DS1 is 6 years old and the new babe is about 10 weeks. We were more than happy to have a large age gap, it's actually what we really wanted for many reasons. After an early miscarriage last year, we were blessed with this pregnancy in May and we were thrilled, as was DS1. The baby is wonderful, he's sweet, even-tempered, smiled early and seems to be a great sleeper and we are incredibly blessed to have this wonderful little guy. I give thanks every day for him and my older DS, how truly lucky I am to have 2 healthy, happy boys.
However I really REALLY REALLY hate the early baby stage. It sets off all kinds of anxiety for me, the uncertainty of each day and night, the unpredictable behavior, the lack of routine, plus that the baby is still essentially a helpless blob for lack of a better term, and can't do anything yet except cry, poop, etc. If I could give birth and then have it turn into a 6-month old I'd probably have 10 of them by now
The baby has developed this issue when going to sleep - for the past 2 weeks when we put him to bed (between 8 and 8:30 right now), he doesn’t seem tired at all, will go to sleep initially, but then wakes up SCREAMING 40 To 60 minutes latern. After a brief pat and soothe, he goes back to sleep, only to repeat the behavior 5 minutes later, then 5 minutes after that. Last night was the worst night he’s had – about an hour and 15 minutes after he went to bed he was up EIGHT times in a 45-minute period. This was a baby that as of 3 weeks ago could quietly coo himself to sleep without any issue.
So this has fueled kind of an anxious insanity for me to obsessively try to "fix" the behavior, try to figure out what in the world is going on in this baby's head, what are we doing wrong to make him do this?. Then because I have a 6-year old that is a piece of cake, I start thinking "Why did I want to do this again? I had it so easy and I wanted to go back to sleepless nights and a screaming baby again?" and blaming myself for wanting to delve back into this level of chaos, knowing full well how long it is before things are somewhat easy again. Then worrying that I'm not being the mom that my older child has been used to - how we could leave at the drop of a hat to go to lunch, a movie, etc and soon we'll be more at the mercy of a baby's routine and needs.
That anxious, panicky feeling swells back up in my chest and I want to cry,well actually I do cry sometimes I guess I just need to know about anyone that's gone through this, especially if you had an older child with a large age gap and had to start from scratch all over again, worrying that the older one is getting shorted of the attention they had all those years before baby intruded and everything erupted into chaos.
Thanks for reading, thinking, and hopefully not judging.
Yes. I think this is very normal, even though it feels totally crazy at the time. I *only* have one boy, but you describe what I went through with him, when he was a baby, to a T. (I am also a business owner). Having YOU time is pretty important, especially when things get overwhelming as they do. The lack of sleep is physically and mentally draining and crazy making; like some nights are never ending. And then you go to work the next day! With my boy, he had stomach issues and also wanted to be held and rocked. If you do not have one, I recommend a motorized swing that can gently rock him, and keep rocking him, all night long. It saved our marriage I think! I know other people have had success with other techniques. One frustration is that all kids are different so what works for one, won't work for another....or so I've heard.
But yes..this is "normal". Your OB may have suggestions too.
I don't have great suggestions, but I want you to know that I so relate to your pain. I have a 5year gap, and it does sometimes feel like starting over. But also, you are really in the thick of it right now, especially knowing how you feel about them little. It will pass. It will. You have done it successfully before and you will again.
Maybe take away the need to fix and just observe? Chart? somehow that sometimes makes it less personal for me and I might actually see a pattern that can lead to change, but if not, at least I don't get as emotionally overwhelmed. Also, you do need some YOU time.
Oh and for your 1st child, they have had a lot of time one on one with you, but don't forget that they will have this sibling for all their lives. That is a blessing for your 1st and your 2nd. I wouldn't worry too much about the older getting shorted, but I would acknowledge his feelings if he brings it up. My oldest was very nurturing to #2 and 3. My middle was not so happy about #3, but even he has times that he likes to play with her. And she adooooores him! I wrote in my journal for him about how his name was pretty much her first and only word for a while. he didn't care at the time, but I read it to him the other night, and you could see how proud he felt....sorry, off topic a bit!
Hope you are getting some support!
Mom to 11 y.o. lawyer, 9 y.o. actor, and 4 y.o. pilot. I believe 'em on those, too!