this is me asking for advice

**Thank you to Chic Mama for sponsoring this post.  Because Lord knows, I need all the advice I can get!**

Apparently crazy mood swings are a part of pregnancy.

I knew this, but holy crap, for some reason I was NOT prepared for this.

I mean, we spent sooooo long talking about having another baby, trying to have another baby, and waiting to pee on a stick to see if we were having another baby, that I sort of blocked out the crazy that happens when pregnancy actually occurs.

Earlier this week, I told you how I do not do well with change, and how I am afraid Eddie doesn’t either. Then on Tuesday I had my second ultrasound.

For the first time in the history of all four of my pregnancies (first 2 were miscarriages), Cortney was not able to come to my appointment with me.

I know, I know…most dudes do not go along to every single appointment.  Well, Cort always did.  Maybe it was because the first two pregnancies didn’t work out.  Maybe it was because he knew I needed his logic and ears when I was pregnant with Eddie.

Anyway, he didn’t come yesterday.

And I was alone.

I sat there on the exam table with the sheet wrapped around my wait, barely covering my buns, thinking about all the bad things that I could find out.  What if the embryo hadn’t grown?  What if they couldn’t find a heartbeat?  What if they found something else wrong?  What if….

And I got a little nauseous thinking that Cort wouldn’t be there to hold my hand.

The doc and nurse came in.  My legs went up.  The black and white screen flipped on, and there was my little bean.  Perfect measurements with a heartbeat of 177 per minute.

I even got a picture.

And just like that I was alone again to get dressed.

And it hit me…this baby thing is FOR REAL.

In 30ish weeks we will have a little bundle.  There will be the hospital stay and the recovery.  We will have to get the nursery figured out and Eddie’s room finished.

I have to find get out the swing, the bouncy seat, the baby carrier and car bases, the activity mat, the saucer, the….BOTTLES.

OH. MY. LAWD.

The past couple days have been a blur of me remembering what this house looked like when Eddie-The-Newborn invaded it.

He took this joint OVER.  Even more so than all the toys now.  Newborn stuff was everywhere.

How is it all going to fit this time with a toddler who is beyond spoiled has a lot of stuff?

I lost my mind with Eddie.  No really, that is what PPD was like.  I lost who I was.  Is that going to happen again?

Am I going to miss this baby’s infancy again?

What is about to happen to me?

People?  I need your words or advice or SOMETHING!

Those of you with more than one child?  Tell me something about adding one more.  What was the best thing you did?  What was totally not necessary to worry about?

HELP!

*************

Featured on Bravo's Bethenny Getting Married

This post was sponsored by Chic Mama Diaper Cakes (but I REALLY wanted to write it anyway, so YAY!)  Chic Mama was founded by Adriana D’Arco who longed to find a career that she was passionate about as well as one that would be flexible enough to fit her lifestyle of raising two active children.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. It’s going to be great. There will be a lot of new feelings, but you are going to be great. And when they hold hands for the first time, even if you do find yourself in a PPD haze, you *will* recognize that. Because I did. And I’d know. Congratulations on being brave, in that really compromised position, and being present, all by yourself, to witness that 177 bpm miracle of a baby.

  2. In my experience…it was easier the second time because I knew what to expect. I was a better mom, I knew how to handle things.

    I thought it would be impossible to fit another person in my already small house with my older child (who just happened at the time to be the only grandchild, neice, baby on either side of the family – so kid with everything – um yeah!). But you figure it out.

    I don’t have any experience with PPD, but I would guess that you’ll be able to recognize it sooner and know what you’re dealing with sooner.

    Any change is scary, even good changes.

    Everything will be fine and Eddie’s going to adore that little peanut.

  3. I don’t have any kids, so I can’t speak to how Eddie will handle a sibling, or how you will handle two kids. But I am a regular reader, so I will speak to your abilities and hat I’ve read here in the past 🙂

    Remember how awesome you said (wrote) Eddie was with the baby he loved holding? Sure he might not love it all day every day, but he clearly isn’t adverse to another baby’s presence.

    And you said Cortney went to every baby appt prior to this one. Girlfriend, that is dedication! He’s supported you through 3 previous pregnancies, 1 infancy and what sounds like a devastating case of PPD. That’s a man that is devoted, truly your partner in all of this. If PPD, or sibling rivalry/jealous, or even just a nasty case of stress hits, you have someone (a handsome someone, at that!) in your corner. And since you, Cortney and your Drs all know about your past PPD, you’ll have multiple sets of eyes keeping watch for the signals.

