Chompabilly
Lest Ye Blog Comes Back To Bite Ye In The Ass

The Angel in the Details

I've found myself reading through my old archives a lot lately -- I have this compulsion to constantly compare Ezra's infancy to Noah's, both in photos and milestones, using Noah as a yardstick to know that I Haven't Fucked Up Yet -- and so I've also been cringing and laughing at myself a lot.

I feel sorry for that poor girl in those entries about breastfeeding, the girl who was trying so hard to succeed at something neither she or her baby were particularly jazzed about, but who did not want to F-A-I-L but needed to W-I-N and it all had to be P-E-R-F-E-C-T.

And I smile ruefully at that girl who could not stop writing about how much she loved her baby, like it took her by surprise, like she spent most of her time staring slack-jawed at her infant with a mix of rapture and utter terror while the emotions of early first-time motherhood engulfed her. And then pistol-whipped her for good measure. And then stole her wallet.

And then there's me now, who probably isn't that different, because while I can be all head-pattingly condescending to my former self, I'm still neurotic and guilt-ridden as all get-out, because I haven't written a single longwinded love letter to my second son yet, but instead keep looking back to things I wrote about Noah and nodding and thinking: Yes. That.

This time around...well...it's been easier, I think. Not necessarily from a practical point of view -- I run out of hours in the day in MINUTES, it seems like, and there's nothing to be done about the relentless grind of SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE needing you at all times, one right after another, or at the same time, while you struggle to prioritize the needs and again, smiling ruefully at your former self who would think: OH MY GOD, THE BABY IS CRYING I CANNOT EVER LET THE BABY CRY OH GOD IT'S BEEN FIVE MINUTES HE'S DESTINED TO BE A SERIAL KILLER. Because now the process is something like:

comfort infant vs. wash toddler's hands after lunch

(wash hands = five minutes of crying)

(peanut butter & jelly fingerprints on wall and dog = 20 minutes of cleaning)

(20 minutes of cleaning = toddler trying to "help" and infant needing simultaneous diaper change and peanut butter & jelly streaked dog jumping on couch and bratty phone call to husband to shriek YOU COME HOME. YOU COME HOME RIGHT NOW. and overall loss of sanity and dignity.)

And it's...five minutes of crying, FTW!

But beyond all that. I don't feel like I've been hit with the Emotional Vulnerability Train as hard this time. Oh, sure, I absolutely cannot read any news story about children being hurt or abused or lost or killed, lest I have to go lie down in the hallway outside the boys' rooms in a trembly pile. I sometimes can't believe I just knowingly and purposely DOUBLED the number of little precious bodies and people that I need to worry about for the rest of my life.

But oh, it's so worth it, and I don't feel the need to spend paragraph after paragraph explaining why. It just is. Ezra just is. He's just right, and weirdly familiar, and falling in love with him has not been so crazy and foreign-feeling, but more like how everyone around here has decided whatever, we're all wearing our clompy old Uggs again, because damn, I forgot how COMFORTABLE those suckers are.

But Ezra is also worth remembering, in every tiny detail. So here goes.

There's no staring slack-jawed in shock and wonder this time, but I still have a hard time taking my eyes off of him.  He is, to me, breathtakingly beautiful, from his long eyelashes to his stick-uppy hair to his impossibly round face to his stocky, chubby little body that I have nourished completely with my own body -- OVERSUPPLY has been our only breastfeeding hiccup beyond his initial tongue-tie, if you can believe it, which I can fucking not. No colic, no reflux, no allergies. He's spent a couple nights swaddled in his crib, although I much prefer co-sleeping, as does he, and I'm surprisingly able to get a good night's sleep with him curled up next to my chest, listening to him snuffle and hum.

(Co-sleeping was encouraged when Noah was born -- the hospital advised me to just keep him in bed with me after my c-section, and it was listed as a great way to increase my meager milk supply on the information sheet from the lactation consultant -- but now it's fallen out of favor thanks to some other study that was all, DEATH! DEAAAATH! I got yelled at in the hospital for keeping him in my bed [I simply learned to keep the curtain drawn so I'd have an extra second or two to snap to attention when a nurse came in, so I could pretend that no! We're not co-sleeping! We're co-awaking!] And while the LC now has "co-sleeping" crossed out on the information sheet, I noticed that NO ONE actually inquired as to where the baby slept, wink wink, nudge nudge.)

(Also things that have changed in three years: breastfed babies need vitamin supplements, no solids until six months instead of four, baby powder and cornstarch have become terrible lung-clogging dangers that we should never ever use, and pacifiers are now SIDS-prevention tools instead of Nipple Confusion Tools Of The Devil. I bet if we ever have another baby they'll tell us to let him sleep in a hammock and feed him pureed pepperoni pizza at four weeks old.)

