Last night, we celebrated Meg’s 6th grade graduation at church. I know everyone says this, but I still do wonder: where did the time go?
While digging up baby photos for the slide show, I became nostalgic about the early days of having not only one but two babies. In case you’ve got either zero or one child right now and are contemplating adding another one to the mix, let me share with you a few thoughts on the subject:
1. Going from one to two is much easier of a transition than zero to one.
There is nothing like going from the twosome as husband and wife to parents with one small critter who turns our world upside down. Just as the dust was settling, we were blessed with a second child. Sure, there is no denying we knew better what to expect the second time around, but as a bonus gift with purchase, God gave us a second baby who was extremely easy. She kept on sleeping and sleeping and rarely cried. It just might have something to do with me being more relaxed as a mom myself, but I seriously doubt it.
2. A second baby won’t cause that much more damage to your body; the first one pretty much ruined it for you already.
My first baby gave me stretch marks which are unsightly but are useful for future pregnancies. My body was like a balloon that had already been inflated and deflated; it’s so much easier to blow air into it once it’s already been stretched, made all supple and, truth be told, flabby. While my first fetus worked hard every minute to expand while in utero, my second one immediately got comfy in a womb of her own. No wonder she was such a relaxed baby.
Same with the birth canal. My first labor and delivery took an eternity, and I pushed and pushed for 3 hours before Josh finally came out. Meanwhile, I coughed and Meg fell out. Parenting truly stretches us — thankfully, in more ways than one.
3. Initially, I felt like I betrayed my first born.
In the days leading up to the birth of our second child, I felt guilty about no longer being able to be there 100% for my son. When I came home from the hospital, Josh wanted me to put him down “in his big boy bed” at night, but I had to bring the nursing infant in with me. “I don’t want her here,” he demanded. Being postpartum and hormonal, I cried and begged him for forgiveness. “I’m sorry, Joshy. I’m sorry I can’t be with you all the time anymore. I’m sorry you have to share mommy with baby Meg.” He cried as he drifted off to sleep. It was indeed a lot for a two-year old to handle, what with getting evicted from the crib to no longer having mommy all to himself. We eventually adjusted, though. Within a couple of days I was saying, “Get over it, son.”
4. ‘Tis so sweet when the two children begin interacting with each other.
The first person ever to make Meg laugh was Josh. He can still make her crack up like no one else can. At first, Josh wasn’t quite sure what to make of this new baby, but he eventually warmed up to her and actually became somewhat helpful. “Go get the diaper for Meg, please.” “Okay, mommy!” He won’t admit it out loud right now as a teenager, but the bond between the siblings is strong.
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We’ve all been stretched together as a family, and the two children have had to learn to share a lot more than just mommy. I can no longer recall what life was like before we had both of them, and I am grateful everyday for this gift of family.
How did you feel when you added a second (or third or fourth) child to the mix? Was it a hard or easy transition? Share your experience with us!