You know what I’m not looking forward to?

I really haven’t thought much about what life will *really* be like with another newborn in the house. I mean, I’ve fantasized, perhaps. I’ve envisioned the tiny clothes and the cute pictures I can take of Kendall and his new brother/sister. I’ve thought about how I might want to decorate the nursery and about the baby gear I need to stock up on.

What I haven’t really let my mind settle on,  though, is all those things that I did a really good job of erasing from my memory last time, like the flush and sweat that came over me when my baby woke from a nap in the farthest aisle at the back of Target, while I was grabbing something like Tucks hemorrhoid pads and a can of Dermaplast, and began screaming his head off, not to be soothed by any shushing or jiggling of the infant seat, and drawing all eyes on me as I waddled (as quickly as I could considering the still healing stitches and enormous pad between my legs) to the front of the store to purchase only 2 of the 15 things on my super important shopping list.

Or the meltdowns that came after 8 hours of what seemed to be non-stop crying/eating/crying again. Me laying on the bed next to him, begging, pleading, cursing at 3 in the morning to please, Oh MY God, please just sleep. Like that one time that I snapped and yelled at my 2 week old to “just SHUT UP!” and then left the room bawling my eyes out, thinking that I’ve already lost the battle of motherhood and that at this rate I’ll lose custody of him by the time he’s 1.

Or the cruel joke that is a soundly sleeping newborn and my inability to enjoy it because of my anxiety and need to check his breathing every 5 minutes. The way I’d jolt from my bed any time he made a strange gurgling exhale while sleeping to check to make sure that wasn’t his last breath. The way I’d jolt from my bed anytime he slept more than 2 hours between feedings, heart racing, yanking him out of bed and startling him from a deep sleep, only to curse myself for ruining a perfectly good long stretch of rest.

I like to tell myself I’ll be less neurotic this time around, less anxious, but I honestly don’t know if that will be the case. I still check on Kendall at least twice before I go to bed, and the mornings I don’t hear him stir on the monitor by 7:30, I have to stifle the urge to run to check on him, rarely able to drift back off and enjoy the extra sleep.

Thinking about it all just exhausts me again. How on earth am I going to have the energy to be this way with TWO kids? And sleep? Oh, I’m going to miss sleep. After all the hardships we endured through the days and the nights mixed up, the colic, the frequent night feedings, we are at a GLORIOUS place with sleep now. I almost hate to tell people that my 2 year old sleeps 10 hours a night and then another 3 during the day. I always follow it up by telling them how sleep challenged we were the first 9 months of his life in an effort to save myself from the knives they probably want to throw at me. I hate to think about hitting the restart button, or even worse, the challenge of getting 2 kids to nap at the same time. Moms of two, give it to me straight. I need to be prepared. How do you do it?

Kendall is 2 (and still in my custody) and I’m just about 17 weeks pregnant.

P.S. Today is the LAST DAY to vote for me for the Social Luxe Blog Luxe awards. I would really, really appreciate your vote if you think I’m deserving 🙂 Baby Rabies is up for Funniest and Blog I’ve Learned the Most From.  Go here to vote, even if you already have. You can vote once a day. Thank you so much!!

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  1. Meh – you’ll figure it out. I was seriously a 2-baby expert by the time Julesy was 2 weeks old. I was running all over town, baby in one arm, toddler in the other. My friends were in awe, and I felt like Mother of the Year.

    You know, if you don’t count that time that Jonas hit me in the back of the head with a car because I spent too much time nursing Julesy that day, and I turned around and SCREAMED at him to “OH MY FUCKING GOD STOP IT!!!!” and he started bawling like I was a child abuser. And you can’t count the times (every hour, all night long) that I laid awake thinking Jules was going to stop breathing ANY SECOND because that’s what healthy babies do.

    You know… other than those things… *ahem*… two was a breeze for me. You’ll be fine.

    Now three…. oh boy.

  2. Okay seriously were you talking with my husband last night. He went though the exact same speak with me last night and when I just replied “We’ll deal with! Call me niave, but I’m not worried” he gave me the stink eye and said “Okay sure, lets just wait and see”. Sure, there are times I think the sleepless nights are going to be horrible and I’m not sure I’m ready for it all over again but I am, I know I’ll enjoy it when I see that little newborn face looking up at me, giving me those cheesy grins later on and eventually calling me mommmy!

