November 3, 2017

Adjusting to 2 Kids

We have two kids. Sometimes I look at my husband and I’m like....WHO ARE WE? How do we have two kids? How have we been married 6 years? A house, a minivan, a dog. Like literally what’s happening? I’ve always wanted to have several kids, but I just can’t believe we are right in the middle of making that dream happen (by God’s grace).
 I won’t lie. When I had Beckham I was miserable. I was lonely, had terrible postpartum depression, was majorly sleep deprived, had no idea what I was doing, and was trying to figure out the raging water of motherhood while barely keeping my head above water. I was also trying to recover from major abdominal surgery and the reality that Beckham’s birth went nothing like I anticipated, including him being a month early. It was all such a struggle. He was such a tough baby. I MEAN TOUGH. He had colic for the first several months of his life. He screamed NON STOP. I mean screamed, and when I say non stop I mean morning, noon, and all night. We could never console him and basically the only time he didn’t cry was when he was nursing or asleep. The only way he WOULD sleep was propped up on my chest like a little monkey...which was sweet but very hard. I was confined to the couch holding him for hours at a time, and when I wasn’t, he was screaming. It felt like no rest for the weary. 
I had some big hurdles in getting over the beginning “hump” of nursing. I got mastitis (that makes you feel like you have the flu), had horribly blistered nipples that bled when I nursed.... are you getting the picture here....life was hard during those months, and I felt like MAYBE we made a mistake having a baby. Like I was not strong enough to do it... having a baby was so much harder than I thought. I had no frame of reference and wondered WHY THE HECK people have more than one. It was a hard time. However, I am happy to report that with positive self talk, a lot of outside encouragement and help, a lot of prayer and time spent in the Word, a very supportive and patient husband, in-laws that let us live with them for 3 months in order to help with baby, and just plain determination and time, I made it through and the clouds parted! 
Beckham went from a terrible baby to an amazing toddler, and we started to think about #2. We got pregnant and were SOOOO EXCITED. I determined from then that I was going to have a different experience. I wanted so badly to enjoy baby #2 but knew it wasn’t really in my control. Let me tell you I prayed CONSTANTLY and pleaded with God to give me a baby with gentle and relaxed temperament. I basically told God I didn’t think I could go through another really tough baby, but I’d be grateful either way. I prayed about this baby and his development and his temperament that he would make it full term and that I would be able to have a birth like I hoped. I also spoke positively. I really think that speaking what you want to happen, as well as mentally accepting it, makes something more likely to happen. That might sound a little far-out, but that positive mindset and speaking over my baby with positivity daily made a difference. I focused on staying positive, picturing a content baby, and once I figured out what kind of birth I wanted to have, I pictured that and opened my heart and mind to it. I focused hard on all of it. (I realize Emily doesn’t make the rules and no matter how good a mindset, sometimes things don’t turn out how we want.) The Lord was so gracious to me, and I had an amazing pregnancy, an amazing birth (you can read that story here), and an AMAZING BABY. 
Those first few weeks were blissssss. I had a day or two of feeling a tiny bit of baby blues but nothing like I had experienced before. There were also a few days where anxiety tried to creep in and tell me that colic was going to start any day now. That tried to steal my joy a little bit, but I pushed it from my thoughts and continued to speak and think positive. You guys....let me tell you how I would describe having baby Hudson. It has been completely healing for me. The anxiety and fears I had from baby #1 have been replaced with baby #2. I have been able to fully appreciate him. Much more than I did the first time. The first time I was scared and timid and fearful because I had no clue how to be a mother and take care of a baby. Second time around I’m not worried about any of that. I get to just soak in the sweetness and preciousness of a new baby. I take things way less seriously, I’m more relaxed, I feel like I have somewhat of a clue, I do more out and about, and I completely and utterly adore it. 
If you had a tough time being a first time mom, there is hope. There is a better baby experience out there just waiting for you with baby #2! Don’t be afraid!
Adjusting to life juggling two kids was a whole new ballgame. I have to say it took us a few weeks to really get the hang of it... and the day Blake had to go back to work I cried. But we made it and settled into our new routine so quickly. Beckham did amazing and loved his brother from the get go. He had moments of jealousy but we worked through them. He has been an amazing big brother and I’m so proud of him. 
A few things that helped the adjustment of new baby in regards to Beckham:

-having a little bit baby doll for Beckham so he can take care of his baby when mommy takes care of hers. I know there is a stigma with boys and baby dolls, but I think it’s important for them to learn how to be daddies just as much as girls pretend to be mommies. It also helps him get his hands away when I’m trying to tend to Hudson (that can be a little much), so I can just tell him to take care of his baby doll while I take care of mine! 

-having Beckham be a helper. 
When I change a diaper I usually will ask Beckham to be a big helper and bring me one with the wipes. He gets a sense of pride knowing he helped mommy. Always eagerly runs to the diaper basket to get the supplies.

-having special, one-on-one snuggle time with Beckham every evening. I think it helps him know that he is still mommy’s buddy even though I’m tending to brother all day. And we get some good snuggles before bed to get us all relaxed. 

-playtime together. Each day always try to sit down in the playroom with Beckham and play as long as I can manage. I used to play with him constantly before Hudson, so I’ve tried hard to maintain somewhat of what he was used to prior to the baby’s arrival. 

-letting him be little. Most days Beckham states at least once that he is a “baby”! He crawls around and makes fake baby noises. Some days it can be a bit *annoying, but I try to play along and assure him he is mommy’s baby and always will be. I cuddle him and rock him like a baby and kiss his cheeks while assuring him he is MY BABY. I think maybe this helps just letting him have moments to feel like he is still the baby.

Adjusting to two has been way less hard and impossible than I thought it would be. Some days I feel really on top of it & other days I don’t get out of my pajamas. Overall adjusting to 2 was far easier than adjusting to 1. In a sense, life stays the same just with one extra little soul to snuggle and kiss and love and nurture. God’s goodness and faithfulness is so evident to me through having a second baby. The desires of my heart have truly been fulfilled with the most relaxed and cheerful little baby. I’ve been enjoying having a new baby so much this time. Trying hard to savor every bit of him being so little. He is already 4 (getting close to 5) months old & it goes by so fast. Our little Huddy Buddy, our little “healing” baby, and example of God’s graciousness to me.

Shoutout to my friend Nikki Phelan for taking these amazingly adorable photos of the kids on halloween.

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