What To Expect When Expecting Number II - Raising Up Wonder

What To Expect When Expecting Number II

It has been 3 (almost 4!) months since we have welcomed baby Ryder to our family. Things now are great, besides the nursing through the night thing and the ever so often poop up the back thing. But I can honestly say that it took me at least two months to see the light. I have a pretty vivid memory of his first few weeks and if I could use one word to describe them it would be: overwhelmed. 

Welcoming baby number two is such a huge shift. I think the big transition comes with the fact that you have spent every day/hour/minute and second with baby number one on your mind. These babies become the center of our universe and it can be so incredibly hard to split your heart into two for them. Obviously, it is easy to love them both! I don't think that is the hard part. I think what is most difficult is making sure your first feels loved and tended two while constantly tending to the needs of number two. 

Here are some things to expect:

  1. Sadness: I know you're thinking, "thanks, how lovely." But listen! Hormones after you give birth are OFF the flippin' charts. I don't know if it gets me worse than others but for the first weeks of Ryder's life I was sad. So sad. Over everything. I remember seeing Avery's little tennis shoes sitting on the floor, they are bright blue and make the best park shoes. I got so sad because it had been weeks since we had played at the park together. Ryder was attached to me 24/7 eating and we had problems breastfeeding at first so if I wasn't nursing I was pumping. At this point it felt like I would never ever get time to play with Avery and that made me so incredibly sad.
  2. Stress Sweating: The first days juggling two little ones seems like you are running a marathon. So get some deodorant and expect a lot of stress sweating. With two little people needing you, for different things, at the same time things get intense. 
  3. Mom brain: During the first days of being a mom of two I don't think I could have told you what my name was. I was forgetting everything. Write things down, especially medical/doctor things and put someone else in charge of filing the important stuff. 
  4. Your 1st will be needier than ever:  All kids are different but when Ryder was born my independent toddler started to need more a lot more often. Avery would cry and want to be held when I physically could not hold her. I would be trying to get my screaming newborn to latch on all while she was yelling "mama, hold me!"
  5. Things Won't Ever Go Back to Normal:  I often found myself wishing for things to "go back to normal". Avery and I had such a great routine going for 2 years. It was really hard when that routine got voted, for her and for me. While it won't ever be the same as it was it will evolve. New routines can be made and it will fall into place with time. 
Some things you need to know:

  1. It gets better. I promise. I remember reaching out to other moms in panic mode and they each told me the same thing, that it does get better.
  2. It takes a village to raise a child. For the love of coffee and all things holy do not try to do this alone. I know that you won't be shipping off your newborn to grandma's house but family can be so helpful with baby #1. I was really lucky to have my husband and Avery's grandparents to give her the attention she needed while I couldn't. Remember you won't have to have someone else care for #1 forever but it is especially helpful while you're trying to bond with baby number 2.
  3. You will learn how to play with #1 all while taking care of #2. Three months postpartum and I can pretty much feed Ryder anywhere, that means if Avery wants to play Peppa Pigs on the floor and the baby gets hungry I can do both! Sometimes if the baby is sleeping on me Avery will bring her little toys on my lap. Even if I'm occupied as long as Avery sees that I'm there and just paying attention to what she is doing, that is enough for her. 
  4. Get yourself ready to babywear! I can honestly say that babywearing saved my sanity. My top three carriers are the Ergo Adapt, Sakura Ring Sling and Solly Baby Wrap. Having two hands available with two kiddos is incredible. Also, little ones love to sleep close to mama so you get some great one on one time with baby #1. 
  5. Give yourself grace. What is most important in the transition from 1 to 2 is making sure everyone is alive and loved. That in itself can be a huge job so when you see the laundry and dishes pile up remember that this is a crazy season of life. There will always be dishes to do but you won't always have a newborn to snuggle.
So take a deep breath and know everything will be okay! I'm always available so reach out to me!

In love, Rachel