just happen any day now....no planning it...just letting it happen. I have often wondered how I would feel and how it would be but this gives me some things to think about for sure. :)

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    1. So glad to help! Obviously it's differeent for everyone, but I'm sure you will find that there is a huge difference with number 2, no matter what they happen to be- And how crazy that Ruby was born on your bday! She was actually a week earlier than her scvheduled cesarean arrival too! Meant to be :)

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  7. Oh and I forgot to mention that baby was born on my birthday! Yay! :)

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  8. 2 weeks from my due date and I am wondering how this is going to work with my 3 year old son. Honestly, i'm terrified. I'm also excited but with every passing day it seeps in a little more that I am going to be responsible for two kids soon! O.O Loved the post! I know I am going to come back and read this in a month when it's all happening.

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    1. I was thinking about you after I wrote this and hoped I wouldn't terrify you or stress you out! I know I can come across sarcastic and cynical, but things hve actually been going much better thab I expected.

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  10. Congratulations! Your children are beautiful!

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    1. Thank you so much! I feel really blessed.

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  11. You got this! And you getting this might mean accepting help, too! It will get easier. Well, not easy, just less difficult. Does that make you feel better? Hang in there. Beautiful picture of your gorgeous girls!

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    1. Thanks. I have issues with asking for help sometimes. It really has been easier than I expected so far, but I prepared myself for the worst, just in case.

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  12. Your girls are beautiful! Congrats on getting through pregnancy number 2!

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    1. Thank you Heidi! Heading over to check out your blog now!

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    2. Nevermind, I realize I already did! I will definitely be a repeat visitor.

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  13. Hey Meg, it will get better. You will get used to this new life. And as the kids get bigger it will get easier. When I had baby no2 my oldest daughter was 4,5 so it was a different story. She also started school shortly after. When I had baby no 3 it was quite a challenge because the last two are only 20 months apart. But I learned that there is not much that I could do about them needing me at the same time. They had to learn to wait a little and I had to trust that that wouldn’t harm them. I wrote about it in this post. http://my-life-as-a-mum.blogspot.ie/2011/05/god-knows-and-sees.html
    But sometimes I just held both of them at the same time as in the picture in this post. http://my-life-as-a-mum.blogspot.ie/2011/05/designed-to-be-mum.html
    They still sometimes ‘fight’ for my attention and occasionally you will see me walk around with each on a hip. (definitely a superhero moment) but they are the best of friends now and do a lot together.
    I saw somewhere online that a mum used a special surprise box (with toys and treats) for her first child that this child would get to play with and use while she was nursing the baby. I loved that idea but only saw it after my kids were a bit bigger so I never used it myself.

    Good luck and best wishes. You can do it.

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    1. Thanks Chan! I love your thoughtful comments :) I'm going to go check out your posts now...It definitely is easier than I thought already, but I really had myself prepared for the worst just in case. Either way, it is a transition. I saw that post as well! I am going to try to try and create some kind of routine once school gets started to make things easier for all of us, but I think having that outlet and play time at school will be huge for Vi.

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  14. Thank you for linking this up via the Mommy Monday Blog Hop! Oh...{SIGHS} stupid Mommy Guilt!! I hate it!!! I don't know if anyone is ever prepared, and nobody ever tells you truly what to expect...
    I too enjoyed RHOCC's post on breastfeeding.
    XOXO

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  15. This is a great post :) I'm now pinning for future (very far future lol!) reference :)

    You look amazing in the pics :)

    AJ | TheAJMinute
    @TheAJMinute

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