Differences between first and second offspring

When we found out we were pregnant with #1 our lives became a triage center of “preparing for baby” – our minds, money, and time went into thinking “baby” and all that it was to mean for our future.
When we found out we were pregnant with #2 I did a little jig, sent Aaron a text and then emailed the entire world. We found out we weren’t covered for pregnancy with our insurance, I threw up and continued to throw up for a few weeks. Then our lives continued as before – still focusing on child #1.
When #1 was born it was instant love for me – I had a baby girl, couldn’t imagine my life without her. We were a family all of a sudden and it felt right.
When #2 was born – we had just figured out his name a few hours before and he felt a little like a squishy stranger to me. I had a son – and I still remembered what life was like without him. Our family did not feel complete – just bigger and more confusing.
With #1 I was very laid back – didn’t mind too much if she cried, she was an awesome baby, didn’t have to be held alot but loved being held. She slept through the night at 5 weeks old and was on a schedule right away, with our help. She smiled and cooed and was the center of attention almost everywhere we went. We continued to fall deeply in love with her – she was our life. Our pride, our joy. She is still our breath of Heaven.
With #2 I’m even more laid back, although Oliver likes to be held more and will let you know – he’s louder than Jessica was, more vocal – and I’ve only let him cry it out twice in almost 4 weeks. It breaks my heart. Just this week he started sleeping in his own room, it’s going fabulous. The warm fuzzies and maternal love is getting stronger every day and I feel like I recognize him now when I see him first thing in the morning. He’s not this little poopy machine stranger living in our house any more who likes my breasts. He’s a baby, my baby – our baby. We are very much in love with having him in our lives.
With #1 when the pacifier fell to the floor, I picked it up, sucked on it and stuck it back in her mouth. With #2 when the pacifier falls to the floor, I pick it up, suck on it and put it back in his mouth.
#1 is a Daddy’s girl who loves her mommy.
#2, well is attached to me for most of the day so right now – he’s a mama’s boy who thoroughly enjoys his dad’s face and voice, as well as showing great interest in his big sister’s antics. I’m thrilled at the prospect of a mama’s boy – but already have shed tears over the fact that boys leave their mama’s whereas girls generally stay close. Aaron thinks I’m a little crazy. I would have to agree, most of the time.
After #1 I was very very sure we were not going to be having any more – I couldn’t imagine loving another baby like I love Jessica. She was 18 months old before the thought even came to me, that hey – we could maybe do this again. I might be OK with that.
Before #2 was even here I was pretty sure our family wasn’t complete yet. Don’t expect an announcement any time though – it’s a tad too soon for that. And we’re both not sure of the future and kids yet. But I love being a busy mom – I LOVE having more than one and I think I would LOVE having more than 2. It’s just the getting there that really doesn’t appeal to me anymore – not after the last part of Oliver’s pregnancy. I love you, Oliver – but for some reason your placenta had it out for me and I’m just not real certain I want to thrust myself back into that position – um, maybe ever.
#1 was exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life and continued to breastfeed til 9 months of age. Apparently the lactation consultants at the hospital thought I was lying because of my surgery (breast reduction) they were sure I couldn’t breastfeed Oliver and have called me 3 times since being discharged from the hospital to make sure Oliver is still alive. You think I’m exaggerating. I am not. I’ve had to remind them, more than once that our daughter – who is now almost 3 1/2, is alive and was breastfed. When they heard Oliver was gaining weight they, now get this, actually gasped on the phone. They keep asking me if I’m supplementing my breast milk with formula – I am not and they just think I’m a miracle.
I am not against feeding my child in any way, shape or form that best fits his needs. If that meant that because of my surgery I could not breast feed than I would be a formula buying mom and proud of it. However, breastfeeding DOES work for me. I can even pump and get a supply of milk in the freezer for a rainy day or the babysitter – because IT WORKS (imagine that!). Jessica was on a schedule very soon and so far I haven’t felt the need to do that with Oliver because of his natural ability to schedule himself – he eats every 3 hours or so – some times more frequent and some times just to snack. It doesn’t bother me, I do not care that he uses me to fall asleep or needs comforting.
I definitely advocate that breast milk is best for any baby but it’s not best for every mother and you know what – some times some one has to look out for us too. Our children will not go hungry, we live in the land of plenty – this is a non-issue for me – there is not black and white right answer and I really feel that it shouldn’t be portrayed as such. The real question to mothers of newborns should be – are you ok? Do you need any help? Can I bring your family dinner?
With #1 I made a scrapbook – an extensive scrapbook of her first year and most of her second. Then I quit.
With #2 I’ve already ordered photos to put in his album, but his album has nothing to do with scrap booking – and everything to do with simply putting photos in an album and writing down some thoughts and memories for him.
With #1 I had SO many questions – what does green poop mean? Why are there seeds in her diaper? Is she sleeping enough? Do I wake her up to eat? Is it ok if she misses a scheduled feeding? Will my milk dry up if I miss a feeding? and on and on and on … it never stopped.
With #2 I have reread a bit of some of the books we have, like how much he can see at this point and what he can hear. I now realize that nature will take care of it’s own and that my milk will not dry up – because even though Jessica had stopped nursing at 9 months I could still extract milk all the way up to when we found out we were pregnant with Oliver and throughout his entire pregnancy. You totally wanted to know that. I have so many interesting things to tell those Lactation Consultants. Like, MY BOOBS LEAK MILK AT WILL. MY AREOLA’S ARE PERFECT FOR BREASTFEEDING. I HAVE NIPPLES. I think they would be shocked at all of these facts.
With #1 everything was something new to learn.
With #2 now we’re just learning on a curve.

3 thoughts on “Differences between first and second offspring

  1. I too have shed many a tear over the fact that boys tend to leave their mamas. I cried for like a week when I heard a poem about that same thing. Didn’t help that is was just after he was born and I was still a ‘tad’ emotional!
    Glad to hear all is going well!

  2. I can’t believe the lack of people skills those consultants have! (it makes me more upset how medical professionals treat their patients since I have been seeing Jill) Seriously, they actually made and audible sound when you told them your child was fine, and gaining weight like he is supposed to? You are a better woman than I am, I would have told that poor consultant exactly what I thought of her lack of people skills, and promptly filled out a comment card to turn in to her supervisor! You’re an awesome mom–good job on making sure your children are fed!

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