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For those with more than one....

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I want to ask you about your experiences when 1 became 2.....meaning, how was the second birth compared to the first? When did you find your rhythm after the birth of your second....or third (and so on) in the weeks following birth. The few AP friends I know here have only one child and the ones that I know with more than one have given me scary advice. Actually, they didn't give me advice they just pushed and pushed that I put Bella in a daycare because that is what they did and that is what made their life "manageable" when their second was born.

post #2 of 13
Just curious to hear everyone else's replies.....my own gut feeling says that putting the older in daycare can't possibly be a good thing for the family dynamic, but different things work for different people. My gut also tells me that preschool these days sounds an awful lot like daycare in many ways, though. Who knows how I'll feel once this one comes?

I personally think that I MAY put DS in two-morning-per-week preschool the fall after this one is born, and he will be 3.5 at that point in time. But I might keep him at home---it just depends on his needs at that point, I guess.
post #3 of 13
There was certainly a period of adjustment after Ds was born. It was made more difficult for us, because my Dh was gone on a business trip two weeks after I gave birth. I was flying solo for 10 days with a newborn and a 2 1/2 yo. We had growing pains, but we managed to survive!
I spent a lot of time talking with my Dd about the new baby and helping her see that this was a wonderful thing for all of us. I was lucky that she did not become jelous and that certainly helped ease the transition. I tried to take things one day at a time, and let all the little things slide.
It wasn't that hard. Now as I think of transitioning to 3 kids, I'm am starting to get nervous though
post #4 of 13
Interesting discussion. I've already asked my mom, who babysits dd#1 (I'm a WOHM) daily, to keep taking her during the days for the first while (errr, even 3 mos) after bb#2 is born. I am anticipating chaos and exhaustion if the babe doesn't take the breast again like dd#1 didn't, and I have to try the breast, pump, tube/finger feed, etc. Argh! But who knows, this one may be a voracious sucker, I may have a full milk supply this time.....who knows....who knows...? I hope things go more smoothly because I don't want PPD again....

Anyhow, I can see how sending dd#1 to grandma's when bb#2 comes may result in some jealousy. So we'll see. I want her to feel loved and special to me and dh because she is.... I like the idea of preparing her that 'this is a good thing'.
post #5 of 13
My second birth was awesome. It was harder and faster and I felt even more in control. I didn't tear as much with #2 as I did with #1 and that made recovery easier. My milk came in sooner with #2, so I got over that horrid engorgement period much quicker. (I'm hoping to nurse through pregnancy this time and possibly avoid engorgement entirely.) I was grateful I had my MIL come stay with us for a few days until the engorgement was over, she was able to deal with meals and watching DD#1 so I could focus on making sure DD#2 had her latch properly.

My advice for second time moms (and the advice I'll be following this time around) is to make sure you've got someone helping for at least a week after birth. This can be a family member (mother, MIL, sister, etc), or a post-partum doula.

I also highly recommend baby and toddler proofing the entire house as much as possible. There's nothing worse than nursing your newborn who finally got latched on properly and then watching your toddler pull out every DVD in the house, mixing all of them, and breaking several, while you have to decide if you're going to jump up and tend the toddler, or stay and give your newborn their first full nursing session. If the house is toddler proofed, or the toddler is at least contained in a toddler-proof area, they'll be much more content to play around you and give you time to focus on the baby.

Finally, meal-times are the hardest for me any time, but much worse with a new baby. I don't have the energy to think about what to make, let alone actually making it. It's so helpful to have some casseroles in the freezer ready to go, and healthy snacks and lunch materials already stocked. If you've never tried one of those places where you can make a dozen meals to freeze in only a couple hours... now would be the time to test them out. They are a bit pricey, but it's well worth it for the couple weeks when you're in that post-partum haze. Also, since most second and third time moms don't get baby showers... you could try to get someone to throw you a casserole shower or take a bunch of friends to one of the dinner places and have everyone chip in to get you two weeks worth of frozen meals.

I think I was back into a decent rhythm after the first four weeks or so... about the time I felt I got breastfeeding established. I think that if breastfeeding takes longer to get going, it'll take longer to find that rhythm.

Two kids are so much fun!! Especially when they can play together. I'm really looking forward to three.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the stories and advice. Frogleymom, I am really going to take your advice and try to have meals set up in advance somehow. After my daughter was born my partner, who stayed with me for the first 6 weeks (we live in Germany where mothers get 1-2 years maternity leave and fathers can take up to 1 year!) was constantly cooking and cleaning and basically being my bedside nurse. I really wish he could have relaxed more. We are going to try to prepare a lot more ahead of time.

So, the second birth was easier??? I am really scared. My first was 45 hours from the first time I was "checked" at 6 centimeters. I was in transition for 16 hours and eventually lost my mind and began having such brilliant hallucinations that I didn't realize that what I had seen were indeed hallucinations until a few days post-partum. My daughters head was stuck in my cervix opening (mother's mouth, in german), so eventually one midwife cut up the length of my vagina while the other sat on my stomach and forced my daughter out. 60 stitches later...I am a bit nervous about the second. However, I will enter into this experience with love and try to do my best.

