The Rest of the Story

>> Friday, June 24, 2016

I am absolutely overwhelmed with the support and love you all have shown us. Not just after the birth of Eloise -- but throughout the entire process. When I check through my Instagram feed at night and see your thoughtful suggestions and ideas for easing into the newborn phase, I smile. When you guys share with me your common struggles and triumphs, I get all warm and fuzzy inside. There have been so many times I've considered stopping blogging, but in the end -- there's so much good that has come of it.

I thought I'd answer a few questions we've been getting today. If you have more, let 'em in the comments. I would like to get started with some informal video blogging again. But I don't have any hard and fast goals for this site right now. I am writing when I feel compelled and when I can. (This morning, making these lactation cookies was top of the priority list!)

#1: How's it going?

Pretty well. We are definitely not having a perfectly smooth transition, but it's not half bad either. Mostly, it's hard getting used to being so tired again. I suppose that's one advantage of having kids closer together -- you wouldn't have the time we've had to relish all the sleep. And instead of being tired and able to rest when the baby rests, we have a big girl with lots of energy now that preschool is over for the year.

It's definitely easier in many respects because so much of having a baby is like riding a bike. We quickly remembered what different signals mean. We aren't freaked out if the baby starts crying in public. We don't need to pack our diaper bag with every last item in our house. We feel like we can get out and about without too much trouble, etc. That's all been so nice.

#2: Talk about perfect timing!

This isn't a comment we've received from anyone online. But just about everyone we run into out and about comments on how perfect our baby timing was for Stephen being home for summer vacation. We usually just laugh and shrug -- but you guys know we didn't time this stuff. In many ways, it's also awful timing. Summer is heating up, our AC unit just broke, and we have no paychecks coming in. (PS: Our furnace broke shortly after Ada was born!)

All that stuff aside, though, it is great to have Stephen home. He was gone for long days during track season, so we felt like we never saw him. Now he's here all the time. All or nothing -- lol!

#3: How did you decide on the name Eloise Joy?

With Ada, getting pregnant so easily meant the whole thing felt like it went by at lightning speed. This time around, there was so much waiting. We had literally a gazillion names picked out for boys and girls. Then we had specific ones picked during different pregnancies that we didn't want to use again out of respect. It became kind of nuts how long my lists got.

Stephen had liked the name Eloise during Ada's pregnancy. I really liked it, too, but had my heart set on Ada at that point. So, when we got serious about the names discussion, I remembered Eloise. And it just felt right. The Joy, as you can imagine, simply comes from our emotions tied to her arrival.

#4: How's Ada adjusting to being a big sister?

About as well as can be expected. The first visit, she was conflicted to say the least. I think the hardest part to her has been the crying. Ada's sensitive to noise -- it's a sensory thing she's always had. So, we are working with her on understanding why Eloise cries and giving her ideas on what might help her feel better when the crying gets bad.

Otherwise, she really is in love. We put her to bed last night and about a half hour later she wanted to come downstairs just to say goodnight to her sister again.

#5: How did everything turn out with the GBS and meds?

As weird as my birth was being augmented and all -- I think the whole scenario worked out really well for my anxiety over GBS. My water broke (or hind water or whatever) only a bit and I was able to get meds ASAP before even contracting. This meant I was able to get both doses of the medication in before delivery (my delivery was almost 8 hours after starting the meds to the dot!), which is something I really didn't think I'd have time for.

#6: What sling do you have?

I've had so many questions about my sling! It's a Maya Wrap, size medium with light padding. I think I should have gone for the small, but it still works. It's definitely comfortable and I can see using it a lot. But I guess I'm old fashioned because I still prefer using my old Moby Wrap for newborn carrying.

#7: Does Eloise look like/act like Ada?

It's hard to compare babies, especially at this newborn stage. I feel like Eloise looks almost exactly like Ada did as a tiny baby. They also nurse similarly and make tons of the same noises, seems to be developing reflux, etc. Did you moms of 2+ kids notice a big difference right away? My pregnancy was so similar, the date when I gave birth was within like 24 hours, and I just can't perceive a big difference! I know this will change with time, though.

#8: What are your must-haves so far? Have they changed since Ada?

It's still early to tell, but I will surely do an updated post on this topic. As a short list, some of my must-haves are different. For example, I didn't have a Rock 'n Play the first time around. This time? It's so handy as a place to put Eloise during the day! We also bought this amazing White Noise Machine that is the best one I've ever experienced. It has a real fan inside, so we run that on the main level of the house during the day to help absorb noise.

What hasn't been a must-have is our swaddlers. She doesn't like to be swaddled at all. So weird!

#9: What's your biggest challenge right now?

That's a tough one. I would say adjusting to nursing again. After being "free" to come and go as I please for so many years, it's hard to be back on an on-demand nursing schedule. I also don't love feeling engorged (who does?). And right now I'm dealing with some over-supply on my left versus right and trying to correct it -- so that's annoying. I know it will all sort out soon.

At times, I have been somewhat torn between Ada and Eloise. Like, they'll both have needs . . . and usually Eloise's is more pressing, but Ada is much more aware of my timeliness. You know what I mean. It's tough. Any tips on that?

#10: Other stuff:

When we got home from the hospital, Ada had a cold. We tried really hard to not have it spread, but now I have a cold and the baby does, too. The house was really clean the day we got home from the hospital and not so great now. The laundry was all caught up and now it's exploding again. We had postponed our HelloFresh boxes for a couple weeks -- so meals have been spotty and weird.

So, the whole perfection thing we had going after Ada's birth is just not there. That's the main difference I've seen between having one baby versus two kids. We have to prioritize and just live moment to moment.

That's all I have time to write right now. I've been walking about 30-45 minutes a day, so I'm off to get in my slot before Stephen heads off on a run. I have much more to write about! So, stay tuned and HAPPY FRIDAY!

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