Archive | October, 2013

One Week In

18 Oct

Today my second son is two-weeks old. The fact that my maternity leave is 1/4 of the way over puts me into an indescribable panic that I’ll wait to analyze some other day. What’s heavy on my mind today is the fact that this closes out my first week home alone with the kiddos. To say that it has been hard and stressful doesn’t begin to cover it.

I can’t quite put into words what it’s like to have a life that doesn’t feel like your own. I have had, literally, about an hour each day that I was conscious and able to do something for myself. Most of the time that hour was spent doing something like taking a shower, or remembering to eat lunch. Every other second of my days have been spent playing with Child #1, feeding Child #2, doing laundry, washing dishes and, whenever possible, sleeping.

On the one hand I feel as though I have no right to complain about these things. This was the choice Husband and I made when we decided to have another child. We knew it would be hard. I knew it would be hard. And really, it’s not even as hard as it could be. There are plenty of people out there who do this completely on their own, without the help that I have gotten from my husband and family. On top of that, Child #1 is pretty self-sufficient, and Child #2 has really been an easy baby overall. Could this be even more difficult than it has been? Absolutely. But that doesn’t change the fact that, for me, it’s been very hard.

Which is why last night I may have had an emotional breakdown. It was 9:00, and I was folding laundry while I waited for Child #2 to wake up for his 9:30 feeding. Husband told me he was going to go take a bath and read his book, and he asked if that would bother me. The answer, of course, was “Hells yes, that will bother me.” Not that Husband isn’t working his ass of. Not that Husband isn’t more than deserving of a couple of minutes to relax. Just that my best friend sent me a link to something that’s apparently hilarious three days ago and I still haven’t had a second without a child attached to me to look at it. Just that I can’t sleep or eat when I want to because my boobs are always on call.

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Honestly, I think I was just exhausted and needed a good cry. I’m not depressed, I’m not that overwhelmed, and it’s not unmanageable. It’s just hard, and sometimes I need to vent about it. In the end, Husband wound up taking his bath. He also took today off of work and let me sleep in. His presence is also why I’m able to finish this blog entry. I feel a little bad that my tears of tiredness guilted him into staying home, but I’m glad he’s here. Once again he reminds me of how smart I was to have chosen him to be the father of my children.

I always knew this was going to be the hardest week, and I know next week will be easier. We’re developing a routine of sorts over here, which makes me happy. I feel like I have an idea of when I can be productive and when I can’t be. My goal for next week is to get all three of us dressed every single day, and even venture out somewhere all together. It’s time to be done whining. I’ve only got six weeks of leave left, and I am going to enjoy them.

A Series of Steps

13 Oct

Well, we did it! For those of you who don’t know me in “real life,” my second son Max was born on October 4th, at 9:49 a.m. My family of three is now officially a family of four.

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We’ve been home together for almost a week now, and it’s been both joyous and frustrating. I’ve been viewing the transition to normalcy as something that occurs in a series of steps. Step number one was coming home from the hospital. Husband took this week off of work, which I am beyond thankful for. To say that he is a fabulous husband and terrific father is an incredible understatement. With him home, I’ve gotten to sleep in, I haven’t had to touch the dishes or cook dinner, and the guilt that I feel for spending so much time with my newborn and not nearly enough with my three-year-old has been greatly subdued.

Tomorrow, though, begins step number two. Husband returns to work, and for the first time me and my boys will be home by ourselves. This thought terrifies me. There go my days of sleeping in, and I am not typically the most pleasant personality when sleep deprived. When Child #1 was a newborn, I don’t think I went farther than my mailbox for the first month. I lived on my couch just holding him and watching chick flicks. This time around it won’t be that easy. There’s another person besides my baby who needs me.

I have about seven more weeks of maternity leave left, and I don’t want to spend it lying on the couch being tired and entertaining Child #1 by watching Lion King for the umpteenth time. I want to get out and spend quality time with both of my children, but when I imagine trying to get us all dressed and fed before the day is half over, it seems impossible. Still, I have a wonderful support system. Husband said he’d try to go to work early so he could get off early, and my mother has offered to completely rearrange her schedule to help me out with one child or the other. I absolutely do not know how I would get by were it not for my family. These next couple weeks will be rough, but I know it’s doable.

The final step to normalcy is me returning to work. That’s a nightmare I don’t even want to fathom yet. It takes an extra 20 minutes just to get Child #1 ready and out the door. I’m going to have to wake up at the butt-crack of dawn to get Child #2 fed and ready too. *deep breaths* Again, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. I need to keep reminding myself that I am not the first person to go through this. I am not the first person to adjust to life with a newborn as a second child. I am surrounded by family and friends who are willing to offer their advice and encouragement because they’ve been there before and they know how hard it is. For this I am grateful.

One thing in particular that I know I’ll be needing encouragement for is this whole breastfeeding business. Child #1 was exclusively bottle fed. It was breast milk, but the pumping of said milk was done on my terms, when it was convenient for me. We were also ok with supplementing formula here and there if it was absolutely necessary. This was helpful for my sanity to keep my own schedule, plus it meant that Husband could be responsible for half the feedings. This time around, we’re trying it the old-fashioned way. We’re a week in, and it’s going great. Child #2 has taken to it, everything’s working, it’s less dishes and ultimately healthier for my baby. I know all of this. But it hurts. A lot. Constantly. And, living my life in two – three hour increments is extremely trying. I feel like by the time I’m done feeding him and then I pump a little extra, it’s time to start all over again. This is another reason why I’m nervous about Husband going back to work. If I’m constantly feeding my newborn, what is Child #1 supposed to be doing? Who’s giving him the attention he needs? It’s extremely overwhelming.

Am I stressed? You betcha. But like with most changes, I know things will get easier with time. I’ll get better at multi-tasking while breastfeeding. I’ll get faster at getting myself ready for the day. I’ll plan for easier meals and less ambitious plans for our days. We will adjust. It’s just going to take a series of steps to get us there.

 

The Night Before the World Changes

3 Oct

Tonight is the last night that Husband, Child and I will go to bed as a family of three. That concept is something that I’ve had a hard time wrapping my mind around. It’s strange, because it’s something that we’ve wanted for so long, and now that it’s actually happening I feel melancholy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m beyond ecstatic about adding another member to our family, and I cannot wait to meet Child #2. I’m not sad in the least about having another baby.

Change is never easy, even when it’s the good kind. It’s scary, and the idea of starting over with a new routine is overwhelming. I adore my family and what we’ve become together. Changing that dynamic is going to be bittersweet at first. I’m doing my best to remind myself that eventually this new family dynamic will be what feels normal. Eventually I’ll forget that it ever felt foreign.

I’ve always been a planner. This isn’t the first nor will it be the last time I say that on this blog. I think it’s fitting, then, that both of my children will have been brought into this world through a scheduled c-section. I like knowing when it’s going to happen; I’ve always found the unknown to be terrifying. The unique thing about this experience is that the known is also terrifying. Tomorrow I’ll go to the hospital and we’ll meet the newest member of our family. There’s no way to know for sure how this will change us as a family, but ready or not, tomorrow we will go to bed as a family of four.

I can’t wait.