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.)
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!