From 1 to 2, 3 to 4

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. The notion that we’re going from one child to two, a family of three to a family of four. It has been weighing so heavily on my mind.

I always said I wanted two kids. For as long as I can remember and I assume that to be a product of what I grew up in, a family of four. Four just sounds right in my head so I’ve always just seen that as my future.

I remember taking the pregnancy test. Kennedy wasn’t even 11 months old yet, just a couple days shy. My period was due and I knew it wasn’t coming. I hadn’t said anything out loud but I had a feeling I was pregnant. Kennedy woke up at 4 AM and I fed her a bottle and placed her back in her crib. I had to pee. Just as I was about to go I stopped and thought, “THE TEST!” I bought two the day before and had them in my car. I rushed out, grabbed it and went to take it. It was blazing positive almost instantly. I was in disbelief.

I posted a picture of it into my mom group and said…”Uh, this just happened this morning…” My mind was a blur. I stayed up because there was no way I was going to be able to sleep again. I got ready for work. Kennedy woke up so I got her ready. I wondered if I should tell Anthony right away or wait til I took a digital test. He came into the kitchen and I instantly said, “I have something to tell you.” He looked a little confused. I whipped the test out of my purse and handed it to him. He was SO excited. I was excited, nervous, terrified, amazed, basically every emotion known to mankind.

It didn’t kick in until later but it kicked in when I took two more tests and had two more positives that I was sad. I was mourning. It happened when I looked at my sweet K and realized I was already giving her a sibling. I was already going to take my attention and split it in half and my heart broke. I cried. I felt horrible and like I was ruining something, that I was going to ruin her and I.

I got home and I stared at Anthony and cried again. He asked me what was wrong and I explained it to him. He hugged me and said it was going to be okay and I deep down know he is right but it still didn’t feel right in that moment.

I was terrified to have a daughter when I found out I was pregnant with Kennedy. There’s always this stigma that girls are “Daddy’s girls” and boys are “Mama’s boys” so I thought that I wasn’t going to have the connection to her that I wanted because of it.

Was I wrong. I’ve tried to explain it in a way that can be understood but simply put, she is my little soulmate. While our kids are half of you and half of your significant other, and most commonly we refer to our significant other as our soulmate, which Anthony is, but I think you have more than one. There are people that just touch your heart in a way that in unexplainable.

My little fireball K is one of those. She softened me, she taught me patience (even though some days there isn’t enough of it), she’s showed me unconditional love, pure joy, humor, silliness…I could go on forever. But what really gets me is her heart. She’s a lover, through and through. She will come up to you while you’re in the kitchen and cling to your leg. If you’re sitting on the ground, she’ll walk over to you turn around and lower herself into your lap. She’ll walk behind you while you’re sitting on the ground and hug your back and then look at you over your shoulder as if to say, “Hi, it’s me!” Her giggle is 3 times the size of her, her smile is too.

It’s those things that let me know she’s going to love being a big sister which helps me as a mom process going from 1 to 2 little ones and that our family of 3 is about to be 4. She’s going to give us plenty of shouts of her 3rd favorite word, “Bayyyy-beeee” when she sees him and I’ll turn into a puddle of mush. Even though it’s going to be an adjustment I’m thankful my little Kennedy was my first born. I don’t think I could have had a more perfect little soul to teach me how to be a mother. I’m thankful for her and that time I’ve had of just her, Anthony and I.

I think I’ll still be nervous for this coming change to our family but we aren’t too far off from our new normal. It’ll be March before we know it! Until then I’ll soak up the time I have and make sure we have plenty of Kenny dates with lots of hugs, giggles and cuddles.

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Almost a year.

It’s almost been 365 days since I went to my last doctor’s appointment before I was put on bedrest. Which means it’s incredibly close to my daughter’s first birthday and I’m trying to wrap my brain around where the heck the last year went.

It’s been such a year. In so many ways. More than just with the addition of a child, there were so many changes, surprises, frustrations, victories and everything in between.

I remember the day my maternity leave started abruptly. It was a week before I planned for my leave to start and it threw me through a loop. What was supposed to be a routine visit ended with me heading to the hospital for monitoring and testing.

Monitoring and testing became my new normal until my daughter was born. Every Monday and Thursday I had to go to my doctor’s office for an NST scan. I sat on the monitors for 30 minutes or until the nurse was satisfied with her movements and my readings. The same comment was made every time one of the scans started, “If we don’t get enough movements, I’ll have to send you to the hospital.” Nothing like some nervous energy and a pep talk to your baby in utero before the machine started going.

Those twice a week appointments and days of staying home lasted for a little over 2 weeks. I was getting used to bedrest when my water broke that Wednesday night. 36 weeks 5 days, and my water is broken. My husband is at work for the night. Friend is out of town that lives nearby. I’m panicking. My brother saves the day!

Off to the hospital where the reality sinks in that I won’t be going home until I have a baby in my arms. I prep myself for what labor will be like and how I think it will be until I’m in labor for 33+ hours and we decide to have a c-section. Now I have to mentally prepare for surgery.

Everything goes perfectly! She’s here! Holy moly…I’m responsible for this little human. How do I do this?! Euphoria, joy, happiness, every emotion known to mankind, I’m feeling over the course of the next few days. We get the hang of it and it’s time to go home from the hospital. Wait…we’re going home ALONE to take care of a baby?!

There’s not much sleep for the first few days. Our little girl is nocturnal. Party all night and sleep all day. Only way to get her to sleep all night is to hold her. We take turns. We try to stay awake but we fall asleep while we hold her and jolt awake. It’s HARD. A few days in I remember looking at Anthony and saying, “What did we do?!” The sleep deprivation was getting to me. She started sleeping at night, so we did too. We fell into a groove.

Bliss! For several weeks everything was so simple and we had it down until cluster feeding began and the newborn sleepiness wore off. She wanted to eat All. The. Time. She was more aware and I felt like I had to entertain her more. Trying to figure out the right thing to do was a lot!

My maternity leave came to an end. I wasn’t ready. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact I was going to be leaving my baby behind. How could I? Am I a bad mom? Google, how to become a stay at home mom. I cried to work, once I got to work, and on my way to pick her up. It got easier to drop her off but I still wasn’t adjusting.

Work was hard to get back into. I felt like I missed a lot and I couldn’t get my feet under me. I felt defeated. I felt like I was only good at being a mom. What was I doing?! New organization, new team members, I was so lost. It took me months to find my way. In this time Anthony had new jobs too, it felt like we were never on solid ground. When will it all just stop.

April. It stopped in April. By now we had a babbling, rolling and crawling baby. Things were fun but oh were they tiring. Always on the move. Wanting to eat more real food. Growling at us while we ate. Separation anxiety starts and I can’t leave the room without tears if we’ve been apart all day. It’s draining. But I’ve found my groove. I learn how to work hard at work and when it’s time to go at the end of the day I put my mom/wife hat on and handle it all. I finally feel like I’ve got it all working together.

Until, something else changes. A work schedule. A late meeting. Daycare hours shifting. SOMETHING. There’s always something. What I’ve learned the last year is that especially with the addition of a child, things are always going to be ever changing. Having a plan is good, but it isn’t the FOR SURE thing. Being able to adapt to change has been my biggest friend in this journey. It will continue to be. I’ve come to terms that my type-A self can’t beat life as a parent. There’s always going to be a curve ball and I’m going to have to adjust to it.

Now…in a few weeks when my daughter turns 1, I will be a hot mess. My baby will no longer be a baby and we take the next step! Which…is she a toddler or not? This is the great debate but if she’s walking, I’ll go with Toddler. 🙂