Maybe Matilda: 2 Months with the New Baby

Thursday, December 19, 2013

2 Months with the New Baby

(Before I jump in, I’m sharing one of my favorite cookie recipes over at Sugar Tart Crafts today as part of her Sugar Rush 2013 series . . . tons of delicious Christmas treat ideas that you’ll drool over. You will not be disappointed, except perhaps by the holiday weight gain it will inevitably cause. That might be disappointing.)

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We’ve had almost 2 months now with baby Darcy, and I figured you are all probably spending a good portion of your free time wondering how things are going over here, and I don’t want to ruin your Christmas by keeping you in constant suspense, so here we go. (Kidding. I just mentioned her birth and then almost nothing about her/us for weeks, so maybe an update is in order.)

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I was super nervous about her arrival for, oh, about a billion of the typical reasons that one would worry about when having a new baby, but the majority of my pre-baby stress was spent in worrying she’d be another Forrest. It would really be hard for me to overstate how awful our newborn experience was with Forrest. He was wildly colicky—sometimes people tell me their baby is colicky, and they’ll describe it as an inconsolable period of time for a few hours each evening, and I’ll express sympathy but in my head I’m laughing manically and then breaking down into sobs and thinking how nice that would have been, just a few terrible hours each day. Forrest honestly cried for probably 15+ hours out of every 24. I know that must sound like I’m exaggerating, but seriously, he never ever everevereveretc. stopped screaming. It was horrible. And while I probably should have been just grateful for a healthy baby (despite all that crying, he was, in fact, quite healthy, as the pediatrician repeatedly told me when I brought Forrest to his office about 85 times during his first few months because surely no healthy baby would have any reason to cry that much), it was really a pretty horrible time for everyone. I mean, you spend 9 months dreaming about your sweet little angel and then this very cute but very miserable screaming hellion arrives and it was awfully hard to just be excited about a new baby when everything was so new and scary and damn difficult to cope with. The colic started improving at about 10 weeks, and by about 4 months or so he was such a happy and sweet and wonderful little guy, but those first months were something I never want to have to go through again. So to summarize my overly long, very whiny tale of baby woes, much nerves + many worries about Darcy being the sort of newborn that Forrest was and having to go through that experience again.

But I’m so glad to say that Darcy is the polar opposite of baby Forrest. All of the cute, none of the demonic possession. Overall, she really is a pretty content little thing and doesn’t get too worked up very often. She loves being held and will sometimes get ticked if left alone for too long, and heaven knows she will NOT put up with waiting for any reason when she is hungry, but otherwise she is generally happy with life. She has the most beautiful, bright eyes, hilariously skinny chicken legs, and a seriously impressive mullet, and she’s starting to give us absolutely heart-melting smiles and coos. She is a lovely little peanut.

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My recovery from labor/delivery was also way easier than I remembered it being with Forrest (probably because my labor/delivery overall was way easier than it was with Forrest). I didn’t feel nearly as physically wiped out for those first few weeks as I was the first time around, and the residual pain and soreness cleared up relatively quickly this time, too. It seems to me like a rather cruel fact of nature that after doing the most physically difficult thing it is probably possible for anyone to do (growing and then pushing an entire human being out of yourself), you are immediately tossed into a newborn sleep pattern so you can’t even recover normally, but I’m not sure who to take that complaint up with, so just know that I am displeased with the divine planning on that one. Very displeased indeed.

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At 8 weeks, her nighttime sleeping is . . . fair? I guess? After Forrest and his not-ever-sleeping-no-matter-what-none-at-all-I-could-continue-but-I’ll-stop sleep habits (non-sleep habits, I should call them), anything seems pretty good by comparison. Darcy seems to be getting more consistent with her nighttime sleep, and generally sleeps about 4ish hours straight, then wakes up every 2-3 hours for the rest of the night. I’m not sure  what’s typical (if anything is) for this age, but I guess this seems okay to me for now. I’m really, really looking forward to her sleeping more, but I don’t feel like I’m going to die most of the time, so that’s a plus. She also nurses quite well, which is a treat (you never saw this coming, I bet: Forrest was awful at nursing. Are you sensing a pattern here? Everything that could have been intensely difficult [barring serious illness/disability/etc.] with Forrest, was.).

