1. Sleep – the baby’s and mine.
I wasn’t blogging when Addie was an infant, so there are no desperate posts I can link to to prove it, but Adeline was a terrible sleeper. From the very beginning. Literally, the beginning. You know how the first day or so the baby is supposed to just sleep all the time, nature’s way of letting the mother rest from labor and delivery? Yeah, Addie never did that. Within hours of birth she was crying – no, screaming – if she was anywhere but in my arms. So we slept together. Which would have been fine if that was all it took. But within a few weeks it got even worse: during the day and in the middle of the night, she would cry for HOURS at a time and nothing could soothe her. Not breastfeeding, not changing her diaper, not walking around singing and rocking. Until we discovered the exercise ball. The only thing that worked was to sit on that damn ball for hours and bounce her up and down. And even when we did get her to sleep on her own, it didn’t get much better. For months and months she would wake up every 45 minutes ALL NIGHT LONG. I didn’t get into REM sleep for months. I was seriously a zombie. I don’t know if I can do it again.
We did so much work to get Adeline to sleep well, and now it’s nearly perfect. She sleeps through the night unless something is wrong, usually eleven sometimes twelve hours. I can put her to bed, spend a few hours writing or reading or watching tv, and still know that I’ll get a good amount of sleep. And now that’s all about to end.
I’m telling myself that the chances of having another colicky baby are slim. I’m telling myself that everyone says second babies are just calmer and easier. I’m telling myself that even if it is bad, it won’t be such a shock to my system because I’ve been there before. I’m telling myself that I’ll know I made it through once before and I know it ends. I’m telling myself it will be okay. But honestly, I’m terrified.
2. Sleep – Adeline’s
Even if the baby is easier than Adeline was, the baby will still wake up crying in the middle of the night. Will it wake Addie up? And if so, what will I do? How the hell do you deal with a screaming baby who needs to be breastfed and a crying toddler who just wants her mama?
Not to mention, what the hell do you do at bedtime and naptime? How do you put two kids to sleep at the same time? I realize people do this all the time so I’m sure I’ll figure it out. But I don’t like the unknown. I want to understand NOW. Before the baby comes.
3. Adeline’s reaction
Adeline is a mama’s girl. It’s pretty severe. She loves her daddy, but she still prefers to spend all her time with me. She likes me to hold her all the time. She wants me to carry her whenever we walk somewhere. She likes me to sit and play with her.
I’m a little concerned how she’s going to respond to the baby. Or more particularly, how she’s going to rsepond to me spending most of my time with the baby. If we’re walking into the grocery store from the car, I’ll be carrying the baby – I won’t be able to carry her. If the baby needs to breastfeed, I’ll have to sit and do it, I won’t be able to play with Adeline. (Or maybe I can do both?) The point is, I just don’t know how I’m going to do it all and I don’t know how she’s going to respond when I can’t.
Travel with one kid is enough of a hassle. A pain in the ass, really. All that extra stuff to pack. Dealing with her antics in the airport. Buying her another seat and trying desperately to entertain her during the flight. Figuring out sleeping arrangements in the hotel. Rearranging plans around nap times. Ugh.
I can only imagine what it will be like with two. I love travel and I’ve missed the freedom of traveling the way I used to. That freedom is nowhere near returning. And that sucks.
5. No bodily autonomy
There was a period of several months with Adeline where I was in physical contact with her for at LEAST 20 hours a day. We slept together. She napped in my arms. We spent hours breastfeeding. And don’t forget the hours bouncing on that f*cking exercise ball.
I loved cuddling with her, but I also like my personal space. I’m a little terrified of going through that phase again: where the only “alone” time I have is the three minutes I spend in the shower, singing and talking the whole time so the baby knows I’m still there. I know it lasts such a short time. I know I’ll miss those newborn moments when they’re gone. But I’m still terrified.
This doesn’t even get into all the sibling rivalry, need for a mini-van, two college fund issues. Right now I can’t see past having a toddler and a newborn at the same time.
So parents of two, I could use a little reassurance. Either specific advice in response to any of my fears. Or just general “It will be ok” type advice. Bring it on!