Last night was a monster. Day 9 for our newest daughter, and my wife and I were reminded that we are still complete amateurs getting throttled by 2 very small cute girls. Holy Holy! The night started with us taking our daughter to her first doctors appt, which was very successful, and we are so blessed to have a healthy baby. This was her maiden voyage outside the house. The double stroller was in full effect, we are a legit team of humans out there. It felt pretty good, and mildly terrifying at the same time. On the way home we enjoyed the orchestra of screaming children, a very small screecher, who makes sounds very similar to what you might hear from an eagle, and the other one that has mastered what we call attendance, saying mama-papa-baby-nonna 3 thousand times, and has a much louder and more directed scream. It was glorious, I looked over at my beautiful wife and laughed, as we both shook our heads saying “Our Life.”
We got home and put our eldest to bed and stayed up for a bit to watch some tv and wind down. Let me tell you, this time may be 20 minutes, it may be 3 hours, but it is so needed. We need our time together, it is so important. We got to bed at a normal time for us which is about 9. Little did we know, sleep was not on the agenda.
9 days ago, my wife pushed our daughter out with no assistance from drugs. This is a story for another day or two. These past days have not been very eventful for her. She just left the house for the first time this afternoon for the doctors appt. Walking up stairs makes her light headed, and is done in a hobbling fashion. She has been feeling light headed and has a pounding headache. Something new on her body hurts every day. She has been getting little sleep, and she is nursing 2 children. We are truly speaking about a time of recovery and healing. Papa and Mama time is just not at the top of the agenda, and its very easy to just let this slip. With this comes distance. Let’s just say distance is not a good thing. With our first, I think the distance crept in easier. Not that we are seasoned vets or anything but we know how this can go.
Mama and Papa got a little frisky (in the most high school make out way) after both girls were in there beds. Let me first paint a picture of our sleeping arrangement, We have two queen beds laying right next to each other on the floor, one is slightly higher due to a box spring. This is where my wife and I try to sleep all night. On my side of the bed is the other queen bed, this one is on the floor and this is were our eldest sleeps most of the time, well that is where she starts. The reason the bed is a queen is because most of the time one or both of us parents end up in bed with her. On my wife’s side of the bed is a woven basket we have fashioned into a baby sleeping arrangement, its super comfy to say the least. It is great because it creates separation and we can pick it up and move it easily. So back to the high school make out session going on in the middle of two sleeping small giants.
We heard a whimper, all base running came to a immediate halt. It felt like we were in Jurassic Park being chased by Velociraptors. “Which one was that?” “Shit I don’t know.” We both chuckled. Back to the game. Maybe 30 sec later our oldest then began to cry. "Dammit!” She was calling for mama. Mama to the rescue. She pretty much fell right back to sleep. “Game ON!” Things started to get steamy, and I felt a tapping on my back. I may as well have been struck by lightning. My body froze. “She’s touching me!!!” I whispered in a mortified tone to my wife. I turned and my beautiful daughter was standing there with no expression, and her arms by her sides, sleepy as ever. The feeling that you have is a mix of embarrassed/pissed/sexual frustration/I'm a parent, is a very weird experience. Thankfully this was not the "why is daddy tackling mommy?" conversation that I am sure takes place with a 4 year old, yet still mortifying and hilarious for us. Either way Mama/Papa time was finished. Valiant effort! We'll try another day.
We have 2 children and 2 very different birth experiences. Recovery is a crazy thing. I for one never even thought about it before we had our first child. Weeks and weeks of discomfort, and this doesnt even touch the psychological piece to the whole thing. In each case Mama and Papa still have a relationship and we have to take care of that as well as the kids. This leaves a list of to-do's that is the longest. It's very easy to forget about romance, and get stuck in the second to second craziness of the whole thing. Imagine 2 children yelling/screaming while your changing the babies diaper the older one is throwing wipes all over the room. Moments like this are like sand on the beach.
Later this night in question/early in the morning I woke up to being thrown up on about 4amby the older one. Then it was change clothes, re sheet the beds, take a bath and a shower, then go back to sleep. This throw up routine happened 2 more times before noon the next day. Nuthin quite like puke. A poopy diaper is one thing, but being puked on is a whole different experience. Especially when it's a toddler. All she wants to do is hug Papa for comfort, when her mouth is a erupting volcano of mashed French fries, vegetables, and mamma chias. Due to events such as this our house is a Laundry Bohemoth! The amount of clothes we go through in a week is quite daunting.
This was a day with no events other than baby stuff. We were Mother Effin exhausted, and have been since. I am trying to figure out how work and fitness play into this equation. I remember a good friend of mine told me one time "Having a 2nd baby is 100% harder!" I didn't believe him. I thought that 2 would be just a few more diapers to change and it would all be good. I was way off. And my friend was on point.
I could go on for days, letting one thought run into the next. I apologize for the incongruent nature of the entry, but that's how about everything feels right now.
2 years later commentary
Reintroduction to your partner is a very interesting situation. Our sex life has without question leveled up after each child. The intimacy you share is exponential in comparison to before kids. Well this is that case for us. I personally was completely floored by the after effects of birth. I am not sure whether to chalk it up to being and man, and not relating to it until I was in it with my wife, or just blind ignorance. But until we were there I just hadn't thought about it. There is a significant time period where mom needs help doing the simplest of tasks, and this is better to have some idea of on the way into a birth, then be surprised by it. So if reading this might give you a hint, Awesome.
Horrifying is the best way to describe the discombobulation of feeling your child touch you when your gettin after it. I can still remember this day like it was yesterday. There have only been a few other times since that it has happened. You just get better at taking it in stride. It will still spin the mood a little bit for sure. Sometimes you have no choice but to completely abandon. Frustration in more than one way.
Trying to adjust to your new life, or better yet your upgrade in life is quite challenging. To this day our girls are changing by the day and make the simplest of tasks take 45 min and include world class tantrums. That's just kids. Our oldest is workin on 4 and our youngest is 2, they both have their intricacies. We went ahead and moved and switched jobs just to make things a little bit more complicated.
Everyone always talks about the balance. How do you balance your life? Well we are still working on that, but I can tell you if you write down the things that are important to you and you see the things you care about in front of you, it may change things a bit. One thing that really helped me was thinking about energy. I have one tank for all these things. An overload in one area is gonna cost ya somewhere else. That just how it goes. Being ok with this has really helped me. Realizing that shifting focuses, and adapting is not losing. But it requires humility and learning which can be a challenge.
When I think about all the struggle, and all the sleepless nights, and stress filled days, it all vanishes every time I see my girls or my wife laugh together, or give me a hug, or say papa. Wait till your youngest calls your oldest by her name for the first time. I almost drove off the road yesterday when it happened. My wife and I were noodles in the front seat hearing it. What a gift we as parents have been given. Don’t ever forget that. And for the love if God, reach out to other parents and connect. They need it. And so do you. Much Love Guys.