Thoughts on parenting two; one month in

To me,

You totally underestimated the complexity of two kids! Everyone always talks about how  your first kid change your life in how you can’t do things the way you used to. It’s not that I disagree with that but Lexi seemed to just fit into our life like she had always been there. It didn’t feel like we had to make too many adjustments to our lifestyle. Baby 2 is a whole different ballgame in every way possible.

To begin with, it has been more challenging to bond with William as I’m so preoccupied with Lexi. There is significantly less time sitting, holding and snuggling William. As soon as he is sleeping, he is in the rock and play so I can clean the house, make breakfast/lunch/dinner, play with Lexi or make sure she isn’t into something.

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And I feel terrible about that. Like really terrible, like makes me think sometimes that I love him less terrible. The rational side of my knows this is absurd. My heart and my brain know that I love this sweet boy to the deepest depths of the ocean, yet that irrational, hormone-flowing crazy person inside of me puts these thoughts into my head.

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To add to that, I don’t feel like I’m giving Lexi enough. I rely on the TV far too often to keep her out of things and to give myself just a second to relax. She is always into something and it is hard to keep her out of things that I don’t want her to be in. She’ll go and get playdough and I just don’t have the energy for her to play with it knowing the big mess she’ll make and supervision she’ll need. I feel guilty not always sitting down and coloring with her because there are crumbs all over the floor that are getting tracked through the rest of the house, a pile of dishes, a load of laundry that needs to get put in the dryer because the outfit I soaked from yesterday’s blowout is starting to dry and then the stain really won’t come out and I haven’t brushed my teeth yet today. These tasks just eat away at me as I’m sitting there trying to color with her and give her the attention she needs and deserves.

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I keep thinking of all those Moms out there with 3 or more kids and give you mad props. Being a mom of multiple kids is no joke! I pray that it will get easier over time and we’re just in the transition stage, but holy hell, this transition stuff plays some crazy games with your sanity.

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Love,

Me

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William 1 Month

Dear William,

It is hard for me to believe that 4 weeks ago Daddy and I were heading to the hospital to meet you. It feels like forever ago, yet in my mind it still feels like you’re a couple of days old. This past month has been a mix of emotions for mommy. I have these moments where I’m bursting with joy and bring myself to tears staring at you and thanking God for blessing us with this perfect little boy. Then, I have these moments where I just want to cry because I don’t have enough arms to take care of you and your sister and question myself over and over. You’re eating and your sister needs to go to the bathroom and I have to choose–Do I stop; make you angry and cover yourself and myself in sticky breast milk or take the chance of Lexi not being able to hold it and pee her pants? Then I worry; Am I not holding you enough? It feels like I’m always putting you down once you’ve fallen asleep so I can do something for Lexi or get something else done (like write this letter) instead of just enjoying you and not worrying about the messy tornado the house has become or making dinner. Then, I worry; Am I holding you too much and creating bad habits and you’re not going to be able to sleep by yourself? Both thoughts are complete contradictions of one other, but honest thoughts. For now, I’m blaming it on the swing of hormones my body is going through and hoping that I’m not going crazy! Overall, taking care of two is so much harder than I ever imagined.

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One month stats:

  • 10 lbs .5 oz (56.2%)
  • 22″ long (81%)
  • 15 in head circumference (85%)

Overall, eating is going well. Once my milk stabilized (around 10 days), I felt much more in control and you were able to latch much better. Frequency of eating is all over the board. If I had to guess, I would say you eat every 3 hours or so. Occasionally, you’ll go 5 hours if you fall into a deep sleep. Around 2.5 weeks you started giving us longer night stretches. Most nights you eat around 9, 1:30 and then again around 7. Of course, there are nights where you wake more often than this, but there have been several nights where this is the ‘schedule’. Also around the 2.5 week timeframe, you started showing some signs of intense gassiness. You scrunch up your face turn bright red and cry and squirm for 30 seconds or so and then go completely calm.