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Forrest has done surprisingly well during this transition. I figured he would probably be okay with the baby herself, but would struggle with the attention she got, and he’s done pretty well in both regards. After pretty much ignoring her for the first 2 or 3 weeks, he decided he likes this little intruder and is really quite sweet with her. He asks to hold her every once in a while, and he loves talking to her, especially when she’s crying (“Shhh, baby Daw-see! Iss okay! Evewything gonna be all wight!”). He definitely gives me more attitude than he did before she arrived, and is more defiant/argumentative than he used to be, but I’m not sure if that’s just a byproduct of him getting older and wanting to be more independent, or a backlash from not getting all the attention he’s used to getting. Probably both. He also seems a little more obnoxious than he used to be, but I’m not sure if that’s really him or just that I’m not getting enough sleep to be as patient as I should be. Probably both again. But overall, he’s doing really well and I’m proud of how he’s handling this big change. It sure makes things easier for me to not have to stress about him having negative feelings toward his sister.

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As for me, I’m doing pretty okay, too. Physically, I feel all right—just tired. The hardest things to handle so far have been a) adjusting to less sleep, and b) losing all personal time. That’s one thing I remember being shocked at after Forrest was born, just the sheer amount of time newborns take up and how little time you get to spend doing what you’d like to do on your own. Especially since Forrest is a very independent kid and plays awesomely on his own, I really got used to having time for me to spend how I liked—crocheting, reading, baking, shop orders, trips out, the works. It’s been a little rough for me to not have much (/any) time for those things anymore. Even when Darcy is napping in her crib, I either don’t have the energy to do the things I’d like to do, or I want to spend some time with Forrest so he doesn’t feel too left out, and I definitely miss just having the time and energy and freedom to do my own thing. I know that will change as she gets older and sleeps better at night so I won’t be as run down, but it’s a little frustrating to get to the end of the day and feel like I haven’t actually done anything all day. I also seem to be on something of a 7-day sanity cycle. I feel pretty good, mentally and emotionally, for roughly a week at a time, followed by a day or 2 of feeling exhausted and depressed and anxious and overwhelmed. And then I’m back to normal again for another couple days. (Don’t worry, I’ve talked about this with my doctor and he and I both are not very concerned right now about postpartum depression [at this point, anyway], especially since these days always seems to follow a night of particularly bad sleep and pass so quickly. But I’ve got everyone on alert to keep their eye out in case I do end up showing some more consistent signs of PPD and need to get help. This was an issue after Forrest was born, too, surprise surprise. That poor kid is going to be subjected to so many horror stories about himself as he grows up.)

So that’s life in our house lately. Mostly good. We really love these 2 sweet kids, and are so grateful to have them in our family. Definitely looking forward to things normalizing a bit more and settling into a more predictable schedule, but all things considered, we’re doing well. I suppose I should write updates like this more often so they aren’t novellas by the time I’ve covered everything. I wonder if anyone has made it this far. If you’re still here, leave your favorite color in the comments . . . I kinda want to see if anyone survives a mega-post like this.

39 comments :

  1. blue! I clicked "visit website" from Feedly just so I could comment and reassure you that I read the whole post. :) I love hearing about other people's families and kid-struggles. My second was born on 9/16, so I'm in the same boat you are! SO TIRED. I'm just impressed you've managed to keep blogging through this pregnancy and especially after Darcy arrived! I gave up blogging early in the first trimester because I was exhausted. Now I just read other people's blogs during naptime.

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  2. green! and i love hearing the update. even though i don't know you... (: glad things are going well for you and your cute little family!

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  3. Blue! I have a 5 week old so I love hearing your update :) Darcy is a cutie!

