Second Birth: More Like Being Plowed with a Bike Instead of a Mack Truck

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It’s now been nine days since I gave birth to my second son, Liam. Although it has not been long, my experience so far has been much different than I anticipated.

For one, I was terrified how my older son would react to Liam, as explained in my last post. I feared my older son, Parker, would have major freak outs, meltdowns, and jealous tantrums, but I have lucked out so far, and Parker has been more of a helper, fetching blankets and diapers and making me more than aware when the baby cries for even two seconds. He also kisses Liam’s head and pats his back to burp him.

I feel like I lucked out, but yes, there are also moments when Parker wants me to hold him while I am nursing Liam: this, of course, is an impossible feat. Sometimes Parker also tells me to put Liam in the Rock ‘n Play so he can play with me, and he gives me the lip curl of sadness if I do not abide.

These moments do tug at my heartstrings because although Parker is adjusting much better than I could have anticipated, he is still adjusting. And even though he undoubtedly cares deeply for this new little human in the family, he also is dealing with a loss of the way life once was. So yes, I feel lucky that Parker seems to be excited about his new baby brother, but I also know that there are a lot of emotions that he probably doesn’t understand about the whole situation.

I also want to mention that Parker doesn’t quite understand that he can’t pick up the baby on his own. He needs to be constantly supervised around Liam or else he tries to feed him pizza, offer him his toy cars, or give him a pillow (I no longer turn my back for even 10 seconds). None of these behaviors are malicious, in fact, they are actually endearing, for Parker doesn’t understand that the last things Liam needs right now are a slice of pizza and a pillow. 

But overall, I am blessed and incredibly fortunate for my little family. This time around I feel more rested, less anxiety, and more of a sense of calmness than I did the first time around. I was not expecting this.

I was a train wreck after Parker was born. This was not his fault; I just had no idea what I was getting into after the birth of my first child. Everything was new, uncertain, and somewhat terrifying. I mean I used to sometimes poke the poor kid in the middle of the night just to make sure he was breathing; I do not do this with Liam. I am just more relaxed, and my demeanor is more peaceful (for now).

Don’t get me wrong, I am tired, and my first outing with a newborn and toddler in the car (outnumbering me) was a bit terrifying, but I have a tendency to always prepare myself for the worst, and so far, I am grateful that I actually do not feel like I have been hit by a Mack Truck and spewed out onto the highway. 

I just feel like I have been plowed over by a bike, and this I can deal with, but I am also well aware that variables rarely stay constant with parenting, so check-in with me again next week.

Further Suggested Reading

SECOND LABOR: Mothers Share POST-Birth Stories: Twenty-Four Mothers Write Bold, Honest Accounts About Life with a Newborn 

The Second Baby Survival Guide

Why Having Babies Close Together is not as Hard as You Think

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