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This continues to occur almost all day and prevents you from falling into a deep sleep. You’ll sleep for 30 to 45 minute stretches but then wake yourself with these gas pains. It is so hard to watch you experience these as you’re clearly in pain and discomfort but there is nothing that we can do to help. At 3 weeks, we took you to the doctor to see if there was anything we could do or give you. They suggested some gas drops, but they didn’t really work. We also had tried prune juice in a bottle, which helped you poop but didn’t take away the gassiness and fussiness. (By the way, you take a bottle like a champ!) One thing the lactation consultant suggested that did help was to have me recline way back or nearly lay down during let down. It comes out pretty strong and quickly so you you were making lots of gulping noises and you would choke on the milk, which then would also spray all over your face when you pulled off. The gassiness is still there, but you seem to do a much better job eating when you can control the let down. You’re still eating on just one side per feeding and do a great job of latching on and off. Within the last two days, I feel like the gassiness has gotten better. You still have it and wince and cry in pain, but you don’t seem to be in as much pain and it isn’t lasting all day. Additionally, you seem to have some results of all your pushing and grunting as now we’re hearing toots and seeing you poop as a result.

Speaking of poop–you like to do it frequently and like to have your diaper changed immediately. I would say you poop 6-8 times between the hours of 7 am and 2 pm. We are going through a ton of diapers (you switched from newborns at about week 3 to size 1s).

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Back to the gas, I’ve removed dairy and caffeine from my diet to see if either of those things are triggers for you. They weren’t, thank God! I was willing to try anything to help you get some relief, but no dairy for me was terrible. Milk or cheese is in nearly every recipe that I have and is a big part of my diet.

Today at the doctor for your 1 month checkup–they gave us a prescription for reflux to see if that may be causing the fussiness. You rarely spit up, but I do hear a lot of noises so you may be spitting up and swallowing it again?! We shall see! After your done eating, I try and lay you flat on my legs to get your stomach to settle and then either put you on my shoulder or have you sit up to burp. You usually give me one good burp.

Other interesting notes:

  • You have the scrawniest little frog legs ever. You love to kick (especially during diaper changes) and push off things with your long little string bean legs. No chubby thighs for you!
  • You love to keep your hands right by your face (also evidenced by your ultrasound pics)
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  • Your wearing 3 month clothes (you never fit into newborn clothes)
  • Around the 1 week mark, the baby acne came in full force and it is still pretty intense. Hopefully it starts to get better in the next couple of weeks. However, the rest of your skin is silky and smooth and I love to run my hands on it. Your wrinkly old man hands and feet went about just after week 1.
  • You love to cuddle and be held–especially with a soft blanket wrapped around your head. If you’re really upset, I’ll wrap a blanket around you hold you really tight and close to me and bounce up and down and it usually calms you down and puts you right to sleep. You also do really well hanging out in the Ergo. It almost always puts your to sleep and I love feeling your fast little breaths on my chest.
  • I think you might love your pacifier more than me. Seriously. You really really like to sooth yourself with it. And Lexi really likes to take it from you. If it falls out of your mouth you squirm and arch your back to try and reach it. You’ve even rolled over because you were squirming so much!
  • Around week 2 we had you start sleeping in your bedroom. We were switching between the rock and play and the crib and swaddling and not swaddling trying to figure out what worked best to have you sleep the longest. Around week 3, we started swaddling you and having you sleep in the crib every night. You were a little resistant at first, but I think it has been helping you sleep for longer stretches.
  • Around 3 weeks, you started to smile at us. Those gummy grins are far and few between, but they have made a couple of appearances.
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  • Your big sister Lexi adores you. She is constantly asking where ‘Buddy’ is and tellng us she wants to see you. She loves to give you kisses and hugs (honestly, like 10 or more a day). She also loves to put herself right in your line of sight and announce, ‘He’s wooking at you’. This is especially true during diaper changes. She literally gets right up in your face so your noses are touching. She has started to act out a little. I’m sure part of it is from her being 2 and the other part from the lack of attention she’s getting. She’ll often tell me that you aren’t hungry when your crying or that you don’t need to be burped but she needs me to color with her.
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  • I’m not sure what we’re going to call you yet. William? Will? I don’t know. For now, it is just William, but am hoping as your little personality starts to shine, we’ll have a better sense of what suits you best.

