Monthly Archives: July 2010

The bittersweet of the second child

The Rocket Scientist and I have spent the past few weeks just marveling at how blessed we are to have two such awesome children.  Granted, Doodle has been testing our limits as of late, but we do love him to no end.  And we’re just getting to know ZuZu, but she seems pretty cool so far.  Just the fact that either of them exists is proof of miracles to us.

But there is a hint of the bittersweet in all this marveling.  I find myself sad at the thought that Doodle will have no memory of being an only child.  For us, those first two years of his life were so full and exciting.  I’m also sad for him that I was so out of commission for so much of the pregnancy and therefore so much of his second year.  Just as he was getting out and about and exploring and growing and climbing, mommy was suddenly struggling to move and having to use crutches and then a wheelchair.   And now that mommy’s mobile again?  She’s tied down in other ways.

ZuZu, for the most part is a pretty contented baby.  Granted, if she’s awake, she wants to be in someone’s arms, but right now she still sleeps a lot, so that’s okay.  Nighttimes are where she really excels.  I don’t think I was getting this much sleep with Doodle until he was 5 months old.  With very little exception she wakes up just once for a feeding.  What this means though is that some days I feel like my entire goal is to get her to go to sleep so I can pay attention to Doodle or get something done or have a half hour to myself without a child on me.  I don’t take the time to just stare at her, study her, connect with her.  We had a saying when Doodle was little, “Better than TV”.  I’m very sad that we haven’t said that with her.  While I’m not sad that she won’t ever be an only child (I’m excited to see their relationship develop as they grow up) I am sad that she won’t necessarily get all the attention and doting that I want to give her.  I make a concerted effort these days as she’s spending more time awake, but I can’t believe that she’s already 7 weeks old.  That’s almost 2 months!  I feel like I’ve missed so much already.  On the one hand, she’ll have more than Doodle did growing up, 3 people to adore her, an ever-present playmate, a big brother.  But on the other hand, she’ll never have the undivided attention of the Rocket Scientist and I.  And we’ve already noted a serious lack of baby photos (I know Mumsy!  I’m working on it!).  If this rate of decline continues, we won’t even have a camera for the third child.

It’s funny, because the Rocket Scientist will sometimes ruminate on things he is saddened by and I’ll tell him there’s no use wasting energy on being sad by those things because there’s nothing we can do to change it, it’s just how it is with life.  Not very empathetic of me, is it?  There is nothing we can do about this, it is the way life is with two children, but I will still grieve the loss of it.

Just a little.

But not much.

I don’t have time.

My daughter’s awake and I have to go stare at her for a bit.

Advertisements

My very own Rocket Scientist is home!

Okay, so there’s nothing to do but get back in it.  We’ll catch up as we go.

The Rocket Scientist had his first conference since the arrival of our sweet baby girl.  And I am happy to report that I survived my first week alone with an almost two and a half year old and a six week old.

Whew!

It was a little touch and go there for a bit, but we did okay.  No one died, so yay.

Monday, well…Monday was definitely a Monday.  First plans and then back up plans fell through so I was in a slight state of frazzle.  Add to that an exceptionally terrible two-year old and, well, the week could only get better from there.

I honestly don’t remember at this point what happened on what day but I made sure that we had something going on every morning.  Every day but one I managed to get both kids napping at the same time so I got some time to just sit in front of the TV with chocolate of some kind and drool a little.  We had dinners early and went out to the park just about every night after supper to burn off a bit more energy.  I’m thinking that part of his day may have to become a regular thing, it definitely cut down on evening melt downs.

I have absolutely no idea how single moms deal with more than one child without totally losing their minds.  If my little man was awake, he wanted my attention.  Which was very hard to give with a babe in arms.  Oh yes, our lovely six week old spent pretty much the entire week demanding to be in arms.  And not just when awake.  I could get her to stay asleep if I swaddled her, but any sudden sound would startle her awake.  Did I mention her brother delighted in shrieking suddenly just to see her wake up?  Ya.  And when he finally went to sleep at night, she would suddenly wake up and want face time with mommy.  No one got baths, and the only time I got a shower was when a friend came over on Thursday.  Thank goodness for my wrap or there would have been no hot meals or clean clothes.

I am very thankful for the friends I have made here because we definitely wouldn’t have made it without them.  We went over for dinner, they came to us for dinner, we met at the shops and soft play.  I love my son, but with only him to talk to I would have gone completely round the bend.  As it is, I have had to really fight repeating his toddler-speak.  (please ignore me if I ever call it a ‘hair’-plane in front of you)

But all that is done with now.  The Rocket Scientist is home and won’t be going again until September at which time my mom will be here with us to keep us all sane.  Right now, ZuZu is napping beside me on the couch and Doodle is helping his daddy BBQ (and by helping, I mean running around outside getting into things and skinning his knees).

