here i am. i am alive. i am very tired. my hair is tied up in a knot that resembles neither a braid nor a bun, but i can’t remember what it was originally. i am typing this as one child naps in her room and the other naps in his rock n’ play while i rock it with my left foot (he is very gassy and therefore a restless sleeper).
but i am alive. and kind of loving this whole “mother of two” thing i have going on.
[please note that amelia is swaddled in this photo]
it’s been so nice to take a break from the world for a while, especially with all the wackiness happening around us, but i feel kind of ready to get back at it again. i was going to write this last night, but then William decided he’d rather be attached to my boob all day and night so that didn’t happen. (who can blame him though? if you saw my rack right now, you’d get it.) so today i made a bold statement on the twitter:
— everything with love (@erinhzauner) November 15, 2016
and look at me, following through like a boss. two pats on the back and another cup of coffee for me!
today i wanted to talk about what i’ve learned the second time around with this parenting gig. because while i know that i have some experience in this arena, it’s pretty incredible what you can forget in two years.
- belly binders are the unsung hero of postpartum recovery.
i sang the praises of postpartum girdles after my last pregnancy, but i need to sing it again. in almost every culture except the western one, there is a tradition of binding the mother’s belly with a tight piece of cloth after birth. it is said to promote fluid loss, encourage the uterus to return to its original size more quickly, and decrease the occurrences of postpartum hemorrhages. this tradition is starting to catch on here, but it’s mostly advertised as a “get body back after baby” thing, which i hate. you can buy these types of girdles at target, but let me tell you that the best one is the one you can get at the hospital, and is normally used after a c-section. if you are having a baby soon, make sure to ask for one and wear it day and night for the first two weeks postpartum. imagine wearing high-waisted yoga pants when you feel all jiggly; this feels even better, and will help you heal as quickly as possible.
- you are way more tired with the second baby.
like, exponentially more tired than with the first baby. exhibit a: last night, Mister Man woke me up to hand me the hungry baby, and i must have been dreaming about having twins or Amelia being a baby, because i was physically holding and feeding him, while at the same time searching for the baby i thought i had been holding, and silently panicking because i thought i had dropped it and for some reason couldn’t find it. this was a real, waking thought i had. last night. and yet somehow i’m caring for two children by myself today. seems illegal, doesn’t it?
- you really do get amnesia after your first baby.
you forget the whole labor and delivery part, yes, but more importantly, you kind of forget how babies work. for example, i completely blacked out how many FAH-REAKING diapers you have to change the first two weeks. they pee and poop what seems like constantly (or is that just my children?). also, i definitely googled “how much are babies supposed to sleep” for the second time in my life, because i forgot that it is normal for them to be asleep all the damn time, even when it seems like way too much. i’m sure there are many other things i’ve forgotten, but only time will tell what they are.
- baths are a gift from God.
i can’t think of anything more healing than handing baby off to dad and sitting in a hot bath with bath salts and a giant bowl of ice cream. we’re talking a bath so hot that you have to wipe the sweat out of your eyes, and a bowl of ice cream so big that you may have to scoop an entire quarter gallon into your bowl. let’s not do these things halfway, okay people?
- things are both harder and easier at the same time.
it takes twice as long to go anywhere (did you see me take BOTH kids to the grocery store last week on snapchat? if not, get following over there, my username is hooleywithaz). mealtime and nap time take some intense strategic planning to be successful and mostly on time. and many, many days (like maybe today), you don’t get dressed at all. but trips to target with just the baby feel like a vacation, eating and cooking with a baby attached to you feels second nature, and even on those days you don’t get dressed, you can still get two loads of laundry and the dishes done without breaking a sweat. and getting anything done makes you feel like a superhero, so that’s pretty cool.
more to come soon: William’s birth story (here’s Amelia’s birth story if you’re into that sort of thing), baby necessities from a second-time mom perspective (here are my baby recommendations from when i was a rookie), and a REALLY fun giveaway (like, i’m really excited about this one guys).
i know there are a lot of you out there who read this little blog that are expecting babies, or know people who are expecting babies. and there is nothing i like more than to talk about baby and parenting tips. so if there is anything you want to hear about, i’m all ears. and be sure to pass my unwarranted advice on to all your babymaking friends.