And he sleeps! Oh, my, God, he sleeps. Noah slept six hours at night by seven weeks -- Ezra's been doing that since he was five-and-a-half weeks, when he went from waking constantly to sleeping soundly literally overnight, as if he knew we were teetering along our breaking point. Five hours is now considered a "bad" night, six is the average, and let us all speak in hushed, reverent tones of the night he slept seven hours. I don't really understand it, how I managed to get such a good baby -- I have always joked since Noah's infancy that since HE was a pretty easy baby, our next one would be born with 666 on his head, and yet here is Ezra, with nothing but a downy halo of light brown hair.

He still loves to be swaddled, but as the seams of the Miracle Blanket strain and his fat little body seems warmer on its own, I've learned that I can stop the flailing that wakes him up and soothe him back to sleep simply by gently holding both of his hands in mine.

Mostly though, he just wants to be held. He wants to be close to you, a body, a set of arms, a heartbeat. Put him down for just a minute when he's still awake and watch his little face crumple -- his forehead creases with worry and his bottom lip curls out and he sucks in some air and starts to wail. A sling is acceptable, but is no replacement for actually just plain being held and talked to and petted and nursed and kissed, while I whisper a hundred blog entries' worth of declarations of the fierce, wonderful love I have for him into his ear.

IMG_0715 


(And before anybody asks: this is the Rockin' Baby Sling, a gift from my dear HeatherB, and yes, I highly recommend it.)

Comments

momsmoo

I swear -- the ease of second kids has to have something to do with that 5 minutes of crying. R was so much easier then L -- who of course I thought was the easiest baby, therefore dooming me with an awful/non-sleeping/screaming monster for my second.

They are both beautiful.

Nicol

My daughter will be two next week and I am pregnant with my second- due in April. I AM SCARED SHITLESS, yet your posts about the struggles of having two make me smile and laugh, and yes sometimes cry! Thanks for sharing, Amy.

Margo

I'm glad that the transition has been fairly easy. I loved the bit about hand washing vs. crying... The first time I had to leave my daughter by herself for two minutes to use the bathroom, and she started crying, I almost died. lol... And thanks for the tip on the sling, for when I get crazy enough to try for baby 2.

Gillian

The requisite rabidly-jealous-cuz-my-7-month-old-has-never-slept-5-hours-in-a-row-much-less-7 sentence out of the way.

Aaaaaand, he's beautiful. You're beautiful. This is beautiful. Congratulations, again and again.

Sprite's Keeper

Oh, I pray for a second baby like Ezra, and a milk supply like yours. Congrats and trumpet all you want. You deserve it!

tristan

I have been finding you blog interesting for a few months now! BUT now..it is so much MORE interesting...because now I'm pregnant!

Janna

This sounds very familiar to the birth of my second son Jacob. You are making me want to have another so I can have that wonderful feeling of having a newborn again..... so stop it!

Congratulations on having a sleeper- Jacob is a sleeper too, and it's wonderful.

Maxine Dangerous

You are made of teh awesum. That was just beautiful (as are many of your entries). Rock on, sister. :)

brit

Emotional vulnerability train is such an apt description, I am sometimes crippled by thinking about all the horrible things that could be fall my boys.....which is why I am okay with watching fraggle rock and Barney. Because no one is ever hurt on those shows....I mean sure sometimes they turn into vegetables....

Amaelija

AWWWWWWW! So sweet!

And yes, I think hospitals like to change up the recommendations, just to throw us off. Once you're all "Hey, I might have this baby thing figured out", they're all "NO! You can't do that any more or your baby will (insert bad, scary, negative thing here)!"

yelyrf@yahoo.com

Holy Freak... Someone bought you.. as a gift.. a $100 sling!!!!! Can I be friends with her tooo????? :)

Hilary

Second-borns are the bees knees. Loved the post as always.

BedsideTalesMan

Wow...did that post bring back memories....not that I know the woes of breastfeeding or overproducing, but with multipule children I sometimes got stuck on who to tend to first...was one more important?

Thanks for the post

Heidi

Big AWWWWW from me.

My daughter, Pook slept through the night at 8 weeks old. On the eve before I was supposed to go back to work. It was a God send. I was almost contemplating sleeping in another room so I could stuff the pillow over my head and chant "Can't hear you, can't hear you! Neener, neener, neener!" Because, well...I'm a raving biyatch when I am woke up suddenly.

