Six weeks later

Wednesday will mark six weeks since Baby Owen was born, six weeks since I became a mother of two, and six weeks since I wrote a proper blog entry. I remember after 3-year-old Eve was born still feeling like I’d been run over by a truck at this point. I was still tired, sore and overwhelmed. Thankfully, my recovery has been a lot quicker this time. While I had planned to take a full 12 weeks of maternity leave, I quickly found myself ready to get back to work part-time, to figure out what daily life will be like for our family going forward.

It’s hard to pinpoint why things are so much better this time around. Was it the shorter labor and delivery? A calmer, easier-going baby? Or just the fact I’d been through it once before? Regardless, three days after giving birth to Owen, I was in my kitchen baking a banana cake from scratch, something I would have never fathomed. But hey, the bananas were ripe. I had to do something with them …

When I think back on the columns I wrote after Eve was born, I remember they contained a lot of complaining. And crying (some her, mostly me). That was my reality, and I think the reality for a lot of new moms. I remember being miffed at people who would say “Oh, you can’t complain about that” when I would share details of Eve’s sleep schedule, nursing habits or general demeanor. I’d always think, “Yes, I can complain. This is so hard!”  Now I’m the one saying, “I can’t complain.” Because really, I don’t have anything to complain about, even though I’m typing this while bouncing a fussy, inconsolable newborn on my lap.

It’s a matter of experience, and perspective I suppose. Suddenly the name of The Forum’s weekly column “Parenting Perspectives” takes on a whole new meaning. Every parent has a different take on this journey of parenthood, depending where they are along it. I just never imagined how different my perspective would be six weeks after my second child’s birth. I look forward to sharing this newfound viewpoint with you as my journey continues.

Little Ben

Cousins cuddle on the couch

Eve has a new cousin. Baby Benjamin was born one week ago. We went to visit him this weekend, and spent a couple days cuddling, cooing and realizing of how far our family has come.

It’s crazy to hold this 7-pound swaddled bundle and remember that Eve, the 30-pound bundle of energy next to him, was once that little, fragile and vulnerable. I remember being annoyed at visitors in the hospital who commented on how little Eve was. After two hours of pushing, she didn’t feel tiny! But I absolutely understand the comments now, reinforced by Baby Ben’s whole hand wrapped tightly around my index finger.

We see them grow everyday. The changes are so subtle, it’s bewildering to look back and wonder how we went from that itty bitty baby in the hospital room to a running, jumping, talking, eating, drinking, do-it-myself little girl. This morning, Eve’s daycare provider asked if she’d had a growth spurt, she was so much taller than last week. I hadn’t noticed …

We won’t be able to see Baby Ben all that often, hopefully once every few months. I wonder if we’ll be as awed by the changes in him.

Baby Cousin

Eve met her baby cousin yesterday, and the two seemed to hit it off.

Evangeline Minnie was born Monday. Eve and I have been talking about how Aunt Mandi was going to have a baby, but I wasn’t sure she understood. When I showed her the newborn’s photo, and explained that was her baby cousin, I think it clicked. Now, every time I show her the picture, she says “baby cousin.” (It’s a lot easier for her to say than Evangeline … that one is going to take some practice.)

When we got to the hospital Wednesday morning, I waited awhile before cradling my new niece. Eve has been so jealous anytime I’ve held a friend’s baby. But not with Evangeline. ”Mommy hold baby,” Eve demanded, repeatedly. And when I placed Evangeline in Eve’s lap (still holding on, of course), Eve lovingly wrapped her arms around the bundle.  She also tried to burp the baby, but her pats were a little too rough, and not very effective on the baby’s thigh.

I’m so excited for Eve to be a “big cousin,” and to have another little girl in the family. I’ve been imagining what their relationship will be like as they grow into grade-schoolers, and even teenagers. I wonder which one will get the other into trouble. I am already bracing myself for the “girl drama” they’re sure to create.

Welcome to the world, “baby cousin.”  We’re so excited to get to know you.