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Motherhood second time around
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Posted 09 February 2009 - 12:29 PM
I am thrilled to be able to share our second baby’s birth with our blog readers. Ethan was born last Tuesday (February 3) at 12.27pm, weighing 3.73kg (8lb, 5oz) and measuring 52cm.
We were lucky to have a fantastic team of a student and mentor midwife who were extremely supportive and made our quick two-and-a-half-hour labour as easy as labour can be. After a series of births where there had been a lot of medical intervention, the midwife told me it was nice to be able to see one go to plan, even if it happened too quickly for her to get the paperwork done before Ethan arrived!
We came home on Thursday after two nights in hospital and settled into our new family-of-four situation with relative ease. That said though, there are things I’d either forgotten about from being a first-time-mum, or unexpected new events. Ethan is much more placid than my older son, Noah, was as a newborn. But I am also a more relaxed mother because I know what I’m in for this time. I feel more confident because I know I’ve already succeeded once in bringing up a tiny baby into a confident toddler, but I also have a very supportive partner who has taken three weeks off to get used to our new situation (last time he was only allowed three days and we both struggled with that).
I’ve again had trouble breastfeeding (see my previous post) and on Friday night I made the mistake of eating garlic prawns (something I’d been missing for nine months) and paid the price with a very unsettled baby between 12am and 5am on Saturday morning. The heat has also taken its toll, with Ethan feeding more than I expected, but he sucks much better than his brother did so I don’t feel like I am spending all my time feeding and settling. I have had time to talk to friends and family, do more washing than I’ve done for a few years, watch television and enjoy time with both my sons and husband. Noah was lactose intolerant, slept badly and had reflux so I was preparing for something similar this time.
There are lots of other things I’d forgotten, or have been learning, too like:
• How you CAN manage to get through the day on two hours sleep
• How emotional giving birth can be, for all involved
• How beautiful a peacefully sleeping baby is
• How scary a peacefully sleeping baby who makes no noise is
• How much I love watching the tiny stretches and facial expressions, along with the baby sighs and contented burbles
• How small and fragile newborns are.
But the biggest surprise for me has been how our little family has coped with such a momentous change. My 33-month-old son Noah, who is a clingy mummy’s boy, likes to check on his brother as he sleeps and gently pats his head. He tells Ethan, “it’s OK baby” when he cries and hasn’t reacted badly to the change in his household at all. I know it’s early days and things are bound to change, but I am so proud of how my little man is coping with being one of two now. My husband has been a great physical and emotional support and I am far calmer than I expected I would be. Overall we’re all pretty content.
I’d love to hear about your birth experiences, how you coped with a newborn and how it affected your family.
Posted 13 February 2009 - 12:51 PM
Congratulations on the birth of little Ethan Joh!
I'm glad to hear it all went well.
Posted 13 February 2009 - 08:55 PM
Just wanted to say congratulations and good to hear everything is going so well with your new baby.
I loved reading your post - it made me feel all about having another one.
Posted 14 February 2009 - 08:41 AM
So glad you liked the post melajoe. After a trying first six weeks with my first son I think I deserve a baby that makes me enjoy the first (trying) weeks of motherhood.
Posted 14 February 2009 - 12:25 PM
Congratulations! I'm in exactly the same boat. I have a 4 year old and a six week old new baby. Like you, I am feeling more confident. But I had forgotten all the things we did the first time around. I'm still concerned about sleeping and settling issues (right now, our daughter will only settle to sleep and stay asleep in our arms), but not nearly as hysterical as the first time around when my world seemed to have tilted on it's side. As you say, it's also amazing how you get used to the sleep deprivation (although after 6 weeks of little, broken sleep, I hit a wall yesterday). And our 4 year old is doing pretty well with the change also, although I feel guilty about not having enough time for him. But things will only get easier. Good luck.
Posted 14 February 2009 - 06:33 PM
its amazing how quickly you forget what life is like with a newborn. thanks for the reminder. all the best for the next few months. take it easy.
Posted 15 February 2009 - 04:54 PM
Thanks for your thoughts Amanda. It's great to compare notes with parents in the same boat. We have actually just returned from taking our toddler to Westfield so he could run around on the indoor play gym. The wet weather we've had for the past few days was sending him (and us trying to amuse him indoors) nuts.
I think Ethan has picked up on my more relaxed state this time because he's not nearly as unsettled as his brother was almost three years ago. Hysterical is such a good word for how I felt too. After months of seeing my Mother's Group every week one of them told me I looked like a "rabbit in headlights" when we first met when Noah was five weeks old. They all agreed! Hopefully I look better now.
Good luck to you too.
Glad you enjoyed the reminder onecuteboy and thanks for the kind thoughts.
Posted 16 February 2009 - 08:56 PM
]Hi Joh. Last time I spoke/emailed you, you were pregnant with your first and convinced he would be your only! Imagine my surprise to stubble on your blog and learn you are up to number two. We worked together as cadets and did shorthand together. I now have three (j-girl, aged 3.5, m-boy 2 and i-girl 6 months). Totally agree with what you are going through second time around. Crazy thing is, the same thing happens third time around. cat
Posted 16 February 2009 - 11:43 PM
Congratulations on your new bubba.
