My mind is still a little blown that I am pregnant. Although this pregnancy has been very similar to my last physically, emotionally I feel a lot different. Because I know what to expect (for the most part; I know every baby is different) my emotions swing from super excited to super nervous by the day. There is also a part of me that is a little bit in denial. I feel like I have years until he is actually born so I’m not thinking about the birth and baby stage too much. But in reality I’m over halfway there, and the weeks are flying by.
The day I went into labor with Mazen!
Here are some of the things that I am excited and nervous about:
- Seeing Mazen as a big brother. This has already started because Mazen is so sweet to “Brother,” as he is called. He kisses my belly all the time, and talks about how he’s going to teach Brother this and that. I can only imagine what it will be like to see this interaction in person. I have friends with multiple children that talk about how sweet the sibling bond is. I’m also so glad we have the age gap we do. Mazen is so independent and helpful these days, that I think the timing will be perfect for our family.
- I love the baby stage! There’s something so magical about watching babies reach each milestone. And there are so many snuggles! I loved wearing Mazen in a carrier, making him giggle, and having his little hands touch my face. I loved breastfeeding and all the cute baby outfits. I never really minded changing diapers. I really miss pushing a stroller too! I’m really looking forward to the first year (aka before they can run away from you!)
- If we want to talk about excited, let’s talk about how a certain dad-to-be is feeling. He can’t wait! He loves babies and kids and Mazen, and it’s a dream come true to have one of his own. We joke that the only thing we know for sure about this little guy is that between his mother and his father’s genetics, he’s going to have a big nose I’m just so excited for his excitement! (Sorry to get so sappy…)
*KNOCK ON WOOD that everything goes smoothly. See the Nervous section.
- Above all, I want a healthy baby, and I’ve been much more anxious this time around about things going wrong.
- My second fear is how I’m going to handle not sleeping with two children. I think the lack of sleep is the most challenging part of having a newborn. Last time I pulled through by taking lots of naps and sleeping in as late as I could to piece together a full 7-8 hours. I’m not sure how much napping I will be able do this time around and I’ll have to get up and get going with Mazen in the mornings, but I am so glad that he will be in school from 7:30-3 most days. If I need to take a morning nap with the baby I will have that option at least 5/7 days a week. And with any luck we’ll be sleeping okay after the first couple of months.
- As usual, I am also nervous about blogging and how that will all shake out. I do want to take a few weeks off (maybe posting one-two updates per week?) to take some of the pressure off, but of course I’ll want to get back to blogging on all topics sooner rather than later. When Mazen was born, I was mostly doing lifestyle blogging with a high ad rate, but over the past 5 years, blogs have transitioned to being more reliant on custom-sponsored content. Over the past year, I’ve been lucky to secure a lot more time-intensive sponsored posts, which are great for business but hard on the time schedule. I don’t want to say no to anything, but I also don’t want to feel overwhelmed. I think this going to be a game-time decision.
- Because I’ve had a baby before, I remember how hard it was to leave the house. Packing huge diaper bags (these days I rarely even take a purse!), the nursing/nap schedule timing, and traveling (so.much.gear). Life with one 5-year-old is so simple that going back to the logistics of babyhood overwhelms me.
- I’m nervous about giving birth! I definitely want to go for drug-free / all natural again, and part of me thinks it’s going to be a piece of cake because I’ve done it before. (Ha!) But then the other part of me can take my mind back to that night and how awful the pain was and remind myself that it’s probably going to be just as intense this time around. Hopefully just a wee bit shorter. (HOPEFULLY!) I was lucky not to have any complications last time, and those can pop up for anyone, so it’s the unpredictability of birth that makes me most nervous.
Moms of two+ (or anyone!), what were the highs and lows of your first year?
LINKS OF INTEREST!
On Healthy Living While Pregnant
I have three children and lack of sleep in the early days is definitely the hardest part – especially if you get one that doesnt seem to like sleep! It doesnt last forever though and they grow so fast, the time is precious!
