As I sit down to write this post, it amazes me that it has been a whole month since my daughter, Delilah, was born and we became a family of 4.
Check out our beautiful birth story here.
Time in your parenting journey is a funny thing, it seems as if the days go by slow but before you know it, the weeks fly by.
Our first month of a family of four has felt like a rollercoaster ride. It has been such an exciting time filled with an abundance of joy and love but also a very stressful and somewhat chaotic time.
Not to mention the frequent poop explosions and adorable milky baby smiles.
Someday we will look back on our hardest days and laugh at what we found difficult…like our first few outings with both girls. They were disasters!!
We went to Delilah’s two-day check up and on the way there we were stuck in 40-minute traffic where we learned Delilah was not a fan of the car seat or stop and go traffic. She screamed ALL.THE.WAY!
Melina decided she couldn’t wear her flip flops because they started hurting, so she needed to be carried through the doctors. It wouldn’t have been that big of a deal but our double stroller was not in our car yet and I was still recovering and couldn’t handle the weight of Melina or the carrier.
We looked like a hot mess in that doctor’s office!! After all those frustrating moments we finally made it back in the car and my husband and I just looked at each other and laughed…“So this is what a family of four is like?!”
I hope that other new Mama’s will read this and relate instead of feeling like they are alone with the challenges that motherhood may bring.
Seasoned Mama’s of more than one…I am all ears for your advice!
First Born’s Reaction
If you don’t know already, we have a little girl that is 2.5 named Melina. Melina is the typical toddler, a lot of energy and a whole lot of personality!
She has shown Delilah so much love ever since she first met her in the hospital, just like I thought she would. It is one of the most precious things to witness your baby love your other baby.
She loves trying to be mommy’s helper and is the first one to check on her when she wakes up. Whenever we are about to go somewhere she will say to us “what about sissy”. We have asked her if we should leave Delilah behind and she always says “NO!”
But since we have settled in at home the first few days after the hospital, she has seemed different. Not different with Delilah, but different with my husband and I. I remind myself that she is still adjusting to our new family dynamics but it has been hard to handle her.
To be honest, so am I. And I am sure my husband would admit the same thing. For some reason,
I thought going from one to two kids would be a piece of cake. A walk in the park. We were so good with Melina that we didn’t think we would have issues adding another one.
Boy, did we get a wake-up call those first few days home. Two kids are the real deal! Our whole routine and flow have been off and we are still finding our rhythm a month later.
The hardest part for me has been maintaining my patience. Especially when I am breastfeeding Delilah while I am home alone with Melina.
It seems that five minutes after I sit down to start a feed, Melina is either finding trouble or has to go potty right now! (We recently potty trained her so we are working on wiping and pulling undies all the way down)
You may be thinking well why don’t you ask her if she has to use the bathroom before you start a feed…I do, but she refuses to go until she feels the urge.
When I take a step back, I see that this is most likely happening since my attention has shifted to Delilah during this time and she’s grasping for some attention on her.
I do my best to make sure we are playing before and after feeds. I have even attempted trying to play while feeding or snuggling up with her. Some days it feels like no matter how much attention we give her, it doesn’t make a difference.
I am praying that this is just an adjustment stage for all of us to work through. For now, I am planning on reading The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman to get a better understanding of how to connect with my daughter and fill her “love bucket”.
Wish me luck!
You never know how breastfeeding will go until you start your journey, even if you have been successful in the past.
Our first few feeds in the hospital were a little challenging. Delilah took a while to figure out how to get a good latch. Leaving me with some sore nipples…yay mom life.
Luckily the discomfort was eased by my Earth’s Mama Nipple Butter within a few days that I made sure to include in my hospital bag.
Here’s my hospital bag essentials checklist!
Newborns are commonly sleepy the first few days after birth, but Delilah seemed extra sleepy which meant very short feeds. During this time I had to pump A LOT to remain comfortable since my milk had come in.
For all the moms that exclusively pump…I give you a ton of respect! I HATE pumping. It takes forever, it’s uncomfortable, and you’re stuck to the machine. But it is worth it to get that liquid gold for your babes.
Now we have a good freezer stash for mom and dad to have date nights every now and again to keep our sanity!
A month later, my milk supply has finally evened out with the demands, making me only pump once in a great while.
For more breastfeeding advice click here.
Postpartum recovery is not only physically taxing but also emotionally. I am so thankful to have had an easy labor, making my postpartum recovery a breeze compared to my last birth. (I had postpartum hemorrhage that resulted in a blood transfusion and a longer recovery).
This time around, we were released from the hospital after 24 hours and I was feeling great! Yes, I still had all of the bleeding and cramping but nothing that felt too restricting.
The hardest part of recovery for me has been handling my emotions. There have been many days where I am overwhelmed and become emotional.
I wouldn’t go so far to say postpartum depression but I would probably guess I am on the border. Lately I have felt more like myself in the past week which has been a relief.
I have been battling anxiety for a few years now so it is important I keep an eye on my mental health for my family and myself.
Read more about my motherhood and anxiety: My Journey With Anxiety
I do not feel depressed or hopeless but frustrated that my days haven’t been how I imagined them. The lack of control of my days leaves me feeling angry. Then I feel guilty that I am not loving every moment of being a mother of two.
It is a vicious cycle inside my head.
The demands of motherhood are hard. Little did I understand the struggle until I was knee-deep into it. At times it feels like I constantly have one baby on my boob and the other is bouncing from one activity to another.
Yes, I was one to judge other mom’s before I even knew what they were going through and this experience has humbled me.
Just like other mom’s don’t know or see my struggle I do not see theirs.
Making some time for myself has been a huge help in recharging myself and allowing me to handle my tough days. My husband does his best relieving me when he comes home which has been really appreciated.
I have decided to resume seeing my therapist and am looking forward to seeing her within a few weeks.
I have no shame anymore admitting that talking to someone helps me process all of my difficult feelings. In fact, it is one of the best feelings when I walk out of there after our session.
I drive home, put on whatever I want in the car because yes I am alone! (Gangsta mom comes out) More importantly, I am more relaxed and at ease with my thoughts and emotions and can show up better as a mom with I am reunited back with them.
Our first few experiences out were pretty nuts and frustrating but we are not ones to sit home often. I don’t want to call us “busy” because that makes it sound like we are busy with commitments. Instead, we fill our time with activities that we enjoy as a family.
Since my recovery was pretty fast, we figured it would be best to continue our lives like normal so Melina doesn’t feel like everything has stopped since Delilah. We continued our library routine, often visited the park, met friends at our favorite beach, and even had a big family zoo trip!
Doing all of these outings have helped Melina get her energy out and have time to socialize, which is something she loves! This also gave me time to get out and about and help from feeling lonely.
Let’s face it, sometimes I need a bit more conversation than baby coos and explaining “why”.
Our first month as a family of four has not been as smooth or easy as I thought it would be.
But it is our journey as a family and for that it is beautiful.
Even on our hardest days, I wouldn’t give it up.
There is nothing that can compare to those moments when you look at your children and feel that rush of love that brings tears to your eyes.
Each season of parenting comes with challenges and this is no different.
I am excited to continue to find the routines that help our family thrive as a family of four…for now we take one day at a time making adjustments where we see fit.
Most days our primary focus is making sure both girls hearts are full of love and their bellies full of good food.