I found motherhood the 2nd time around was in some ways a lot easier and in other ways a lot harder. We are a lot more relaxed this time and don't have the 'stunned mullet' looks when the baby is crying and you just have no clue!
My first born Charlotte slept 12 hours at night from 8 weeks old and was a fairly easy baby. Screamed when she was hungry and took to solids easily.
Our second born Xavier was completely different, he is 10.5 months old and has only just started sleeping through the night in the last month. I found the sleep deprivation absolutely horrible with a toddler who hasn't had a daytime sleep for nearly 2 years. Xavier was a fairly ordinary feeder from day dot, was an all day grazer and took a few months to warm into eating solids.
Charlotte accepted Xavier really well too, at least until he no longer became just a blob on the floor and could move around and get into her things. Now all day I hear her saying 'Xaaaaviiiieer you can't play with that!'.
I'm just constantly amazed at how fast they grow and change in the first 12 months
Posted 17 February 2009 - 01:24 PM
Great to hear from you. Are you still in Scotland or back in Oz? Yes Noah was going to be our only one but Harvey changed his mind and we could see Noah wasn't cut out to be an only child so now I'm mum to two boys. Definitely only two though - we're lucky to have even made it this far.
Insomniac it sounds like you and I have similar experiences, just the other way around. Our first was difficult and Ethan is so far proving to be much easier.
I wondered what would happen once Ethan became mobile and started getting into Noah's things. At the moment Noah is satisfied that Ethan and he have different belongings, but I'm sure things will change when Ethan starts exploring.
Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.
Posted 17 February 2009 - 07:15 PM
Congratulations!! Your story is so similar to mine. I had a fuss free 3hr birth with my second (now 10 weeks).
My midwife also had no time to do the paper work. I felt really good, and baby healthy so we went home 4hrs later, where we were greeted by my other daughter Savanah (2yrs 7mths).
She has adapted really well, she too says "its ok baby". Very cute. All the midwives commented how nice it was for such an easy and intervention free birth.
I too am feeling much more confidant. My first had sleeping issues from the very beginning and still wakes up most nights. So I had prepared myself for the worst...Only to be pleasantly surprised by my relaxed sleep loving gorgeous baby. I am thoroughly enjoying every minute.
Posted 18 February 2009 - 10:27 AM
You and I had very similar experiences with our children and Savanah sounds like she is reacting very similarly to Noah. It's nice to enjoy being a mum so early on, instead of having our fears of the first all over again come true.
Posted 25 February 2009 - 08:40 AM
Congratulations Joh on your new little boy!
We welcomed our second child nearly 11 weeks ago, and I am finding motherhood the second time around to be very special. I am finding there is quite alot less anxiety and having more confidence in your own abilities allows you to appreciate their babyhood. Our new one is a very chilled out easygoing baby, which makes it all much easier, I often wonder if this is just his personality or a reflection of me being quite relaxed this time.
Your birth experience sounds wonderful. Unfortunately I can't say the same for my second birth, again it was a traumatic experience like the first. I think though, unlike the first which I dwelled on for a year, that it is going to be easier to put behind me the second time. I have 2 healthy children which is all that should matter!
My only complaint re motherhood take two is it goes way too fast with a toddler and baby. This will be my last, and I get emotional every time he grows out of one of his outfits, baby-gro's or even a singlet
Our older child, who was 18months when he was born, also adapted well, overall. The first few weeks were challenging as all the changes took their toll on her. She was crying alot and wouldn't let anyone cuddle or reassure her. No matter how miserable she was, though, she never took it out on him. She continued to cuddle, kiss and 'gentle pat' her little brother. It didn't last long and now her little brother is an accepted part of her day and life.
It is so wonderful to see now her delight as he starts to smile and giggle at her. Seeing your children interact together is one of the most heartwarming aspects of number 2. Mind you, I don't know if that'll be the case when he starts getting into her toys, as you and one of the PP's mentioned!
Congratulations again and enjoy this special time.
Posted 25 February 2009 - 12:00 PM
I am looking forward to our boys interacting and it will be like your experience. Just this morning my toddler was telling my newborn about Bob the Builder!
Posted 25 February 2009 - 01:24 PM
CONGRATS on the new addition!
Just this morning my toddler was telling my newborn about Bob the Builder!
this will be my little boy in a couple months with his little sister- he is obsessed wth bob!
i'm glad i read this thread- i'm 33 weeks pregnant with our second and really nervous. our first was early and fast, and had sleeping issues for a long time...it took me ages to enjoy being a mother.
i'm TRYING to be more relaxed about it all- then maybe the new bub will pick up on this and be easier as well??
we shall see...
Posted 26 February 2009 - 07:39 AM
I was really nervous too about whether I would cope with two, how my toddler would cope being one of two now etc etc but it is all working out so far. I too took a while to enjoy being a mum the first time, but have relaxed straight into it this time.
Good luck in the the next two months.
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