This post is about adding a new member to the family. Such a joyous, exciting but also nerve-wracking season. I will tell you how we transitioned and how we are still adjusting to a family of 4.
In my case, I was extremely surprised when I realized I was pregnant for the second time. Zoey was only 2 months old! It was only after taking a handful of tests to confirm my pregnancy that I sat down, exhaled and said: well, crap!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my daughters and cannot imagine my life without Hazel, but my ”well crap” was the initial reaction to a huge surprise, and it took a few weeks for me to understand what was happening. I allowed myself to feel everything: joy, fear, surprise, panic, love… all of it! I firmly believe that bottling up feelings can have a negative impact postpartum, so I took my pregnancy time to process all of it, and it was great!
My second pregnancy was a blessing. God knew that handling a baby was already a lot, so I am so happy to say that it was an easy pregnancy apart from my flaring sciatica (ouch!). Of course the mental and physical exhaustion were there everyday, but overall it was a smooth pregnancy, until I started feeling the following:
. Guilt – I felt so guilty thinking that I was taking Zoey’s baby time away from her. That I wasn’t allowing her to be ”the baby” for as long as she could, and that reason was enough to make me cry very often.
. Fear 1.0 – of not being capable to love another child the way I loved Zoey. The thought of adding another child made me panic and I was so afraid of not being able to open up my heart and love so intensely like I loved my first baby.
.Fear 1.2 – Being away from Zoey at the hospital.
.Fear 1.3 – “How the heck am I going to handle 2 babies at the same time?”
Then I went into labor exactly on my due date. I pushed a life out of my body. I saw her face. Right then and there, the size of my heart doubled, and it almost exploded. It was so much love overflowing that I could not do anything but cry and praise Jesus for giving me the honor of mothering another child.
I am not going to lie to you and say that all the fears disappeared that instant, but it was a heck of a good start.
The guilt lingered for a few weeks. I did not know how to divide my attention, and for some reason I thought I had to divide it 100% equally, otherwise I was neglecting one of them. A few weeks in, I understood that at that point in my life, I had to prioritize, be strong and fair, but not be so hard on myself. I was fragile. I was outnumbered. I was scared. So the way I dealt with it was like this: If both of them were crying at the same time, I analyzed it. If the newborn was crying, she probably needed something vital, food, to be cleaned, or to sleep, so I took care of her first while praying to God that Zoey would be patient until I got to her. Then I’d go to Zoey, take care of her, and while the newborn was sleeping, she had my undivided attention. I mean no cellphone in hand, no television on, just me and her. Talking. Playing. Loving on one another.
Of not being able to love? That one was easy to get rid of, right off the bat.
Of being away from Zoey at the hospital? Yes. That sucked.
Of not being able to handle 2 babies by myself? Lasted probably 2 weeks, and then we figured it out. Those 2 weeks were hard. Probably the hardest thing I have ever done. I ran around 2 babies in my living room around the clock. I heard crying, screaming and whining all day. I thought I was going to lose my mind. Diaper changes after diaper changes. Baby on breast while cooking lunch for the oldest. It was chaos.
But then it got easier. We found a routine that worked for us. We started to understand each other’s needs. We understood the new dynamic, and oh boy it all started working out!
So I want to wrap up this post by telling you this: it won’t be easy at first. Not only your body is recovering from a huge change, but your emotions are all over the place and you are afraid. You are human, and it’s ok to fear the unknown, but you can do this. Some days will be so hard that you will go into another room to cry, but some days will be so wonderful that you will cry tears of joy because your children will start interacting, they will start loving one another, and there is no other feeling that compares to that.
Always remember that the way you behave in front of your children, will make an impression on them. They will emulate everything you do starting when they are babies until they are adults. You will shape them. They will feel your emotions, and it is up to you to be the example, especially during this challenging season. Be their cornerstone.
So take a deep breath, and tell yourself that you are capable of all this, because you are! You are smart, strong, brave and able to raise incredible human beings. Enjoy every second of it. Every laugh, every silly thing they do. Gaze into their eyes and get lost in them because that is your heritage, and the work you are doing now will bless them and their generations to come.
Now go snuggle those angels, you rockstar. You just formed a family. Great job.