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  4. I survived, and I just wanted to say that I love your honesty! It gets old reading blogs that are all sunshine all the time when we all know that's not true. Sounds like you deserve an easier baby this time!

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    1. Thank you Lindsay! I agree--it sometimes makes me feel like there must be something wrong with me and my family and my life when everything isn't as perfect as it appears to be for everyone else. It's nice to get a reminder that everyone has struggles . . . and I'm happy to be that reminder myself ;-)

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  5. It used to be pink, but in not sure anymore... Haha. I was nodding my head thought this post. Reese is 1 now but I remember those first 3 months or so we're definitely the most difficult, tired, and feeling like you never got anything done besides feeding kids.

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  6. (I couldn't finish my comment, here's the rest!) don't worry, this too shall pass. :) you'll have more time again! And man, I'm sorry Forrest was so difficult, I can't even imagine having to go through that. I'd go crazy. You're a great mom!

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  7. Green! Thanks so much for sharing- good and bad. My girl is just over a year. Somehow I got blessed with an angel child, but I remember at 2 months she went through a period of crying for no reason. I would go into my room and scream. I was so frustrated that I couldn't do the things I wanted to. I'm glad this time around is easier for you :)

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  8. Was purple my whole life, but then turned to aqua. ;)

    Thanks for the update on how you and your lil' family are doing. I'm happy to hear it's easier than your first round, and I'm hoping things continue to get better and better from here on out! :)

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  9. I don't have a favorite color right now :) But I did read your whole post and boy did it bring back some memories! I had similar sort of cycle with my boys: a few days of "I got this! We can do this" then a few a days of "I totally don't got this!!!" It sounds like you are doing a great job and hooray for Darcy being easier than Forrest (the demon newborn:)). Oh and I remember having to remind myself when I felt like I got to the end of the day and had NOTHING to show for it that I kept myself and TWO other humans alive and that was a huge accomplishment (even if it didn't super feel like it :)

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  10. I started typing a comment and then it disappeared . . . I made it to the end, but I refuse to pick a favorite color. Haha! I know what you mean about the fear of repeating what was a rather nightmarish newborn experience with the first, so I'm really glad to hear the adjustment is easier for you this time around. I think when we were in the thick of it, we didn't realize how colicky and sleepless Shep was. I love your honesty, too.

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  11. Ugh do I have to pick on color? Lol.

    She is so cute by the way and I think looks like you ;) I love reading baby updates - especially honest ones. It sounds like for the most part things are well... difficult but well as to be expected with a new baby & toddler. It definitely sounds like you were due an "easier" baby this time around. And don't worry it all gets easier... ok easier might not be the right word because we all know that each stage has their own trials, maybe normal is better... as in it becomes your new normal and the more she sleeps the more normal everyone feels - at least that's how it was for us ;)

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  12. Blue! and Grey! and Purple! (It depends on the day really.) I love your updates. Darcy and Forrest are super sweet! I hope you get a little more sleep and me-time. Best wishes!

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  13. Um coffee what color is coffee milky brown yeah that would be my favorite color. My 'Forrest' is now 6.5 and still not a great sleeper. His first 6 mths was god awful due to poor feeding, 9 rounds of mastitis, reflux, screaming, v unsettled (understatement) .... Al I can say is glad he was number 2 baby not our first or I would not have been brave enough to go back for another round. It does get easier, you will feel more human again, and they are gorgeous blessings, hard work and exhausting at times but gorgeous and so worth it.

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  14. Violet! But that could just be because its my baby girls name. Thanks for keeping it real! Glad you're doing ok. Those couple of days after a really bad night are so hard and you just wish you could press pause and recover a little bit. Take care of you too!

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  15. I feel like I could have written that exact post about my own life/newborn experience. Some days I feel like supermom and I feel happy and great and the kids are happy and great. Other days I feel like a complete failure and I'm tired and the kids are on some sort of grumpy-crazy-whiney-monster drug. Luckily, things do get easier as they get older. And it doesn't hurt that both your kids are adorable and if you're ever feeling sad you can just look at those sweet faces!

