Monday, September 30, 2013

The Second Time Around: Savouring the Newborn Days

Too cute for words.
Baby girl is 24 days old. I've had two children for 24 days now. I won't lie, keeping both of them fed, clean (okay, mostly clean) & safe is one of the most difficult challenges I've ever faced in my life. Add the breastfeeding craziness on top of that--breastfeed, bottle feed supplement, pump, track all of the above obsessively on my phone app, visit the doctor weekly, wash & sterilize all the gear daily--& I'm at my wits end.

But there are so many little moments of joy during each day that I try to savour. The surge I feel when I look at my wide-eyed little daughter when she's fully woken up from a nap. The annoyed, cat-like yowl she lets out after she coughs. Even her sneezes are cute. Feeling that warm beanbag weight on my chest when I hold her, curled up like a little tree frog. Stroking her forehead & looking at her soft hair.

What makes it all different on our second time around is that I really know what's to come. (In a general sense--of course she won't be exactly like her brother) Not like I knew from reading the infant development websites & books, but from experience. It's like rereading a favourite novel--no major surprises, but the anticipation is still there & I'll likely get something a bit different out of it.

I know she's going to start getting a chubby, round little face like her brother did, then probably slim out again. I can't wait to see how her hair looks when it grows in more, with what I think is a major cowlick on the front right side of her forehead. I think she's going to look a lot like me, but only time will tell. I'm looking forward to seeing what colour her eyes end up, as they shift over the next months from the dark grey-blue that they are now.

The positives are fun to look forward to, but I think the biggest difference this time around is with the negative aspects to having a newborn. Going through the challenges of no sleep & the low milk supply roller coaster was so difficult with Sprout because it felt like the worst would last forever. As an experienced mama, it's easier to deal with the bumps in the road because I know that 'this too shall pass'. I know that eventually, she'll sleep through the night when she's ready & that I'll survive the sleep deprivation somehow. I know that as hard as the breastfeeding is at the moment, it will get simpler as she grows stronger & gets better at it, meaning fewer bottles & eventually no more pumping.

For those of you with two or more children, how did you find it different with your second (& subsequent) child?

Follow Spokesmama here too:


  1. Lisa this is beautiful! Maybe I'm still hormonal from my own delivery a few months back but it almost choked me up a bit. They grow up so fast!
    Like you, I find it much easier in regards to knowing what is coming this time around. But I do majorly struggle with time management! Nearly four months in and I am still trying to work out a proper balance.

    1. Aw, thanks, Carolyn. I'm pretty hormonal too--I swear it's way worse this time around--I think I've cried in front of pretty much everyone I've come across lately. (& before you all go worrying that I'm depressed, it's often because of positive things, like L drawing a picture of his baby sister in our house)

      Hearing that you are still struggling with time management four months in worries me... I thought I'd have it all sorted out by then! ;)

  2. I only have one child so I don't know what you're feeling but I can say that this post is beautiful and makes me hope a little that one day I can experience it too.

    1. Thanks, Hillary, I really hope so too! Sending healthy vibes your way...

  3. After almost four months of being a parent of two, the one thing that stands out is the awareness of how fast each stage passes. When Tycho was an infant, it was impossible to imagine what he would be like when he was even a little older. There was always the assumption that once we mastered a routine, he would stay like that forever. Of course, he didn't stay the same for long, and we would have to deal with a whole new set of challenges.

    The reality is that these phases pass by in weeks. We've already had to pack away two sets of Kepler's baby clothes (newborn and 3-6 months), so our favourite little outfits will never be worn again. We are starting putting him in the crib now that Tycho has moved to his "big boy bed", so the bassinet will never be used again. He is trying (and failing so far) to drag himself across the for floor, but we know that soon the play mat will not be enough to entertain him. We will soon have to be more careful about what we leave around the house. The teething has started, so we know it could be four months before the teeth actually appear.

    Most of all, it is an awareness that the little boy we see today will simply not exist in a very short time. He will be suddenly replaced by a more-developed baby with different needs, and I will feel sad that yet another little phase has passed.

    In the meantime, I'll try to enjoy it as much as between the crying and the diapers and the late nights. :-)

    1. Well put, Rob. I'm trying to enjoy this little newborn now, because she's the last one I plan on having!


Thanks for commenting! (I've had to enable comment moderation on older posts to thwart spammers, so your post may not appear right away.)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...