Friday, January 13, 2017

{I Know Exactly What to Expect}

I've always heard rumor that you stress a little less with baby number two. Ok maybe you don't stress less, but life just happens around you and you don't have the time to really think about everything. Maybe you don't scrapbook the second time around, don't take maternity photos, you don't have time to read all the books again or take every class the hospital has to offer. You already know what to expect, so why would you?

Well with me, my nerves couldn't be more on the fritz. I think because I *do* know exactly what to expect. I know that sleepless nights lie ahead. I know that the hours in the day will seem to drag on and that the witching hour is in my future. I know that it's possible to rip from front to back and have 20 something stitches and then not be able to sit comfortably for weeks. I know that date nights will basically be nonexistent for a while. I also know the feelings of resentment-yep, towards your spouse(if you've never felt it, praise Jesus). The feeling of not knowing if you're doing things right, and questioning your decisions all day long; "Am I holding my baby too I too other moms have these feelings?"
Then there's the wondering if you'll ever get your body back. And that decision of a career or #momlife. Sometimes if you choose work, there's the epic mom guilt, but if you stay home you can feel like you're not doing enough to help provide for your family(even though we all know that we do more than enough as stay at home moms, it's an upstanding title to hold). Small errands will seem impossible. I skip errands when I have Henry sometimes, but now, TWO kids to load up and haul into the store?! I know exactly what is coming.

I know exactly what to expect and don't remember at all how to handle them. It's true how they say you forget all of it. The newborn days seem to mush together as you cling onto every little coo, smile and dimple to survive. You're so busy trying to figure out all the things your baby needs that you're literally just doing the best you can. Your brain ends up fried, even though you swear you'll never forget all that you've been through. 

It's only been three years and already I'm like, "Wait, I did what?" Cluster feeding, what's that? How often does a baby nurse again? How many times a day should she have a wet diaper? How am I supposed to switch her days and nights? Pray? Lol. Bedtime routines, how do I go about that again? Are the vitamin-d drops safe? Do I want to use baby Tylenol, like ever? Essential oils are even more popular now, do I rely on those? Do they really help? How do I swaddle again? Will it be easy to transition from rock n' play to crib? Vaccinate? Don't vaccinate? JUST KIDDING, I'll definitely vaccinate.

I know how much joy a newborn brings, but I do remember how hard the newborn stage was for me as a woman. It was life-changing, it was an adjustment. Caring for your children is the most selfless act there is. You give up everything to raise your babies. Sleep, showers, makeup, going out, your body and so much more.

I do remember that it's worth it though. I do remember that, "it won't be like this for long."
That little boy up there in that picture is proof of all the good that comes with having babies. I remember his first smile, our first nursing session at the hospital(and the thousands after that), I remember those epic baby giggles(you know, those really deep-bellied, first-time baby bellows-my heart), and his first steps. I can't wait to experience those beautiful moments again. What's more this time around? The sibling bond. I can't even imagine how much Henry is going to oooh and ahhh over his baby sister. I know he's going to hug her and kiss her and say "best buddies," just like he does to me! She's going to look up to him with adoration and learn from everything he does. And they'll have each other for life. Incredible.

Don't get me wrong, I am so incredibly blessed to be carrying and expecting another child and I am utterly over the moon about it. I am in no way complaining here, I just have to be honest. I know what's coming and I know how tough it was the first time. I know at the end of the day though that I'm one of the lucky ones. I was put here to love and raise these babies and I will do it like a boss. I might do it with boogers in my hair and breastmilk on my shirt, but I will do it and they will know they are loved!

Melissa Loren

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