    I know it sounds totally lame but I’m excited! I’m welcoming the sleepless nights and anxiety that comes along with being a mommy because that’s just it, I get to be a mommy! 🙂

    • It is exciting… 90% of the time. It’s even better when they start to develop a little personality. I DO look forward to that 🙂

  3. Honestly, you can and will get them to nap at the same time, and quickly. The baby will sleep so much in the beginning, that you just make sure that one time when you put her/him down, Kendall goes as well. I have 3 kids that all needed to nap. I was terrified that they would not all nap at the same time — b/c I SO needed them to. But I mangaged to get them down for a 2 1/2 nap all at the same time within a week of the last one being born. I did become sort of a nap nazi, something I definately wasn’t with my first, but when you have more than one, I think sleep becomes even more important. Also, I think you ARE a bit more relaxed when they sleep. You don’t feel that overwhelming “omg if I’m not looking directly at them they will stop breathing” feeling. Plus, you’ve learned that they make noises in thier sleep that do not indicate immediate danger so you don’t instantly jump from your bed. You do wake up 🙂 but you give it a few seconds before you hit the floor running. So sometimes you go back to sleep. You’ll do fine!!

  4. You will rock as a mom-of-two! I have a 9 month old and an almost three year old. The first few weeks (okay, months) are definitely challenging, but soon you’ll find your rhythm. I remember having the same “What was I thinking?” convo in my head about halfway through the pregnancy and then again in a major way right before my son was born. I think it’s pretty normal to worry about a huge life change like this! In a cruel twist of fate, my oldest gave up her nap right after the baby was born (I thought they napped until they were five!!).

    Make sure you have as much support as possible and, more importantly, LET PEOPLE HELP! It’s so tempting to tell people that you’ve got it all under control so you look like super mom, but people really do want to help and you should let them!

    Try to get the baby on a schedule as soon as you feel she/he is ready. This gives your days structure (super important for Kendall) and will give you one on one time every day to devote to your baby, your first born AND yourself!

    Good luck, mama! You’ll be fab!

  5. I’ll admit, that is the one thing that makes me nervous about having number 2. It is easy to remember all of the GREAT things–and to forget the long, sleepless nights, baby breathing paranoia, constant feedings, etc.

    And what about sleep?? You know the whole idea that “you sleep when the baby sleeps..”? Well, how do you do that if they don’t nap at the same time….?

    Then I remind myself–many, MANY parents have 2 or more kids–and most of them have survived. Either society is full of a bunch of freaking liars, or we will survive too!

    • True. I am happy that K will be in “school” 2 days a week, so I can hopefully catch up on sleep then. Now housework? That’s going to be a total loss.

  6. I’m about two or three weeks away from having my second baby and my first still doesn’t fall asleep on her own. I can’t even explain the level of anxiety I have about everything. I’m trying to tell myself it’ll be ok, I’ll be a better, more relaxed parent this time. Or, I’ll drink a lot more this time 😉

  7. I nanny two kids- 22 months and 5 months. They go down fairly easy one on each side of me. Of course their are days where neither will sleep or won’t sleep long and wake the other up but luckily they are few and far between. You will figure out a plan that works. wow wow wubzy helps me put them to sleep on the bad days:]

  8. You’ll get through it, I promise!

    I’m only 2.5 months into mothering two, and I’ve been surprised about how lax I am about it all. With #1, I sanitized the binky anytime it fell anywhere, and now #2’s binky falls every where, and it’s all good. There’s just not enough time to be as diligent with #2 as we were with #1. As for napping, I’ve found that our 2 year old keeps the newbie up when he’s awake, so by the time nap comes around, they are both pooped.

    You never know, you may just get that odd duck baby who sleeps through the night at like a month! I think you’ll be surprised how much easier it gets the second time around!

    P.S. I feel you on being hated for our toddler’s sleep schedules. Our 2 year old MUST have 14+ hours a day or he is horrible. Thankfully, newbie enjoys sleeping as much as his big bro!

  9. I have been thinking this same thing all along that my husband thinks that we should have another… okay that makes no sense but I have a migraine. Anyway, point is, I already yell at my first one, so I’m worried about having a second one, because, will it make it worse? Ugh.

  10. It all goes by so much more quickly the second time around – the good and the bad parts. I think you’ll find yourself more capable emotionally because you have already experienced the shock to the system that parenthood brings, but it is harder physically because are so tired.

    The thing that surprised me the most was how sad I felt for my first when I brought the second home from the hospital. My son wasn’t quite 2, and I felt keenly aware that I had taken something away from him that he’d never know I took. Fortunately that feeling only lasted a few days, until I became immersed in my new life with two. I’m not sure if I’m articulating that well, but maybe some of the other moms can say it better.

