Wednesday, January 30, 2013

honestly? i'm a little scared...

I'm not a morning person.  It seems like no matter how much sleep I get, I am still tired.  It takes some coaxing, but somehow I manage to get up and out of bed for an early morning (5:30am) run most days of the week.  But, I go to bed at 9:30 so that I still get my much needed 8 hours of sleep.  Where is this conversation going?  Well, I'm a bit scared about how much my life is going to change.  Now that I know how much work a newborn takes, I'm even more scared than I was the first time around.  And, mostly, I'm scared about how tired I am going to be.  And I'm scared about how much this little guy is or isn't going to sleep.  And how will I ever manage TWO?  Here are just a few things I'm scared of this time around...

In the early days of having Piper home, I was actually surprised at how good I felt.  Piper was a sleeper from day one and when we brought her home, she was already doing a 4-6 hour stretch at night.  Well, when we found out that she wasn't gaining weight fast enough, those stretches had to end as I tried to increase my supply and we tried to get her fat!  And even though we gave up exclusive breastfeeding at 2 weeks old (in favor of exclusive pumping and formula supplementation) and were able to "allow" Piper those 4 hour stretches, I was still exhausted!  I vividly remember being at a restaurant with my parents when Piper was 4 weeks old and feeling like I was going to die from being tired.  I'm really not looking forward to that feeling again.

Speaking of breastfeeding, I'm also a little worried about how well that will or will not go this time around.  With Piper, both MBL and I were very committed to giving her breast milk and not "ruining" her by giving her formula.  Everyone out there told me if I gave my child formula she would be fat and stupid, so I really wanted to make sure we avoided it.  Piper was a lazy eater.  She fell asleep every single time it was time to eat.  It didn't matter if she was naked and we were dowsing her in cold water, she just loved to fall asleep while eating.  That fact, coupled with a high palate, led to us having a very frustrating BFing relationship.  My supply tanked and I was told to feed more, pump more, drink more.  I did it all and took Reg.lan and fenu.greek until I smelled like syrup.  It didn't matter.  Our lactation consultant finally gave me what I needed--permission to supplement with formula because I had done all I could.  I cried.  I remember telling MBL that I knew it wouldn't matter when Piper was going into kindergarten that she had 60-70% breast milk and 30-40% formula, but it seemed like a very big deal at the time.  I'm not looking forward to that again.  I pumped for Piper for 6 months and it was SO worth it, but so hard to spend 2 hours a day just pumping.  I'm hoping that things will be different this time around, but I'm also trying to prepare myself for another long term relationship with my pump.  Blech.

Another thing that was tough last time around was how LONG the days seemed when Piper was itty bitty.  I would literally count down the hours until it was bedtime, which always seemed to come too early as it was summer and still light outside when I would go to bed.  In those early days I was so consumed with making sure I did everything right, that I know I exhausted myself more than necessary.  This time around, I'm a little worried that the days will once again seem long because I won't be able to cat nap if I need to.  I won't just have a sleepy little newborn, I'll also have my vibrant toddler!  Where in the heck will I find the energy to play with Piper on such little sleep?  Will I be able to feel rested enough to enjoy those early days?  Now that I know just how fast it goes, I want to treasure snuggling my newborn, but the realistic part of me wonders if it will all go down in a haze because of the exhaustion.  Oof.

Finally, I'm a little worried about how I will ever get out of the house with TWO little kiddos.  And if I do manage to get out of the house and to the grocery store, then where will I put the groceries?  If I have two kids, one of whom will be in the carseat, then how will I ever have room for what I need to buy?  I got out of the house with Piper LOTS in her first few weeks.  We took a road trip to Chi.cago when she was 3 weeks old and it was easy.  I brought her to meet my coworkers when she was just 6 days old.  I relished getting out of the house with her.  We went to Tar.get lots, just to wander and look at things.  I would take my time shopping, knowing that if I needed to feed her I could just go to their cafe and have a popcorn/diet coke while she ate.  I'm sure that won't happen with two kids.  I mean, the baby will probably be easy to pacify, but Piper won't be.  And will it really take me 2 hours to get out of the house?  I read some blogs from parents of more than one and several mention just how hard it is to get out of the house.  I mean, I know going anywhere with little ones takes preparation, but am I really looking at packing the diaper bag for two hours?

