I started writing this post in September when I was nine days postpartum with my second child. I still couldn’t believe how lucky we were to be blessed with the calmest, happiest, baby girl. Other parts of the picture were not so pretty. I hadn’t slept for more than two hours in a row in exactly nine days (more if you count pregnancy insomnia).
My body was sore and recovering from childbirth. My house was a complete disaster zone (still is). My 2-year old – who has had croup four times in the last 4 months – was enamored by his little sister but still mad at me for bringing her home. My maternity clothes were too big. My regular clothes too small. Whatever I could wear ended up milk-drenched and covered in spit-up. For a time, that was my new normal, and I guess because I’d been through some of this before, I didn’t seem to mind.
This time around, I’ve been able to see the beauty in the chaos. I’m accepting the fact that things are going to be messy for a while and that’s going to have to be OK.
I hate to even say this out loud but with my first child, my now 2-year old son, I almost wished the newborn phase away. It was all so nerve-wracking and new. This tiny, noisy, sleepless little creature who needed me for everything. I felt so unprepared and unequipped. I hated not knowing what to expect, what was coming, and what should or should not be happening. What was that – a sniffle? Is this color poop okay? Why is/isn’t he eating? Why is he making that noise? I was a ball of nervous energy and it took a while for me to feel comfortable and trust my gut.
I have the confidence that only a second time mom can have and I’ve been able to just enjoy so much more this time.
I will breathe in that baby smell, knowing it will fade soon. Stare into those bright blue eyes that stay fixed on mine, before they start darting in other directions. Feel secure in knowing that no matter why she’s crying, holding her close to me will calm her. Close my eyes and feel how light she is in my arms, knowing as the days and months go by, holding her will feel different. There’s peace and perspective that are often hard to find when you’re in the thick of it. This, to me, is the beauty of motherhood the second time around.