Monday, June 21, 2010

List Shmist

It's my Type A personality showing through, but the more emotionally uncertain I am about something, the more I turn to lists for security. It's as if by listing everything, I can stave off the uncontrollable. You'd think after having so many miscarriages and parenting a toddler, I would have learned the lesson by now: we control precious little. I guess I just like the illusions!

I want to say here and now that I am so grateful for this baby girl. Last week, when that OB couldn't find the heartbeat for just those couple of minutes, I realized just how much I have already connected with her. I love this little sweetheart more than words could ever express. She is such a miracle to me and I can't wait to meet her and fall in love with her even more.

But I am scared. Scared out of my freaking mind.

The newborn days with Will weren't just hard, they were debilitating. I really do believe that I had some significant post-partum depression/anxiety going on, but that just makes it more likely to happen again this time. And "all" that I had to handle last time was one newborn. Now, I am going to have an extremely active toddler (nothing special there, they all extremely active) to manage as well. I am not a freakin' octopus, I only have two arms, and they are usually pretty full these days already. Where will Emma fit? When Will says, "Up, pwease, Mama" I don't want to deny him, but he's going to have to learn that there will be times that I am unavailable to him.

The days aren't my only fears. What about the nights? What if they are both up at the same time? How do I "rock rock" Will and nurse Emma at the same time? And if M has to get up to help me, then how does he manage not to collapse from the exhaustion and then lose his job? LOL! See what I mean about my emotions lately?

I know there are millions of moms doing it every single day. I know we'll find our way as a family of four. I just don't know how to get from here to there. . . and I don't think my lists are going to help me.


sophie said...

You will do it, and it will be hard at times and wonderful at times, just like every other moment of motherhood! With #2, I think you'll really appreciate the very early newborn days- they really don't do/need all that much! we think they do as first time moms, but the second go round you'll be way more relaxed and amazed at how much she'll sleep. 6-7 weeks, it got tougher for me, but really- you'll be fine, it will be wonderful (sometimes), and when it's not you'll know how to ask/shout for help.

Jen said...

If it makes you feel any better in the 8 weeks since Hayden has been born, both kids have not been up in the middle of the night at the same time (Jillian sleeps all night without waking and needing an intervention about 90% of the time).

heather said...

I'm having those very issues right now. Our 3rd is 10 weeks and our 18month old is teething again right now, so they're up about the same time every night. Our 3 yr old sleeps pretty well 95% of the time. Seems the 18 mo old has esp and knows when I'm feeding baby sister. Now, 18mo old normally just needs a pat on the back and help find her pacifier, but my husband works 3rd shift and is only home 2 nights a week. It's been interesting to say the least! I'm not b/f, so it's a bit easier for me, but I normally put baby down and tend to 18mo old first. Someone once told me the baby won't remember you laying her down/not getting to her needs immediately, but the older child will. Good luck, you'll find the right balance quickly!

HereWeGoAJen said...

You can do it, Katie. It will take some adjustment, but it will fall into place.

Allison said...

you will do this! It is amazing how it just happens. I agree in that it is also amazing how little the newborn will actually need in the first few seemed like #1 needed so much.

My midwife told me that #2 just knows their place and they usually serve that role well. I think it was so true in our little family.

lastly, although tired in a different way after pregnancy you will have more ability to move again instead of the late pregnancy will be renewing.

oh and also a sling...would not have survived without my sling. I got so much done carrying #2 and tending to house or #1. one day I even mowed the lawn with both of them...gooooo moms!

It is what it is said...

In addition to the herculean effort it would take for us to have a sibling for our son, I worry, too, about how we'd do it, especially since we're not only raising a strong willed child but we're also in our 40's. So great is my fear that it has put the brakes on any effort to bring a sibling to bear.

You, my friend, do NOT have that luxury as your beautiful baby girl's arrival upcoming. The best advice I can offer is to take things one day at a time and cut yourself a lot of slack. Yes, it will be hard in the beginning but do not defeat yourself before you've even started.

