A few weeks ago I was in downright denial that I would be bringing another human being into this world. Perhaps because he delayed his arrival for so long that I didn’t feel it was ever going to happen. Or maybe because my pregnancy was so easy I often forgot I was, even at 30+ weeks.
I couldn’t deny labor when it started with a bang, and on October 20, 2010 I gave birth at home to my second son, Everett. It was amazing!
I have had over 6 weeks to get used to life with two children. And my son has also had time to adjust to being a big brother. I think some kids were born to be siblings and Fletcher is one. He is the most caring, loving, attentive big brother. When he hears Everett cry he says “baby” and wants to run over to help. His helping consists of patting, rubbing, kissing, or saying “awww.” It makes my heart melt every time.
Somehow, having a brother has also made my toddler a better behaved boy. He naps easier and for longer stretches. He sleeps all night again (mostly). He plays alone more often. Of course, he gets into trouble, but this is to be expected of a 2 year old!
There was a part of me that was terrified of having another baby. In the planning stages it seemed like a wonderful idea and I could think of nothing more than getting pregnant, having that growing baby inside me, and giving birth, then breastfeeding another little human. But the closer I got to delivery, the more hesitations arose. I still felt like my toddler needed me so much. He nursed until I was 20 weeks pregnant and weaned at around 18 months. He took it very well which made me sad. Still, he was my little baby. I soaked up the final weeks with him and cuddled him every chance I got.
I also had a weird fear that I wouldn’t want to nurse this baby. This baby was foreign to me. I loved my nursing time with Fletcher. I especially loved co-sleeping with him. With the new baby coming we had to get him in his own bed. It was a struggle for us both. I still want to have him sleep with us. If I had a king size bed I would.
The new baby was changing the dynamics of our entire family in ways I didn’t anticipate so early on. It is hard to imagine when your baby is still so young when you become pregnant again what they will be doing in 9 months. Will they be eating independently with utensils? Will they walk alongside you? Will they sleep all night by then? Will they still be nursing?
As far as the new baby, Everett, he has shown me many things. First of all, he has proved to me that no two babies are the same, even if they do look a LOT alike.
Fletcher had a terrible latch and had to be taught to nurse. He was 3 months old when I decided we had things down pat. Everett was tongue tied but as soon as his tongue was clipped he was a pro. We had it down pat at 1.5 weeks, and only due to the clipping. Had he not been tongue tied I think we would have had it on day 1.
But even though he is a great latcher, he only nurses for food. He does not nurse to sleep very often at all. Fletcher HAD to be nursed to sleep 90% of the time and was still getting nursed to sleep until the day he weaned. Suddenly he decided rocking was enough, and that was that. Everett will fall asleep in my arms, but also after being laid down under the right conditions.
Everett will take a bottle of expressed breast milk! This is a joyous discovery. Fletcher never took one and I never left his side for over a year. I only felt comfortable leaving him for 1, maybe 2 hours, if I did leave. We have a babysitter come for 4 hours every Friday to let me run errands and now I know I can leave Everett with her when I need to and when I feel comfortable.
Also, Everett began smiling very early, at 3 weeks and 2 days, and now smiles a lot! Fletcher didn’t start until he was almost 3 months. Fletcher is still a serious child, maybe Everett will be a little more fun loving?
As for life with two, I think I have adjusted very well. I assumed I would be stressed and super busy all the time, which is kinda of true, but not in a “I can’t handle this” sort of way. There are days when Everett is screaming and Fletcher is whining and I want to crawl in a hole and disappear. But, most days, I enjoy having both very much and think it is better than just one. I change a lot more diapers and clean a lot more puke, wash a lot more clothes, and have way less time for myself than before. My house is also never as clean as I want it to be and it drives me nuts.
So yeah, I have created two little humans. Crazy!