By Cara Gambill
As I sit here watching Nolan’s little chest rise and fall while he sleeps, I wonder where the time has gone. Has it really been two months? He’s growing so fast. All of the newborn clothes are already put away in a box, as his 3-6 month clothes are even beginning to get snug. The sun is coming up as Nolan sleeps, and I have to ask myself: How I am doing? How have I adjusted the past two months?
Overall my postpartum experience with Nolan has been much easier. Maybe it’s because I was more prepared for the pain and exhaustion. Maybe it’s because I was much more aware that my hormones would go crazy and I would be riding an emotional roller coaster for the first few weeks. Maybe it’s because I mentally prepared myself for how gross I would feel after birth and how my body would look. I believe it’s a mixture of all of those. I also believe I have more confidence when taking care of Nolan. Not that I am a perfect mother, trust me I am the farthest from it. No, I am more confident because I have accepted that I will have failures, but I have chosen to learn and grow from them and not to dwell on them.
Even though my experience has been easier, I don’t want to mislead anyone about experiencing the baby blues. I was less anxious than I was after having Aedan; however, I did experience more sadness after having Nolan. My sadness was not debilitating and did not deeply affect me as postpartum depression would, but it was still there. Some days, for no apparent reason, I would just feel very sad. This sadness occurred abruptly and ended just as abruptly. Thankfully it never lasted long. I would feel very irritable and sometimes cry, although I wouldn’t be able to say why I was crying. Sometimes it occurred more as a feeling of restlessness. On these days I wanted to get out of the house, go outside, and have some time to myself. I would then feel guilty because I wanted to be by myself even though I knew I should want to be with Aedan and Nolan.
To overcome the baby blues I would ask my husband, mom, or dad when available to watch the boys while I took a short walk or even a shower. This gave me time to refocus and regain composure. Any lingering sadness would go away and I would be ready to play and spend time with the boys.
Leaving the house with Aedan and Nolan (or maybe I should say not leaving the house) has been very different for me. It can be challenging to make and keep plans with both boys. Getting them in and out of the car is a chore in itself. Some days I just can’t take them anywhere by myself due to eating and napping schedules shifting, and this has been a real adjustment for me. I’ve always been used to coming and going as I please. Before there was only Aedan to consider, but now there are two. I’ve definitely had to become more flexible.
Overall, I think I have adjusted well. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and experienced both sadness and frustration; however, we have had more good times than bad. Our home is often filled with smiles and laughter. I have two little boys who already appear to love each other and share a strong bond. I have a two year old who loves to play and have fun, and a two month old who is often described as a happy and content baby. I feel so blessed to be their mother and thank God every night for the privilege he has given me by allowing me and my husband to nurture and take care of them.
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