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 :)?