Becoming a Family of 4: Welcoming new baby into the fold and maintaining your sanity
She’s finally here, the newest member of our family, Rori Eric Irons. (yes I’m fully aware her initials are equal to a famous outdoor goods store) Born during the tropical storms on September 11, my little one was a force to be reckoned with immediately. I pray that her birthdate and the circumstances give her the spirit she’ll need to navigate this world and all that it entails. We went into the hospital the night prior with the idea of being induced but little had her own game plan on how she would arrive and we couldn’t be any more elated. Tired yes lol but elated nonetheless. So now that she’s here how does one adjust to having two children to keep eyes on hopefully not screw up too bad (kidding…maybe). Well for one I’d say the biggest thing no one reminds you off when your oldest is 5 and you have a newborn is the once again sleep deprivation adjustment and the fact that that sleep when the baby sleeps no longer applies to you as much due to your 5 year old having the social schedule of a NY socialite and you have become their very own personal assistant (see now you know what all those degrees and professional licenses that you slaved away for were going to mount up too). So something had to change and that was how I got in sleep if I wasn’t go to be a perpetual zombie and show up at my 5 year old’s functions looking like the walking dead on days that weren’t Halloween appropriate. Two words…SLEEP SCHEDULE.
Full disclosure since I know we as women and people in general tend to shame other mothers with what we do better in the mom realm or what we wouldn’t even dare give/ do to our children and are so aghast when others do (insert eye roll). My oldest didn’t sleep through the night until he was over 2 years old and even then he would wake up almost every night in the middle of the night and start screaming for no apparent reason until his father or I went into his room and soothed him back to sleep. He didn’t even go into his crib until 6 months and when he did his father or I took turns sleeping on the floor in his room with our arm hanging through the bars touching his hand so he would fall asleep. I vowed that if we were ever crazy enough to have another (look who apparently is certifiable) we would do it different the next time. I prayed on the tears I drank in my morning coffee as I sat in my office once back to work trying to discern what day it was and how I was going to get through my work day on no sleep once again that I would find the holy grail to sleeping again with my second child, and lo and behold I believe I did in some way and it came in the form of a book that apparently every other mom in my tribe knew about but hadn’t hipped me to (I’ll discuss what curse I put on those bitties later for keeping such info to themselves).
The name of this grail you say? Moms on Call by Jennifer Walker and Laura Hunter. Now let me just say that on most days I consider myself an intelligent woman whose moderately quick on her toes so for all that think such book is just stating the obvious of what to do with your newborn and such book is not necessary I disagree. The book reminds you why task oriented approaches are so successful. It literally lays out a schedule for you and baby from birth to adhere to and reminds you that children just like adults are creatures of repeatition. Reminding that we sometimes need since our brains are like mush shortly after having a child due to all of our hormonal changes and lack of sleep (look I can’t emphasize this enough and you’re listening to someone who suffers from insomnia before children even came into the picture). It has other helpful items in there too for new moms (colds, naps, feeding, etc) but really I’m just obsessed and a believer for the sleep schedule portion ( I own 2 copies people…nuff said). Baby girl is 2.5 months old and sleeping through the night and there were no tears on either end of as some moms would think, starvation of the baby or long crying bouts). Mommy can keep up with her and her brother and fake looking like she’s in control just due to a few extra hours of sleep. Thank you Jennifer and Laura. Now if I could just figure out or someone could write a book on not looking like a bag lady when one has multiple children (diaper bag, pumping bag, purse, car seat and the 5 year old’s toy bag) or getting out the house without planning 35 mins in advance for your departure (I’m well aware this is a lost cause). But the biggest thing to be said is that I’m obsessed with my newest little one, having another makes you remember why you wanted another and tightens at your heart strings of how fast the cycle of life goes by. I revel in snuggle time and coos and skin to skin and watching her grow and the bond between my oldest and her. All in all we are just thankful and humbled to have her, but if I can impart any wisdom in this post…buy the book and you can thank me later. Xoxo