One last note for today, nick-names.  Yes, I’m one of those who protects the names of the innocent and the not-so-innocent.  I’m not totally sure why.  I don’t know where this will go in the long run and it just kind of felt right.  It’s kind of fun using quirky names in some of these stories.  There are many reasons behind my husbands name, some of the best ones involve Survivor and KFC commercials, but I don’t really want to get into it all now.  As for me, well, once you get to know me, I’m sure it will all become abundantly clear.  That and the other words that might be fitting aren’t as flattering.  Yes, that’s right, Strange is about the most flattering you can get for me.  Doodle was Little Man on here once upon a time, but I felt Little Man and Baby Girl a) a bit too literal and therefore quite boring, and b) likely won’t be accurate over the long haul. And as my mom keeps telling me, I have beautiful children and I wouldn’t want anyone to steal them.  I’m not sure if not knowing their names will be protection enough but better safe than sorry, right?

We have many names for our little man, Dude, Doodle, Doodle-bop, Squishy, Little Squish, Boo, Sweat Pea (although the last two, I use for pretty much anyone’s children) but I settled on Doodle because it really is the most common and the one that we definitely don’t use for anyone else.  We really struggled in the beginning with our baby girl because we kept automatically using all of Doodle’s pet names and it always felt…well, kind of weird.  So as we were packing up for the Rocket Scientist’s trip he was doing something with her and I swear I heard him call her ZuZu.  I questioned him about it and he didn’t really remember saying it, but we both kind of liked it for no reason in particular and it’s stuck.  Doodle loves it because its wonderfully easy to say, but he seems a bit confused by all the ‘names’ she seems to have.  He’s not confused about all the names he has though.

Things I learned from my daughter…

I was surprised by all the things I learned from my daughter. Before she was even born. I’ve been learning all sorts of uncomfortable truths from the very beginning of this pregnancy.

Firstly? I’m not quite the open book I believe myself to be. I mean, I had been figuring that out a little bit before, but it became very apparent once things got a little rough with this pregnancy. You’d think it would be relatively easy to unburden yourself to a bunch of people you don’t know on the internet, it should be cathartic, a release. What I found instead was that I couldn’t share what I was feeling with anyone, close or far. And I couldn’t talk (or type) without these fears/concerns/anxieties/issues coming to the surface. So I just didn’t type. Or talk really. I know, totally healthy, right? I should probably get that looked at. Again.

I also learned that if I were facing a serious long-term disability I would not deal with it well. At all. I developed something called SPD – Symphosis Pubis Disorder – which is apparently now PGP – Pelvic Girdle Pain – neither of which are particularly descriptive for the grinding pain in your hips with every step you take. I was on crutches by January and in a wheelchair by April. One thing to note, if you’re ever pushing someone around in a wheelchair, understand that their face is essentially ass-height to everyone else, so please, do not push them as close as you can to the person in front of them in any given queue. Also, those little foot rests stick out farther than you think (at least in the ancient model that I had on loan) and are really good at taking said person in front of you out at the ankles, prompting them to turn and give a dirty look at the person sitting. in. the. chair. Don’t get me wrong, I’m exceedingly thankful for the free loan of the wheelchair and for those that pushed me around on those flat tires, but I am a little scarred by the experience.

Perhaps the most surprising, and still the most difficult to talk about, is that I am a bit terrified of having a girl.  I knew I was going to have a girl, from shortly after Doodle was born I had a feeling the next would be a girl.  When we got pregnant the Rocket Scientist had a dream that it was a girl, then it was confirmed by ultrasounds and true panic set in.  Things that never occurred to me with Doodle were suddenly keeping me up at night.  Body image, medical problems, numerous and various issues. Totally healthy, right?  I’ll add it to my list.

Also, I have no idea how I used to get so much done in a day.  I distinctly remember taking on projects and being able to finish them in decent time.  Even after Doodle was born.  It’s like I got pregnant again and suddenly there were like 10 less hours in the day and I needed at least 10 hours of sleep, so let’s see *carry the three…* that leaves….ya, not enough to get anything done.

So, ya.  All that added up to not going near my blog for almost 10 months.  And now?  Well, I am getting away with less sleep, there seem to be more hours in the day lately (still not convinced they add up to 24, but I live in hope), and I really am trying to work on those…issues.  Thanks so much to those of you who asked after me.  I look forward to sharing about our adventures in South Africa, my mom’s visit over Christmas, and of course the arrival of my precious ZuZu.