So... I'm a mom of two now. Yeah. TWO! One is TWO and one is TWO months! Maybe I should have renamed this blog post "somethingsomethingsomething TWO somethingsomething"... wait... I did put the word two in there. Ok, moving on now!
I was perusing facebook today, and I came across a blog post here: http://www.scarymommy.com/apology-to-my-second-child/
It's basically an apology letter to the second child. While reading it, I decided I feel the opposite of this mommy. I want to write an apology letter to my first born. He deserves what baby number two has experienced so far. Yeah, she's only two months... but in those two months I have held her more than I held my first in his first two months. :( I am enjoying this second baby far more than I enjoyed my first. Before you start shouting, "FOR SHAME!" in all caps in the comments section, hear me out!
First off, I was a newbie. I was new to it ALL! I don't want to say too much at the risk of offending friends or family who have differing experiences and opinions, but I really want to share some of my mommy insight for new moms or expecting moms who really honestly don't know their options or anything about being a new mom.
Ok. So, this part of my story and apology to my son still frustrates me. (this is the part where others may feel offended, and that's not my intent... just sharing experiences) I was seeing an OB for all of my appointments which is very expected and normal as a new mom. Did I know there were other options? Did I feel they were other LEGITIMATE options? No - to both questions. I wasn't really friends with many other moms out there. I had my sister, but that was it. I didn't know that a midwife was a qualified person to deliver a baby. I thought it was kind of cooky and hippy. I have had a reputation of being slightly hippy-ish in my days, but I honestly thought that was like, harry armpit having, vegan eating, hemp wearing hippy category. That makes me sad that I was really THAT misinformed about the whole thing. Natural birth seemed like something that only happened by accident in the car on the way to the safe and oh-so-comfortable hospital, or something that only people with super human strength could endure. Because of all of my lack of fact-checking and that I had blind faith in doctors... I gave myself and my son a less than ideal labor and delivery. We both missed out. In a MAJOR way. Sorry, Justus. I'm sorry that I allowed the doctors to FORCE my body, that was still patiently awaiting your spontaneous arrival, into labor. I'm sorry that you were disturbed, still comfortable and developing, inside my body. I'm sorry that I caused you distress. That I allowed this to happen to you and I. I'm sorry I believed the lie from my Doctor that forced inductions aren't always 100% successful. I'm sorry that the first few moments you took your first breaths, I wasn't the one holding you, and that we missed out on those first moments together - bonding, skin to skin. I'm sorry that I allowed the "expert lactation consultants" at the hospital make me believe that you needed formula. I'm sorry that because of the high demand of the lactation consultant at the hospital, I didn't learn the correct way to feed you, and therefore couldn't successfully for months. I'm sorry that I was finally informed for the birth of your little sister. That I had a calm, relaxing, surreal natural birth with her. That it really isn't as terrifying as Hollywood and horror stories make it out to be. I'm sorry that it's actually beautiful and rewarding, and that I didn't know any of this. I'm sorry we were robbed of the amazing bonding I experienced with Maxine, being able to hold her as soon as she came into this world. I'm sorry that she had this amazing, relaxed birth, and you had a traumatic one.
Ok, I'm glad I got that off my chest. There's more. Lots more. But I'll let my doctor and the hospital apologize to us.
Onto the next part of my apology. Justus, I'm sorry I read blogs about putting a baby on a "schedule" and that you didn't need ME to hold you or love you or cuddle you, you needed to learn to "self soothe". Honestly, ... If I wouldn't have put you on a schedule so young (two weeks) you would have been a lot easier of a baby. I tried to have you on a every two hour feeding schedule. I knew when you needed to eat, you didn't. Hmm... is that real life? When you're hungry, do you have someone following you around saying, "no you're not... it's not time yet. You have to wait." NO! When we're hungry, we usually eat or snack. That's all you were trying to do as a baby, and I'm sorry. When you cried, I kept reminding myself, "it's okay, he needs to learn to be on MY time schedule and MY watch." I had the mentality that you were going to be a hungry, weepy, clingy baby forever. Well, you're not anymore. Not at all. You're a big two-year-old. You wiggle to get out of my arms when I struggle to cling on to you for hugs... You grew up. That time is gone and I'll never have it with you again. This time around, I am holding her when she wants me, feeding her when she's hungry, lying next to her at night when she wants to just be close to me. She will be humungous soon. This baby stage FLIES! I see that now looking back.
I'm sorry I give her more than I gave you. I'm sorry I let little things stress me the heck out. I stressed about feeding times, sleeping schedules, whether or not you'd sleep through the night, having a "momma's boy" or a kid that relied too much on pacifiers. I was scared that you would need me to rock you to sleep every night, or nurse you to sleep every time you woke up. I was nervous that I would always be this stressed out, sleep deprived mommy.
Wake up call. You grew up. Those nights are long forgotten. What's remembered is all the times i tried painstakingly to make you fall asleep without me near you, or without the comfort of that last little snack before bed. I'm sorry I am letting your little sister have all these things and more. I'm sorry that having two kids is less stressful than having one baby and not knowing what I'm doing.
Justus, I love you so much. I don't love Maxine more than you, I just realize now what matters. Security matters, feeling safe and loved matters, these fleeting moments actually do matter. I get more sleep now. Maxine gets more sleep now. She is happy, content, and loved. You were loved, just blindly. That's why when you call for me at night now, I come. When you want to sit in my lap, or want me to hold you, I will stop what I'm doing and hold you. You won't want that forever. You need it now, and I will strive to give you the mother you deserve from now on.