Saturday, February 22, 2014

Missing Cole

I like to think I was super prepared for this transition to having two kids.  After all, we've been trying/planning/hoping for a second child since February of 2012.

But one thing I was not prepared for was how much I would miss my oldest child.

Don't get me wrong, I love Chase with all my heart, of course.  He's adorable and sweet and a wonderful little baby.  But Cole has been my little buddy for so many years, my only child, and my sole focus of attention - it has been a little hard for me to accept that I simply cannot do everything for him AND Chase that I would like to do.

I've had to surrender some parental duties to Chris - nighttime baths, most of our nighttime routine.  Lots of playtime is now spent with me nursing Chase while Chris plays with Cole.  Family dinners have turned into Chris and Cole eating while I nurse Chase or bounce him around the room.

I miss it.  I miss him.  I miss being able to give him my undivided, uninterrupted, full attention whenever he wants it.  I miss snuggles when he's the only one in my lap.  I miss being able to read a story without being interrupted by a crying baby. 

At the same time, I realize how good it is, how important a life skill Cole is learning.  That Mama has other important things to do and take care of.  That the world does not revolve around him.  And that sometimes, we have to prioritize and choose who needs us more at that minute - and most importantly, that that choice does not equate to who is loved more.

I hope every single day that Cole knows that even if I'm not the same presence in his little life that I was before Chase came along, that I still love him just as much. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

On Post-Childbirth Recovery

Honestly, I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop when it comes to my recovery from Chase's birth.  It has been unreasonably easy and comfortable.  After Cole's birth, I remember feeling like I'd been hit by a truck for a solid ten days after he was born.  I could hardly walk, peeing was complete torture, and I felt completely knackered.

Chase's birth, however, was such a different experience altogether.  Every step of the way, we were empowered to make informed decisions.  No judgment, and although Augustine would give her opinion if we asked for it, she left the choices up to us - from the big decisions all the way down to little ones.  Nothing was assumed.  No orders were given.  The feeling of mutual respect was an amazing model of care. 

Thanks to Augustine's helping me slow down my pushing when I was birthing Chase's head, I had only two small tears - not even enough for stitches, which was a HUGE factor in my quick recovery.  I have felt energized and confident from day one.

Being more prepared this time around has also been a help.  There were several factors I prepared myself for in advance.  When I remember back to those early newborn days of Cole, I remember feeling incredibly overwhelmed, emotional, and confused.  As prepared as I was for motherhood, I was just as unprepared for the emotional ups and downs (hormones), the isolation, the frustration with breastfeeding, and the overwhelming feeling of having this tiny little person who was completely dependent on me for his every need.

I truly believe our society doesn't prepare mothers enough for "fourth trimester" - post partum.  We don't have much help or support from others, unlike France, where there's a program for mamas to have weekly visits from a nurse to help with breastfeeding, cook, do laundry, or simply to talk. 

So in the interest of making that crazy transition a little easier, here are some things I did differently this go around:

  •  Chris and I had many conversations in advance planning out how to handle various tricky new baby situations - who is going to get up at night with the baby, how we were going to handle things if breastfeeding didn't work out, etc.  Being prepared in advance has been a huge help, so we don't have those emotion-charged conversations at 3am with a screaming baby.
  • I haven't been afraid to ask for help.  Not with the baby - this was something I really had a hard time with when Cole was an infant.  I didn't want anyone coming over to hold my baby, not even to take a shower or a nap.  I wanted to hold and bond and protect my baby.  Nope, I desperately needed help with housework and meals, with laundry and vacuuming.  One of my dearest friends organized a meal train for us that kept us supplied in meals for two weeks after Chase was born - it was fantastic, so sweet and helpful.
  • We limited visitors for the first few weeks after having Chase. Whenever possible after Cole was born, I requested no visitors.  I needed some time to get used to our family of three and figure things out without any unwanted advice or intervention.  I looked and felt awful and exhausted, and I was (rightly so) more concerned about getting as much sleep as possible, whenever possible, than having to entertain or be around company.
  • Freezer meals.  I'm so proud of myself for this one.  I totally took advantage of our lovely huge freezer in the garage and stocked up on a couple dozen freezer meals - some of them are crock pot meals to defrost and toss in the crock-pot, and others are easy to heat up casseroles.  Not only that, but I made sure our pantry was full of easy, healthy snacks (breastfeeding makes you ridiculously hungry), and I froze extra staples like bread and milk so I didn't have to stress about making it to the grocery store with two littles in tow.
  • Some special treats for Cole.  I wanted to be so respectful for the huge transition this was for him.  This needs to be a whole post on its own, but some gifts and one on one time with me have definitely been in order.
Looking back, I realize being prepared has made this transition so smooth and easy - but the best part has been having tons of help from our family and friends, and especially my hubby. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Chase Newborn Photos

