Thursday, February 28, 2013

Motherhood the Second Time

It just about defeated me. Motherhood the second time around.

With the first child, you have questions and wonder about every little detail. Is that color poo normal? Is she getting enough food? How much should she sleep?

With the second, those questions don't come up as much and I most certainly did not look them up in books this time. I just knew, it was more instinctive.

The questions that did come up were more unanswerable. What is WRONG with my child? Why does she scream so much? Why is she so unhappy? Will this EVER get better?

I very quickly claimed the mantra that "God gave us Grace so we would want a second right away and gave us Sophia so that we'd stop!"

I was beaten down, discouraged, and exhausted. Should I even mention how lonely I was? I couldn't go out- with or without Sophia, because she would scream like she was being hurt (and I suppose she was.) I was even given grief by people who wanted me to be out and about more often. It just couldn't happen.

And the jealousy. Yes, jealousy. Stupid, smiling babies with their even dumber, well rested parents. I couldn't even bare to get on facebook and blogs for awhile.

It had its beautiful moments. Breastfeeding has been easy. Grace is wonderful to Sophia and she has adjusted to having a sibling seamlessly. Ian is an amazing dad who helps out in every way he physically can. Our marriage become stronger because we were going through this together.

And the love I felt for Sophia? Immense. Unending. Singular since the moment she came screaming into this world.

I say all of this because I want to express the raw emotions that I have experienced with becoming a mother for the second time. There is a light at the end of the tunnel with Sophia's reflux issues and things are looking up, so I have the opportunity to sit back and reflect.

I hope other mothers know that not everything needs to be sunshine and roses. And that just because it is hard doesn't mean you are fighting postpartum depression (yes, I did get asked that.) And that just because it is hard doesn't mean you are a bad mother or that you don't appreciate your baby. The same thing goes if you ARE suffering from postpartum depression.

Will we have more children? Yes, most definitely.
Will we wait awhile? You could bet on it.
Will I be praying for it to be easier next time? Absolutely.


Erin said...

Thank you for your honesty, Brittney. I'm so glad that things are looking up now!

Emily Powell said...

I totally understand. I had so many issues with Georgia that I wondered if I was depressed (I wasn't) because I didn't seem to be as happy as every blog mom was. Her first 7 weeks were hard come to find out I don't deal with change very well. It seemed everything I did with her never worked and once I had an "issue" figured out something new would pop up. It was really hard for me!

Katie F said...

I had the same experience with motherhood the second time around. Mine too are really close in age and totally different. It was so hard! Glad I wasn't the only one. I hear when they are able to play together things get really easy.

LeAnna said...

First off, virtual cyber acrossthepond hugs to YOU! I am a firm believer that transitioning from the first kid to the 2nd kid is the HARDEST. And if it doesn't hit some people at the newborn stage, you can bet your bottom dollar it'll hit them at some point. My two were opposite, my oldest was my trouble-newborn/infant. He was so demanding, never slept, had reflux/milk allergies, self weaned waaaaay too early for his own good, et cetera. Thankfully, he outgrew it all and has really been a pretty easy toddler and preschooler. Now, my 2nd born was a piece of cake. She slept. She was happy. Little angel, etc. And now that she's almost 2 1/2? Lordamercy she's a spitfire with plenty of drama to keep me guessing. SO, all of that to say....

Hang in there! She will outgrow all of this eventually and there is NOTHING wrong with feeling the way you have. You are so absolutely right, not everything is sunshine and roses. It's tough and it's hard, and it's downright nitty gritty some days. And KUDOS to you for sharing the grit along with the sunshine. It's refreshing in the midst of the sugar coated super-fabulous-wondermom blogs that seem to 'ere abound. ;)

Jessica said...

I'll be praying for you, Brittney. I appreciate your honesty in this post, and have often thought about the fact that it must be hard having two little ones with your family in the States. I hope it gets better very soon...sending hugs to you!

Alison H said...

You're amazing. You're my hero! You're one of my very best friends and I love you more than you know! And you're doing an amazing job!

~Stephanie said...

As a mama of five, I can tell you that from 1 to 2 was my hardest transition EVER! (And mine were 3 years, 3 months apart!) It was even harder than my 13 month spacing (adoption to 36 weeker.)

My 2nd was my first refluxer too. If you ever have another refluxer you will pick up on it much, much quicker and already know some tricks.

Hang in there!

Tami said...

While I knew a little bit about the struggled with Sophia, I want to tell you that I never would have guessed it if you hadn't told me. You are always the picture of grace and patience and I'm in awe of how awesome you are as a momma to two. I sure do miss you!!