Whew! What a week & a half it has been at the Orchard House…
On Sunday, January 22nd I gave birth to our second child. While we are overjoyed to say the least, it has been quite the adjustment. In keeping it real with you all, it hasn’t been easy thus far. I mean, I know it could be MUCH harder & it’s not exactly meant to be an easy gig per say but one thing is for certain, no amount of advice, preparation or the fact that you’ve already had a kid, can prepare you for another!
While P is clearly super excited & proud, it is to be expected that the first child will mourn the loss of the only child relationship, the only life they’ve ever known. It is valid & we not only understand that but we respect it. We have been doing our absolute best to celebrate & reinforce the positive, gentle, “big helper”, type behavior but it’s also incredibly easy to react impulsively to the over-excited, rough play near the baby, acting out for our attention, type behavior… we’re not perfect.
Thankfully, Brandon was able to work his a** off in overtime to allow him to stay home with us for TWO WEEKS. Believe me, I’m well aware that this is a luxury. Heck, the fact that I can stay home for a bit (though unpaid) is a luxury in this country! I honestly don’t know what I’d do without him. He goes back to work on Monday & even though I know I an handle it, especially now that P is back at daycare a couple days a week, I’m still a little nervous about the change. He’s such an incredible care taker for our family. Given how easy my labor was (more on Baby L’s birth story later), which I know is not the case for everyone, I’ve had a great recovery. Even so, he has without hesitation, been here to change most of the diapers, bring me snacks & cook nutritional meals, ensure my water bottle is always full, massage the knots out of both my back & my boobs, hold me accountable for taking my supplements & getting in some self care, spend quality one-on-one time with P, clean & keep the house in order, and the list goes on… Yes, I’m incredibly lucky (I do not take him for granted).
As I mentioned above, P will be at daycare a couple days a week. Again, another luxury since I’m home on unpaid leave but we’ve made sacrifices because we know deep down that this will be good for all of us. He starts with a new sitter today though, another adjustment for him. Our trial day went great so, we have high hopes that him having his “own thing” going on, socialization with others & some semblance of a routine will do the kid some good & help balance things out a bit in his world… Everyone tells me the sibling jealousy phase gets better in time so there’s light at the end of the tunnel! But, age 3… When does that get easier? Anyone? Send help please! 😉
As for the rest of us? We’re pretty darn good. Since Brandon isn’t P’s bio Dad, he missed out on his newborn days so for me, getting to watch him bask in the pride, happiness & love that is bringing new life into this world has been such a gift. Through my tired eyes, I think I’m falling in love with him all over again. I’ve got a great support system in him, my midwives & village, along with a pretty solid postpartum plan to help aid in my long term recovery & care moving forward. Baby L is sleeping in 3-4 hour chunks in a co-sleeper right next to me which means, even though I’m waking frequently at night to nurse, I’m getting quality sleep when I do. Speaking of nursing, this newborn cluster feeding is no joke but it reminds me how well I’m doing compared to my first time around so, I feel zero guilt for spending my whole day holding & feeding her (typing with one hand is quite the challenge though so be patient with me). It’s kind of nice to know that I’m all she needs right now.
Baby L (no, I likely won’t announce her name publicly anytime soon. Sorry!) is already over her birth weight, going through diapers like nobody’s business, sleeping through her noisy brother’s shenanigans, smiling lots (it might be gas but we’ll take what we can get) & busy stealing the hearts of everyone in Mum & Dad’s newsfeed. So basically, she’s living the life.
In short, there are moments, many moments, where we feel like we’re riding the fast train to crazy town. One much crazier than the one we already live in but we wouldn’t trade it for the world! Thank you for being here with us, encouraging us along the way & more importantly, reminding us & so many others, that we are not alone.