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says
Kath, I have no doubt you’re going to be a great mother to the new baby! All the best! 🙂
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
I truly lol’d at your “big nose” comment because my husband and I said the exact same thing about both of our kids. I appreciate the honesty, and am sure your kid’s nose is going to be adorable regardless. 😉
For me, the sleep deprivation was not a big deal the second time around. It was easier to bear since I had memorable evidence to reassure myself it was temporary. I was fortunate to have a long maternity leave and my oldest was in school all day as well. It ended up being one of the happiest, easiest times of our lives. I think maintaining a good, predictable routine for the older sibling is key – then they see the new baby really is along for the ride (as opposed to the world revolving around the new baby). The other thing was I was hyper-prepared for the 2nd baby: supplies where I would need them, meals made, house completely organized and clean. All we had to do was bring the baby home and relax. I have no doubt you will do the same!
Great to hear!
Laurie Palmer says
Having Mazen in school 5 days a week will be a huge help and good for him too! Just remember to capitalize on that time to catch up on sleep or just sit and snuggle with the baby! And remember, there are 4 adult hands involved and time when Mazen is with Matt.
The lack of sleep is SO hard, but the snuggles are SO worth it! So excited for you, Thomas, & Mazen!
Me second just turned one (?) and I will say the thing o was most concerned about was going back to a schedule with nursing/napping because my oldest was three and we were on the go a lot. Everything worked out really well and the baby just didn’t get to have the strict schedule her big brother. She did fine and learned to roll with what we were doing from the start!
Congrats and thanks so much for sharing all the mixed emotions. I have 2 boys (one now graduating high school and about to leave for college–yikes) and it’s been a long time since baby stage. The biggest thing I remember of when baby number 2 arrived is that it is hard getting used to the disrupted sleep cycle and lack of communication. It’s like you know all about it from the first time, but after you get back to a routine, it’s 10x harder to get back to “baby phase”.
The good news is that we all do and YOU WILL but it is not always easy. And then you blink and can’t remember ever not having more than one kid around. Even if some days you want to bury your face and scream. I hope you feel as good as you look and I am looking forward to continued postings and sharing
Kelli @ Hungry Hobby says
I say that about our babies nose too! In fact we actually saw that cute nose to big for his face on the ultrasound! When I say that people think I’m making fun of him but I obviously love my husbands face so that’s not my intent it’s just a fact!
Same! It is what it is!
Girl, i had all of these feelings when i was pregnant with my second. Having Mazen in school will be key. I was crazy and decided to keep my 2.5 YO home while i was on maternity leave and about a week in, i threw up my hands! Besides having your older child gone during the day, it’s also super special to have time to just bond with the baby. I loved that. So my first labor was 30+ hours, i went 28 without intervention, then needed an epidural and he was born in an hour. So the second time around, i wanted to experience that natural labor again, and hopefully succeed. And i did! 6 hours total, 2 intense hours and bam, she was here! I honestly feel like your body remembers and knows how to get that baby into position faster. I do have to say, after experiencing both an epidural and natural labor, if we were to have a third, i might just get an epidural. I’m so so glad i was able to experience natural labor and delivery, but man, so intense! And as far as schedules and nap times etc, i feel like i was just more relaxed about it all with my daughter. She had to nap in the car more often than not and she is a very flexible baby. Wishing the best for you!!!!! And that’s the sweetest that he is SO excited 🙂
Thanks for sharing all of this! I am crossing fingers for a 6 hour labor 🙂
Same!! I had a second son, but he passed almost two years ago, and in trying to decide whether we should have another in the future, there are a LOT of considerations, and honestly one that does terrify me–is going back to babyhood. My oldest also is five and he is so independent! So he’ll be a great help, but man to have to do all that over again…but then I remember how fun and QUICK it is! They’re a baby for such a short time. Just such a shift.
I work 7:30 to 4:00 too so with a newborn if I didn’t sleep at night, I just didn’t sleep. It was so hard. So that would be a challenge too! Hugs! It’ll be GREAT!
Oh no the quote didn’t appear!! This won’t make any sense: Here:
Life with one 5-year-old is so simple that going back to the logistics of babyhood overwhelms me.
Oh my gosh, I’m SO sorry you went through a child loss. I cannot imagine.
I can imagine how not knowing what to expect may be better than knowing this time around, but I have faith you all will handle this change so very well! I am so happy for you all, and I appreciate your honesty. You look gorgeous!
I don’t have kids, so I can’t really contribute any advice, I’m just coming here to say OMG, BABY MAZEN. Those cheeks!