I know I am so incredibly lucky that MBL and I get to add to our family.  And, I know deep down that we will get through the early newborn days yet again, but part of me is really dreading the "getting through them" part.  We are in such a good rhythm with Piper, that I don't want to feel like I'm wishing the days away because they are good, but oh so hard.

Do you find two children much more work than 1?  What's your biggest challenge?  Any advice?  Want to remind me how fun and cute newborns are :)?


  1. I remember those no-sleep days. Blergh! But I'd do it all again if I could...of course. :) Still, no fun. My little E came when S was already 4, so it's probably a bit different... but still pretty exhausting. Before hand, the best advice I got was to get S a present or two from the baby, for when I first brought her home. It really helped with his jealousy level, because he is a big gift type guy, and then I got him to do every little thing to "help" that I could possibly think of, which helped him feel included. And I always tried to have "enough room" on my lap or in my arms for him whenever I was holding her. That went a long way as well.

    As for sleep, S was a champion sleeper from the start, and E wouldn't sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time for the first 2 months (apparently because I wasn't making enough milk either.)... and it became SO much to deal with. I think I feel asleep every time she was eating, not the other way around. LOL. I finally gave in and just moved a comfy reclining chair next to her crib, and camped out there at night. When she'd wake up, I'd just blearily connect her to the boob and fall asleep again until she wiggled again. I don't move at all when I sleep, so I felt pretty safe doing it... but honestly it was all I could do... 20 minutes at a time just does not cut it. But basically I'm saying, whatever you're handed, you'll find a way. Which I know you know, but just "you can do it!"

    And last (I promise, sheesh this is long!) Getting ready to go is more of a hassle, but not so much if you're prepared. I always have my diaper bag 1/2 packed (formula, diapers, wipes, change of clothes, toys)... I never take those out. Which helps in time for prep, but also for the baby being happy while we're out cause the toys are more special and rarely seen. The biggest thing for me getting out is trying to look half way put together on so little sleep, and blow outs that always happen as you're walking out the door. :) Such an exciting time! Daunting, but so wonderful!

  2. Girl - I understand where you are coming from, because I was the same way. I was honestly not even looking forward to having a new baby because I was afraid of so much. BUT - I had NO REASON to fear. My kids are 15 months apart, and the transition was WAY WAY easier than I imagined. Both my kids have been decent sleepers. About 3-4 hours a stretch as a newborn and both started sleeping through the night around 6-7 months (Isaac still gets up sometimes around 5am). But I was still able to TOTALLY soak up the newborn stage. I loved it so much more because the anxiety wasn't there. I knew that the things I worried about the first time were insignificant and I gave myself LOADS more grace. I suggest you do the same. ;-)

    It is different having a toddler to deal with, too. I find now that I just LOVE my time with just Isaac because Jude is the busy body. He's still the one that keeps life most crazy. Not Isaac. I find myself often wondering what the heck was so hard about having one new baby the first time around. It's just the life change and anxieties. But it's been SO fun this time.

    As for getting out of the house - I honestly don't think it's a big deal. I pretty much always have whatever I need in the diaper bag, so there is little to pack. Just throw the baby in the carrier and out you go. We're pretty busy, and having two hasn't changed that at all.

    Seriously - if I could give you any advice - surrender your fears, and be prepared to have your heart overflowing with more love than you could imagine. Watching your kids become siblings is so amazing! And you already have all you need to be the best parent to your children. Mama intuition is a powerful thing.

    So excited for you Christine!