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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Growing Pains

I've heard so many people say that they worried they wouldn't love their second child as much as the first only to discover that when the second one came along, their love expanded exponentially to include the new baby. I wasn't worried about that. I loved my baby from the moment I found out I was pregnant. And when Little Man was born, I fell in love with him even more. To be honest though, I really didn't start liking him until four days after his birth. I know that sounds terrible, but he was born screaming mad and the next couple of days were spent either trying to get him to stop screaming or trying to get him to nurse which made him scream even more. There really weren't too many opportunities to bond during that time. At one point, while we were still at the hospital, I handed Little Man over to Hubby so I could take a few minutes to use the bathroom. While locked in the luxurious closet sized hospital bathroom, I could still hear Little Man voicing his indignation at being born, and I thought to myself, "What have I done?"

On top of Little Man's anger and eating issues, Princess came down with a cold the day Little Man was born and obviously didn't feel good. Try telling a two-year-old that Mommy can't rock her when she's sick because her new brother needs to be fed or calmed down again. I felt like I had just ruined her life by bringing this new kid home.

On Saturday, Hubby took Princess to his mom's house to give me a break. As soon as they walked out the door, I started an email to my best friend telling her how I felt about my son at the moment and expressing the usual mommy guilt over such feelings. She wrote back to tell me that while it was true that my love could grow to include another child, nobody ever tells you that it could involve growing pains. She also pointed out that while I'd known Princess for over 2 years, my relationship with Little Man was still brand new and needed time to develop. She knew exactly what to say to make me feel better and that afternoon, as I spent one-on-one time with Little Man, I finally bonded with him. It helped, of course, that he finally started getting over his four day long temper tantrum directed at being born and started learning how to nurse.

Today, Little Man is 9 days old and I am thrilled to be his mother. He's a good baby who only gets up once a night to eat and is learning to tolerate his big sister invading his space every second of the day. I actually wish she didn't like him SO much, but hey, at least she's not jealous.

Unsolicited Advice: Never say no when someone offers to help you out with something after you've had a baby. Giving birth is kind of a big deal and requires time to recover. Make sure you don't prolong your recovery by overdoing it after birth.

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