Christin J Slyngman says
So excited for you! I have two girls, and I definitely think that in some ways baby #2 is easier, other ways harder. Your body kinda already knows what to do…my labor was a LOT shorter with baby #2! But it’s also pretty much like with how baby #1 you had to figure out what worked for you and YOUR family dynamics…no two are alike and it shakes everything up just like it did with baby #1…you have to establish a new normal (again) lol. I think the BEST piece of advice I received in terms of transitioning from 1 child to 2 was to make child #1 feel very actively involved. Let them be your helper in as much as reasonably possible so that you share the bond and journey together. It has been the most amazing thing seeing my two daughters bond and form their special sisterly relationship. 🙂
That’s great to hear. And hopefully it’s a win-win because Big Boy Helper will be actually helping and bonding at the same time. (I just hope he wants to help 🙂 )
I have three but they are fairly close in age..now 16, 14,13. Because of their closeness in age it was different for me. I’m sure it was physically difficult at the time but the one thing I was always strict about was sleep. My kids all napped everyday and the oldest one didn’t give it up until kindergarten. The younger ones gave it up a little sooner but not much. I enjoy my kids at this age but when I see new walkers trotting around in their diapers, I miss that stage. They are so cute! I couldn’t imagine doing it at my age… good deal older than you. Enjoy!
The first month with 2 is hard – like navy seal training hard. You will be super exhausted and most days it won’t be pretty but you know from the first go around, it gets easier!! Girl, I hear you about ALL THE STUFF! My 2 boys were only 2.5 years apart and we had already paired down taking all the things so going back to huge diaper bags was an adjustment! Don’t forget to take pics of this baby alone – that was some of the greatest advice we got bc so often it is a picture of the boys together so we still (baby is 1) make sure we get pics of the boys alone and together. Good luck!!
I am still in the midst year one with my first, but I have to say…the sleep deprivation hasn’t been as awful as I anticipated. I’m sure now that I’ve written it down he will be up all night, but I think naps are key during the early days. Also, side-lying feeding during the night and a co-sleeper. To this day (he will be 6 months next week), I keep a stack of diapers and wipes on the nightstand so I don’t even get out of bed at night! The highs…everything about him! The lows…breast engorgement, some cranky nights. The highs FAR outweigh the lows…enough so that I’m already thinking about baby #2 🙂 Best of luck to you, Thomas and Mazen. It is going to be fantastic!!
You are right that the highs truly do outweigh the lows. And it’s hard to imagine the highs because you haven’t totally felt the love yet or met the baby, but you can imagine the lows because they were more about you.
That is EXACTLY how I felt before I had him! I was anxious about all of the changes headed my way. After I met him…the LOVE was so crazy that I didn’t mind being tired or staying in. Baby love is a powerful thing!
My hardest moments as a mother were when you both were preschoolers and you fought. You’ve got a big enough distance between your kids that there may be discord of one kind of another, but it won’t be that hair pulling out screeching kind of stuff that drove me nuts (not that you ever really did pull out hair–or I don’t think so.)
Funny I don’t remember fighting with Larbs at all! Except I do remember pushing her off the couch to get the good spot and saying she fell 🙂 Kids fighting is one of those things that no one warns you about! You think they just play and play and play but where there is interaction there is conflict. I do find that the bigger the age gap the less squabbles there are with Mazen (with younger toddlers and older kids) so hopefully that will be the case.
@Mom–you heard, Kath. She PUSHED Larbs off the couch and laaaa-hiiied about it.. I think you should retroactively punish her! No oatmeal for a week! LOL!
You guys are both lovely looking people and baby will be super cute as well!! I mean look how cute mazen is!! I have one 2.5 year old and no plans on the horizon for more – She was colicky and up every few hours until she was eight months and I had PPD – and I never got over the horribleness And difficulty of the first year!! Before my daughter I was absolutely obsessed with babies but after having a difficult experience with my own I’m still pretty turned off by them. Maybe In time I’ll consider trying for more but the memories are too traumatizing right now. Dramatic but true.
It took me longer than I thought to be “ready” to do it again. I’m really glad I waited until I was ready and didn’t have another when Mazen was younger just because I thought I had to. (And for obvious marital reasons…)
I totally get this Andrea! I have a 2.5 year old as well and I considered her to be a fairly “easy” baby, but I still feel traumatized by the first year somewhat. Sleep deprivation is no joke!
