Saturday, August 03, 2013
Life with a toddler and a one-month old
Oh man, where has all that time gone to? He's massively chubby and weighs a ton. Ok, not exactly a ton but he's pretty bulky!
How my life has changed since I became a Mom of two!
At this point, I'm still technically a Mom of two-under-two. Sammy turns two next month - speaking of which, I should start thinking about how I'd want to celebrate his birthday. Hmmm....
I must say that taking care of a second newborn is not as intimidating as it used to be for Sammy. I'm more chilled when Gabriel screams his lungs out and I don't get so stressed if I have no idea what he wants.
The learning curve is also not that steep anymore. Things like how often / how long to breastfeed, how to change diapers, how to burp baby, how to put baby to sleep, how to swaddle, how to interact with baby (ie. Handling a newborn course 101) are no longer new to me.
Sure I've had to refresh my skills and oh boy, the first time I had to change Gabriel's diapers, I had to think "this baby is so fragile compared to my 12-kg toddler!"
But one month down the road, my body has remembered how to care for a newborn. I have the "Hey, I know how to do this. I've done this before with Sammy and he's survived under my care, so I'm pretty sure I can do this again" mentality.
Those night wake-ups? Still very tough. But not as crazy as "Oh man, my body feels like its gonna crash and burn any second now" as it was with Sammy.
One just expects to be sleep-deprived and plain exhausted. I'm better able to function with much less sleep and still be able to tend to my toddler and household.
Now that we're facing a terrible and very long heat wave, those night-ups ain't fun cos I'm always perspiring especially when my body is producing those gallons of milk that this little human being needs.
BUT breastfeeding has been a piece of cake compared to the first time too. I had excruciating let down pain for about 6 weeks with Sammy. It was so bad that I would have to grab something and breathe through the first couple of seconds before the let down pain eased off.
And yeah, I had that every.single.time I breastfed. The good thing was that it was only that painful on one side, while the other side was pretty manageable.
With Gabriel, breastfeeding was only sore for the first week - no thanks to his very strong jaws. But after the new layer of skin formed, my boobs became very resilient to his strong latch and now I can say that I'm able to breastfeed anytime and everywhere without any pain *yay!*
The thing that is tough is the fact that there is only one of me and two of them.
Mornings and evenings are tough. Mornings mainly because I'm dead tired (depending on what time Sammy chooses to wake up - which can be as early as 6.30am) and cos both babies need to be changed and fed at the same time.
I'm usually kept on my toes from the time I wake up to the time till we finally have breakfast, which can last for an hour or longer. By that time, I would usually have changed diapers at least twice if not 3 or 4 times due to Murphy's law of baby doing #2 when he has been freshly-changed.
Evenings are also a challenge because everybody's tired and baby's cranky. Hubby mentioned that he can't remember what it's like to have dinner in peace anymore. We're still trying to figure out a routine that would fit everybody.
Right now, Gabriel officially sleeps around 8pm, while we usually eat about 7+. The overlap from 7 to 8 can be pretty chaotic. I usually gulp down my dinner while breastfeeding Gabriel / holding Gabriel with one arm / allowing him to chill on baby bouncer if he's willing.
Once baby sleeps, the craziness goes down a few notches and we just have to bathe Sammy and put him to bed before our day draws to a close.
As much as I look forward to the time when Gabriel doesn't have to feed every 2-3 hours and when we have a bit more sanity in our lives, I know that babies and toddlers grow up wayy too fast.
Hence, I still want to learn to cherish these moments while we're going through them. You know what they say, "It's the journey that counts, not the destination" - Der Weg ist das Ziel (in German).
I find myself uttering short prayers throughout the day because I'm so dependant on God - for His strength, patience and grace. I know that I can't do this whole thing called "parenthood" on my own. I do try to read snippets of my Bible when I'm breastfeeding and hubby and I are trying to cultivate a habit of praying for our family at the end of each day.
That's why I'm writing this down. As a visual aid for me to remember this stage of my life as it is now, for I know that it will never come back again.
And at the end of the day, I still consider myself very fortunate and blessed to be the Mom of two healthy and beautiful boys. I wouldn't exchange them for anything in the world.
"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them." Psalm 127:3-5a