Having a child is not easy.
Our first son was a two-man job. Caring for him, especially once he had his second birthday became a challenge. Not only was he beginning to explore EVERYTHING around him, he was now really HEAVY! Couple that with getting older ourselves, it's exhausting. Rewarding, but exhausting. We absolutely loved dedicating our full attention to him however, we couldn't help but worry about waiting too long to have another child. We didn't want him to end up being alone especially after we are gone someday.
Our days with one child were different. I was working. Every morning my husband left for work at 5:30 am. This left me to care for him, get myself ready for work and to care for the dog all by 7:30 am. I was out the door to drop him off at daycare and headed to work very early. My husband and I worked until 4:30 and then he would pick up our son while I got the dog out and started dinner each evening. It was our routine. And it worked. Nicely.
Most chapters of our day were balanced. We either worked together, or we also had our own tasks to accomplish as separate parts of our team. For example, Tim would bathe our son while I got myself "relaxed". Then we would get him dressed for bed together. Then it was my job to nurse him and get him down while my husband showered and decompressed. It worked perfectly.
Why would we ever want to change this perfect book?
We didn't want Sam to be an only child. I'm sure it has it's perks, but both of us grew up with a sibling close in age and would not ever want to change having that natural best buddy to grow up with. So we wanted to bestow upon Sam a best friend that he will have for his lifetime.
Before Sam reached his second birthday we thought about our fertility issues when we originally decided to grow our family with baby #1. So, we began trying to conceive when he was about 19 months old. We went to our reproductive endocrinologist to get the "ok" first of all as I had had a couple miscarriages and subsequently had D&C's. After we were given the go-ahead and the appropriate fertility medications, we got to "trying" for baby #2.
We got pregnant that first month. We did not see it coming. Sure we took the fertility medications and I had several "good eggs" when I was scanned...but we did not think it would happen so quickly given our past experiences in this department. Not knowing what the outcome of this pregnancy would be definitely scared us with our past history. So starting the process when he was 19 months was our effort to prevent a large age gap between them. I guess we did not really need to start this early with our outcome, but we just weren't sure.
This pregnancy was much different than my first. I was sick. Often. I was not able to eat much at first. And when I did eat I was then ill. I remember specifically eating pasta for dinner one evening. Tim took the dog for a walk while I sat with Sam on the couch to watch some Sprout since it was too cold for him to walk too. I sat on the couch with a small plastic garbage can vomiting while sitting with Sam. I thought for sure we were having a daughter.
I hoped it was a girl. I'm not going to sugar coat that. We figured this was probably our last pregnancy and we both thought it would be nice to have the experience of having both a daughter and a son. At 16 weeks our high risk obstetrician did an ultrasound and guess what.... it was very clearly a BOY. Instead of being disappointed, I cried in happiness. I know I said I wanted a daughter. But when I found out our baby was a boy I was completely overjoyed anyway. Our son could have a friend that they could share memories and similar experiences with. Perhaps they'd be on the same baseball team? Happiness was an understatement.
The pregnancy progressed quite nicely and we were really excited. I had signed up for short term disability at work during open enrollment as I knew we were going to want to get pregnant in the upcoming year. I had been saving vacation days and sick time specifically so I could take the full 12 weeks of maternity leave and not have to worry about expenses. I had it all figured out.
Then I was laid off when the company began restructuring the department I worked in. I was 20 weeks pregnant. The very first thought I had was "what are we going to do?" It's not really a great idea to start a new job while 20 weeks pregnant in a high risk pregnancy. Good thing I didn't. My water broke when I was 30 weeks pregnant. The doctor was able to stop labor from progressing, but the plan was for me to remain hospitalized until I was 34 weeks pregnant unless labor progressed on its own. It was overwhelming to think I would be hospitalized for that length of time. I couldn't be a part of the team at home with our 2 year old. The whole situation was devastating.
When I was 31 weeks and 6 days along, labor commenced. Not 6 hours later our second child was born. And the fun began. 8 weeks early.
Once our second son, Evan came home our lives changed. Drastically. Instead of being a team with one child, we were now a team with two children. My husband had to change his work hours. Because how was I going to get our older son to daycare by myself with a newborn who was premature and couldn't ride in the backseat without supervision, let alone be in public places....especially a germy daycare. Now Tim is dropping Sam off and picking him up at the end of the day. Luckily a few weeks before Evan was born I had put together several healthy freezer crock pot meals to make meal planning much easier. This worked out very well for us. Except that my frozen breastmilk stash is running out of room in the freezer. I will not be able to put together freezer meals again until we purchase a deep freezer.
Dinnertime is the hardest part of the day. Sam and Tim are just getting in from daycare/work. Sam is so excited to see Evan that he comes running with his dirty daycare hands wanting to touch him (insert panicky-germaphobic-mother-face here). While multi-tasking to keep Evan safe and Sam out of trouble I also have to find a way to breastfeed, cook dinner and prepare something for Sam who is quite picky and inconsistent currently with what he will and will not eat.
During this 1-2 hour time span, Sam is usually cranky and whining non-stop. Evan is usually cranky and crying. And the dog is usually barking because there is food that she believes she is entitled to. It's my least favorite time of day. It is stressful. I have no idea how to remedy this daily situation. Someday I hope this will be an enjoyable time. I look forward to those days. Once we finish dinner and clean up we take the dog for a walk. This is usually how we relieve our tension. Then it's bath time. Which is also enjoyable. Then Sam goes to bed. And hopefully does not attempt to climb out of the crib. Soon we will transition him into his big boy bed. I'll blog about that process later....
In conclusion, having two children is very rewarding. Especially when I'm nursing Evan and Sam wants to rest his head near Evan's head. It's those sweet moments that keep us going. It's those sweet moments that make me melt with pure unadulterated happiness. I am grateful we made the decision to have a second child. I am grateful this little boy was brought into our lives. I cannot put into words the joy I feel when Sam gently replaces the pacifier that falls out of Evan's mouth, or when he says "I know" to Evan when he is crying... just like his momma does. Being a mom was what I was born to be. Nothing else really matters to me. Just the happiness of these boys.