I personally believe a big way to celebrate the upcoming arrival of a baby is by having a baby shower. It is not about the gifts, it is about the celebration of the new life that is going to enter the world and all that a mother does to make that life happen. I don't know if it was the second baby syndrome or the fact that I was on house arrest for 3 months that prompted all of my friends and family to overlook a baby shower. But it has been on my "tear causing list" since Kalah was born. I wasn't going anywhere, so why couldn't we have had a celebration in my apartment? Maybe they were worried if they celebrated anything I would go in to early labor again. Since Kal will be my last there will be no more baby showers in my future. I feel as though her birth came and went fairly uncelebrated, and it makes me sad.
For those of you with friends who are expecting a second baby, don't forget the shower! A friend of mine wrote a nice entry with ideas for a second baby shower here.
We didn't even have our camera at the hospital when Kalah was born. Our nice camera is really meant to be used for the business, but when Kesha was born we lived and worked in the same place, so grabbing the camera was a no brainer. This time the camera was at the office, and since I went in to labor so quickly we didn't even think to run and get it. We have no delivery pictures of her. No high quality images from the hospital. Thankfully I had my iPad in the room and we got quite a few pictures after delivery, but they are all iPad quality, nothing we could really print. For Kesha we have an entire video of her c-section birth... Again, Kalah's my last baby. This will be my last birth experience. It seemed to rushed since the medical team didn't want me progressing any further in my labor than I already was, and there will be no pictures to show Kalah of her birth when she's older. This makes me sad.
Every time I think that Kalah is my last baby I tear up and want to hold her more. I know we wouldn't have wanted (or been able to handle) more kids, but it still makes me nostalgic that this will be my final personal infant experience in life. I've been crying about this a lot lately (I can't wait until my hormones balance out).
#14, Life Impact
I am an entrepreneur. I own and run my own business. I also do this from home, making me a work at home mom (which for those of you who do the same thing know how difficult it is... you have the expectations of a stay at home mom mixed with the obligations of a mother with a career!). When Kesha was born our business was just starting to take off, so there wasn't as much to do. She was also born in low season, which allowed me more time to just focus on her. Kalah's timing was way off. We are weeks away from high season, which will last until the end of August, and our business is growing by leaps and bounds (a wonderful thing!). I spend my mornings very involved in my work and am thankful she is a napper. However, this will change in the coming months and I sit on pins and needles thinking about how this will impact the amount of quality time I get to spend with my growing girl.
The change in our family structure has also been very rough on Kesha. Our bubbly easygoing toddler has turned in to a whirlwind of defiance. I know it's mostly related to Kalah's arrival (being 2 and a half hasn't made that any easier), but when your toddler tells you she's mad at you because of the baby, or she won't come hug you or talk to you, it hurts. She pulls out all of the stops for her father, and many evenings turn in to power struggles between the two of them. I have spent many nights in tears trying to figure out how I can help her, not only for her sake, but for all of us. I'm still a bit lost in this area, but promise to post about tricks that have worked for our family next week.
Last night Arturo and I got a few rare minutes alone to scarf down a meal at my Mother-in-law's house. So, I asked him how he was adjusting to having two kids (other than being tired). He said he was fine, and then asked me the same question. I told him that it has its challenges, but I am so happy to have two girls and am really enjoying the experience. It's amazing how rather than dividing the existing space you have in your heart for love, more space just seems to appear, and you love every person in your new little family equally.
I would add one more to the list, and that is the "bounce back". My body is definitely telling me this was baby #2 and is not returning to my pre-pregnancy look as quickly as it did after Kesha. My belly is still extremely sore from the surgery, and I know I am still swollen from the internal trauma, but I still have to remind myself that's one of the reasons I still have a belly. I'm at that awkward stage where my maternity pants are starting to fall off of me, but my regular pants don't fit yet. So my wardrobe is even more limited than it was at the end of my pregnancy (when you need a tent to wear because nothing really stretches over your massive baby bump.
I know it will pass and I will return to my former glory, but this time around it is taking a while, and it pulls at your heartstrings just as much as any other part of postpartum life.
Which numbers did you relate to? How did they make you feel?