I’m really enjoying being the mom of a newborn again. It just seems so much easier this time around. I’ve been trying to think about why it is seems easier and all I can come up with is that it seems easier because it is easier. Despite the chaos of a new house (still waiting for 2 of the 3 bathrooms to get functional!), having a newborn is much easier this go around.
No jaundice! Stephen didn’t have jaundice like Phinehas did. This means no biliblankets. No multiple needle pricks for blood tests. No waking him up every 3 hours at night to feed. Much fewer weight checks at the doctor’s office.
Feeding is going well. I’m not breastfeeding (although I tried – just ask the 4 lactation consultants I worked with in the hospital) and that has made a world of difference. Not in how well the baby is doing, but in my mental state. I would have LOVED to have breastfed. And don’t get me wrong – I would’ve gladly gone through frustration if it meant it would’ve worked out. And it’s not “not breastfeeding” that makes me calmer, it’s having a feeding method that works that makes the difference. It’s not facing a losing battle every day that’s so great. It’s not waking up every 2 hours to feed, then pump, but only getting 2 ounces A DAY that eases my mind. I’m guessing that women for whom breastfeeding is easy probably experience the same thing.
I know this is just a phase. So when hard times come, I remember that this is just a phase. And phases are short. In fact, the hard times that I’ve experienced are mostly because I have 2 kiddos that need me at the same time. I know that will get better really soon – like in 5 minutes once I get them both what they need.
I know this is a phase. So I make sure I enjoy moments that aren’t likely to repeat often. The times when your 18 month old just sits on your lap and cuddles. The times when you have a newborn curled up to your chest. The times when both boys are sleeping, allowing me to catch a nap. Those moments are sometimes rare, so I breathe deep when they happen and savor them.
I feel really good physically. Maybe it was because my labor was shorter. Maybe it was because I wasn’t induced. Maybe it’s “who knows why?” But I feel pretty good physically. I’ve already lost the pregnancy weight and am enjoying not carrying around an extra 25 pounds. (But I also lost most of my pregnancy weight with Phinehas really quickly, but then gained 20 pounds just being a mom. Now to just get to my pre-Phinehas weight!). I’m sleeping well (when I do get sleep). I’m eating healthier than I did post-Phinehas. I’m not sure of the reason, but I feel good physically.
I’m okay with crying. With my first, a crying baby would cause me to panic. “What am I doing wrong?” or “What kind of mom has a crying baby this often?” But, now? I’m okay with it. Not okay with it as in “Oh, good the baby is crying – I want to hear him cry!”. But okay with it as in “Babies cry. They just do. Let me see if I can solve what’s making him cry.” I don’t feel panicked and stressed about it. Because I know that the crying will end. Maybe because of a diaper change. Or a bottle. Or sleep. Or snuggles. I know that it won’t last forever. I’m not excited by crying, but I’m also not panicked by it like I was with my first.
We stay home. Partly because of car battery troubles. Partly because I have a newborn. Partly because once we had kids, we started staying home more anyway. Partly because we have a new house to get in order, but whatever the reason, we’re staying home more than we did with Phinehas. And that’s nice. I have everything I need here. I’m comfortable here. I’m at home. And home is a wonderful place to be.
Thus far? I’m really enjoying this newborn phase and it hasn’t been nearly as hard as I thought it would be. Or…maybe it hasn’t been nearly as hard as people told me it would be.