Monday, February 6th, 2012
Leaving the hospital with Baby Brother
I hate the sentence I’m about to write. But I’m going to do it anyway.
My two-year old is “mad” at me.
It sounds so lame. I promised myself I wouldn’t be one of those parents who project adult emotions on a toddler. But here I am.
It began the day I came home from the hospital with Emmett. Even though we had prepped Fia all about a baby brother coming into her world, she clearly hadn’t grasped it. How could she? I can barely grasp the magnitude of how one’s body “makes life,” so I surely can’t expect a 2-year old to fully comprehend.
But from the moment I stepped in the door something had changed. While excited about Emmett, she was aloof with me. She didn’t want me to hold her. She did, however, want to hold Emmett. She was clingy with Phil and her grandparents. With me, she ignored.
I thought, What have I done? I have destroyed the relationship that matters most to me in this world. (Another sentence I cringe at while writing. Seriously. But remember there are some raging hormones here too.)
I panicked that things would never be the same. That a “new normal” had set in. One I didn’t like. My mother-in-law, my best friend and my aunt all assured me Fia’s behavior was normal. They cited examples from their own childrearing experiences.
But they must not have had the connection with their kids I have with Fia, I thought hopelessly.We are symbiotically entwined.
Phil took Fia on a walk and asked her, “Are you mad at mama?” In her little voice, she squeaked, “Yes.” Then he asked if she was mad at baby brother. “No” she said.
Upon hearing this, my heart broke a little more. Yes, I’m putting a lot of stock in those two words, “yes/no” but having a new baby is a seismic shift in all our lives–and I do believe she feels a bit jolted and unable to express herself. Again, she’s 2.
Time, is what my mom friends told me. Give her time.
So I have. And it’s getting better. I’m getting my Fi back a little more each day. And my heart too.
I still can’t hold her, which is tough. “Mama hold you,” she pleads. I tell her to come sit on my lap.
I took a bubble bath with her the other night. I washed her hair and she dumped water on me. A welcome sign that normal was coming back.
What does seems to be her new MO of “not-so-fun-normal” is to go from 0-10 in a matter of seconds. She will throw herself on the floor, screaming, crying–real tears and all–because I brought her an apple-banana squeezie and not a yogurt. Such tragedy. Again, since I can’t physically pick her up, I have to wait patiently for her to stop wailing, then explain, distract or relent–depending on the enormity of the issue at hand.
I know this is typical 2-3 year old behavior. Hers just happened to coincide–or was instigated–by Emmett’s arrival.
She has also just spent the last 2 weeks being showered with attention from Phil’s parents. She and his mom were inseparable (his mom is like the grandmother everyone wants to have). So when they left yesterday, she experienced another jolt in her little life.
Again, all normal stuff I’m told. And I have no choice but to go with it. Kids are far more resilient than we are. I have to remember that. And to continue to tell Fia that I have her heart. And I’ll never let go.
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behavior, big sister, birth, Emmett, hospital, labor, milestone monday, new sibling, newborn, sibling, toddler tantrum | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Must Read, Newborn Care
Saturday, February 4th, 2012
Author’s Note: Join me every Friday for a dose of cuteness as I share snapshots of Fia. Adorable photos are guaranteed on Fia Friday!
Yesterday we went to the beach. While Fia played in the sand with Phil and her grandparents, I sat on the boardwalk with my new dude, relaxing. We are trying to do lots of fun things with Fia so she doesn’t feel neglected. So far, she looks pretty damn happy I’d say!
With Grandma "TT" at Beach
And for Emmett Saturday, his first bath! Sans umbilical cord. Sister Fia helps!
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Emmett's First Bath--With Fia.
Thursday, August 11th, 2011
Author’s note: I’m stealing a line from Julia’s blog on Parents. ie: If you are trying to get pregnant and having trouble conceiving, don’t read this.
At 14 weeks, baby in belly is the size of a lemon
When Fia was born we felt so lucky. She was healthy and happy. 20 months later, she is all that and more. And I continue to count my blessings. For that reason, and a few others, Phil and I didn’t see a sibling in her future–or ours. Neither of us wanted to jinx our perfect situation. We got a good one, why gamble? I figured maybe down the road we’d adopt.
Friends would say how great it is for kids to have siblings. I wasn’t convinced.
Half the time I hated my siblings and they hated me. There is no guarantee that everyone will like each other. It’s yet another roll of the dice. Just like procreating.
I also didn’t feel like going through another pregnancy. Granted, I had an easy one with Fia, but again, why gamble? Plus, in my AMA–Advanced Maternal Age– (roll eyes at that stupid term) I didn’t want to risk all the things that can happen with old ovaries.
In May, we came back from a family vacation in Costa Rica. Life got busy. I had to make a final trip down to FL to say goodbye to my dying mother. Then I was off to LA for a business trip.
In the back of my head I had a nagging feeling. But my stomach cramps and sore boobs reassured me. Any day now.
One night when Phil was out of town, I poured a nice big glass of wine for myself. I opened up my calendar and began to count. “27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33”… hmmm. I took a sip. Recounted. Sipped again. Recounted. I finished my wine, might have poured a little more, and went into the bathroom to pee.
My internal dialogue went like this: I’ll just look under the sink to see if I have any left over tests–just going to put my mind at ease. Ahhh! There is one. Cool.
Pee on stick (no internal dialogue here).
Watch stick (?&^%*$#@?&)
Gasp. Scream. Run to phone.
“You gotta talk me off the ledge” I yelled.
“What? Are you in a fight with your siblings?” Phil asked with alarm.
“NO,” I shouted. “Fia’s going to have a sibling. I’m pregnant!!”
“What? Seriously? Holy f-ck. Wow. Whoa. …(3-second silence)…Ya know, I like babies.” I grimaced.
“But you don’t have to carry one. And the beginning….”
I was already reliving those first few months when Fia kicked my ass. Lack of sleep and raging hormones turned me into the devil. Not to her—she had my entire heart–but she was the only one.
“We’ll figure it out,” he said. Then added calmly, “I think we’re pretty good at it actually.”
He had a point. We never wanted kids. We’d been married 10 years before we decided to roll the dice. And after those initial “suicide months,” we fell into parenthood like strawberries in chocolate fondue. Swallowed up and coated with a layer of life so delicious neither of us could believe it.
So on the night I peed on the stick, called my husband, and poured the rest of my wine down the sink, I began to embrace this next chapter. It’s a chapter I would have never had the courage—or energy– to write for myself. The universe made the decision for me (along with some recklessness on our part), and I’m going with it. I’ve always enjoyed a good game of blackjack–and have done quite well at times. Time to double down.
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advanced maternal age, AMA, brother, due date, new baby, ovaries, pregnancy, pregnant, sibling, siblings, sister, unexpectedly expecting | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama