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Going from One Child to Two

Sha

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2007
Messages
2,329
So I'm newly pregnant with #2 (about 7 weeks 4 days), and even though I did want a second :)) , I'm honestly already feeling anxious about being able to manage two small children at the same time :???: . Our 19 month old is a joy but takes a lot of energy and time as it is, I'm honestly where I'm going to pull the extra energy from to cope with a newborn - especially taking sleep deprivation into account. :knockout:

Any tips or experiences to share? Is it very stressful? How do you manage it all?

Also, was your second pregnancy very different from your first? Mine has been pretty similar so far, but I'm definitely showing a lot earlier this time. I didn't start wearing maternity clothes until 6 months last time. Yesterday I tried to put on a fitted shirt and I'm already sporting a small bump! When did you showing/wearing maternity clothes for your second pregnancy?
 

Logan Sapphire

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2003
Messages
2,386
Congrats! Very exciting for you!

I can't speak to the difference btwn pregnancies but for us personally, going from 1 to 2 was a lot harder than 0 to 1. I know most people think it's the other way around, but sadly not for us. My kids are 23 months apart, so 2 in diapers was really difficult, both expense-wise and in terms of constantly changing someone's diaper.

What we noticed was that DH became our daughter's primary caregiver while I cared for the baby. It's hard feeling torn physically and emotionally btwn them both. We have a lot of jealousy issues with our daughter but noticed that recently our son is also becoming jealous. There's a lot of competition for space on my lap!

If you don't have one already, get a good baby carrier. I love the Ergo; couldn't have done it without it. It's still really difficult for us but it's getting better slowly. DS is 14 months and DD turned 3 last month. She potty trained at about 2.5, which helped a lot. They're starting to play more together- I figured since they're not twins, we didn't have to get them the exact same toy but I was wrong! If we get one a particular toy, the other needs one too.

I hope I didn't scare you. There are a lot of people who are much better parents than we are and who can easily handle multiple kids. There are definitely certain logistics that need to be thought of but you'll figure out what works for you.
 

Sha

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2007
Messages
2,329
Thanks for sharing your experience, Logan Sapphire! It sounds like you have a very involved DH, which is great. I'm sure that helps a lot in trying to keep things balanced. One of the things that concerns me is that I still do 95% of the childcare at our house. It's kind of been our arrangement, since DH does the cooking. But I still do the cleaning and most of the laundry so I still end up doing more work than he does. I guess it's something we'll have to talk about.

Would love to hear more responses!
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
I've only had two kids for a week, but I can comment on some of the questions you asked.

My pregnancy was the same in many ways but I showed much muc hearlier. I looked about 6-8 weeks more pregnant for the same week this time than last.

My L&D was a dream this time compared to last. Last time my waters broke and had meconium in them, so I was induced, baby was in a bad position and I ended up having an epidural (which was not my original desire). I pushed for about 1.5 hours. Ended up with a normal vaginal delivery. But recovery was horrid. I had an injusred tailbone. This time my whole labout was about 5 hours, pushed for 23 minutes, no interventions or epidural, and my recovery has been a million times better. I don't know how much of the better outcome was due to it being my second, the baby's better position, or the fact that I went natural this time, but on the whole it was a much better experience.

I am finding breast feeding much easier. My milk came in quickly (took longer last time) and much less pain. Last time I had pain for a few weeks and it took a long time for me to figure out how to nurse a floppy newborn. This time I knew what I was doing, my breasts had already changed and were more suited for nursing, and on the whole it is much better. I had a few days of sore nipples and one side is still a little painful on the latch, but much easier all told.

Dealing with a 2.5 year old at the same time as a newborn is the biggest challenge. I am lucky that DH is off with me now, my mom is with us, and our toddler is in daycare full time! haha. I have no idea how I would ever manage to look after him on my own right now being so tied to the newborn with nursing 12 hours a day (boy loves to nurse!). So I suppose my only suggestion would be to try and arrange childcare in the first weeks if you can, or lots of help. I'll let you know in a few months how things go as my husband and I "go it alone" ;)) But already it is a lot like Logan, where my husband does 95% of the care for our toddler and I care for the newborn. You might want to talk to you husband about an arrangement like that at least for the earlier weeks/months.
 

DivaDiamond007

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
1,828
My pregnancies were different. With my first (James) I had m/s until was like 16 weeks or so and with my second (Grace) I was almost constantly nauseous the whole time. I showed much earlier with Grace and also felt movement much earlier (15 weeks). Both of my kids were born early - James at 36 weeks (no problems) and Grace at 35 weeks (lots of problems). James was a vaginal delivery and Grace was a c-section under general anesthesia.

We had a lot of help after Grace was born. I was already being watched like a hawk by my OB since James was early, however, I had a placental abruption with Grace so her early birth, while somewhat expected, happened in nearly the worst possible way. The night I had Grace my MIL came to our house while we waited for the ambulance and picked up James. He probably stayed with MIL and FIL for an entire week while I was in the hospital. Once I was released James still went to childcare as usual so I could recover and visit the NICU during the day. Grace stayed in the NICU for 16 days and we slowly introduced James to her. She came home on an apnea monitor and so she had wires and stuff on her. Sometimes I would have a helper come to my house and other times I'd stay home alone with Grace.

Now we are getting more into a routine - James will be 3 on July 2 and Grace is just shy of 6 months. She's no longer hooked up to any machines so she's a "normal" baby now. Hubby gets them ready in the a.m. and takes them to childcare (MIL or Aunt Nan). After work DH does the pickup and I get home, spruce up the house and get dinner started. After dinner is playtime, bathtime, stories then bed.

Cost-wise things are pretty much the same for us. We have 2 in diapers (hopefully not for long!) and Grace is formula fed so we have those expenses. However, family provides most of our childcare so we get that for free. The kids go to an in-home provider about 2x per month and we pay her per day so that saves us money. MIL and Aunt Nan provide their own diapers, wipes and food for the kids. We are cheap and buy the store brand formula and will start using store brand diapers once we run out of our stash.

My kids are 2.5 years apart so there are some days that you feel like someone is always crying and that you're always wiping someone's butt! :rodent: Other days are great - James is learning so much each day and Grace is getting so so big already.
 

Sha

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2007
Messages
2,329
Thanks for sharing, Dreamer and Diva.

Dreamer - I'm glad you got the natural labour you wanted, and that it was easier/shorter this time. I guess it really is true about second time labours being shorter, huh? 5 hours in total is pretty good. How long will your mom be staying with you? I'm sure that must help a lot. I'm hoping my mom would be able to help out in the same way too. I can't imagine getting through it without the extra help. D is already goes to daycare from M-F so that part will be covered. I guess I'm most worried about weekends and evenings/mornings.

Diva- wow, sounds ike you had a pretty difficult 2nd pregnancy. It's good to hear that Grace is off the machines, though, and it's great that your family is able to help watch the babies. I'm not in the U.S, but childchare costs seem so expensive there. I can't imagine how parents of more than one child do it.
 

puffy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
1,567
CONGRATS!!!

going from 1 to 2 was a challenge but my then 2 year old was nothing but the best mommy's little helper ever. he never really had bad tantrums and was so well behaved and he could go hours playing by himself in his playroom. he was a total joy and the best big brother a newborn could ask for. was it hard? yes, of course it was. newborns nurse for so long and it just feels like you don't get a break between nursing and making sure you're giving attention to the other child. i told B all the time that i love him and played with him every chance i got and read books, had special mommy and him time, whether it be helping me set the table or playing in the backyard, and a lot of the time it included me having N in a carrier. and he was so in love with N he wanted to help out all the time. B was the best, but that doesn't mean it wasn't tough because it was. i knew what to expect and i knew what i was doing, but it was till hard to care for a newborn and a toddler at the same time. it was just a challenge with a newborn constantly needing to nurse, but after the first few weeks, it wasn't bad at all.

now, going from 2 to 3...WOW!!! but i'm getting a little ahead of myself.

i'm sure you'll be great and again, congrats!!!
 

taovandel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 22, 2008
Messages
1,434
Congrats again Sha!

For me going from one child to two was a fairly easy transition. I think I overthought everything and made it much worse in my head.

I say it was easy because Evan never showed jealousy signs or changed any of his habits (wanting to go back to a bottle, pacifier, sleeping through the night, etc.). I think that really helped. He's also an independent baby for the most part--content to play by himself and likes to explore by himself.

Violet also is a fairly easy baby so that helps...if she was fussy and clingy and slept horribly then I would be singing a different song on here definitely!

Another thing Sha that really helps is having a supportive hands on Daddy. My husband rotates sleeping shifts--he puts the kids to bed, plays with them etc so I never feel overwhelmed by the two kids during crazy times.


As far as pregnancies---Evan I had terrible morning sickness but other than that a fairly easy pregnancy, delivery and recovery. I was larger and had more swelling then I did with Violet. Violet I had the morning sickness and an easy pregnancy (even going 1 week over), delivery was a bit more worrisome throughout but recovery was even easier then with Evan actually.
 

Sha

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2007
Messages
2,329
anchor - :)) thx!

Thanks for chiming in, puffy and tao!I like the idea of special 'mommy and toddler' time. Seems like the carrier is a must-have- and a supportive Daddy - definitely. I will definitely have to get DH more involved. I do most everything for D right now and that's just now sustainable in the long run.

I'm a long ways away but already put together a 'Survival List', including basic things like:

1) sleep/nap whenever possible - (that didn't work last time, but will try it again)
2)Get help
3) Get DH more involved
4) Don't commit to anything unnecessary
5) Don't try to be perfect ...housework can wait
6) Take vacation after maternity leave (total leave of 4 months)
7) Green Tea/Black Tea for sleepiness....

Still adding to it.....
 
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