I probably should have divided this into several posts, as this is a bit of a long one. But I decided to post it at all once this time. 🙂 So you can read it in pieces or just read the sections that interest you. Thank you for the great questions, Everyone!!! You all rock!
What do you miss most now that you’re on a special diet as a breastfeeding mom? – Yes, I had to give up dairy, eggs, soy, and nuts while breastfeeding; because Kaitlyn is intolerant to them. (I’ve been off those foods for a month now, and she is doing SO much better).
Hmmm, what do I miss most? Honestly, cheese. Ha, ha. The first thing I’m ordering after I’m done breastfeeding is a large cheese pizza with a side of cheese sticks!!
Is adding a second baby just as tough on a marriage as adding the first child was? – Yes and no… Like I’ve said before, I’m super proud of how well Nate and I worked together when Brady arrived. Yes, we had a few months where the most romantic thing we did every day was a peck on the lips before bed. (We were exhausted beyond belief and so busy taking care of our new baby boy). But we really did try to focus on our marriage, and we came through stronger and more in love!
So this time around, we’ve been more aware of how things will be for awhile. That has made the busy time even more bearable. (We’re very much aware of the fact that this is only for a season). ALSO, it has encouraged us to do even better than last time; so we try to make sure we communicate… and make time for intimacy, even if we’re tired. Taking the time to snuggle or hug before bed is huge.
So I’d say this time has been even smoother than last time, even if we have our days same as anyone would. 🙂
(I just found this gem of a picture from Brady’s first campfire. This is definitely how we feel as parents some days. Ha, ha)!!
You’re supermom for giving up so many foods while breastfeeding. How do you do it? Awwww, thank you, Missy! Honestly, I don’t think I’m supermom at all. I think we all do what we need to do if we feel it’s best for our kids. I’m a huge proponent of supporting and encouraging moms, because we are all super!!
Is it really harder to lose the baby weight the second time around? – Actually, I’ve already reached my pre-pregnancy weight! (That’s only my first goal, since I had put on about 20 extra pounds before having Kaitlyn. So now I’m trying to reach my weight from before having Brady). But I really do feel great! To keep up my breastmilk, I have to consume a lot of calories each day and make sure that the weight loss is slow, and – so far – it’s going perfectly. But every week, I feel stronger and healthier!
That being said, my body didn’t bounce back as quickly this time around. I still can’t fit into my jeans (other than maternity); because I’m carrying weight in my hips, butt, and belly. Last time around, I was wearing my favorite jeans by this point. But mentally, I’m still very positive and confident. And physically, I’m feeling stronger and healthier every week!
How is Brady adjusting to life with a sibling? – This has a two part answer, to be honest. The adjustment has definitely come with its challenges… The first couple of weeks went quite smoothly, but the last few weeks have been tougher. Because he’s unable to express his feelings verbally, he has acted out in anger quite a bit. It’s very apparent that it hurts his feelings that mommy can’t cuddle or play with him the way she used to, and he’s just too little to understand it completely. We also are stuck home a lot more now. So he screams at me a lot or punches things (including himself). If I respond with a calm smile and try to keep things light, he just gets angrier. In his little head, he thinks that a negative response from me – or even getting into trouble – is better than not getting attention at all.
I’ve had to do a lot of research to learn how to calmly deal with his episodes, because I don’t want to ignore it. But at the same time, normal time-outs don’t always work. He’s really crying out for attention and security, so acting appropriately has been vital.
The biggest thing I’ve done to help lessen these outbursts has been to spend quality time with him whenever Kaitlyn is napping or lying peacefully. (The dishes or cleaning can wait. If I have the chance, we’ll snuggle, dance, sing, or read). Also, if Nate is home, I’ll let him watch Kaitlyn; so that Brady and I can go for a walk, play in the yard, read books, or do a craft. I’ve really tried to make sure we spend the time together that he needs, and I’ve honestly seen an improvement in his overall attitude!
That being said, despite his occasional anger and insecurities, Brady loves his baby sister! I have never before seen my mischievous, loud, and energetic boy so gentle. (Honestly, I’m shocked by it). He touches her belly lightly with his fingertips and smiles at her with such love and devotion. It is absolutely the SWEETEST thing. She’s the first thing he wants to see when he wakes up in the morning; and if he can’t immediately see her, he has to seek her out.
