I have no baby in my arms or toddler tugging on my leg – it’s a miracle! 🙂
As cliche as it may sound – where has the time gone!? I cant believe Maya is already 5 weeks and Toby turned 2 yesterday!
Everything with a new baby is SOOO different this time around. Whew. (when I compare and contrast this post to Toby’s 6 wk update, I think it highlights the difference between the experience of a first and second time parent!
We spent most of December as a family of 4. Toby was off school for 11 days so we had a crash course in parenting two under twos. It was hectic and stressful at times, but we had a blast with Toby, enjoyed spending time as a family and it gave us all a chance to get to know Maya and acclimate to our new life together.
- She looks so much like her brother. Just more feminine. It blows my mind. And I love it.
- She’s a great sleeper. So good in fact that I had to work very hard to encourage her to wake and eat in those first few weeks. And she often had no interest and dozed off between every. single. gulp. Feeds were terribly frustrating. It was driving me nuts and stressing me out to no end. So after a few satisfactory weight checks in the first 2 weeks, my doc gave me the green light to let our sweet girl sleep and eat when she was ready. Immediately things improved and I could tell that she was getting the same amount of milk, if not more, with fewer feeds. She takes 2-3 good 2-hr naps in the day in addition to some cat naps. And her night sleep is awesome – 2 wake ups a night since day 1. Pllllllease let it stay that way.
- For the first few weeks, she would sleep pretty much anywhere but of course she has hit the ‘Im Going to Wake Up the Moment You Lay Me Down’ phase so she is spending most naps in my arms or in a carrier. For nighttime, she does well in the rock n play next to our bed.
- She’s healthy and thriving. She’s bouncing between the 20th-26th percentile, makes lots and lots of good poops and pees, and is filling her newborn clothes out well (currently about 8lb 5oz).
- Nursing is going so much better than last time. Although I breastfed Toby for 9 months (I dried up), I would venture to say we never really got in a groove. Months in, nursing was often still rather painful. I dont know why… With Maya, it’s just been easier. Even physiologically, it’s different – for instance, I never once felt a let-down with Toby. Now, I feel that burning sensation in my breast (of course I did let-down with Toby). I’ve also started pumping earlier (I hate pumping and it was a huge source of stress and anxiety last time around). For about 2-3 weeks, Ive been trying to pump after the morning feed. And about a week ago, I introduced a second pump at the end of the night. Most mornings I get between 4-5oz so that’s helping me build a little freezer stash before I go back to work.
- She’s…unfortunately…pretty fussy. Not as fussy as Toby’s colic had been, but definitely not the easy-going baby I was hoping for. It’s made the transition to two that much more challenging. She requires a lot of attention – bouncing on the ball, shushing in the ear, etc. Often, nursing (pacifying on me, really) is the only thing that calms her which means it’s usually me dealing with these cries. Im handling the fussiness itself far better this time around but what’s worse is that all that time and effort I put into calming her is taken away from time I would otherwise be spending with Toby. I sometimes struggle to find the time to play with him after school the way I would like and rarely ever get to do the bedtime routine with him since that coincides with the witching hour/cluster feed time. That makes me so very sad and I continue to miss my boy tremendously.
- Regardless of her fussiness, Maya is a sweet little baby. When she is happy and alert, I love to watch her eyes scan the world around her, widen with awe as she stares at the fan or the streaks of sunlight coming through the window. I love to cuddle her and kiss her and take in her sweet newborn smell. We all do. We know how lucky we are.
- My little boy 🙂 He turned 2 yesterday and we had a great time celebrating him. My dad, brother, sis-in-law, nephew, and cousin all flew in for the weekend and we spent it showering Toby with love. And he clearly felt it 🙂 It was a great weekend!
- Toby loves his little sister. Her calls her ‘M-I-Y-L-A’ and it sounds so damn cute when he says it. He insists on holding her pretty much every day, gives her good morning and good night kisses, and goes running to be by her side every time she cries. Each time, he announces ‘baby sad!’
- Coupled with all the love he is showering upon her, he has also started hitting a bit. Although that’s normal 2-yr old behavior , we hadn’t had to deal with it until now so we’re experimenting for the first time with different discipline tactics like time-outs, time-ins, or simple redirection.
- The first few weeks were a challenge as I mentioned in my previous post but things turned around quickly. Our strategies (such as providing choices, counting to 3, etc) that stopped working when Maya came home, suddenly began working again which made diaper changes, bedtime routine, etc manageable again (THANK GOD!). And he’s back to going to sleep on his own – as long as his door is left open. I would say that except for the infrequent hitting and the meltdowns after one of us picks up Maya and he falls apart screaming , ‘no baby! no baby!’ (again, pretty infrequent), things feel pretty normal. I do have to remind myself that even if he’s behaving far better than I expected, he is certainly still wildly affected by this big change and I need to be thoughtful of that. I think our efforts to do so have helped keep things on an even keel.
- Recovery from the c-section was…different. Last time I spent 5 full days in the hospital, struggling (and failing) to get my pre-eclampsia under control. I was on magnesium so spent my first many days in a haze. This time – alert as could be – I was much more aware of the pain of recovering from major surgery. That day or two in the hospital were pretty painful (duh!).
- Making it 2 wks without picking up Toby was my biggest challenge. And while I didn’t lift him during that time, I did push myself further than I should during playtime, walks to see neighborhood Christmas lights, etc. I picked Toby up with care in those first few days and then was doing everything including lifting him in and out of his crib by week 3.
- I bled on and off for 4 wks (compared to 4 days last time) and experienced some abdominal pain and burning on the side of my incision. But all of that has subsided and I am feeling completely back to normal at this point.
- My anxiety has reared its ugly head again, likely fueled by all the hormonal crap going on in my body, and it’s definitely been a challenge I continue to struggle with daily.
- Weight loss has not been a priority and was hindered further by the holidays but Im beginning to feel frustrated and insecure by it and need to make at least a little effort! I gained 44 lbs and am now 16 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight. I only have one pair of non-maternity jeans I can fit into – a pair that I bought postpartum about this time last time around. Im determined to return to work in much better shape (and with more confidence) than I am now, even if not exactly where I want to be.
- All I can say is that this man is the rock of our family. I don’t know how I got so lucky. He is such an exceptional dad. It literally brings me to tears just thinking about it. His patience for and care of Toby during this time has been incredible and has helped me to deal with the reduction in time I have to spend with him because I know that daddy is showering him with love…constantly. I wish you could all see him in action – he’s truly amazing.
- Just as Maya’s fussiness has taken me away from Toby, it has also taken Maya away from Simon. I know that he is saddened by the limited time he gets to spend with her between working in the day and caring for Toby in the evenings. But, that time will come – the opportunities are just not the same the second time around…
What a change this has been. It’s been incredible to welcome a new life into this house and to be able to complete our wonderful family. It’s also been one of the greatest challenges we’ve taken on. But, it’s so worth it. And Im so happy to have such a wonderful family to love.