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  16. Green! Glad you're doing better with Darcy. She's an adorable little girl and Forrest looks so sweet holding her. Keep your head up! You've got a beautiful family and you've got this. :)

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  17. i know when my second son was born i started noticing the obnoxious side of my older son a little bit more than i did before. :)

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  18. Turquoise :) Loved reading your update. I'm glad Darcy has been so much easier than baby Forrest. And she sure is cute!

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  19. My favorite color is yellow :) And Darcy is adorable!

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  20. Purple.
    Darcy is adorable! And the part about the difference between 1 or 2 children was kind of an eyeopener. Something to keep in mind when it is my turn on the baby thingy.

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  21. I like many colors.
    Ha!.. your a hoot, :0)
    Glad things are adjusting
    Mia

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  22. I like many colors.
    Ha!.. your a hoot, :0)
    Glad things are adjusting
    Mia

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  23. I enjoyed the post and catching up. Darcy is darling by the way. My favorite color is Black, believe it or not. Practically everything in my closet is either black or white or a combination of both.

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  24. Orange! My son was easy squeezy. I'm terrified to have another baby because I know the odds of 2 easy kids is nearly impossible. Sounds like you are handling all the challenges like a rock star. :)

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  25. Yellow - lovely update - fun to read!

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  26. Blue :) My daughter just turned 13 and she was terrible with sleeping as a baby. I also am taking care of my step-daughter's 15 month old daughter who also does not like to sleep through the night. I am right there with you. Maybe you can find a mom's club so that you can get a little personal time out without the kids for your sanity.

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  27. Purple, You have a beautiful family. Keep up the good work!

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  28. GREEN! :) You're doing great! I swear I too have PTSD from the first 2 months of my beautiful miracle baby daughter's life. If we're lucky enough to one day get a second bundle of joy, someone is going to have to hold me, rock me, and tell me it's going to be ok all through the newborn stage of baby #2. ;)
    Darcy is beautiful, and I love your children's names. :)

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  29. Pink! LOVE the update!!! I think, just by hearing what you've told us, that you are doing very well!! Don't be so hard on yourself. My son was a pretty easy baby for the most part, but he wasn't big on sleep and there were times where i thought i'd lose my mind. I suffered from PPD myself, so that was a big struggle for me. And i was on my own. My (now ex) husband, was never home and when he was, he refused to help. So there was that too. Just take one day at a time. Thankfully, Forrest is young enough that he isn't going to remember specifics on all the time he "didn't" get with you after Darcy was born. Truly! You will, but odds are, he won't. And moms tend to think it's a lot worse than it really is. I'm one of those people too. ;) So don't worry too much about that. Enjoy your new addition!! She is just so precious and beautiful!!

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  30. Haha, you totally had me hooked with the line "All of the cuteness, none of the demonic possession"! Hilarious :)

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  31. Umm...teal? I figure as long as you're willing to admit that you're going crazy, then you really aren't there just yet. (At least that's what I keep telling myself!) I think you're doing an awesome job! And if Reli & Corbin are an example of how "normal" kids act, then Forrest is probably just being more annoying because it's a toddler thing. That or I've lost all patience too, but then we're in the same boat. I'll save you a seat!

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  32. anything neutral is my fav go to color.

    EXACT same experience with our first born-he cried for hours on end it seemed like his whole first year. we were so scared to have another baby for fear my delivery and colicky baby would be the same. it was a totally different, wonderful experience becoming a mom the 2nd time. so wonderful. i hope you are having the same experience.

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  33. pink!!
    I love the update and all the adorable pictures!

    Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

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  34. Green. I came from the RSS feed to assure you that the update is appreciated. My little one is now 10 months and has the same sleeping pattern. Your family gives me hope that if we do have a second, he or she may not repeat the patterns of the first.

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  35. Red. Red is it for me. And I made it all the way through. I'm so happy that sweet girl is treating mom well. You deserve it.

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