Monday, December 8, 2014

Two Weeks

Patooties Photography
 (the picture has been already copyrighted with the logo in upper right corner) 

Today marks two weeks since Frankie came into the world to be with us. I am still processing the fact that Frankie is already here! The weeks have gone by like a blur. I remember when Forrest first came home with us, the first  3 to 4 months of his life is just a blur, and I only remember the "snap shot" moments of that time period. I am sure it is what probably happens when I try look back at this time with Frankie as a newborn, and raising both of our young boys.

For my whole pregnancy, I worried that Forrest would end up struggling with accepting his new role as a big brother, because he was very adamant that he was the baby while Frankie was a "pig". Yes, Frankie was a pig for a longest time. Hey, it was how Forrest related to my strange growing bump, and us being in the dark about Frankie's gender probably made it a bit harder for Forrest to relate as well.

On the night when Frankie was born, I struggled with the idea of losing Forrest as my only baby, and it was hard on me emotionally. The guilt ate at me, Oh my gosh, I am doing this poor kid a disservice! The sadness enveloped me, Forrest isn't going to be my only baby anymore. Denial played a part in this as well, I don't think Jellybean will be here until early December, and this is probably a false labor...after all, I have no idea what natural labor feels like, and I feel pretty good. So this can't be labor. A fear gripped at me, I really want Jellybean, but am I ready to be a mom of two, and what have I gotten myself into?! I had a bit of worry if I would love Frankie as much as I love Forrest. 

I did cry on the way to the hospital. It was such a life-changing experience, and I was not the one to adapt so quickly to new things. Looking back, if I had only known, then I would have told myself not to worry so much. It really did work out for the best. Forrest did not feel singled out. He did not feel rejected. My relationship with Forrest did not change. Stu, and Forrest bonded more, which made Stu happy, and it made me happy to see their rapport become deeper. Forrest spent the whole time doting on Frankie. He took every chance to kiss Frankie, and to pet Frankie's head. Forrest liked letting me know when Frankie was making noise.

We did have some bumps with Forrest adjusting to our new roles in the home. It was more of a typical toddler thing, than it was about having a new sibling in the home. Forrest doesn't like time outs in his corner, and is learning how to apologize when he is in wrong. It is a bit of a learning curve. However, in a long run, it will pay off for Forrest.

Matter of fact, I felt that Forrest liked the fact that he was getting to be a big boy. Forrest had recently transitioned from his crib to a toddler bed! It was time. Forrest had no problem taking to his toddler bed, and loved having his new found freedom reign around the bedroom during his nap time. We also had Forrest pass down his high chair space saver down to Frankie, and received a big boy booster chair for the dining table! Forrest still needed a bit of growing up to go yet to be able to meet the table level at his chest. It did not seem to bother him though!

The next step was to transition Forrest out of diapers into big boy underwear after Christmas, most likely around New Year's. I figured that it would be a good idea to start encouraging Forrest to start using potty, and go from there, rather than pushing him into being toilet trained. Ideally, it would have been great if we could get Forrest potty trained by summer of '15 just a bit before his third birthday. Ugh, I don't want to think about Forrest turning 3 just quite yet. Anyway, it would be great if we can have Forrest out of diapers, especially with his eczema flaring up so bad from his skin not breathing well through diapers, and have his skin issues managed better by using underwear instead.

Forrest is loving the fact that he is no longer a "baby", and is a big boy now. We reinforce constantly with him that he is doing so great as a big boy.

Frankie has been such an easy baby. He is so different than Forrest from when Forrest was a newborn. I can't help but constantly compare their experiences, and I have to remind myself that they are two different beings. While I do not expect them to be exactly carbon copy of each other, I still kind of expect to have similar experiences between those two.

I am rather surprised at how well I've been recovering physically from giving birth to Frankie. Within hours of giving birth, I am able to get up, and walk around with no problem. It is even better with postpartum bleeding this time around, despite one scary large sized clot (it is ONE of things that people DON'T TALK about postpartum recovery, and I wish they had so I would have been prepared about it instead of freaking out thinking I was dying), and the tear is healing up just fine. I won't be surprised if I get a clean bill of health from Dr. Mbah today.

I've been losing my pregnancy weight without much qualms, thanks to nursing. I still do not fit in my pre-pregnancy jeans, thanks to my hips, but that is okay! I will take Frankie over fitting into my jeans. I do see that I have to do a bit of work to tone up in order to get back in the shape this time around, however, I don't feel a pressing need to do it immediately. After all, my boys' needs come first, and I want to give myself time to bounce back without it impacting my milk supply. I will probably start focusing on my health, and toning up in the spring rather than now when my boys are still really small.

Hormonally, it is tougher this time around with Frankie than it is with Forrest. I do find myself getting overwhelmed by my anxiety. I have cried far more often than I care to let on. I am lucky to have such a supportive husband to quickly give me chocolate, word of support, a hug, and a kiss as needed. Stu has been taking care of Forrest while I focus on Frankie. He is very willing to take off from work as needed to help if I need it. Also, I find it very helpful to avoid people that are less than healthy to deal with. I have left several mommy groups on Facebook, reduced my time with toxic people, and surrounded myself around positive people. Also, being in cue with my body, and my emotions have helped. For instance, I often find that I am weepy when I am most tired, and I just end up going to bed early as soon as Frankie is down for bed.

Instead of getting very emotional about it, or rather after being emotional about a matter, I find humor in it, and laugh. Matter of fact, the other day, unrelated to going out with two boys, I forgot my poor hound dog outside for two hours in the cold!! Oh, I felt HORRIBLE for forgetting the poor thing in the cold, and definitely cried about it. However, I did find humor in it, and ended up laughing about it (after spoiling Turkey with bacon strips, and a very warm electric blanket for her to lay on--which I think she really did not mind about)!! Fortunately, Turkey has forgiven me as well.

Aside from being a hormonal mess once in every while, I am more relaxed with motherhood this time around, and I find that Frankie has brought a lot of harmony into my sense of being. With just Forrest, it is easier to micromanage everything, because he is the only child. With two kids, I can't do that. I don't have time for that! I have to trust that everything will be okay, and it usually does turn out just fine. I don't check on Forrest as frequently when he is sleeping, or follow up on him to make sure Stu took care of everything for him, and I most certainly don't constantly check on Frankie to make sure he is breathing. I trust my instinct, and listen to myself when I think something is up.

In home, things are adjusting wonderfully, and I am able to get my routine down in the morning without feeling like I have no handle on things. It's easy with two kids, and Stu getting ready for work. Going out, however, is a whole other ball game. The last two outings have been dismal, and chaotic. Not good at all. Not because my boys are the reason of dismal outings. My inexperience is the reason why. However, I am NOT deterred at all. Matter of fact, it has made me even MORE determined to go out again, again, and again, until I have it down to "T". It's the stubborn nature in me not to give up on myself, on my boys, and on the situation.

Once I get more experience, I should be able to handle outings much better, and be able to take my boys around without feeling like a chaotic mess. Of course, I laugh about it now, but in the moment, it is just AHH. Anyway, it also has definitely made me more softer toward parents of multiple kids! I look forward to warmer weather already so I can take my boys out for a walk, and enjoy the weather.

It is amazing how much my life has changed, as much as Stu's, in the past 2 weeks. Like I have mentioned in Frankie's birth story post, it has definitely been an adventure with two boys!