Monday, July 2, 2012

One Hour of Affirmation

In my chaotic world I choose not to dwell on things that I can't control. One of those things I choose not to think about is what it will be like to have a newborn again. Can I do it? With two?

For those that knew me after I had Bradley, you probably know that I didn't have the easiest time with him in an infant state. Between healing "the hard way" from labor (ask if you want and I'll tell), a fussy but technically not colicy baby, and postpartum depression; I had a really rough go for a few months. Thank goodness I had Kyli's couch to sit on when I was so lonely. For those reasons, I really really choose not to think about the impending future of post birth.

Beyond the physical ailments, I also choose not to think about how I will be able to care for him. (For all my denial, I do think a lot about how the new baby will impact Bradley-I have lots of plans for this.) I am not a baby person. I do not have "baby instincts" or "baby skills." I've always awed at mothers who will claim to know things like, "oh he's just gassy, he just needs to be burped," "oh he's just hungry," "oh he is over stimulated and cranky," "he has a gassy belly" "he is teething" "he just needs a little rocking." What? I promise you the only reason my life had any semblance of order was because I did things on a schedule and had a mental of list of things to go through when Bradley was crying for an hour or so.. I guess I would rather just take what comes, when it comes with this new baby rather than worry about how potentially hard it will be - especially with two.

Today I had to pull out the mommy skills though. I was late into Relief Society and took the end seat on the back row only to find out that the next two seats were occupied by the woman who has two, young, foster kids in her care and a friend. Each woman had a child on her lap, then one began to fuss and the other began to run. So the mom set both kids with the friend lady across the way and ran to get a bottle and a toy. Naturally this poor lady could not handle both a toddler and crying infant at the same time, so I took the infant. Suddenly there was a bottle in my hand and the ladies were gone. hmm.

The only true mom skill I developed with Bradley was the bounce/rock. It was the only action that soothed Bradley for a nap. So after the bottle was gone I popped that binki in and started to bounce. The little boy instantly calmed. What? Did I do that?

Then the mom sat down beside me and whispered that this poor boy was abandoned and she only had him for a few days before he was moving on. Suddenly I couldn't let him go, I held him tight hoping he would know that for at least an hour he was loved. Instantly he was asleep and stayed that way the rest of time while I cradled and rocked him in my seat and cried in my mind for him.

By the end of the hour I knew that I could do it again. I knew that no matter what this new baby threw at me, even if I didn't know every second what my baby was feeling and how to fix it, I would always love him. And love him more than any other person in the world. No matter what hard things I must overcome in those early months, I would never give up. Ya never know, I may be lucky enough to have a more chill second child and all my angst is for naught.

Don't worry, this little boy will have a happy ending. An infertile couple is adopting him, and has even already adopted his older sister. He will have more than the one hour of snuggles we had, he will have a loving family to grow up in.

As for me it was a very revealing hour.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

You can do it! I was very worried about having two. When I was pregnant with Nora and Lillian would run full speed into the parking lot at the grocery store, I would think "What the heck am I going to do when this happens and I have an infant?" And, I know this isn't what you want to hear, but I think that bringing home the second baby was the hardest transition; your older kid has no idea what's going on, they just know that suddenly, it's not all about them and that's really hard for them. I don't want to make you freak out, but no one warned me. Also, I probably should have gone on anti-depressants after Nora but I didn't, which made the transition so much worse. With Ethan, I started taking them when he was about 1 month old, and it made life SO MUCH BETTER. I didn't feel crazy or sad or out of control. With our next baby, I'm going to ask for a prescription in the hospital before I leave.

It's hard. It's so hard, but you can do it... and just remember that it will only get easier. And if you feel overwhelmed, you can call me and kvetch.