Third Baby Prime
For me, it took having a third baby to be able to really enjoy the early baby days. Which is really hard to admit and not to mention a touch heart wrenching. I may have appeared on the outside cool, calm and collected but with my first, I was so consumed with panic and worry and the “Is she still breathing?” moments where you pull off on the side of the Interstate just to turn around and make sure. (Yeah, not even just once.) I was always hoping and striving for the next thing – making it to 12 weeks so she would sleep through the night, making it to six months so we could give her real food, making it to the sitting up phase, crawling phase, walking phase, etc. etc. I was always looking over my shoulder to the next mother – her baby is three months younger than mine and she already rolls over! Pouring over milestone articles about what she should be doing and then reading the fine print that said “Every baby is different and accomplishes milestones on their own timeline” But what really seemed to say “Mama, you’re doing something wrong if your baby doesn’t meet this checklist.” Great.
I would love to say that with my second that I didn’t have those feelings, but I unfortunately cannot. My experience is probably a little different than most second babies since my husband was gone a lot for work and our little guy had a special inclination to be on his tummy, which as we all know is a big no-no these days. I tried and tried to get him to sleep on his back, but on his tummy he was happiest. So I spent countless sleepless nights (and days) consumed with the threat of SIDS – again I turned to Dr. Google to help me find one article that would just say, “He’s going to be fine. Trust your gut, put him down on his tummy and go get some sleep, Mama.” But none of them said that. As soon as I found an article that gave me hope, I found another about a baby lost to SIDS. Finally I was so extremely exhausted I bought an Angelcare monitor and slept just a hair better. I was still always waiting for the next milestone though. With my husband out of town a lot, juggling the two kids was hard and I had PLENTY of help, I mean, oodles of help from family and friends. But I remember thinking “If he would just sleep through the night, I could be more patient with O.” “If he would just sit up, giving them a bath together would be easier.” “If he would just crawl…” Oh wait, no. That changes everything.
Little H is six months old now and even though we have piles and piles of laundry, dishes and toys in various corners of the house; and even though the noise level is at barely intolerable decibels; and even though I’m getting bags under my eyes; and even though we are far away from family; and even though I just want to give up some (maybe most) days, life is just absolutely 110% beautiful. I’m in my motherhood prime right now. I worry just the right amount, I love more than necessary, I panic appropriately, I give myself more grace, I mother in the exact way I was meant to mother.
I hope I remember these days, but let’s be honest, I probably won’t. One thing is for sure though, these beautiful days have taken up residence in my heart and with each passing day, week, month and year they will keep filling it up.
BY: SARA MOORE