    And you have us, your readers. Who will listen to you vent, share our input, tell you that you’re doing great and will coo over your kids’ photos and updates and will hope the newest Slutier Nation resident is a girl (or maybe that last part is just me, heehee!)

    Anyway, you got this! Go Kate!!!

    PS I know you’ve got some cute maternity clothes that you’re dying to show off to us soon, right? 🙂

  4. Hmm. #2, was completely overwhelming. How old will Eddie be when #2 arrives? My oldest was 3.5 and he reverted to 2 year old behavior. It was hard. And part of that (maybe most of it??) was just because #2 was a high needs baby.

    Some things I did different with #2…I did everything for convenience. Rather than using the changing table in his room, I stocked our end table in our family room with diapers and wipes. I put a pack n’ play in our dining room so he could nap close to where I was (we live in a two-story house), and prior to going back to work, I took an entire week to “practice” my routine. The oldest stayed in daycare, so I got up when I thought I would need to get up for work, did the drop off thing, etc., and then went back home and took a nap! 😉

  5. Oh mama. First and foremost- you can do this. It will be okay. Your heart is going to almost burst from all the love you feel for BOTH your children.

    Before having Caleb I became extremely guilt ridden. I thought I was going to make Aiden reset me and feel unloved and unwanted. I was so worried I could not love both my children equally. But on the day I went to the hospital to has Caleb. I was so calm. Almost zen like. I spent the while day with Aiden, just enjoying him and loving him. It was amazing.

    After I came home with Caleb I quickly realized how exhausting having 2 really is. Aiden would wake up an hour after Caleb’s feeding so I basically got no sleep. I began keeping a box of juice/milk on my nightstand with a cereal bar. Aiden would wake up, come into my room, grab his food and tell me to put Disney channel on. That got me an extra hour! Praise the lord:)

    What I didn’t expect was the PPA. I didn’t even know it existed. I had slight PPD with Aiden but again didnt know for the longest time. This time I had the worse fear of something happening to me or the boys. I think this was made worse because my aunt was killed while I was pregnant. To this day I still get nervous before trips and when people come over. I also had extremem anxiety that I was being judged as a mother to the point I didn’t want people to come over. But because this was so extreme I knew right away thi wasn’t right and talked to my doctor about it. That’s also when I joined twitter and found the awesome women (like you) who listened to me and encouraged me to keep going and that I was normal and not some crazy lunatic!

    We are here for you and excited for you and this journey. Whatever the future bring you Katie, I know you will be fantastic!

  6. Adding two was easier than I expected, because I was prepared for it to me out of control difficult. Don’t get me wrong; it was still Crazy Town around here for about a year (and sometimes still is), but I didn’t stress so much about the baby stuff. For example, if Abbey fell asleep before she was finished eating, I would coax her awake to get her to finish. If Dylan fell asleep while eating, I popped him in the bouncy seat or Moby wrap, made dinner, and figured he would let me know when he was hungry.

    Abbey was 23 months when he was born and we didn’t really have issues until he was able to start moving around and playing with “her stuff”.

    I’m sure the worry of PPD hangs over your head, but I think it will be different this time, since you are aware of your history.

    You are an awesome mom & will be an awesome mom to two little ones 🙂

  7. First of all, stop and breathe!

    Adding #2 wasn’t very hard for us because we knew what we were doing more than the first time around. I set up the pack ‘n’ play in the living room. Even though our second hated it with a passion, I kept the side pockets stocked with diapers, wipes, etc, for convenience.

    The only real issues we had was when our second became more mobile. I had to make sure all of his sister’s smaller toys were well out of his reach.

    I think you’ll be ok adding another baby to the mix. You’ve been through the basic once and if you start to fall into a PPD slump, you will be able to recognize it and hopefully take steps to help yourself sooner.

  8. The best advice I can give you is “whoever cries the loudest, wins.”

    My two are very close in age (7 months apart), which is a blessing and a curse at the same time. It’s a blessing because, now that they’re both at the toddler stage (the girl is 14 months old), they play with the same toys. It’s a curse because there are just enough differences between them that you need to employ different techniques to deal with them (though, as time passes, these are either getting easier to deploy, or I’m just getting better at this “parent” thing).

