Baby G was born recently, happily transforming our family into a party of four. Right away, my hubby and I noticed how she’s been an easier baby than her older sister, Little G, was … as well as harder.
Partly, Baby G is easier because we as her parents know what we’re doing this time around. So our parenting style toward her is more informed, more laid-back, and more appreciative—we recognize that this sleep-challenged yet sweet newborn stage is fleeting. But there are a few other variables, too, which also weigh in with the “harder” part …
1: We kept Baby G mostly to ourselves at the hospital. My hubby and I (selfishly!) decided to have just us in the labor and delivery room. We also asked family and friends not to worry about waiting at the hospital for Baby G’s arrival—my hubby would simply call and/or text everyone when she was born.
Toward the end of my roughly eight-hour labor, our time in the labor and delivery room even felt a bit like a date. (Yes, I had an epidural! 🙂 ) My hubby and I reminisced about past happy times and looked forward to similar future ones, this time with another daughter in tow.
After Baby G was born, the two of us spent about three hours together with her, just the three of us, as well as the majority of the next day together, too. Simply put, it was really nice to have all that time to snuggle Baby G and get to know her before introducing her to loved ones.
2: Delivery was much easier this second time. Little G paved the way for Baby G, as my OB/GYN said. I didn’t need to push much, and afterward, I felt better much sooner than last time.
3: Breastfeeding was much easier, too. Maybe Baby G was born knowing what to do. Maybe I was more confident this time. Maybe a little of both. But thus far, nursing Baby G has been pleasant and relatively pain- and problem-free.
4: My mom was able to be a huge help to us. A few months ago, my mom retired. Her retirement/newfound flexible schedule allowed her to be 100 percent available to my hubby, me, and our daughters for about three weeks after Baby G was born. While she was here, my mom went grocery shopping, cooked and froze dinners for us, and played tirelessly with Little G. We couldn’t have made it through the first month of Baby G’s life without her!
5: Now, on the harder side … Baby G got a cold when she was 1 week old. Little G, on the other hand, was cold-free until she was six months old. Being born in winter rather than summer, combined with having a preschool-age sibling, has worked against Baby G health-wise.
6: We still have Little G to think about. Rest when the baby rests? Hard to do when your 3½-year-old is knocking on the nursery door, eager to play just as we’re eager to nap alongside the baby.
7: But to end on a positive note … we know, from past experience, that this tiring time is temporary. In another few weeks, Baby G will be sleeping more soundly at night (hopefully!). And we should have figured out our new routine, our new rhythm for this new chapter in our life together, as a family of four.