Linda @ the Fitty says
Does Mason ever ask if the food you eat lands on the baby since the baby is in your tummy? That has always been a question for me before I learned the reproductive system in grade 5!
As a mom to 3, they are now 21, 18, and 12, I do not even remember lack of sleep being a big deal and was the least of my concerns. My husband worked long hours and I had no family close so the handing over duties to others so “I” could rest was not even an option. Yes, there were days that were more tiring then others but you get through it. You learn to let some things slide and focus on others. Each baby is also different and how you did things with one may not work with the other… that also goes for labor/delivery. Once baby #2 arrives, it’s time to let go of some expectations and control and just let things happen. Good luck.
I totally understand about being nervous about sleep. I currently have a 4 year old and 5 week old, and I swear one of them is always up by 6am! My older son is now on summer break so any chance of a morning nap for me is gone. I will say this – sleep deprivation seems to “hurt” less this time around. Maybe because you’ve done it before? Or you know that it’s just a short season of life?
It also helps to splurge on some really good coffee 🙂
Yes to really good coffee!
It sounds like Mazen is going to be an awesome big brother! Maybe packing & getting out & about will be easier with Mazen’s help, & it seems like the age gap is great since Mazen will be in school some. Just seems to further affirm all things working out when they should, & with that, I think your birth is going to be amazing & work out as it should be it with or without meds. <3
When baby #2 arrived, my husband took over night duties for girl #1. I was able to focus only on the baby then. My husband says our 2 year old woke up 2-3 times a night for months after our younger child was born, but I never remember her crying. I tuned her out!
The second time around you may realize you over-packed the diaper bag with Mazen and pare down what you take with you! I agree baby-wearing was one of my favorite things with both kids; I miss the Ergo days!
I think moving from one child to another can be a bit worrisome for most. I have a 3.5 yo daughter and a 1 yo son. I was so focused/worried on how our evening ‘routine’ would go once my son was here – how would I bathe both of them if I were home without my husband?! It all worked out and almost every day is different. My friend hit the nail on the head one day when we were talking about the transition – she said that moving from 0 kids to 1 kid is pretty life altering. Your whole world changes. Moving from 1 to 2 is less of a transition. They kind of just in to your current life. I agree whole-heartedly with that.
I imagine that sleep will be difficult for a while but then everyone will kind of get used to it and then all of a sudden you’re on the other side of your baby waking up multiple times per night and then you get nervous when they sleep through the night!
Best of luck with your second delivery!
I had all three of my kids with no drugs…and the first birth was the hardest/most painful/longest by far. After that, the next two were MUCH easier. I bet this delivery will exceed your expectations in every way! Good luck!!
I just read your birth story of Mazen. I had tears in my eyes. I’m due 8/31, we hired a doula and I’m also hoping/planning/praying to go drug free. I’m excited but also super scared. I’m nervous about the pain and how I will tolerate it.I loved how real your story was and hope I can channel the same strength.
You’re going to be a wonderful mother of two and it’s very clear what a wonderful partner Thomas is. At least Mazen is at a good age he will probably want to help you and hi brother. Love reading about your journey.
Aw thank you <3 I can't recommend hiring a doula enough, and she (he?!) will be so important to help you physically and emotionally get through it. Yes, the pain is bad, but it's also natural, and for me that was a huge factor. If I could have snapped my fingers and taken it away I would have, but the epidural comes with risks and side effects (and pain!) that made it all kind of a toss up. You'll be great!
We had 2 under 2, so pretty different circumstances. I honestly remember sooo little from that first year with both of them – just random flashbacks of sitting on the kitchen floor nursing while trying to get my screaming toddler to come in from the garage, and 5am wake ups with one or both kids. The sleep deprivation is so hard, but I think having Mazen in school will be SO helpful for you all. He will have a routine and a schedule, and you won’t feel so stretched having to give 2 kids your attention all day and night. I also think you’ll find a baby easier the second time around! I’m currently babysitting a 4 month old once a week, in addition to having my 3 and 5 year old at home with me, and the baby is a piece of cake compared to them! For the first 6 months all they need is milk, diapers, and a change of clothes!