Our beautiful little baby!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Family of Four

When Chase was one week old, we got some newborn and family photos taken. We haven't had family photos done for over two years, so I was thrilled to use my Christmas present money (Thanks Mom and Dad!!) for photography.  I can't wait to frame these and hang them up to enjoy every day!

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Chase's first bath!

He absolutely loved it... total waterbirth baby!

 And Big Bro helper Cole, who all on his own emptied the tub, put away the soap, and wrung out the washcloths after Chase's bath! Such a big boy!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Moby Lovin'

Chase adores the Moby wrap - and so do I!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Confidence in Motherhood

Undoubtedly, being a mama of two littles is MUCH more challenging than just one.  Having to prioritize, plan ahead, and sometimes (often) fail at meeting 100% of one of my child's needs seems to be par for the course so far.

But even with all the difficulties, there's one thing that I am absolutely LOVING about parenting the second time around: confidence.

I never felt as though I was lacking confidence when I first became Cole's mama.  I researched and learned everything I could and I knew what I was doing.  However, this time around, I have research, learning, AND experience on my side.  If Chase is fussy, I have a whole 'nother arsenal of tricks to try.

Not to mention, I have more confidence in myself as a person the older I get as well.  You don't like it if I breastfeed in public without a cover? Too damn bad.  That's your problem, not mine.  You don't think I should give my baby a pacifier?  Not your choice, it's mine.  You think it's strange that I like to wear my babies in a wrap or carrier?  Maybe it's hippie and weird, but I like it so I don't care. 

When my sister had her first baby and was overwhelmed and exhausted and worried about the huge responsibility she had been given, I tried to think of one simple piece of advice that might help her have confidence in her ability to be an amazing mama.  I thought back to all my parenting experiences with Cole and realized that the times that stick out in my memory as being the most disappointing in myself as a parent is when I neglected to follow my instincts and stand up for my child.  The time Cole was four weeks old and I let him cry an extra five minutes so I wouldn't nurse in Costco without a cover.  The time Cole was eight months and a friend took him from my arms without asking him if he wanted it and he cried in fright.  The time a friend's mom came up to him while he was peacefully sucking his pacifier and pulled it from his mouth saying, "Let's see how happy you are without that thing."

Every regret, every mistake was me not having the confidence to stand up for my baby, to stand up for my informed and knowlegable choices.  I know I'll make (many) more mistakes being Chase's mama too, but at least I know this time to have confidence in myself and trust my instincts.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Running Water

Gram discovered that if Chase is inconsolably crying, he will immediately cease if you hold him near running water.

We have no idea why.

Maybe it was the waterbirth ;)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Cole and Chase

Cole's first time holding Chase:

 The whole time he was saying, "HI BABY CHASE! HI! I'M YOUR BIG BROTHER COLE! HI! IT'S OK, BABY CHASE, IT'S OK!"

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Chase's First Days

Chase Asher's first days:

 Gram holding Baby Chase:
 Hi Grammy and Papa!
 The birth center hangs a flag to announce each birth :)
 Our midwife, Augustine - I love her so much:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...