38 weeks and 5 days. That is when my 1st son Jax came in to this world.
It’s 38 weeks and 4 days. I am sitting on the couch watching television when I have this gut feeling that something is going to happen tonight. From the beginning of my 2nd pregnancy, I knew this little guy wanted to come before my scheduled C-Section at 39 weeks. I had an inkling he would arrive on the same exact day as his big brother. That night, I kept getting up to go to the bathroom and my husband was looking at my weird and asking what was wrong. Maybe I was going more than usual? I didn’t want to make him paranoid because there were no real signs yet, just a feeling. So I waited.
2:30am like clock work, I got up from my bed to use the bathroom and my water broke. Yep the same exact day as Jax. It’s actually rare to have your water break, so I was not even sure if it would happen the 2nd time around. I told my husband, “my water broke we have to go!” I went in to full baby mode at that moment, and started grabbing our bags and packing the car. My mother in law was over our house in 5 minutes to watch Jax, and we were on our way. If you know me, then you know that I am terrified of surgeries. I have been dreading this day for 9 months. In order for this to go well, I knew I needed to change my mindset and try to be as relaxed as possible. With Jax, I had an awful reaction to the anesthesia and my nerves took over. I had a plan this time and I was going to do everything in my power to stick to it. It’s incredible how simply changing my mindset and managing my stress better had such a drastic effect on how the delivery process.
I called everyone at 2:30 am to wake their asses up! C’mon it’s game time. My dad was not so happy to be woken up in the middle of the night, but he knows out all of his daughters, I am the most spastic and he was by my side within the hour. There were just a few tears on my end, and maybe one or two “you are embarrassing me here Carrie” from my dad. After a solid hour of playing classical music in my pre-op room, I started to feel calmer. YEP! That is what helped me through this surgery. Playing classical music from my favorite movies helped calm my nerves and anxious feeling (side note- Legends of the Fall and Forest Gump soundtrack on repeat)!
The spinal was a breeze…I know it’s the scariest part right?! I sat there in the OR room with my music on and tried my best to let it take me to another place. Anxiety is real and because there is nothing you can take to help with anxiety before delivering, I had to find other methods. After Leo was born, I was actually able to hold him this time. With Jax, my shaking was so bad I wasn’t able to properly hold him and enjoy those amazing moments when I got to meet my son for the first time. Everything went exactly how I had hoped it would. My recovery was much better this time, and I was back on my feet on day 1!
Balancing 2 Boys
I wasn’t really scared of having a newborn again. Since Leo is my second child, I wasn’t as worried about whether or not I could survive the first two weeks with a newborn. I was more nervous about having to balance 2 kids. Will Jax be mad at me? Will he like the baby? How am I going to split my time between two kids now? These thoughts were flooding my mind every moment up until the delivery. When Jax met Leo it was so sweet. It truly made my heart melt seeing my two boys together. He was excited to meet him for about 2 min and pretty quickly asked Leo for his big brother presents. He’s 3 so I will give him a pass this one time!
The first week home with both of them was tough on me. I cried…ALOT. I saw a change in Jax and it was emotionally draining. He was distant. My son is obsessed with being around me so it was difficult to see. There wasn’t anything I could do. I wanted to spend time with him and make him feel better, but I had to spend time with my newborn. As more days passed, things got easier to manage and I tried to remind myself that this is not personal. Jax is going through a major change in his life and we need to be patient. Luckily things turned around and every day I try and find special alone time for me and Jax to spend together. The first two weeks with a newborn are tough for the big brother or big sister.
Tip 1: Make sure you pick one or two days a week where you focus solely on your other child. Prepare fun projects and activities that you can do together! Jax has been loving this and feels special.
Tip 2: Try to feed the baby before your other child wakes up each day. This has been so helpful. As soon as Jax wakes up, I can put the baby down and focus on him and his needs before school. I have been letting him make his own lunch with me in the morning, and he loves the attention and being involved. As rushed as we all are in the morning time, try to take a deep breath and enjoy it. They are only little once, right?!
Tip 3: I gave Jax a stuffed animal to pretend he has his own baby to play with and it has been great! He feeds his baby and burps him. Getting him used to those tasks just like mommy has been great to connect him with the baby more!
Tip 4: This one is simple but he loves his big bother shirts and books. It makes him feel so proud and excited to be a big brother!