Thanks for sharing so openly. I love these posts! My low after my second was born, was that the baby was actually the jealous one! My oldest was fine, but my youngest is still so unhappy if her sister is sitting on my lap. This is really difficult, and a situation that didn’t even occur to me. The high is definitely the incredible increase in love. I thought, how could I ever love anything more than my child, but the love just expands and grows with the second. It is so wonderful.
Exciting times!! We have two girls, two years apart…now 3 & 5. One thing I can tell you from my experience is that you will not bring nearly as much gear with you for baby #2. You just won’t. Also, you likely won’t be hyper focused on there being a baby around, if that makes sense. Like life won’t stop, new baby just gets incorporated into what is. Hopefully you get a good sleeper…it will all be amazing, either way! Best of luck!
Are you going to do all the night feedings? I did with both of mine while I was home on leave, since I did have the opportunity to nap during the day, but once I went back to work, we alternated nights. I did also go to bed early and my husband did the last feeding and put then put them to bed.
I don’t know yet! Since I plan to breastfeed again I’ll at least be doing that part.
Stephanie C says
I’ve got a almost 3.5 yr old and an 8 month old. The sibling bond really is sweet. We are only now getting to my oldest being slightly annoyed when his little brother grabs things from him.
With regards to second births, my first was traumatic so in comparison the second birth was a breeze. We utilized Moms on Call methods to get a good sleeper and I’m thankful we did that this time around. Scheduling has made things so much easier and now that he’s older we can be a bit more flexible on the weekends. I’d we had another I wouldn’t hesitate to use that method again, I can’t really go too long with sleep deprivation as it triggers a lot of health and mental health issues and our doctor has always approved.
When I was pregnant with my 2nd I worried a lot about not being able to give as much attention to my toddler once the new baby was born, but the hardest thing has actually been the opposite! I have had a lot of anxiety and guilt over having to let my (much more needy) 2nd baby cry more than I’d like while I am tending to my older one or just to household tasks, etc. Mine are 26 months apart, and I think the bigger age gap in your case will make the transition quite a bit easier and more fun. There are advantages to having kids close together but I think getting through the baby stage is bound to be easier the more independent the older ones are. I will say though that in general I felt MUCH more relaxed and go with the flow the second time around, and I have often thought of how lucky I am that I got to do the whole thing again so that I could experience mothering a newborn without so much worry and second-guessing of my decisions. Excited for you to get to experience that too!! I am currently pregnant with my 3rd, though, and this baby will only be 18 months younger than my 2nd…and I will admit I’m downright SCARED of how it’s going to be this time around!! I guess no matter how many you have there’s always a healthy mix of excitement and nervousness!
Haha best of luck!!
Honestly Kath, every additional child we added to our family was SOOOO much easier. I think because I knew what to expect and that the tough times were temporary made such a huge difference for me, mentally and emotionally. I’m currently 29 weeks pregnant with baby #4 and my nerves center around attention. I just want to make sure that I’m able to provide each child with the attention and support that they need and require. This is especially true with my 3 year old who is SUPER attached to me. However truly, at the end of the day I know deep down it all works out ?. So excited for all of you as you start this next chapter of your lives. Healthy, happy and thriving is all that matters.
I have two boys, 4 years apart almost exactly, and we are still in the baby phase with #2 now (he’s 5 months). So I can’t speak to the whole first year yet! What I will say is that I was definitely nervous about labor the second time around. My first labor was veeeeery similar to yours (birth center, supportive doula, labored at home awhile, cried a lot, ~25 hrs): humbling, but very empowering. Second time around I went in hopeful but cautious knowing I might have a longer labor…and I was at the birth center about ~3 hrs before he arrived! It was a pleasant surprise. The first several months with two were hard. I found that I had a really hard time being alone with both kids because it was so overwhelming…and my older son had been my whole world, so it was so hard to simultaneously just want to hang with him, and want him to go away and burn off his seemingly unlimited energy with someone else while I rested and bonded with the baby. Like Mazen, my older son is in preschool so that made a huuuge difference. Basically, the adjustment to two was hard but the labor was easy! But seeing them together is amazing. I can’t wait for you to experience that part…there’s nothing like it. Good luck!
