Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Just an FYI

My friend Sunny is having a giveaway of some books that are about infertility. If you're interested or know anyone who might be, be sure to check out her blog in the next few days (final drawing is July 6th)!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Second Time Around

I can't believe how much has changed and how much has *not* changed with a new baby in the house.

Some things are easier the second time around:
  • I don't worry every five minutes about whether or not the baby (i.e. Sweet Pea) is breathing. I just trust that she is!
  • Nursing is easier. Maybe it's due in part to the fact that Sweet Pea is a natural, but maybe it's because after a rough start with Peanut (it took us 5 weeks or so to really get it right without nipple shields or pain medications for the sore nipples etc.) I have a much better idea of what to do.
  • I've already adapted to being a mom. I already know that I may not be able to check my e-mail every day and that finding "free time" of my own isn't always easy. Having made this adjustment to my expectations with Peanut, I don't have to start from square one and the transition to adding a second baby to the family becomes easier in this regard.
  • Sleep deprivation, or at least interrupted sleep is nothing new.

Some things are harder/different the second time around:
  • Should I be holding her more rather than letting her sleep happily in her co-sleeper or bouncy chair? I hold her a lot; we all do. But sometimes it's a necessary evil when her older sister needs me, and Sweet Pea has been such a good and peaceful sleeper!
  • I do have to juggle a toddler with a newborn.
  • People assume we know what we're doing and the level of support is different. On a related note, many of our friends with kids of their own find that their toddlers become jealous if they hold our baby. Needless to say, it seems like fewer adults are making a grab for the baby. This feels different from the first time around.
  • My expectations and memories of the older child child color things with the younger. I find myself wondering, "Why is she sleeping so much? I don't remember Peanut sleeping this much even when she was a newborn! Should Sweet Pea be eating more? Peanut never ate this fast or efficiently!" (Our doctor confirms that Sweet Pea is growing very well and appears to be a very efficient little eater. I probably spend no more than 2-3 hours a day feeding her whereas Peanut was such a leisurely/inefficient eater that I often found myself spending 12 hours a day feeding her when she was little.)
All in all, Peanut has adapted really well to having Sweet Pea in the house. In the first week or so, she had an edge that showed up occasionally. It was the same sort of "edge" that she gets when she hasn't had enough sleep. She'd be more prone to emotional upset over little things, but luckily she's very easy to redirect and none of her tantrums or meltdowns lasted more than a few minutes. I credit my parents with helping out and giving Peanut lots of one-on-one Big Sister time!

Peanut adores her little sister. She rarely calls the baby by her name; mostly she calls Sweet Pea "my baby". I think she's convinced that the new baby is simply one more addition to her menagerie of stuffed animals and dolls!

Basically, things are going well and we're all settling in to our new life!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

It's a Girl!

That's right. SHE arrived 3 days early, much to my surprise. True, I'd had 2 nights of cramping (the menstrual type that doesn't really correspond to contractions). And since the cramping would last all night long, I figured maybe the lead-up to labor had begun. But when I really started having contractions at 10pm on Saturday night, I still couldn't quite believe that this was the main event. Peanut was born 8 days late, so I was certain I'd not see baby #2 until at least our due date (6/16). Boy were we wrong!

After laying in bed for about an hour of infrequent contractions, at 11pm, I gave up on the idea of sleep and Gboy and I headed upstairs to our living room to watch a movie. During the course of the nearly 2 hour film, my contractions got as close together as 6 minutes apart before spreading out again to 10 minutes apart (although more intense). At around 1 am we headed downstairs and I thought I'd go back to bed, but after another 30 minutes or so, with quite intense contractions that were suddenly 5 min. apart, (perhaps as a result of walking down the stairs?) we called the birth center and explained our situation. Our doctor had advised us that since the baby was positioned incredibly low, we shouldn't waste any time once the contractions were about 5 min. apart. The birth center staff told us that we could come in for evaluation.

In triage they hooked me up to some monitors and sure enough we could see my contractions while varying in intensity were about 5 minutes apart, baby's heart rate looked great, and when the nurse checked me, she said I was dilated to 5 cm. already and not going anywhere! I said, "Amen" as the last time I was admitted to the hospital, to have Peanut, the resident assessed me at 8 cm and we were told later that I was probably only 2 cm. dilated and she hadn't measured me correctly. What a blow. This time around, we were right on track at 5 cm. dilated after only about 5 hours of laboring.

