second child fears

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I had a hard time connecting with Madelyn in utero, but the moment the midwife placed her on my chest I felt this deep and instant love. From the moment we officially met I felt like we’ve always known each other and were destined to find one another again. We’ve had such a close relationship that there are now two things I constantly worry about. The first is that the new baby and I won’t be as close as I am with Madelyn, that I wont have that same instant connection. And the second, is that the baby and I will be really close and Madelyn will feel left out or forgotten.

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Everyone I’ve talked to says they had the same fears before their second child came and it all turned out okay, but no matter what anyone says I still feel so unsure of how everything will play out. I think it’s the whole unknown, not knowing who this baby will be and not knowing what our lives will look like is terrifying. I constantly fear this baby will be as colicy and difficult as Madelyn was, that I won’t sleep through the night for another 18 months after she’s born. I worry that Madelyn will digress with her potty training again.

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I’m so scared that Madelyn will feel left out and forgotten. That she’ll act out in hopes of getting attention and I won’t respond in the best way because of how stressed/sleep deprived I’ll be. I don’t want to permanently damage my relationship with her; I want to stay as close and connected as we’ve always been. But there is a huge change coming and I know it won’t be the same and we may never be as close as we are now because my attention will be permanently divided.

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I mourn the fact that Madelyn won’t be the center of both our attention all the time. I fear that she won’t get enough attention; she’ll feel lonely, confused, and angry. I worry that their age gap will be too big and they won’t ever play together or be friends until they’re adults.

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I worry that because Madelyn was such an easy going toddler (until recently) that this baby will be extremely difficult, defiant, and a runner (plllllease don’t be a runner little baby!!!!). I struggle with the fact that I’ll have two very different children that will require different parenting and I’m afraid I won’t be able to change how I parent.

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I feel so much excitement for this baby and I feel excited for Madelyn to have a sister, but there is still so much fear and anxiety. The closer I get to my due date the more anxious I feel about how this will play out.

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This time around I feel much more confident in my ability to take care of a human/baby, the fears are so different with the first child verse the second child. I know my heart will grow and somehow it will all workout but man, the unknown is so very terrifying.

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labor day in the carolinas

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This past Labor Day weekend we flew out to the Carolina’s to visit my family. Why did I travel across the country when I’m 34 weeks pregnant, you ask? Well, we hadn’t been to my parents house in nearly two years, UW dental program apparently hates their students and forces them to go year-round (that’s right, no summer break for poor Joshy!) so there’s never a long break where we can just fly across the country for a week. AND this would probably be the last chance to fly over there until Josh graduates in June.

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UW Dental Program had a faculty retreat Thursday, and then Josh was able to take Friday off and with Monday being Labor Day we saw this as the perfect opportunity to brave a cross-country flight with a toddler and come out for a few days. 

^^^ Yay for pregnancy making my face swell up!!  -_-

^^^ Yay for pregnancy making my face swell up!!  -_-

Of course I didn’t look up the requirements for flying until the day we left. Apparently you’re allowed to fly until 36 weeks (cutting it a little close), but you need a doctor’s note from 28 weeks on. I decided to wear a baggy sweater and put on my resting b*tch face so no one would ask how far along I am – and it worked!

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We had a jam packed weekend with fun and lots of good food. (Why is it that no food is better than your parents’?) Plus one of my sisters drove down from Ohio to surprise me with her family, which was the greatest surprise ever! This was our first time visiting that Madelyn was old enough to really play with her cousins and she had a blast, it was a constant toddler party. (Madelyn is the 9th grandkid on my family's side, and this baby will be the 12th!).

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My parents live on top of a mountain and they have a ton of land, with a small peach orchard, huge garden, and hiking trails. They’re also installing a fire pit and massive play set outside. When they moved from Colorado to South Carolina they planned to move into their perfect retirement house, which is quickly becoming the house of every grandchild's dream. I wish I was young enough to run around their property and feel the type of magic and wonder you only feel when you're a kid. 

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So here are a few photos of M and I outside my parents house, playing and exploring while awkwardly taking photos in front of a bunch of worker dudes that were installing the playground. And huge shout-out to that kimono from Pink Blush that I am obsessed with! Here’s the link to it. Pink Blush’s kimonos are my absolute favorite, some are bright and colorful like this one, but they also have more neutral color ones. Basically pick your poison and they'll have it *two thumbs up*.   Also, here’s a link to my maternity shorts which are also from Pink Blush.

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Big thank you to Pink Blush for sending the products for me to review on my blog! You guys are my absolute favorite. 

^^^ My parents' peach orchard and garden

^^^ My parents' peach orchard and garden

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three-nager

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Turns out “three-nager” is a real thing. Madelyn was such a laid-back 2-year-old I kept thinking she’d always be an easy breezy little person. My child never threw tantrums in public, and she could be easily reasoned with when sad or mad. If she was upset we'd talk it out and she’d mutter out a quiet, yet sad, “ooookay.” 

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I thought we really lucked out, or this was my reward for her pregnancy being pure hell and for her colic and general unhappiness for the first several months of her life. Now my eager-to-please and selfless child is dumping out bins of toys with no intention of playing with them, and when I ask her to pick them up she looks me dead in the eye, say’s “no,” and kicks them around the room. Or when I'm getting ready for the day and Madelyn is playing quietly in the closet and once I come in I notice she has taken ALL of my shirts off the hangers and dumped out the hamper so the closet floor is covered in a foot of clothes. I don’t know how to deal with this! Also, how does a nearly 8 months pregnant woman clean up massive tornado-like messes a toddler creates? All the bending makes my sciatic nerve shoot pain from my butt up my back, and it also makes me have to pee about 5 million times. 

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My seemingly perfect, obedient, and calm child has learned she has a voice and an opinion and goodness I want to go back to before that time. Before something as simple as a broken stick or having to give back a toy a friend shared would turn into flailing limbs, screams that make your ears bleed, and a cherry faced toddler who looks as if she’ll poop her pants from extreme exertion at any moment.

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List of things Madelyn has deemed end of world worthy:

1.     Not letting her use all of her body wash during one bath.

2.     When I try to tell her a shirt pulled down to her bum doesn’t count as pants. (Really hoping we won’t have this conversation again when she’s an actual teenager.)

3.     When her hair is pulled back too tight in an elastic.

4.     If I didn’t pack the one thing she wanted in her lunchbox, like a yogurt, even though there’s a sandwich, cheese, strawberries, banana, and a granola bar.

5.     Not being able to see what I’m doing 24/7.

6.     When Molly is sleeping and won’t follow her from room to room or sleep in Madelyn’s bed with her.

7.     Getting water in her eyeballs.

8.     When I won’t let her bring the 5 sticks and 26 rocks she found outside into the house.

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One thing Madelyn has taught me is that no matter how angelic your child is there is no escaping the “three-nager” phase. All I can do is hope my patience multiplies and that she gets out of this stage as quickly as she entered it. Any well wishes and happy thoughts are much appreciated while we navigate this new phase of life.

^^ Josh rocking his tiger shirt per usual.

^^ Josh rocking his tiger shirt per usual.