Two weeks ago my family threesome added one more to our ranks – a baby boy. Weighing in just a few ounces shy of 10 pounds and an inch under two feet long, this little guy is surely headed for big things. As with his sister, I delivered this baby naturally, without aid of medication but with the help of my husband, doula and midwife at the hospital.
I had been very nervous about labor in the weeks leading up to the big day, both regarding the labor itself and how adding a new person would change our family dynamics and my life. Friends insisted it would be OK, but I couldn’t see it at the time. Well, the moment – the exact moment – he was born, that doubt totally vanished. It was as if he was always meant to be with us. How incredible is that? It’s really a leap of faith to have a child, in every way possible.
Friends with more than one kid also told me it would be different and in some ways easier the second time around. You were again right, comrades! In fact, last night I turned to Drew and said, “Could we have been this laid back with our daughter? Things would have been so much easier!” He said, “Nope. We needed to go through the experiences of worrying, stressing and learning with her so we could be more calm now.” True. But too bad we couldn’t have this kind of confidence and knowledge the first time around.
Here are some lessons about life with numero dos that I’ve learned in the last two weeks:
- Once again, community matters. When we had our daughter over three years ago, we had a handful of friends with children. We didn’t have much of a social network to support us. Now, moms and dads make up the majority of our social circle. Our friends have really come through. Whether it’s to borrow baby gear, bring food, host our daughter for a playdate, or just visit with me, our friends have been here for us. It’s been fun to see our friends and to have their help – to celebrate together rather than fret over learning how to be parents.
- Less is more. We thought a lot about everything we did for our daughter – where she slept, how much she slept, how loud it was in the house, whether we took her outside before six weeks. With our son, we know that these decisions are not to live and die by. The baby can sleep pretty much anywhere, should sleep when he’s tired, can handle some background noise (read: Big Sister), can be taken for a walk in the stroller sooner than later – and even covered up for a quick run to the mall (it was Aveda double points weekend!).
- I’m already tired to begin with. The threshold I’m starting at was already pretty low when it came to being rested. When you’re a new parent, you’re used to full nights of sleep. When you have a preschooler, you’re already run down, likely not getting great sleep. So breaking up that limited sleep into more fragments isn’t such a stretch. I’m doing OK running on several three-hour stints of sleep a day! (But am still looking forward to an extended stay in my bed at some point soon).