I have a BFF, her name is Louise. I have never met her in person, and probably never will, but I really, really like her, a lot. I've read her book, which is fantastic and part of the reason why I like her so much (she sounds like me. Not sure if that is a compliment or an insult). If you are single and negotiating the world of making a baby, "Knock yourself up" is a must read.
But I am afraid if I had read her latest article "True Confession: I Loved Having a Newborn" before I had Max, I might have had to break up with Louise. Louise just admitted out loud and in public that she loved having a newborn. Shock horror!
To say that I didn't enjoy the newborn stage with Adam and Kate would be like saying I don't enjoy being stabbed several times in the eye with a pointy stick. I was hopelessly overwhelmed and under resourced in terms of sleep, energy, mental health and happy pills - it was bloody awful. And until I read another wonderful book by another BFF in the computer Andi Buchanan "Mother Shock: Loving every (other) minute of it". I then realized that it wasn't just me who felt this way. Oh my word, how I appreciated reading what Andi wrote in that book, I wish I had read it before the babies arrived. I thought you were supposed to love every minute of it (long awaited and hard fought for new babies), and I didn't.
I remember writing a post on my blog a few weeks after they were born, talking about how tough I found it, how much of a shock it was. There were about a hundred comments on that blog post, 99 of which said they understood what I was saying and had lots of empathy for how I was feeling. Except for one person who said they couldn't relate to what I was saying, they loved having newborns.
Being the sensible person I am, I ignored those 99 supportive comments and instead obsessed about the one commenter who felt differently. It drove me insane. I was clearly a bad mother, an unworthy mother. Why did I not LOVE the newborn stage when there were many people (1%) who did? It was obviously because I was inadequate. After all, I had fought so long and hard to have these children, I should be loving it, not walking around in a shocked haze. And it was not just the twin thing - yes, it is harder to have twins (as in MUCH harder), but it was more than that - everything about the newborn stage terrified me.
But as time as gone by and I have upped my anti-depressants and increased my therapy, I've come to terms with the fact that it was ok that I found it so tough. I coped, and I managed to get through it without damaging myself or my children too badly, hopefully. Thank goodness it was all behind me.
And then I fell pregnant with Max, and it all came flooding back. The night terrors (mine), the crying (mine), the abject fear. THE FEAR! But this time I was prepared. This time I made sure I was mentally, psychologically, logistically and emotionally prepared. I hunkered down and got ready for the onslaught. And guess what - there was none! OMG! It wasn't that bad! In fact, dare I even admit this out loud, it was actually OK!
Look, this time around things were very different - I had lots counting in my favour. The biggest plus was that I was an experienced mother. This time I knew that it was ok if the baby cried, he wouldn't die from crying. It was ok if he didn't finish his bottle, he wouldn't starve by missing one feed. And I knew that no matter how tough any stage was, it was exactly that - just a stage. It is so much better / easier / less terrifying the second time around.
Of course it helped that (a) there was only one of him and (b) he is a happy baby (praisethelord). New mother + two babies + one of which is a Adam = Not Such A Fun Time. One baby + experienced mother + happy baby = A breeze.
I wouldn't go so far as to say I am reformed - I still don't LOVE the newborn stage, but it is not anywhere nearly as scary as it was the first time around. (I personally believe all babies should be born at 3 months. 3 months plus is so fun.
I am interested in hearing your opinions and experiences (you are welcome to take the conversation over to Louise's article ) - do you enjoy the newborn stage? Was it better / easier for you the second time around? Do you think it is also depends on whether you have an easy baby or not?
PS Note to all new mom: It gets better and easier, I promise.
PPS How funny is this comment! I usually just ignore these troll like comments, but it was too funny to let go unmentioned. The reason my children are having regression issues is because I am selfishly sitting around, ignoring them while I obsess about cars and love handles. Sorry darling, mommy can't pay attention to you now, I am busy thinking about a Toyota. One that is able to carry a heavy load - ie my lardy ass.