    Kids are going to cry. They’re going to have miserable times. They’re going to shit through their diapers, and their clothes. But, through all of that, they’ll be ok.

    Just make sure that, if you still use a pack & play or a crib for the one, you have an individual area for the newborn. Toddlers like to destroy things, especially those delicate things that newborns find so fascinating. It’s no fun to try to put back the one mobile that always gets the new baby to sleep because the toddler decided to hang from it.

  9. I was worried as my EDD for #2 approached. I already loved my husband and kiddo #1 so much… how could there be room for another person? Would I love my husband and first-born LESS if I had a new person to love? I kinda flipped out for a while. As much as I really wanted to have another baby… I started thinking about how complicated it COULD be to have another person in the house.
    The reality of it was… no one was loved less. When #2 was born, all our hearts grew to fit the new member of our family. It was more than OK. It was great!
    YES, I had two small people (my first 2 are 13 months apart) and there was kid stuff everywhere for a few years but, all that stuff paled in comparison to the amount of love that was in our home.
    And THAT is what made adding #3 and #4 totally fabulous.
    I second all the people who are saying that you’ll do great because you already know what to expect in terms of what newborns need… AND you already know what PPD feels like. All the mommying of a tiny person stuff will come back to you… even if you might be feeling “out of practice” right now. Everyone will adjust. Eddie will learn to share stuff AND Mom (neither of which is a bad thing at all!) And Cortney will know better how to help you this time around… with “baby stuff” and with “YOU stuff.”
    You will AGAIN be a great Mom. You heart will grow bigger. If anything, you’ll learn to love even better than you do now… I know that’s what happened with me.

  10. Katie:

    I am the mother to a singleton, so what do I know, right?

    But I do have experience with PPD, so maybe I know something.

    You have the infrastructure in place.

    You have the stuff.

    You have done this before.

    You recognize the feelings, so if something starts to slip, you’ll be able to act faster than you did the first time. You’ll know who to call. Who you can go to for support. That it is okay to order pizza. And Cort will be there.

    Know that you will never have enough hands to do all the things you want to do.

    Be gentle with yourself, the way you are with everyone else.

    And when people ask you what you want or what you need, tell them you’d really love: 1) meals, sealed in individual baggies so you can defrost them easily & 2) a cleaning person, once every two weeks: someone to come and clean your kitchen and your toilets.

    Best. Gift. Ever.

  11. I wish that I could help you out Momma. I’m trying to divide my time between Chunky and a fur baby and Chunky wins hands down…ok I know that this doesn’t even compare to an actual human.
    Well I’m as useless as a hair on the ass aren’t I?

  12. I have no, no idea what I’m going to do. None.

  13. You will be FINE! I have four under 6 now, and we’re doing fine. The middle two are girls, and I had PPD with both of them. I knew with the second girl that it was probably going to happen, so I knew what to watch for and got meds as soon as I noticed the signs. I didn’t miss her infancy like my first daughter’s.

    About all the stuff? Yeah, we have a whole room full of toys for the bigger kids, and the baby equipment stuffed into the corners of the living room. It’s a little crowded, yes, but for a while, it’s necessary. As soon as baby grows out of something, get it out of the living space!

    You and Eddie will be FINE. Even if he gets a little jealous, he’s going to love that baby. I guarantee it. It might not be right away, but it will happen. And you have so much more room in your heart than you can even imagine, so don’t worry at all about what will happen to your love for Eddie. It’s not going ANYWHERE. And the new baby? Will be getting JUST as much love.

    ((HUGS))

  14. I worried so much during my second pregnancy. SO SO much. And the thing is? All those things I worried about? I couldn’t control ANY of them. And now it all seems so wasteful.

    I worried about breastfeeding. I worried about my first son. How would we do it? Would he hate us for bringing another baby into his life and rocking his world? Would I get depressed and not be able to handle any of it?

    And then our second bundle was born and I felt so foolish for having ever worried. It was beautiful. It was amazing. Those first few months were some of the best of my life. I felt like I was in a dream. It was too good to be true! I was so happy 🙂

    I want you to know that it is okay to worry a little. But not a lot. Worrying a lot is what sent me into a depression. If you feel like all you ever do is worry then I might talk to your doc about that.

    But if it’s just normal worries about the future and what it will be like? Well, I think that’s okay.

