It is hard to believe that exactly a month ago today, I was emailing my friend Allison during the middle of the night, awake due to a strange yet dull discomfort I would soon learn was called Labor. My labor was induced with Ryder and I was given an epidural before any "real" pain set in. Crazy, but I did not know what labor felt like. Let me assure you , you will be able to figure it out should this scenario ever happen to you!
That was Labor Day, a day we had planned for swimming and barbecue in celebration of Matt's Birthday, but instead we began our new normal.
We have gained so much over the past month. Obviously, a new member of our family. It is amazing to me how quickly he fit into our "mold". It becomes evident that he was meant for us. I remember when I first became pregnant, I immediately had the feeling of "Oh Crud...what have we done?". I was scared. It was not that we weren't trying for our "Plus One"...we were. That didn't make me unafraid of the change this new addition would bring. I remember receiving an email from my sweet friend Heather after they found echogenic bowel on our 20-week ultrasound. She gave me some very encouraging words which included Psalm 139:
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
This reading provided us great ease during a scary time, but amazingly it still fits. This child was made for us and for his Brother...long before Matt or I knew one another. All of my fears have disappeared as he has created a New and Amazing Normal for our family.
Here are some things I have learned over the past month about being a Mom to Two who are Two and Under:
1. The little person in your house you once thought was a baby instantly grows up.
2. Although Ryder initially did not care for our new addition or his Mom who he felt was responsible for bringing this baby into his life, he loves us both now. My days are filled with hearing him say, "Hi Baby!", lots of very abrasive kisses on his "Baby", constant music from the swing which Ryder feels the need to play even if Rustin is not in the swing, 2-year old tantrums that didn't disappear with the addition of baby, "All Done!" my cue that Ryder needs help just when I have started to tend to Rustin and some occasional newborn cries when I have to address the above "All Done!" issue.
3. A newborn can sleep through anything and a 2-year old will sleep through a newborn crying in the middle of the night. Two big fears I had before Rustin arrived...that Ryder would wake him up and vice-versa.
4. Get ready for this one... I love getting up with Rustin during the night. It is that one part of the day where I can devote my full attention to him. I already know I'll miss our time together when he starts sleeping through the night.
5. When you bring out infant toys, your 2-year old will be more infatuated with these than all of the new toys he just received for his Birthday.
6. Your Brother's Room is waaaay more fun than your own room.
7. Laundry is easier to keep up with if you do at least one load a day.
8. You will set a huge bag of diapers out on almost every Trash Day.
9. You should add at least 1-hour of prep time in order to get out of the house by a certain time.
10. When by yourself...It is easier to get the baby out of the car first. He can't run away yet... a 2-year old can and will take full advantage of the opportunity. Note: 2-year olds also learn quickly that when your hands are tied up with a new baby, this is a great time to try pushing limits...i.e....climbing onto tables and other unauthorized behavior.
11. When Shopping at Target or any other said Grocery Establishment it is easier to carry the New Baby in sling or Baby Bjorne and put the 2-year old in the front of the cart. Putting the 2-year old in back only results in bruised produce and open boxes of cookies.
12. Husband's are a huge Blessing. Especially when they help with dinner mess, baths and stay up to handle the 10:30 PM feeding all after leaving the house at 6 a.m. for a full day of work.
13. I "give in" to Ryder so much more than I should or did before Rustin was here. Sometimes it is just not worth the fight. I struggle with this. I want a well-mannered child who is respectful and pleasant to be around. Is there a happy-medium out there? I hope that there is and that I am finding it!
14. That it is possible to love another baby unconditionally...they both are already so much alike yet so different. It is amazing to see this and experience the love that Ryder has for his sibling.
15. You begin to talk to yourself (in your head) a lot...sometimes it seems your plan works better if you talk it out with yourself...i.e. A scenario like this often runs through my mind: Get Ryder and start him eating breakfast..then start Rustin with his bottle...he'll be satisfied enough by the time Ryder is finished that I can clean him up and start him upstairs ...turn on Wonder Pets...finish feeding Rustin and then I can get them both dressed
As crazy as it can be sometimes... cherish it...it won't last forever.