I was tired and wanted to sleep (by now it was 3am), but I labored for another couple of hours in our room. At 5am I was seriously considering that epidural which had allowed me to sleep during my first labor. But the staff respected our birth plan and our wishes to try the minimal interventions as we progressed and they advised us that I could try the bath, and IV pain medications all before going to the epidural and that there was still plenty of time to move through those options. I got in the tub and immediately felt better. After about 45 minutes in the tub I opted for some further pain relief. They checked me again and assessed me at 7 cm. dilated assuring me that the likelihood of contractions intensifying wasn't great. I opted for the IV pain medication which enabled me to relax (it really felt like a good buzz - one that I don't remember from Peanut's birth even though I had IV pain medications with her too). After about an hour I suddenly grabbed for the call button and told the nurses I *really* felt like I had to push. My husband woke from his nap, surprised to hear this already. :)

I started to feel that urge to push and after three good pushes, my doctor told me the next push would give me a baby. I almost couldn't believe it, but I trusted her and after two more pushes, (a grand total of 5!) our little girl made her way into the world and my arms. What a different experience from the 3 hours of pushing with my first daughter!

I'm totally in love with little Sweet Pea. A pair of girls. I cannot tell you how happy I am. I am torn between both my girls - in the best possible way. I adore them each for different reasons and I love having them both near me. It's not easy by any stretch of the imagination. But it is absolutely perfect.

Monday, June 7, 2010

What's on YOUR Mind at 2 a.m.?

It's 2 a.m. and I'm officially awake. I've got a stack of books, primarily mysteries, that I'm working my way through in the wee hours when I can't seem to get back to sleep. But I've also been pondering the life altering decision of which actress should get the privilege of portraying me in the sure-to-be-gripping movie about my life one day. This is seriously what my brain is stuck on at 2 a.m. when I could be sleeping (or reading for that matter).

I'm really trying to race through these while I've only got a toddler in the house - one who is sleeping through the nights peacefully. In just another couple of weeks I suspect I won't have the time or energy to do any serious reading for another good long stretch. And yet here I sit, pondering the most ridiculous things and completely unable to settle into a book tonight.

Books currently on my bedside table:
Finger Lickin' Fifteen
The Good Thief's Guide to Paris
The Tourist
The Spellmans Strike Again
Shoot to Thrill

Friday, June 4, 2010

(Not) Loving Your Child

Wow. In light of yesterday's post it was weird to see this blog post on Motherlode. Reading it really choked me up. Have I mentioned that the pregnancy hormones are really, really raging these days? (I can't watch an episode of Glee without keeping the tissues handy.) The post deals with all of the ambivalence that I'd been feeling for the last 9 months or so but couldn't really articulate. "What if I don't love the 2nd baby as much?" "What if I love the 2nd baby too much and exclude or isolate my oldest child in some way?" "How will I juggle two kids in caring for them, nevermind how to dole out the love in the household?"

What I loved about the post is that many of the comments indicated that people have been feeling this in one way or another for years, with multiple kids, and that most of them seem to have found a way to make it all work. It's not always easy, but relationships with our kids can be much like a relationship with a partner/spouse; sometimes it takes work and effort.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Finally - Making Peace with the Change

I can't really say where I've been or what I've been doing, mostly because I don't know. I think I'm just trying to mentally prepare for a major transition in my life. Mel pointed out that perhaps that's part of the source of my frustration/funk and why I feel so out of sorts lately. Our family will be growing and changing in a few short weeks and I feel more unprepared now than I did before Peanut's arrival. I suppose it's partly because I want to protect her from any upset or upheaval that the new baby will bring to our lives and household. I didn't have that kind of motivation before she arrived; Gboy and I were looking forward to upheaval and to the potential chaos that a baby would bring to our family. We had longed for it for close to two years before she arrived. This time around things are different.

I think it's just in the past two weeks that I've given myself permission to be okay with the fact that there may be turmoil and not everything will go smoothly and I don't have to love that fact. Change is hard. But I think that acknowledging those feelings and some of the...I don't know what to call it exactly but it's almost like it was resentment...toward the wee one in the womb actually made it easier for me to look forward to the littlest one's arrival. Finally. I've spent months feeling guilty that I wasn't over the moon ecstatic about the changes we're looking at in our family instead of just admitting that I've been scared and at times overwhelmed. Thinking about how to manage two small children has left me feeling nearly paralyzed with fear at times. Of course this is exactly what I wanted. But I kept hearing that old adage in my mind "be careful what you wish for".

Finally though, I'm starting to have the excitement and anticipation that I've been waiting almost 9 months to experience. I'm starting to really look forward to seeing this baby in the outside world. I'm looking forward to holding a tiny bundle in my arms again. I'm excited about introducing the baby to Peanut who is *so* ready to be a Big Sister. We've been reading all kinds of books about siblings and now as far as she's concerned, every family picture we draw and every family of animals or people that we see must contain a big sister. Good things are coming.