Well there you have it Mr. William. Your first month captured in way more detail than you probably ever cared to know. The most important thing we want you to know is how much your Daddy and I love you. We are so excited to watch you grow into your own little person and help teach you and guide you along in this crazy life.

Love,

Mama

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William Week 1

Dear William,

You are officially one week old! I feel like I said this in nearly every monthly post of Lexi’s, but I can hardly believe it is only one week and that it is already one week. I’m going to be completely honest, this week was really hard for me.

We came home from the hospital on Thursday afternoon, a day earlier than we needed to, but I was just ready. I was uncomfortable in the hospital bed, the food wasn’t great and just wanted to start adjusting to our new life. That first night wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t great. We started putting you in your crib and I slept in our bed, but I think the house was too cold for you as you just didn’t want to sleep alone. You did a good job sleeping in my arms, so we spent a majority of the night sleeping in the rocking chair.

Overall, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday I was just in a lot of pain, hormonal, tired and was having a hard time seeing when the pain would dissipate. Between the pain from the tare, uterine contractions, bruise on my back from the epidural fiasco, my milk coming in, EXTREME engorgement and very little control of my bladder I was just having a really hard time adjusting. I became mean, short-tempered and frustrated, and knew I was, but wasn’t able to control it.

In addition to the pain I was feeling, Lexi started to misbehave more than normal. She was deliberately disobeying us and not listening. This, with my lack of patience was not a good combination. However, by Monday, I felt like I had turned a corner and could start to see things getting better.

We visited the doctor on Monday and you weighed 8 lbs. 8 oz and were 20.5″ long and your head was 14.5″. Your weight and height are in the 75% and head is 90%. Everything else continued to look great for you. The doctor even said that since you are pretty much at your birth weight we don’t have to do the 1-month checkup for you as they really just want to make sure you’re up to your birth weight and you’re pretty much there!

It has been interesting watch Lexi adjust to you over the week. When she first met you in the hospital, she could have cared less about you and was really excited about the cool new train that you got her. Overall, she didn’t like the hospital and wanted to leave and go to Grandma’s house. When she came to visit again that evening, she was still pretty unimpressed with you but kept asking who you were. On Thursday, she definitely started to show more interest and asked what you were doing and who you were over and over. She also went with Daddy to pick out a pal for you. Her original pick was a purple bunny, but eventually settled on a Raccoon and was pretty excited to give it to you. The following days she warmed up a little bit every day. At first, Daddy would ask her to give you a kiss and she refused. She didn’t even want to be near you, and didn’t like the additional attention you received over her. By the end of the week, she would touch your head and is constantly asking where ‘brother’ is and what he is doing or why he is crying. I’ve even caught her touching your head and giving you unprompted kisses.

Other notes about your first week:

  • You really dislike diaper changes and kick a lot during them.
  • Your umbilical cord is almost ready to fall out and it really smells
  • You love to have your hands by your face, but have really long finger nails and scratch yourself so we’ve been wearing sleeping gowns with hand protectors a lot
  • You barely squeezed into a newborn outfit when you came home from the hospital. I tried a different one a couple days later and you couldn’t get into it. You’ve got some broad shoulders buddy.
  • You love to cuddle up in a ball with mom and dad and love to have warm blankets wrapped around you while you sleep.
  • Overall, you’re pretty content and just like to sleep and eat 🙂
  • The first week you met all of your grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, the Mauer’s and the Vossen’s.
  • You eat every two hours or so–mostly because I need you to, to help manage my milk. Hopefully this will start to stretch out a bit once it has maintained itself.

And that wraps up your first week buddy. We love you so much and are so excited to have you join our family.

Love,

Mama

P.S. Sorry for the lack of pictures, Lexi ‘accidentally’ played with my phone and locked me out of it, which meant all of my unsaved pictures were cleared.