Come here. Closer. Lean in, I’m going to say this in a very soft whisper.
It’s true. This baby? She is…. easy.
She sleeps! A lot. Her cries? Not bad.
No signs of colic. None.
::KNOCKING ON ALL PIECES OF WOOD::
Oh, I really, really hate to blog about this. I’ve waited over 5 weeks to reveal this to you all, because I’ve been TERRIFIED of jinxing it. But I feel like I owe this much to you, especially those of you who were so traumatized by all the stories I told about Kendall, and ESPECIALLY for those of you who went through something similar with your first and are searching for a tiny glimmer of hope when it comes to the 2nd.
Of course, I can’t make any promises that your second will be such an angel. As much as people like to soothe parents of colicky, high needs first babies by telling them the 2nd will be a breeze, I know it doesn’t always work out that way (and for those parents, I sob for you into my fat glass of wine).
It might have to do with the name. Leyna means “little angel,” you know. After dealing with a baby with colic, I pulled out all the stops, including a wishful name. I’m not really sure what Kendall means (something about a bright valley?), but it should be something like “he who will REALLY challenge you and drive you to drink more.” Clearly I didn’t research it enough before we settled on it.
So, how easy is she?
Well, she only cries when she actually needs something, and I can usually diagnose what that is and stop her not-too-terribly-loud-cries within minutes.
She’s really nice to my boobies. She had a small adjustment phase in the beginning with her latch, but, unlike her brother, she hasn’t sucked off any chunks of flesh from my nipples. Breastfeeding stopped hurting after about two weeks this time, not two months. And she’s efficient. She gets on and gets to business. None of these 45 minute, sip and sleep marathon nursing sessions. (However, my letdown this time is CRAZY intense. It feel like I’m sprouting samurai swords from my nipples every time. Is it supposed to be worse the second time around?)
The very best part? She SLEEPS. Folks, for the last week straight, if not more, she has slept at least one solid 4 to (get this) SIX hour stretch each night. Then she’s up to eat and for a diaper change and back down for another 3ish hours. I can usually manage 7-9 hours of sleep with only 2-3 interruptions. I couldn’t get Kendall to sleep this well until he was 7 or 8 months old!
In fact, she’s slept 4 hour stretches since she came home from the hospital, we just had to wait a couple weeks until she cycled these from day time to night time, but the only time I’ve ever been up every 2 hours with her at night were the first 3-4 nights until my milk came in.
I’m not saying she’s maintenance free. I mean, let’s be real, it’s not like I gave birth to a ficus tree. She’s still pretty needy and demanding. She only wants to nap snuggled close to one of us or while being physically bounced by one of us. She cat naps a lot during the day and eats a lot during the day (I’m guessing because she sleeps so great at night). She’s had rough nights, like after I had buffalo wings for dinner. Epic sad face for no more buffalo wings while breastfeeding.
But, I think this experience is much more in line with what a “typical” newborn experience is. It’s just that it comes off as really easy in comparison to the hellish colic nightmare that was surviving the first few months of Kendall’s life.
And speaking of colic nightmares, I feel that I have some residual PTSD from it the first time around. There have been a few times Leyna’s been fussy and I begin having flashbacks. I get sweaty and start freaking out.
“OH MY GOD. IT’S COLIC. IT’S STARTING. GET THE GRIPE WATER. GET THE VACUUM CLEANER. GET THE WINE!!” I run around screaming before I fall into the fetal position and begin rocking.
But then we figure it out (and swear off broccoli, which isn’t nearly as sad as no more buffalo wings), and she gets better and the next day is fantastic.
I don’t really know if I can give her all the credit here, though. Sure, she’s a “little angel,” but I am also a much more confident mom in a much less stressful place in life than I was 5 weeks in last time around. Some of you may remember when Kendall was not even a month old I flew to Texas with him by myself, drove all over the state of Texas, found a house, flew back to Virginia and then we packed everything and moved ourselves down here 3 weeks later. Oh, and we had temporary custody of our 4 year old niece. It was a clusterfuck of stress with a colicky newborn thrown in the mix.
Plus, this time I’m much better at relaxing and listening to my instincts. From the beginning, I haven’t stressed about schedules or “rules.” I don’t feed her every 2 hours. I feed her when she’s hungry, whether thats 15 minutes from the last feeding or 5 hours. (I eventually began feeding Kendall on demand, but it took me a couple months to really know what his hunger cues were… and it took a couple months for my nipples to not retreat back into my chest every time he came at me to latch on.)
I don’t log all her dirty and wet diapers, I don’t obsess about how many ounces she’s eating. She’s pooping and peeing and filling out her clothes, and that’s all I need to know.
And I let the girl sleep where she wants to sleep. 99.9% of the time that’s either in her bouncy chair (set inside the co-sleeper next to the bed) or in bed with us… on her side. I don’t stress about making her sleep on her back in the crib or the co-sleeper. That’s not to say I let her sleep curled up in a ball in a pile of laundry and stuffed animals, we practice safe co-sleeping, but I’m not trying to force her to sleep in a cold, vast crib or Pack & Play. For US, it’s been the best choice. I also mastered side-lying breastfeeding from day one this time around and it has saved me MUCH sanity and plenty of sleep.
Now that I’ve shared all this with you, I’m sure she’ll wake tomorrow as challenging as her brother ever was. Hell, she’ll probably start teething next week as a result of this little bit of bragging. I’m so screwed, I know.
Kendall is 2 years 9 months and Leyna is 5.5 weeks