The Gift of a Sibling!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I think back to the days it was just me and monkey 1, my little baby girl that I absolutely treasured.  She was such a great baby, on a schedule, happy and the center of our universe.  Yes, I was overwhelmed, I had worries (I did not let germs within 10 feet of her) and I was fully committed to being with her and surrounding her each day with the people that love her, me, Gramma, daddy--she had the best care possible.   At age 19 months, monkey 1 would become a big sister.  She had no idea what this mean't, all she knew is that she was dropped off in the middle of the night at Gramma's house.  I can remember the lump in my throat, feeling bad that I was leaving her.   We were so excited about the arrival of another baby, Charlie and I wanted a family and this truly validated that.  After full labor and an exhausting night and day, our son "monkey 2" came into the world by c-section (not planned) and we now had a boy to carry on the family name--I was beyond exhausted and a bit shocked from the unexpected surgery (it was not the delivery you dream about, come to think about it, neither was birth #1).   One week before his arrival, I had finished my corporate career, taking a voluntary lay off, I wanted to be home with my babies, and after I adjusted to having two, I would figure out what my next move would be in terms of work.  One thing I did know, I wanted to be home, and if I did have to work again, it would be flexible, part-time and something I could do from home.  My little princess seemed so big, after taking care of a newborn and then changing her diaper, she was like a giant.  We were so happy to bring monkey 2 home, I had my hands full with two babies 1 1/2 years apart, but I was glad to grow our family--and Gramma was only a phone call away.   Seeing her car come down the street was like the calgary coming into town, I can take a shower without the baby in the car seat next to me, and popping my head out every few minutes.  I can actually sit with my toddler and read her a story which will help with some of the guilt I am feeling for not being with her like I was.  
 I can remember that everything I wore, was covered in either spit up, sticky spots (from sticky fingers) or crumbs by the end of the day.  I dressed to care for my  babies, and I can tell you it was not a fashion show, I was losing myself in the care of my babies, but that was okay!   My breasts were engorged, and my milk production was too much that I could not keep up with it, I ended up getting an infection and at the same time recovering from the c-section.  My flat stomach which I once knew was not there, it was now my badge of motherhood that I wore on my tummy (I had too many other priorities, my abs became flabs).   I really did not care, it was no longer about me, it was about us.  Those first few months of adjusting to two at home were a challenge, I was loving having a family but I was losing myself.  They were so well cared for, read to, sung to, hugged, kissed, and smothered with affection.  Cutest clothing ever and clean babies, every day.  On a predictable schedule, I know God was happy with my work as a mom, it came natural, even thou I was overwhelmed because it was harder and more than I ever expected.  I was all about my self before before having kids, I had adjusted to having one baby and I was HIPP, now with two, I was conflicted with the desire to be the one to care for them, with the desire to do something outside of being a mom.  This was not apparent to me, but looking back, I can see that I wanted it all but it had to be on my own terms, family first, me home with them and the ability to create, dream, strategize and plan (I was no longer doing these things that I was good at, they were replaced with diaper changes, bottles, sippy cups, chasing toddlers, soothing baby, working on getting two babies on a schedule).   Stay tuned to see what happens with this mother of two.  If you are a mom with young babies reading this, I hope you can relate, perhaps you are conflicted, no better place in the world to be, over all grateful to be home with your babies, but at the same time, losing yourself or adjusting to the idea that these people are 100% reliable on you, that demand can pull from you!  I am here to tell you that YOU have the strength to do it!  Perhaps you need to make small changes each day or even psych yourself up to take on the day, and do something small for yourself.  We will get into this again.  In the meantime, have a HIPP day and be proud to take care of your babies!


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