Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I'm fighting the urge to post all of the photos I am behind, because well . . . there's a lot.

Unlike our hospital stay with Isaac, we weren't in any hurry to leave earlier than suggested. We went home a full 12 hours earlier than we needed to last time and that 2nd night was brutal. The cluster feeding nearly broke me and sure enough it was the same with Ezra. This time though, I listened to the nurse and after 5 hours of on again off again nursing, I paged to have Ezra watched by the nurses for some time. As soon as she took him from the room, the tears started. Tony thankfully expected them and was half way across the room to comfort me. I just felt defeated, already, on day 2 because I wasn't caring for either of my children.

After sleeping 1 1/2 hours, I regained a portion of sensability thankfully.

And a little later than anticipated, on Tuesday we left the hospital.

Missing one important member.

And then it was time to adjust.

To a family of four.

To be honest, the first few days were extremely rough emotionally.

We weren't kind to ourselves or Isaac, but stopped bed-sharing cold turkey the first night Ezra came home from the hospital. Tony and I hadn't really discussed our game plan, but agreed prior to Ezra's arrival that we would just go with the flow. Unfortunately, it was abundantly clear to me that that "flow" just couldn't occur with a newborn. It wouldn't be fair to Isaac to continue bed-sharing if it meant sacrificing his quality of sleep.

Thankfully there were two days of sleeping in his crib at my Mom's to soften the blow, but it hurt to hear Isaac plantively cry to go "nanight upstairs" intermixed with what sounded like "I'm sorry mama/daddy." Twice he woke up crying and I went down to comfort him. He is quite the negotiator now, but somehow I was able to reason with him that in order to go to the park on Wednesday that he would have to go to sleep. I think he also just needed the reassurance that we love him and would still be responsive to his needs. Each night has gotten progressively better and the last two nights he has gone down without a single cry, instead actually saying "Good night! Love you! See you later!" To top it off, he hasn't woken once during the night either. We're so thankful this has gone well!
[My big boy in his special jammies about to go to bed]

My Mom and I decided that it would be the most benficial for me to continue to bring Isaac to her house, instead of having her take the first week off to help like she did with Isaac. And to be honest, I don't think I would be in the same mindset I am now, if we hadn't have proceeded in this way.

Because Wednesday, I was a mess.

I had a small bout of Baby Blues with Isaac. Regardless of mental health or history, Baby Blues are to be expected as hormone levels shift and are considered within a normal range if only lasting one to two weeks. Based on having them with Isaac, I figured I would experience some again with Ezra. However, I was not prepared for the main cause: Isaac.

Before you go thinking he was causing me any issues or frustration, it was just the opposite, I missed him. My heart literally hurt at his absence, but I knew that if he were home with me that the delicate balance between missing him and being upset with him would be skewed. And when he was home with us, I was too occupied with Ezra to be able to give him the love I wanted to.

Instead of loving on my newest sweet one, I just immensely longed for my oldest, the one whose heart I know and have spent the last two years making memories with. My heart held so much love for Ezra and yet, unlike with Isaac, I found myself wishing that we could just skip to next year. I loved the newborn stage with Isaac and reluctantly acknowledged his growing up, and yet here I was with Ezra already willing the passing of time.

Thankfully these thoughts were short lived and last week I finally found my feet as a mother to two. The love was immediate for Ezra, which I didn't have any doubt about, I was just laid out by these thoughts that were so different than what I experienced with Isaac.

As for the actual transition to a family of 4, it's gone really well. I'm really surprised how much easier it is to have a newborn the 2nd time around. I keep relating it to my experience with childbirth, as so much of the pain is primarily caused by fear of the unknown and anxiety. With the 2nd child, while there are still nuances to figure out, it's amazing how much release can be found in confidence! Ezra is an amazing sleeper and I've found that I've had to wake him up quite often to get a feeding in, which I really appreciate. You just can't knock 3-4 hour stretches of sleep at one week in!

My recovery has been ridiculously easy this time as well. In fact we've taken almost nightly walks ever since we came home from the hospital. I had a 2nd degree tear again, but honestly haven't had an pain since the 2nd day. Uterine cramps due to nursing were not fun to experience again, but all for a good cause. And although Ezra's latch isn't the greatest, I already feel like the worst is behind us as far as pain while nursing and damage to my nipples is concerned. I have about 16 lbs left to lose and have only dropped some 14 of the 31 I gained, but it will come with time . . . I hope.

We're so appreciative of your well wishes and prayers, our lives are very blessed indeed.
[Ezra 4 days old]

[Absolute perfection]

[Ezra at one week]

[I think he's going to have Tony's hazel eyes, just like Isaac]


Kim said...

Frist off Ezra is beautiful and Issac is just as cute as ever. Thanks for writing this post, the transition from 3 to 4 has been on my mind a lot lately and I love your honesty.

Bethany said...

Leah:: I love and admire your honesty. Thank you for sharing and your family has been in our family's nightly prayers!

Anonymous said...