    If there is one bit of advice it would be to hold off on any big transitions when you’re settling into your new life with two kiddos. We held off until we felt like Landon had adjusted to having a little brother around.

    There will be challenges. There will be tears and feelings of being overwhelmed. But there will also be joy. The kind that makes you feel like your heart is swelling up so big that it might pop. It’s amazing, Katie. The love just multiplies.

  15. You will do great. I can’t speak to the PPD but Eddie is a wonderful little boy. He will love his brother/sister and you will realize that this was the best thing that ever happened.

    I am writing this as my 2 1/2 year old is playing with my four month old. They LOVE each other and that is the one thing I never factored into all the panicking I did while I was pregnant.

  16. I am so glad that you posted this & that Chic Mama Diaper Cakes sponsored it! I am on the verge of CONSIDERING baby #2. I’m an older first time mom who had advanced maternal age issues. My hubby was like your Cort and went to EVERY appointment with me. We had our 1st child who is now 14 months old (happy & HEALTHY). Miscarriage is one of my fears. I’m sorry you had to experience this. I too want to learn from mommies with more than one and will be closely following this post! I am hoping that the advice that you gather can benefit me as well. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

  17. You know what, babe? It just works itself out, it really does. I just fell back into the newborn baby-thing like I’d never stopped having one. And the older one can be very helpful as long as you don’t use them too much and make them resentful.

    And there will be chaos and messes and dishes in the sink. But those first few weeks and months you’ll never get back, so just give yourself up to it and enjoy. Sleep when you can, ask for help, and let others hold the baby.

    I can’t wait…

  18. Just like having your first, when the second comes, you get a whole new life. It is overwhelming at first because there is so much to do and instead of getting to sleep when the newborn sleeps, you have to entertain your older child. But, just like having a newborn, within a short while, a routine forms. You learn how to be a parent to two kids. I’ve learned that you can get used to anything given a little time. My second child was hospitalized for the first two months of her life. Even juggling that with a 17 month old turned into a routine that was manageable.

    I think one of the most important things to do for your family is to keep Eddie involved. Don’t shock him with a baby brother or sister. He may be too young to really understand it, but let him know what is coming. My son was way too young to understand what a sister was, but we told him about her and kept him in the loop so that when she did come home, he wasn’t shocked. Instead, he was finally able to put it all together.

  19. It’s been a while since I’ve visited. My apologies. When I clicked on your link through Twitter today, I was surprised to read that you’re pregnant with child #2. Congratulations. I am a 41 yr old Mother of 3 girls and a teacher. The advice that I offer you is to enjoy every moment and not stress about the small stuff. In the end, you will get through anything. My youngest is 3 and I can say that just this Summer, I feel like I’m the real ME again. Although the last three years have been busy and a bit chaotic, we pulled through and now we’re having the time of our life.

    You will do fine. You have a loving husband and are genuinely a sweet, caring person. Congrats again!

  20. With my second son, the biggest gift was knowing that the hard stuff…colic, the lack of sleep, teething, etc. was a phase. I knew I would see the other side because I did it once already.

    What I didn’t anticipate was the “divide and conquer.” My husband would take the oldest so youngest could eat, sleep, etc. I missed him. I missed us. That, too, got easier. We got a babysitter for more date nights, too.

  21. I was trying to think of a concrete piece of advice and kept recalling those early weeks/months with two children. I had both in the summer two years apart (like the good-girl teacher – ha!) so as chaotic as the time was, it was also my “vacation” – and as stressful as some moments got, at least I wasn’t worrying about showering for work or lesson plans or paper-grading, right?

    One thing I did that saved me (physically and mentally) was actually leaving the house. As crazy as that might sound (and daunting with a newborn and two-year-old) it was the best thing for all of us (well, the baby didn’t really know any better, but…)

    Otherwise, the tendency with newborns is to hide in the cave. You just become housebound. A hermit. (I can only imagine this is the case with PPD.) I would strap the baby into her car seat (she would scream, but she was safe!!! hooray!) and I would throw crap in a diaper bag (you’re already good at that so it will be no big deal like it was with Eddie, I’m sure!) and GO somewhere.

    I was lucky to have my mom live 15 minutes away and several friends with children in my kids’ age ranges. It was such a relief to get somewhere other than my frazzled house – someone else would hold the baby, there were different toys to distract Jack, it worked wonders on his mood to be occupied by other kids/environments instead of just being at home noticing how much had CHANGED in his world, you know? Even if it was only for a half hour. It was something. It anchored the day, I swear.