MommyAttorney

I posted about the terror of co-sleeping and the craziness professionals put us through:

http://thealabamaharpers.blogspot.com/2008/11/on-feeding-baby.html

Good to know that a good first baby doesn't doom you to a bad second one.

Daisy

Big old aww. I'm so happy y'all are so happy. Noah sounds like a pretty great big brother with big shoes to fill and Ezra seems up to the challenge with his own special self. And probably with some of his own moves along the way :-)

Congrats to the happy family of FOUR.

Thrift Store Mama

So, so happy for you that co-sleeping and breastfeeding are working so well. It just feels right, doesn't it? One of the best quotes ever right here "I've learned that I can stop the flailing that wakes him up and soothe him back to sleep simply by gently holding both of his hands in mine."

Cary

I had always said my firstborn spoiled me with how easy going he was (and the sleeping thru the night!Awesome!). Luckily, the next one was just as easy going (almost). He sleeps thru the night and is a happy baby. But napping outside the home, he doesn't do so well. And BOY can he get cranky when he's tired.

Kristin

How wonderful that it is going so well for you this time around.

One hook wonder

I hear you on how things change! I have 4 kids ages 13, 10, 3, and 9 months. The 13-year-old slept on his stomach every night as an infant. With our younger children, of course, that was a big no-no. I was completely paranoid with my oldest, and am incredibly relaxed with my youngest. Sometimes I feel like I've raised 2 families!

Erika

Yes, yes yes!! I have a 2-1/2 year old boy and a 5 month old boy. And yes, it's exactly like that.

Christina

I feel the same way with my daughter who was born a few weeks before Ezra. With our first, I was like a zombie for more then a year. In awe and terrified and unsure and scattered and depressed, in a funk. This time I am amazed by the ease of it all. I can see why people keep having babies past the 2nd one because it is easier, yet harder but WAY easier! It is like my daughter is simply an extension of me and I have known her forever and it is just amazing. I am glad that other people have had a similar experience. I often felt alone in my experience with my son. I adore him - he is beautiful and wonderful and I did a pretty good job despite my "issues" after he was born. I feared a similar situation with baby #2. But it has been SO very different. I walked out of the hospital the same day I gave birth. With my son, I spent the full two days there and sobbed when I left - I wanted to wrap a nurse up and take her home with me!

Darcey

My ovaries just spasmed. And not the regular, "ooh" twinge - but the leaping up through the torso, grabbing my heartstrings and playing a sweet lullaby kind of spasm.

Kristin

I have the exact same sweater!

Erin

About the Miracle Blanket - my huge baby used it through to 9 months 28 lbs, and over 30 inches. You can leave their feet out of the little pouch and it's safe. Especially when it seems to be just his arms that need to be subdued.

There's a whole subculture of long term swaddlers - it happens! it's ok! :)

Alicia Millis

yay!! I am so glad that he is doing so well and that you as a family are too! He is sooo adorably cute in that photo! ahhh you are a lucky girl:)

Jenn

LOVE the sling! Going to check it out right now! I already have a Bjorn and Ergo...I received a New Native carrier with my first, but never liked it/got the hang of it. Holden HATED it too! But you can never try too many baby carriers, so I will have to add that one for my second coming in May!

Also, LOVE to hear that Ezra and Noah BOTH have been easy! Holden was SOOOOO easy (still is) that we are convinced his brother or sister will be pure, torturous evil! Maybe there is hope for us, afterall!

Jeni

wow. you nearly talked me into #2. really, you had me at "he just is."

Catherine S

Your boys are beautiful! I have been reading for 3 years and remember your posts about your struggles with breast feeding with Noah. That is fantastic that you are having a much easier time with Ezra.

I have a 3 month old who has been, ahem, a little challenging. Do you think it also hold true that if the first is a challenge, the second will be a breeze? Hmmm????

Ginny

Love the sling--it'll be a great gift for my niece who's due in Feb. Now, where's the sweater from? It'll be a great gift for ME in December! Glad things are going so swell!

Suzanne

Everyone told me how good a baby my second was compared to the first. I just equated it to being more relaxed about the parenting thing. There are less pictures, but that's okay, he's turning out fine. (We used his sling until he was three because he loved to snuggle up to mom.)

BTW, Heather B? Totally styling sling you picked out there.

And that is one hell of an adorable picture of an adorable baby.

Tina C.

That's so funny about the co-sleeping. i never did that with my 1st son, but do it exclusively with #2 son. I call him my bed-buddy. anyway, so many mothers, in their 50's or so, have been agreeing with me on having done co-sleeping too. who knew it was so widespread among non-AP-type people (like me)?