And, do this and enjoy this for those of us who haven't been able to. You CAN DO IT!

Debby said...

i second absolutely everything you just said! But I know we CAN do this.

Anonymous said...

My first is just under 2 and I'm only just now thinking I *may* be able to have a sibling for him "one day." He was and continues to be the most rewarding and challenging part of our lives.

You know, I think that if you have a very tough kid first, you might have an easy one second. That's what I'm hoping for you!

Check out this great discussion at Ask Moxie about having two:

Rebecca said...

As a mother of twins (ugh...newborn stage was not my friend), I can tell you that lists will not help, but thinking about how you would react to different scenarios will help. That much is will screw up sometimes. You will question a lot of decisions, but you will make it to the other side.

I have no idea how people do it with one older and one younger...then again, people have no idea how I do it with twins. Hang in there!!!

Anonymous said...

I had two very close in age (less than a year and a half) apart and it will not always be easy but it will always work somehow! If you're holding the baby and Will wants up, too - go sit down with the two of them. Whatever you were doing before can usually wait and you'll get so much more out of cuddling with your little ones than you would have making that list :) As for night time, Will's a big boy - he can handle night now unless he's sick or something. Everything you're saying is how I felt at this stage, too, or things I struggled with at some point but I promise it'll happen and it'll be great! You'll be exhausted sometimes, you'll do it "wrong" sometimes, but your kids will love you and you them ALL the time!

PS I second what others said above about how much easier newborns seem with subsequent children! AND how much faster your body bounces back!

Tracy said...

Girl, you'll do it. People always tell me, "I don't know how you do it." You just do. What has gotten me through the tough times is knowing that many, many, many, countless moms have done it before me.

If you suffer with PPD, GET HELP. Take drugs. I did, and it made a world of difference.

And as far as help from your hubby? Scott operated under extreme sleep deprivation for six months or so, and he managed. Lots of people cut him slack, and just like me, he did what he had to do.

Active toddler? That's not an oxymoron, girlfriend. That's redundant. An example of an oxymoron is "pretty ugly." Two words with opposite meanings. Sorry, lit major here.

Mel said...

As with any other challenge in your life, I imagine you will rise to the challenge so beautifully. I think to some degree, the first newborn you ever have SEEMS so much harder than it probably really was... you know? Just because it is so new and every single thing is foreign. I remember thinking when she cried in public it had to be the absolute loudest thing in the world and it stressed me out SO MUCH and now? When I hear a newborn baby cry? It makes me get warm, sweet fuzzies... and then my loud toddler throws HER loud yell and I realize how many things in life are simply relative to your position. You'll do GREAT. And that little girl will own your heart! (what's left of it anyways! wink!)

Anonymous said...

It will work out! You can do it!! Look at how far Will has come, and how amazing he is. It will be worth it!

(Im staring at myself while saying this too!!)

Anonymous said...

Having also had a demanding first child I understand your worry when it comes to #2. My best piece of advice is to throw all of your expectations out (good and bad) and just go with whatever comes your way.

There will be times when both are demanding your attention. There will be things you'll miss out on with Will. There will be change. But the good is so beyond any of the bad or difficult.

Because you will have days where you can do it all and make everyone happy (including yourself) and it's those days that will get you through the rough spots.

You can do this. I know, because if I can do it dammit so can you. :) ((many hugs)) my friend.

Joy@WhenDoesDaddyComeHome said...

Kids adjust amazingly well. My oldest was the most clingy child and I feared for her reaction to a new baby. She did AMAZING. She accepted her baby sister, she didn't fight for my attention (I made sure to take care of her needs before I sat down to feed baby, for instance). In fact she liked to sit down and feed her own baby right next to me.

My kids never cease to amaze me. I try to not underestimate them because they are just so resilient and can adjust very easily to some changes.

If Will is told what to expect (even if he doesn't always understand what you are saying) then I think he'll do fine. Big Brother books help him to understand what is about to happen!