    • I totally agree with it going by more quickly, and also with the sadness I felt for my first son. I was sad for me too – I missed being with only him.

    • Oh, yes. The guilt and sadness for the firstborn. I still feel that 2 months into having a second. It’s so amazing though, and what we’re givng our firstborn- a sibling..a partner in crime, a friend for life, a “baby bwudder” as Kadence so lovingly calls him as she steals his paci, is invaluble.

      And I can almost guarantee you will not be nearly as neurotic over baby 2. You just won’t have the time to be. 😉

      Sleep…oh how I miss sleep. To help matters, I cosleep with Gavin in order to avoid getting fully awake to feed him…and for all that bonding crap too. 🙂

  11. I may have yelled at the first baby often enough at 3 in the morning that shouting “OH MY GOD JUST GO TO SLEEP!” actually started to work.

    I think my biggest fear about baby #2 is the sleeping thing. Just a few weeks ago I was still getting up once or twice with Baby Evan so it didn’t really matter to me that another baby was going to ruin my sleep. I wasn’t getting that much anyways. But we’ve FINALLY reached STTN plus a 2-3 hour nap and OH MY GOD does it feel good. I’ve gotten used to the sleeping now and dread going back to no more than 2 hours at a time.

  12. Jill,
    I’m not going to lie, the first couple of months were really hard on me. My immediate goal was to get them to nap at the same time in the afternoon and it wasn’t that hard to do. By the time Jack was 4 months they always went down for that afternoon nap at the same time and they still do now (knock on wood)

    The hardest part was the lack of sleep and then having to take care of 2 of them during the day..not being able to doze off when Jack napped because I had an energetic 2yr old tearing the house apart because he was bored and I was exhausted.

    I agree with the comment above, I too felt a little sad/guilty about James…like I missed him because I knew I’d never be able to give him the same attention again. It was strange but we all adjusted, and now they actually play together and it has gotten a lot easier.

    I think you’ll figure it out in no time and do great !!!

  13. I have a 22 month old and a 7 month old. In case subtraction gives you an even bigger headache, that’s only 15 months difference. I’m not gonna lie – it was really hard at first. I have always wanted a big family. That being said, my second pregnancy came faster than I had hoped/expected. I wasn’t ready to go through pregnancy again, and I was a bit resentful at first. I didn’t feel prepared for the second baby, and when she was born I hated juggling my attention between two kids, because I was so used to being able to devote all of my time to my son. I also hated that my son (the older child) was not at a stage where he could or would willingly follow directions or walk next to me in a parking lot, so I was constantly carrying both of them,along with all of the baby shit that you have to lug everywhere you go, and garnering a spectrum of looks ranging from pity to disgust and obvious comments like “you’ve really got your hands full” from strangers everywhere. That being said, there were also a lot of things that seemed easier with the second baby, like waking up at night. It’s not that I had to wake up less often, but it just didn’t seem like so much of a pain in the ass because I knew it wouldn’t last forever. With my first baby everything was new and every new stage felt neverending because I didn’t know what came next or when. But just when I thought I couldn’t take the newborn crying/not sleeping stage ONE. MORE. SECOND….well, that’s when he started sleeping more and things started to get better. With the second baby I had the perspective that everything passes, and I knew what normal baby development looked like, so I just let it happen and I’m a lot more relaxed with everything. Juggling two can still be hard – especially whenever I leave the house. My new favorite parking space at the grocery store is any space that happens to be right next to an empty shopping cart. I can’t get them to nap at the same time regularly yet either, but hopefully I will soon. All I can tell you is that I’ve made it seven months with two kids, and for the first six of those months I was in chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma that they discovered at the end of my second pregnancy, so it really was hell. Yet, I made it through without killing either of them or myself, so you can do it too. Mothering two is getting easier every day, and while it was very hard at first, I am really enjoying it now, especially when I see the brother-sister bond starting to form.

  14. you’ll be fine – just prioritize the schedule. By 3 or 4 months I had my baby twins and 2 y.o. napping at the same time and about a month later they were all going to bed at 7:00 and sleeping all night. Those first 3 months felt soooooooooooooo long, but in the whole big picture, it really isn’t that much. I just had to keep telling myself I could handle being exceptionally tired for 3 months. Can’t say enough about the schedule. Seems rigid and weird to many, but IMO, makes life so much better for everyone on down the line. Best of luck!

