I have never been happier than I am now, with my (complete) family of four.
My pregnancy days are behind me, since we’re stopping at two, and I’m so in love with my family.
The 1st time around
Everything about Aidan’s (baby #1) entry into the world was dramatic. The poor guy gets dogged on every time we talk about how easy his sister has been.
I was nervous the whole pregnancy because of a previous early miscarriage. I passed out a couple of times and, after 22 hours of tough labor, rife with his heart rate scaring us half to death, I ended up having a cesarean section. Then, he had a painful, shallow latch for feeding initially, but as a newbie it took me a month to figure it out, and it caused my supply to be just enough – so pumping was never an easy option. Having said all that, I breastfed for just over 12 months, and although he was a tough baby (I don’t think we slept for a year), he’s an amazing toddler, and an outstanding big brother.
I honestly didn’t realize other parents of infants WERE sleeping. I thought all babies were just like mine. Even though it was rough, we were willing to go through it again.
Funny, I spent my first pregnancy worried about Aidan, and my second pregnancy… worried about Aidan.
Because he was my first baby and we were already “established,” I was very nervous about him adjusting, and about him hitting the baby. I had no idea how much our attempts to prepare him were sinking in, and really wasn’t sure what he would think of having a baby sister. Turns out, he was born to be a big brother. He’s loving, gentle and helpful. I didn’t know I could love him anymore than I already did, but I do!
About a girl
Kennedy (baby #2) entered the world via VBAC after 9 hours of labor and 1 hour of pushing. It was such a relaxing experience – if one can say that about labor. I requested an epidural right away since I determined I’d felt enough contractions to last a lifetime with Aidan, and my husband and I watched episodes of “Homeland” on the iPad. Every now and then he’d look at my chart and announce I’d just had a huge contraction. I have no regrets about not feeling those suckers.
After latching on fairly easily (considering their mouths are the tiniest when your boobs are the largest), she went right to sleep without even being swaddled. We were astonished! We had heard of baby’s sleeping, we’d just never witnessed it. Aidan needed the 5 S’s all the time, and frankly, we could’ve used S’s 6 & 7!
I’m really glad my tough baby was my first baby so I could really focus on him, and I’m really glad labor was easy this time so I could continue to love on him and pick him up as I always have.
Kennedy was back to her birth weight in record time, so we were cleared to let her sleep. This was also drastically different as Aidan had to be woken to eat and they monitored his weight closely for the first month. Miss K came out on a 3-hour schedule and always gives us a longer stretch at night.
My recovery this time has been completely different from the first time. Unlike post-surgery, post-VBAC I was able to walk around as soon as I felt up to it. It was wonderful!
My body is bouncing back faster this time as well. Some of that is because I was able to be active sooner, and some is because I’m in a better place nutritionally. I have products to help with energy, strength and weight loss that I ran by my doctor, which is good because I have a deadline for being back in shape. My sister is getting married in November! Baby weight is temporary, but wedding photos are forever. Thankfully, chasing a toddler around while carrying an infant is quite sporty, I’m back to exercising, I gained less weight this time around, and I’m nursing.
Why is the second child so much easier?
I’m sure anxiety was a large factor in our first experience as parents. It’s impossible to be second child parents until you actually have a second child.
Parenting is more fun this go round since we aren’t second-guessing ourselves or each other. First time, it was the blind leading the blind, which can get pretty ugly when you’re tired.
I questioned whether or not to share this entry since it is very personal, but I decided to because our first and second experiences having a baby were so different. We always knew we wanted two children, and I can’t wait to see how these two, unique love bugs turnout.
I thought I was busy when I was single, then I thought I was busy when I got married, then I thought I was busy when I had one child. Now, I know I’m busy. And… back to it! Cheers!
I have a mental hangup about pumping and dumping, or using my expressed milk rather than nursing.
Much of this goes back to the beginning of my breastfeeding adventure. They wanted more weight on Aidan than he was initially gaining. It turned out that I just needed to nurse him more regularly, but I got nervous about producing enough milk then, and even though he’s gained weight on track ever since, I’ve never truly felt confident in my milk supply. I have friends who get way more when they pump than I do, too, so I also judge myself against them. Because it takes a couple pumping sessions to get a full meal out to store, I’m a hoarder when it comes to actually using it.
Sometimes, my hangup starts with pumping in general. I convince myself that I’m taking milk away from the baby, so he won’t find as much there when it comes time to eat. Considering I pump right before he goes down at night, when he has a full belly and won’t eat again for at least 5 hours, this is irrational, but I can’t seem to shake it.
As far as pumping and dumping goes, I have a guilt complex that says I’m choosing booze over my baby if I drink enough that I have to pump and dump instead of nurse him. Many nights, I’ll have a glass of wine after I nurse him for the last time at night because I know it will be out of my system before it comes time to nurse him again, but I never have more than one glass because I don’t want to risk there being any booze left in me when he’s hungry again.
I haven’t had more than one glass of wine at a time since November of 2011. At some point, I should go on a big date night with my husband and get a little happy on wine. Goodness knows if I’d even make it through a second glass at this point, but I’d like to give it a shot because I have a lot of fond memories of enjoying a bottle with my husband.
I don’t know what my issue is, but I’d really like to relax about all of this.