Becoming a mother is exhilarating, wonderful and terrifying at the same time. I know because I have two beautiful daughters. When I had my second baby Ava, it was as magical meeting her for the first time as it was with my eldest Caitlyn. Although…going home with a new baby the second time around was completely different.
I had quite a ‘smooth’ birth. I had slight cramps during the day, and I went in for a scheduled induction that evening which never happened. When I arrived at the hospital at around 8pm I was about 2 cm dilated and my second daughter Ava was born somewhere around 11pm that night.
I felt great after the birth and was eager to get home to Caitlyn, so I left as soon as possible although the hospital requested that I stay an extra day.
After the first night home, I regretted not taking the extra day in hospital. It was a big adjustment for everyone. Firstly, it was clear that breastfeeding was not going to work. There were a lot of tears, mine, Ava and Caitlyn’s. I hired a hospital grade breast pump and for two weeks solid (it felt much longer) I pumped day and night 6 to 8 times a day. Pumping consumed our lives. I was refrigerating milk, sterilizing bottles, I even acquired a hands free pumping kit. I had limited time with Caitlyn, Ava and my husband. It was an unhappy time. After two weeks I decided to stop it and just focus on being present and I gave up on pumping. Things got a bit better after that, as I could rest a bit a more and was not under constant pressure of pumping every 2 – 3 hours.
I was constantly exhausted, having two children to take care of kept me on my toes daily. Caitlyn’s sleep deteriorated badly in this period, and for about two weeks straight Caitlyn got up at 4am to get the day started. That is waking up at 4am to see to Caitlyn after Ava just gone back sleep.
I also underestimated the impact it would have on Caitlyn overall. Adjusting from being the only child, to having a new person in her space was a significant change. Caitlyn struggled quite a bit at the beginning and she needed time to adapt to the new world. However I am happy to say that as time passed their relationship grew. Now that Ava is nearly 8 months old, they have already developed a strong bond.
I had to learn to let go, not sweat the small things, and not stress too much about the routine. It took time to adjust, but now I honestly cannot picture my life without both my girls.