“Where’s baby Kaitwin?” he’ll ask. “She’s qwute.” (a.k.a. cute)
So while the adjustment hasn’t been easy, it has been worth it. The love he has for her has already shown that they will be close and that their friendship will be strong. And soon enough, having a baby sister will be a new normal for him!
What does a normal day at your house look like right now? – This was my most requested question! 🙂 Stay tuned for my day-in-the-life post! 🙂
How has your breastfeeding journey been compared to your last one? – So Kaitlyn latched perfectly for the first two weeks, and then she struggled with it a bit. (I’m wondering if she might have a lip tie like Brady did, so I need to get that checked). And obviously, Kaitlyn has the same intolerances that Brady did, so I’m on the same restricted diet.
Honestly though, the toughest thing for me has been Brady… even though I’m breastfeeding Kaitlyn. Like I mentioned above, he’s struggling a bit with the fact that I don’t have as much time for him anymore. So when Kaitlyn cluster-feeds and wants to eat every hour and a half, he really struggles with that. (Also he gets into absolutely everything when I’m trying to give Kaitlyn her milk. So it doesn’t make for a calm, intimate experience with my baby when I’m worried about what he might be playing with).
As a result, I’ve been pumping and feeding her bottles, and my plan is to eventually cut out some of the breastmilk bottles and supplement with formula (if we can find one that doesn’t bother her). That way, I’m not pumping as much and only breastfeeding at night. Hopefully that will still be a healthy option for Kaitlyn but a less stressful one for Brady.
In your opinion, is it more of a life change to go from no kids to 1 or from 1 kid to 2? – I received several questions similar to this too! The quick response is that – for me – it has been tougher going from 1 to 2. That being said, I don’t want to undermine just how big of an adjustment it is to add 1. 🙂
When Brady arrived, Nate and I were terrified of the most basic of things, including changing diapers. Every single thing was new and a tad bit overwhelming. And honestly, I was terrified of leaving the house and experiencing all the firsts; because I had never done them with an adorable, squishy baby before. That being said, I did absolutely love the newborn stage. A friend had reminded me to enjoy every stage, and I truly did.
Yes, it was an adjustment! Yes, I was exhausted beyond belief; and I sometimes mourned my sleep, freedom, and sense of self. But I also absolutely adored my little boy SO much that I could hardly put it into words, and I’d literally cry when I looked into his beautiful face. (Remember this post? I wrote it in the midst of my exhaustion back when Brady was a newborn…).
So yes, adding one was a lot, because it was an adjustment becoming a mom for the first time.
This time around, I’m not sweating the same things I did before. Honestly, after chasing after a toddler all the time, a sleepy newborn feels quite easy. Ha, ha. That being said, going from 1 to 2 has been tougher in that there is absolutely no down time… at all. (I so very rarely even get to use the bathroom alone).
When one is sleeping, the other needs me. And usually, they both need me at the same time. 😉 And I’ve missed having the time to snuggle with my newborn whenever I’d like, because – this time – I’m taking care of a two year old. When I just had Brady, I could enjoy the excuse to slow down and stay home more, but – these days – staying home can be torturous. Brady hates it and gets so bored (which means tantrums and a destroyed home). But at the same time, I’m not ready to bring a toddler and a newborn out much.
And on the rare occasion that they both are napping at the same time, I have so much laundry, meal prep, or tidying to do, I can’t imagine sitting down for a moment of rest. (Also, I had to deal with postpartum blues this time around, which I didn’t last time. That, of course, didn’t help anything).
So I guess this time is just busier and crazier. As always, worth it!! But definitely harder. I do know that life will continue to get easier though, so I’m trying to embrace this time… and to keep my chin up!! 🙂
What’s the best part about being the mom to two? – Seeing them interact! Just this morning, Brady was leaning in closely, letting Kaitlyn look into his eyes. And she sent him a sweet little giggle, and my heart just melted!
I know I’ve been really stressed lately, you guys, and sharing honest feelings with some struggles that I’ve faced. But things really are starting to get easier, as we get a bit of a schedule going. And I am just in love with my two little ones. God is continuously giving me strength, patience, and wisdom in how to best love both of them; and I know that I will just continue to learn. 🙂