Love this post and thank you for being so honest about how it's going for you guys! You've been on my mind lots lately, wondering how things were going.

If Ezra's latch keeps bothering you, you could try a chiropractor. It helped a lot with Isaac. Just a thought. ;)

Megan said...

I have tears welling up in my eyes as I can remember those feelings you felt the first couple days at home trying to transition. Honestly I still feel them at times thinking about how much I've missed of Cohen's newborn stage, because of the lack of help I had with Jaxon, and just the constant needs he had. I remember just staring at Jaxon for hours in the first few weeks of his life, doing nothing else. Unfortunately with Cohen that wasn't possible and I still cry every time I think about what I've missed in his life.

It is so hard to find the balance between the 2 boys and I still struggle daily to do so.

Ah, thanks for this post. Sorry you totally just listened to me unwind. :)

Love ya lady!

Rose said...

It's hard, no doubt about it but every day it gets easier. We had a lot of help with our older boy when the younger one was new and it was a lifesaver. The older one loved the extra attention and even though I felt guilty about it, it was nice to have some extra time bonding with the new baby because that is important, too!

He is beautiful and you look great. Hang in there! :o)

Erin said...

Your posts are totally like crack to me right now!! I love your honesty, as always. I'm so glad your recovery has been easy, even if the emotions haven't. The balancing act as a mom of 2 is such a hard one... it sounds like you are doing a great job.

Ezra is SERIOUSLY adorable. If you decide to make a stop in at work with him, make sure to let me know!!

Sarah Louise said...

Like everyone else, I love your honesty! Being a mom sounds like such an amazing experience. I'm so glade that Isaac has seemed to transition into sleeping in his crib so well.

I hope you guys are enjoying the beautiful weather. What a great time to be off of work, and adjust to being a family of four :)

Erin said...

I'm in tears again reading your blog, since the missing the older kid part is something I can certainly picture when a new baby comes along for us. It must be so hard to find that balance suddenly between two kids vying for your attention instead of one - but it sounds like you are handling it all quite well. Your baby is beautiful!!!

Julia Goolia said...

Thank you for your candid honesty, as always, Leah. Not that I expected anything less but I think it takes a lot of courage to admit your thoughts during those incredibly hormonal first days. I cannot imagine trying to balance such intense love for TWO children---something I wonder about often. I know you'll find your routine with two and be a happy/contented mom, much before Ezra's first year is over. Hang in there and remember to nap!! :)

Sarah said...

Ezra is so gorgeous! One of the things I truly love about your blog is that you are so honest, and we as readers get to see the tender moments as well as the "hard" ones. Thanks for sharing!

Jill said...

Your family is beautiful!

I'm also happy that the co-sleeping to crib transition went pretty well!

Molly said...

I was so not in a hurry to leave the hospital the second time around. They treated me like a queen! Made sure I ate (which is always a problem for me) and helped me learn how to successfully and confidently get my baby latched. That was actually my biggest fear about having a second, Leah! I felt guilty for Landon's entire first year for having failed at breastfeeding so that's what I got emotional about with Brigham. Will it work this time? Will I fail again?

When I realized he had a great latch I was on cloud 9 :)

I understand being tearful the first couple of weeks. It takes a bit of time to balance the genuine love you have for both your children. The guilt can sometimes sink you into a fit of tears. I felt like I would spend time with both of them but was it really quality time? That's what upset me, ya know?

I promise it gets easier. It really does. You're gonna rock this, girl.

Unknown said...

You're doing great, lady. And I really appreciate the honesty as I worry daily about how I'm going to adjust to having two children. Eli is my world and to know he's going to share it soon, makes my heart hurt a bit. I somehow wish I could grow an extra pair of arms just to hold and love all my babies at once.

Oh, and I remember having the nurses take Eli the first night in the hospital. As they wheeled him away I burst out in tears and felt like a failure the first day as a mother. The good thing is he slept the entire time and I was able to rest up.

Keep us updated mama. You're an inspiration to us all!

LC said...

It is so nice to read someone else's experience of something that I just went through. It makes me feel better that all of my feelings and emotions are normal and I'm not the only one that feels the way that I do. You are doing a great job so far and I know it's going to keep getting better and better.

L.C.C. said...

Such beautiful photos. Such natural writing. Such a lovely family!

Anonymous said...

Oy-- I can't imagine facing such a huge transition with Isaac's sleeping arrangements during this already exhausting time. Hang in there. Isaac knows you love him and would go to the ends of the earth--he just needs a few days to adjust and all will be calm and peaceful. (One thing to try: Drew likes having a big photo of our family in his room, and he sometimes sleeps with snapshots of mom and dad. We tell him before bed that if he feels lonely, he should look at his pictures. It really helps!)

Julie S. said...

Thank you for being so honest. I too, had a bout of baby blues with Brayden that turned into full blown anxiety. Transitioning with Brayden is the thing I fear the most. Brandon and I have been talking a lot about it lately, trying to prepare ourselves and learn from last time. It is all worth it! :)


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