Kitty

"breastfed babies need vitamin supplements" Nah... 2nd baby, 11 months old, breastfed, no vitamins, and doing just great, thank you! And cosleeping with mom = good thing! http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/499193/cosleeping_may_help_to_prevent_sids.html :-)

Congratulations!

Kitty

OK, try that link again:
http://tinyurl.com/5cw3r8

Jess

That thing about babies sleeping in hammocks? http://www.kanoe.us/index.html
I don't know how to make that into a hyperlink but still, check it out. That site is super persuasive but I can just imagine the looks people would give you. "Your baby sleeps...hanging from the ceiling???"

sallyjo


Ugghh,
I need a trashcan to barf in!!
What a crock.

amy

i remember the tough times you had in the beginning with Noah, i'm so glad to see you so relaxed, confident, and happy with Ezra. take care, chica!

Tricia

Thank you for writing this. I had my second two weeks after you had Ezra and it's kicking my ass taking care of two...but thank the friggin' lawd someone else is getting it. The 5 minutes of crying thing? I SO need to remember that it's ok to let the baby cry.

Heather

OMG, there it is: your love letter to Ezra. And the picture is worth a thousand words (!). But,simply put: beatiful.

PS Am so jealous about the sleeping 6 hours a night. My baby boy is 8 weeks old and he barely manages 4 hours at a stretch...what am I doing wrong?!!

Heather

OMG, there it is: your love letter to Ezra. And the picture is worth a thousand words (!). But,simply put: beautiful.
PS Am so jealous about the sleeping 6 hours a night. My baby boy is 8 weeks old and he barely manages 4 hours at a stretch...what am I doing wrong?!!

Starbuck

My kids didn't sleep through the night until they started school. Not preschool, school. I am always amazed and dumbfounded, not to mention in awe, of people whose kids sleep all night before they turn 5.

Haley-O

You had me at "SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE needing you at all times, one right after another, or at the same time, while you struggle to prioritize the needs and again." OMIGOSH to I relate to that....

MommyNamedApril

awwwwwwwwwwww. lovely letter. and what a great pic of him in the sling :-) i have lots of babywearing pics but none of mine in the sling :-/

Karen

Oh My...he is a chubby contented looking little thing. I have no humans of my own (I think I may have succombed to cowardice) I love your stories.

I'm a doggie Mom though. My 10 lb chihuahua is wrapped up in my snap front t-shirt. It's cold here and it's taken 30 minutes for him to stop shivering. How much do those baby slings cost?

So happy for you. Enjoy your adventures and your sense of humor and sense of 'life'.

Karen

Heather B.

I'm allowed to purchase myself a sling in advance, right? Like, well in advance...

I love you and your boys.

jodifur

If anything could ever make me want to do it again (and very little could) reading this could.

eva

It is so so great to hear that after low supply/c-section with number one baby, you now have oversupply with c-section #2. I had a c-section/low supply and will likely end up with another c-section and thought I was doomed to low supply. There is hope!!!

Wacky Mommy

That is the sweetest picture ever.

cath

he's beautiful! and as beautiful as noah. congratulations!

Ari

Throughout history mothers have slept with their babies. It is the normal thing to do. That study is bogus. Sure, if you're going to drink or be obese or use a water-bed, it could be dangerous. So could walking down the stairs with your baby.

But a study actually proved (via breathing monitors) that the baby sleeping ALONE IN ANOTHER ROOM could be more dangerous for SIDS, because the mother's breathing regulates the baby's breathing and reduces the risk of SIDS.

Study or no study, this is what mothers have done for millenia.

Cat

You are so, so lucky

Theresa

Do you give Ezra vitamin supplements? I am currently breastfeeding my son too, and had not heard that they should take vitamin supplements. What do they recommend giving them and why? I thought breastmilk was supposed to be complete and everything they need? Now I am worried.

Kirsty

Whew! This post is such a sigh of relief for me. Like Christina, I kind of lost myself in the first year of my son's life. I felt so... in love and crazy and tired and... mowed down by a truck. I couldn't remember who I was and cried a lot. I'm back to being me and I adore being a mom to a toddler but I'm expecting #2 and I'm SO excited to have a teeny baby again but I'm also scared of being hit by a truck again. Let's hope that I have the same experience as it seems many of you out there have had!

Luba

That's funny because I read through your archives constantly to compare my son's infancy to Noah's, both in photos and milestones, using Noah as a yardstick to know that I Haven't Fucked Up Yet!

Lamont Cranston

I haven't been able to support co-sleeping since the night I had to comfort my wife whose job it was to carry a smothered infant to the morgue.

Nothing like having anecdotal data in your face to bring you up sharply.

Lamont

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