    Sometimes, we’d just drive. Or go to the mall or park or library (but that required actually maybe kind of bathing myself, so usually I went with family/friends who didn’t care!). When the baby fussed, we’d leave. No big deal. But at least we’d gone somewhere.

    And I’ll admit I did do fast-food joints for the happy meal toy. I know. Shame on me. But DAMN for the price of a kids’ meal you’d get at least a few minutes of excitement…

    The good news is the bad moments(really and truly) do blur. Eventually. Then you look back and your kids are 12 and 14. I’m about to take my kids to middle school registration. For real.

    Soak this up, Katie. It’s the good stuff. It really is.

  22. In all honesty being a second time mom has been far easier for me. Yes our house is in a perpetual state of chaos right now, and it’s hard to keep everyone happy at the same time. But me as a second time mom? More relaxed, more confident, more enjoyable to be around I’m sure. I anticipated the chaos, worried about how inflexible me would handle the necessity o be flexible with two, etc–and I never imagines it would go so well. I hope that the same is true for you.

  23. you have too much stuff? not enough room for all the gear and toys? I think we can agree this should be filed under first world problems. You know I love you so I can get away with saying that, right? 😉

    as to having two, i’m freaked out as well. So many unknowns, a lot of fear to work through still. We’ll be in this together. We fought and won and we will again!!!

  24. You’ll be fine. It’s a little daunting at first but you get through it. My boys are 3 and 16 months. When I had my second my first was just about to turn 2 and we were potty training, to top it all Clueless Dad had to have emergency back surgery a week after the baby was born. Adding a second changes things but its funny how our other children respond to it. My oldest is a great big brother. The great part though is you aren’t so “green” anymore. You’re a good mom, because you obviously care so that’s really all that matters.

  25. As we are quickly approaching being a family of four, I feel a LOT of the same things! Take it all in stride though- it will all come together. I still have things on my list, but I am enjoying Brayden too, so I am trying not to get worked up about the little things. Eddie will be a fantastic big brother, and these transitions are never easy. But I am a firm believer that you get out what you put in. If you spend this entire 30 weeks freaking out? It won’t be good for you, the babe, the toddler, or the hubby. Enjoy it- because you will never get this time back.

  26. First of all, you have time. You have time to get everything ready, you have time to help Eddie understand the best he can that he will be a big brother, you have time to get the house/nursery/big boy room ready. You have time to get used to the idea of having two children.

    I remember feeling overwhelmed with the unknown of how life would be with two children. But you know what, it just works. I don’t know how..it just does. My second son even had acid reflux and we had a hard time when he was an infant….but it worked, WE worked.

    Right now it’s okay to be unsure, to not be able to do the math to figure out how it will all pan out once your baby is here. But trust me…it just works. ((HUGS))

  27. I didn’t bust out nearly as much newborn stuff with #3 as I did with the twins. It just wasn’t important. They would’ve messed with her in the swing anyway, but I did keep my bouncy chair safely on the table. I think you’ll find that the 2nd time around you simply use what you need.

  28. The second time around was somewhat easier. I knew what to expect and my second actually slept for up to three hours at a time (my first only slept for forty minutes to one hour after getting him milk drunk). At the very last second, Hubs took the full six weeks of leave from work, which made a world of difference as he spent a lot of time playing with our then preschooler and helping around the house.

    I didn’t have PPD, but did feel a fight or flight instinct kick in with my second when I was having a trying night, getting her to sleep. To help with that, getting out of the house for even a short errand really helped.

    As for all the gear? I’d imagine you have some from your little guy still and you really find you don’t *need* so much. Clothes, diapers, bottles, any kind of bag you like to carry to carry them all, a pack ‘n play is always nice if you go out of town, car seat, and a stroller. The only item I went a little crazy on with my second was the pink clothes…I just couldn’t resist!!! ;> :>

  29. I have two sons (3 years and 5 days apart). When Thing Two came on the scene, the best thing I ever did for myself was to just let it be. I really just relaxed and knew that I had done this “mothering” thing before.

    And you know what? I actually enjoyed his newborn days even more than I had his brother. Because there was oodles and oodles of love and a sense of competence and so much less expectation of perfection!