As a mom of 2 boys (11 and 14yrs now) I can relate to some of your concerns. I did, however, find the sleep deprivation etc a bit easier with the second. With my first son I felt like I would never sleep again. With my second son I knew the hard stages were temporary. Different mindset did wonders for my sanity 🙂
I have a six year old and a four year old and honestly, I want to go again! I think your age gap will be fine. With number two you’re more relaxed. You know what to expect which makes it easier.
You’ll be fine x
Christy Cormons says
So exciting! 2 kids is a whole new world – for the better of course but such a game changer. Here were our takeaways (granted we had them 16 mos apart so take this with a grain of salt):
1. Hubby says his life didn’t change at all with 1 kid. With 2 he became responsible for a kid any second he was not at work.
2. Sleep. THANK GOD I kept M in daycare. I felt so guilty sending her a few days a week because I wanted that time with her too before I went back to work but it was the best thing for everyone. I could bond, nap, run errands with an infant and she got to play without having to share time with a nursing baby.
3. Everyone told me that when both kids need something at the same time ALWAYS tend to the older/toddler first. I think this is smart. The baby will cry but will wait and will not be scarred. That older kid is testing where he fits in and needs to be reassured that he’s important too and not taking a backseat.
4. At the time (i.e 1st 6 months) I honestly thought I was going to die. I didn’t have any form of postpartum thankfully but I felt like I wasn’t good at anything! I felt torn between who and where to put my time and energy and spread SOOOO thin which made me feel like I was failing on all fronts. I knew instantly I was done at 2 kids and was so frustrated with myself because I’m smart, capable and type A – why couldn’t I manage this. It’s just SO MUCH WORK. I brought the baby into work to visit after a few weeks and a customer approached and she looked me in the eyes and she said “You’re going to be okay. It’s f’ing hard to have 2 small kids. F’ing hard.” And her eye contact gave me a boost. I pulled on what she said for MONTHS and to this day I wish I could go back and thank her. By no means did she give me any advice but having someone recognize what I was feeling and validate it was huge for me and made me feel less alone. IT’s F’ING HARD!
5. This too shall pass. It all goes sooo fast. As you’re frustrated with a stage or moment know that it’s going to be gone in a flash and on to the next thing.
6. Going back to work – I’m so grateful I took 12 weeks with both kids and it’s hard to work and have 2 kids. Hard. (Notice a theme here). I’ve really tried to be intentional though – when I’m with them there’s no phone, email, work thoughts. When I’m at work I bust my butt to make every second count so I can get home to them ASAP.
I also read this once a week since I found it over a year ago. It’s been life changing to keep things in check.
We just had our second, and there’s a 5-year age difference too. As excited as my daughter was for “Sissy” to come, it has been quite an adjustment for her, and she’s been jealous and sad, which has been the hardest part of Baby #2 (I wasn’t quite prepared emotionally for seeing her struggle so). Best of luck to you in that respect! On the upside, she’s a pretty good helper and it’s nice to have only one in diapers, though it’s a bit of a shock to go from one so independent to one so dependent! I’m excited for your whole family!
Two is definitely a game changer. My daughter is 5 and my son is 15 months. Sleep deprivation rises to the top of cons but seeing them interact is the best pro! Also, my daughter is a quality timer, so when she is not acting herself, I carve some time out for her and it really works as a reset for her! On the birthing front, I delivered both all natural and felt more mentally prepared the second go around, but my son was the most difficult…he was 9 lbs 11oz and I had no clue! It’s wonderful to see you on this journey again!
Lisa C. says
I’m a mom of 5 (15 down to 2) and , in my experience, you’re more relaxed after your first. You’re more relaxed because you’ve done it before and know that the hard times don’t last forever!
Mrs. Money says
My first birth was SO PAINFUL I swore I would never do it again and I meant every word of that. My second birth was so much better! I would do it again in a heartbeat. I had home births with both so no drugs. I’m confident your next birth will be wonderful!
It’s so great to hear stories like this!
Anne Atkins says
Just had baby #3 one month ago. Her siblings are 2.5 and 4.5. I have to leave the house or I get serious cabin fever. I was in such a comfortable routine before the baby and was super nervous about leaving the house leading up to the birth. But only a month old and I have it figured out (for the most part). I still do at least one fun activity every day with the kiddos. If you want it bad enough, you’ll figure it out!