My Newborn Survival Kit – How to survive the first 2 weeks with a newborn
Going through this all for a 2nd time, you are certainly WAY more relaxed as a parent. Even with no sleep, I am calmer and know what to expect. I’m not as nervous and feel more confident in taking care of my second baby. Plus, I have my sister Katie to call for any and all questions (sorry Kate). There are some products that have been life savers for me these past two weeks and I have been using them around the clock with Leo. Here are some of the ones I want to share with you!
Quick low down on these products:
This Dr Brown’s Sterilizer is great for cleaning your breast pump parts. It makes cleaning everything so much faster and easier! After sterilizing everything, I place it on this boon drying rack which I love as well!
The Baby Shusher is pure magic guys. It puts Leo to sleep in minutes! Anything to help soothe him back to sleep is a must for me. It mimics the soundn your baby hears in the womb and truly is a miracle worker.
The Rock and Play is what I use all day long. I have the MamaRoo and other swings/seats, but Leo loves this the most and feels most comfortable sleeping here during his naps. There is something about the rocking, vibration and cozy space that makes it the perfect product for a newborn.
I am obsessed with my Medela Sonata pump. I have so much milk stored in my freezer already it’s insane. The suction strength and power feels much different than the one I used with Jax.
Yes, I am a proud swaddler! I’ve tried many swaddles and brands and my favorite so far are the Ollie Swaddles. The fabric is amazing and he isn’t breaking through this one as easily.
The Keekaroo has been one of my favorite purchases this year. I don’t have to go back and forth to his room to change him every 10 minutes. I have my Keekaroo out in my main living space and have it set up a little changing area. It has made changing him so much easier and also keeps the baby away from Jax’s room in the middle of the night. I don’t need 2 babies waking up! No thanks.
During the night time I have him sleeping right next to me in the Halo Bassinest. This product is also incredible and it makes it so easy to quickly breast feed him when he wakes. I have the swivel sleeper which moves in every direction! It also has sidewalls that bend to make it easier to grab your baby next to your bed. It also has music and vibration to help soothe them.
The last item that I love is my wipe warmer. Many people told me not to get this but he doesn’t cry when I wipe him anymore and I am OK with that!
Other items to keep handy for mom:
After delivery isn’t fun. There is no other way to say it. You have to cleanse everything that has been inside your body for 9 months and it’s not always so easy to clean. This gadget by Frida Baby was super easy to use and helped when I couldn’t really move in certain ways. You can hold it upside down and clean in areas you just cannnot reach. Sorry for over sharing guys, but there is no filtering here. And hey, keep it around when you finish feeding. It seems like an awesome product to have once you get your monthly visit from Aunt Flo.
Haakaa let down pump- Don’t let that gold go to waste guys! This pump suctions to your other breast when you are feeding your baby. Allowing any of that milk to be caught in the pump and not go to waste! Breast milk is gold people! Every drop matters!
Breast Feeding Tips
Jax never latched. I had a very difficult time BF with him. He never got the hang of it and I was super stressed out during the process. I managed to BF him only with a nipple shield. I did not want to have the same thing happen with Leo. I have to say he is a BF champ now! He is doing so well. I have actually introduced a bottle to him and he has no issues whatsoever. Here are a few tips that I learned over the past two weeks that have helped me greatly!
Tip 1: Try not to be stressed out. I knew I had to be patient with Leo. I felt like Jax knew I was anxious and when I would try new holds I didn’t have the temperament I do today. Being calmer with my 2nd most definitely became a major advantage in BF properly.
Tip 2: The sandwich hold. YES! This was the hold that made him latch properly and the hold the lactation consultant told me to keep trying.
Tip 3: Apply Cream. Apply Cream. Apply Cream! Every day multiple times a day, I put the Medela cream on. The pain is bad. It hurts. It feels like your skin is literally ripping off. It is getting better every day but I still feel it. Push through the pain! Put on the cream to help keep them moisturized! I have been told that after 3 weeks it will start to feel better. Keep at it!
Tip 4: Don’t introduce a pacifier or bottle until your baby has latched. With Jax, I gave him a paci in the hospital. With Leo, I waited and I could tell a huge difference. Now he knows how to use all of them and there is no confusion.
Two weeks in, I sort of feel like I am starting to find my groove. Having 2 kids is definitely tough. There is no way to sugar coat it. I know it’s going to take some time to figure out a routine that works best for me, but I am really proud of how well I am doing today. Katie and Alison have still refused to give me a proper maternity leave, but I am enjoying my time home with Leo. You never get this time again and I am loving every second with him. Feeling very fortunate!