Sorry I rambled on about that.
post #7 of 13
just lurking, but maybe I can offer some insight.

I have two babes. DS is 2.5 and DD is 6 mo. THey are 26 mos apart. I think that the idea that daycare is 'necessary' to manage two is silly. DH was able to take a couple of weeks off after DD was born. We did just fine with just the two of us. When he went back to work I stayed in for a week or so before I packed the kids in the car and ventured out on my own. I think my first times out were follow up visits to the midwives and lactations consultants with just DD and myself. After I became more confident about putting her in the carseat, getting her out and into a moby wrap, etc...then I took DS with us. It all kind of flowed together well within 4 - 6 weeks after her birth. Now I find myself wondering what I did with all my time when I just had DS (and when I just had him I wondered what I did with all my time before kids - hehe).

Anyway, you'll manage just fine. My second birth was intense - like my first. Both were med-free and natural. First was in a Birth Center and the second was in a hospital with midwives. I much preferred the BC, but I liked getting to stay 24 hours in the hospital and get "waited on" until I felt like going home and handling everything. My second labor was only 6 hours compared to 12 hours for the first labor. I just had one to two contractions per hour and labored all morning at home in my tub with music and candles. I got to the hospital when I was 10 cm dialated and birthed her right away. The pushing was intense, but only 13 minutes (compared to an hour and a half of pushing DS!) She was 8.9 lbs and DS was 10.5. Hope that helps! This will be wonderful - don't worry!
post #8 of 13
What a wonderful story leurMaman!

Amazonia - I think what's important to note is that different mothers have different experiences so what works for one may not work for another. Time will tell. But there are certainly some good ideas on here!
post #9 of 13
I personally found the transition from 1 to 2 children to be difficult. The hardest part for me was balancing the needs of the two. My 4 year old adjusted without any problems, it was me who felt guilty (still do at times) for not being able to spend lots of one on one time together like we used to. Also, bedtimes we're soooo hard .....still are sometimes but that's mainly b/c my dh works evenings so its just me.

I agree that having dinners already frozen is HUGE. Both of my ds's we're fussy if not in arms for the first 6 months so cooking without dh around was literally impossible. I was lucky if I could heat and eat a frozen dinner. No kidding.

Not trying to scare you, just being honest. But you know, things are much better now. Just remember its only a short time until the baby will be able do things without you for at least a few minutes (long enough to cook something!) And of course, its sooooo worth it. I love seeing the 2 of them together. They both adore each other.

As far as the daycare thing, I'm not sure you need to do that. You have to remember if you do that you then have to drive to drop off and then go back to pick up. And car rides in the first few months with a new baby aren't always pleasant unless you time it right. Basically, it might be more of a hassle than anything else. Instead, why don't you consider a mother's helper? A teenager that could come over for a couple hours to be an extra set of hands or just play with the older child. I'm definitely planning to do that when the next one arrives. My 2nd and 3rd child will be 20 months apart plus we're homeschooling our 5 year old ds, oh and my ds might be getting a new job which would require hime to be gone for almost a year! Yikes! Yep, I'm definitely going to need some help!

Good luck! JUst remember, it's all worth it!
post #10 of 13
I actually found the transition relatively smooth. But I think that was in large part because dd1 adjusted much better than I expected. And dd2 was a relative mild baby who slept regularly and ate fine. It was a much much bigger challenge going from 0-1 . 1&2 are now playmates and they entertain one another more than argue/fight.
post #11 of 13
I'm more worried about going from 2-3. I've heard that's harder. But I'm sure we'll manage.
My labor with my first was 8 hrs, my second was 6hr. So I'm really hopin it'll be a quick and smooth labor.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for sharing your stories and advice. I should have clarified that I have no intention of putting my daughter in a daycare-like situation. When I asked people that I know here to tell me about their experiences they automatically said that Bella needs to be in daycare....instead of relating stories and experiences. I have now actually starting saying, when I am asked, that I am looking forward to the challenge of having both children at home with me...I know it will be tough, but it is my goal.

My Mother is flying over to stay with us for the first 4-6 weeks and my partner will stay home for 2-3 weeks. He was able to stay with me for 6 weeks when our daughter was born...now he is at the end of his PhD and racing against the clock.

Regarding the birth, I think I need to find information for mother's who experienced post-partum PTSS

Thanks again for all of the advice.
post #13 of 13
I thought the transition from 1-2 was fairy easy. It was nice to have some help, especailly the first few eeks when I was soo tired. One of the grandmas would come by and take dd1 to the park or help make lunch. But after about 4-6 weeks we just kind of got into a rhythm. Especially when th baby is little they are pretty happy to be tucked in a baby carrier and taken anywhere.

I would onfess that we did watch a bit more tv than before. I think sesame street cam eon at 9 and so we would chill for an hour and take a breather. And then nap time was always nice (well when I could get dd1 to take a nap)
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