  15. Hmmmm, I don’t know what to say that won’t terrify you. I’m still learning to navigate being a mother to two. Honestly, some days are good. Some days are bad. Baby #2 is so different than baby #1. I mean, exact opposites! Our second baby boy doesn’t sleep very much and wants to nurse all the time. Landon could sleep anywhere and refused the breast from the get go.

    It is a challenge keeping Landon at a safe distance from the baby. Tonight, he head butted him and the baby started screaming. I was sitting right there and it happened in the blink of an eye.

    Brigham is a little over 9 weeks old and truthfully, I am absolutely exhausted. What with my surprise MRSA infection in my breast and having holes cut into my breast shortly after giving birth. Then a sick baby who screamed and fussed and vomited. I don’t know . . . we’re going through a rough patch I guess.

    It’s SOOOO much easier when my husband and I are taking care of them together. When he works on the weekends and I’m taking care of both. Well, I can barely keep my eyes open by 7:00. Then I have no energy to clean or organize.

    Ugh, I hate to be negative nelly. I really really love my boys and I’m so glad I have them. But it’s difficult some days. I just want some me time and I don’t get any.

  16. #2 is 28 days old and sound asleep next to me. You figure it out. Like I’ve side-lying nursed #2 since day one. No waking up entirely to sit up. I latch her and doze lightly until she is done and back in her Snuggle Nest. I’m losing a LOT less sleep than I did with #1.

    You lose your temper with #1 because they act up so you apologize more while handing out a seemingly never ending stream of popsicles to make it okay. If only in your mind.

    You simply figure it out and do the best with what you’ve got. It’s all anyone can ask.

  17. I get it. Totally. But, as the mother of a 20 month old & a three week old, let me just say that it is much, much easier than I anticipated. Maybe I’m an extreme pessimist, but in this case, it worked out for the best. I did nothing but worry my first 2 trimesters. 🙂 It’s all about balance.

  18. Um, you’re kind of scaring me with this… I hadn’t thought of any of this, either.

    I totally yelled at D more than once because he wouldn’t stop screaming at me. And there are many days when I’m in awe that we still have custody of him.

    I get why you follow the 10 hour/3 hour thing with mentions of how the first 9 months went. D sleeps around 10-11 hours a night, but he’s in this no nap phase right now. I have no idea how I’m going to handle it when I’m left alone with him and a newborn.

  19. I got totally side tracked seeing that there is another Melodie out there (Never happens, at least not the same spelling) so now I’ve forgotten what I wanted to say….. Oh yes, I remember feeling exactly the same way like it was yesterday, only it was 3 yrs and 3 months ago now, and it flew by. And it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It WILL be fine.

  20. Those first few weeks with two were pretty awful, but things got better after that.

    My first was a lot like Kendall – colicky, reflux-y, terrible at nursing, refused to sleep EVER. He was so awful that I swore I would never have another kid. Then I accidently got pregnant with number two, and I was terrified. But the younger one is a hundred million times better than the older one was. He’s happy, he nurses well, he sleeps well, he rarely ever pukes on me It’s great. I figure after you’ve had one awful one, you’re owed a good one. Hopefully it works out that way for you, too!

  21. Ok I admit. Im pissed. Im in the same boat as you. I have a one year old (on Tuesday) and am due in 10 weeks. HOWEVER this glorious ten hours of sleep you speak of sickens me. Damn you! *shakes fist*

    Im curious what two will be like as well. Im guessing they will babysit each other and cut down on the cost of daycare? Maybe? Thats why people have more than one right? RIGHT?

  22. I am not a mother of two, just one, but I have often thought that there is no way that I will be able to have another unless the first one starts sleeping through the night. You don’t know how relieved I am to hear you say “how sleep challenged we were the first 9 months of his life”. My son is 7 months and I’m starting to think he will never sleep through the night!

  23. I have a 2-1/2 year old boy and am 17 weeks pregnant with #2 – a girl. I’m terrified. My first was easy and loving. I’m afraid #2 will be a needy monster. And work?? I work full time. How will I keep it all together? I can barely function as-is. And my little boy is so sweet. I was a bucket of tears when I found out I was pregnant just for the sadness of how things will change for him and between us. I feel like our worlds are going to be rocked. It’s good to hear from other moms that while it is tough, it gets better and you figure things out. I hope I do. I just keep telling myself “people do this all the time all over the world!”

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