The Cure for the Baby Blues?

the baby blues with second pregnancy

Is there such a thing as a cure for the blues?  I guess the answer is multi-dimensional but overall there is no cure as far as I can tell.

I hoped the baby blues would stay away the second time around, but I wasn’t so lucky.  They came in with a vengeance on the second night we were home, and although I expected them, knew what it was and reminded myself that “it too shall pass”, I still suffered (suffer) three weeks out.

The blues for me start in the evening, or early afternoon.  I suppose that is when I am most tired, drained of patience and resources that keep me sane.  On the first night I had them I was covering up Johannes who had completely kicked off all of his covers and now looked cold and shivering to me.  I looked at him and remembered how he once was tiny just like Magnus.  How I used to pat his bum as a newborn to try and get rid of his hiccups, and how I would rock him to sleep with the sound of his seahorse playing in the background.  I suddenly felt an overwhelming fear of death, much like the last time I had the blues.  I feeling of impending doom.  Dread for the future and how quickly things change and how we all, including these babies, are not immune from getting old and one day ceasing to exist.

I suddenly longed for the days when Johannes was little, and wished deeply that I could turn back the clock of time.  I cried for a while.  I told Michael how I was feeling, that the blues were back.  I talked about it much more than I had the last time, with my husband and friends.   This time I felt less alone in my depression.  I now have mom friends who all went through the same stages, who felt various degrees of sadness.  We shared it with one another and it felt less lonely.  It helped.

Johannes, during the blues time of day helped remind me how funny he is, and how age hasn’t been a bad thing, but rather a way for us to get to know him better.  As sweet and little as he used to be, he is now a little human with a sense of humour and an emerging personality.  He is a source of inspiration and hope and helped tremendously.

A glass of wine or beer with dinner also worked wonders, and I have one like medicine every night….unapologetically.  So where am I now?  I still feel a bit down in the evenings, especially on rainy dark days.  But its getting better with each day.  What helps the most is knowing, from experience, that it will fade and give way for hope and positivity.  In the meantime I lean on my friends and family for support…and that glass of vino with my dinner.

Belly to Baby

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photography by Modern Baby Life

Its pretty hard to believe looking at these photos now, that just days ago Magnus was still deep inside my belly…a complete mystery to me and our family.  We had no idea how sweet he was, and how well he would fit into our family.  I had worries and fears, the way I guess most soon-to-be mom’s of two are.  I worried that perhaps Johannes wouldn’t accept him, that maybe he would feel betrayed in some ways, or that he would be jealous and in exchange hate his little brother.  I also worried about myself and my feelings. I had a hard time imagining that I could love another person as much as I love Johannes.  I worried that Magnus might feel that and resent me.  And I worried that our life in three would change for the worse.

All the fears and worries went away the instant that Magnus came out.  I fell in love with him just like I had with Johannes.  My heart grew.  I didn’t have to share my love for the boys, my love just expanded to include our new little boy.  And all the fears about Johannes were put to rest too.  There are adjustments, and he does want to be picked up more.  He’s been testing us and challenging us on little tasks daily, and I think that’s his way of adjusting.  But we’re getting there and he’s getting better and better every day.  One thing is for sure though, Johannes loves his brother, and when he calls him his best friend or asks me to let him hold Magnus, my heart just grows even bigger.

Thank you so much Modern Baby Life for capturing our family so sweetly.  Belly, baby and family life with my boys.  I cherish it all, so thank you times a million!!

At Home

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I have a brief moment to sit down and blog this morning, and feeling pretty proud of myself for getting out two posts this week! I think some celebratory champagne is in order during nap time today.

Johannes has a cold, nothing serious just sneezing and coughing. At least there’s no fever. And I’m trying my best to keep him and Magnus away from one another in hopes that he won’t catch this virus. So far so good I think.

My best friends during this time are my mom, who is here to help, the iPad, which is playing Bob the builder on repeat and the baby swing, which keeps Magnus busy when I need two hands to wipe runny noses or make snacks. Oh and a whole wack load of hand sanitizer.

The biggest surprise to me is how calm I am. When Johannes got his first cold I totally freaked out. I sat up all night, I worried, I fussed. But this time, even with the prospect of having a sick newborn in the house, I’m not too worried. I know that colds will come and go and there’s only so much I can do about it. I suppose that’s what happens the second time around, less stress, more confidence. It’s a nice change.

Let’s hope the cold passes quickly and we can all get back to a regular routine.

the first 14 days

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Its been a bit of a whirlwind, mostly good with a little bit of bad.  My recovery physically has been pretty good, much easier than it was after Johannes’ birth.  Or perhaps maybe my memory isn’t what it used to be.

We’ve had our highs and lows as its to be expected.  The biggest surprise has been Johannes.  He’s amazing with his little brother, he loves him so much.  No jealousy whatsoever at least not yet.  Our challenges are my lack of patience.  Be it hormones, lack of sleep or a combination of both, I find myself being really short with Johannes sometimes without a real cause.  Usually this leads to an intense feeling of guilt and a major crying fit.  The guilt was something I underestimated but its a pretty powerful emotion.

And then of course there’s the blues.  They came with a  vengeance as they did the last time, but that’s a complicated story to tell, and one I’m not completely ready to share just yet.  I can say though that I’m in the throws of it as we speak, but I’m hoping it will ease up soon.

I am eager to get back into a routine of sorts. Today my shower was a small victory, as was feeding two boys at the same time. Its the little things right?!

Magnus’ Birth Story

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After months and weeks of waiting and wondering.  Dreaming and excitement, Magnus Valentin joined our family on September 9.  He was 9.45lbs, 1 week past his due date and full of personality.

I decided months ago to try my hardest for a VBAC after my emergency Cesarian with Johannes.  But at 41 weeks pregnant and with no labour on the horizon I made the decision to schedule a csection.  Risking another emergency Cesarian was not at all appealing to me, and I decided that I wanted a controlled environment rather than the unknown.  So this birth story is very different from the last.

The night before my csection, my mom took Johannes and Michael and I enjoyed a nice dinner out just the two of us.  We woke up early the next day, cleaned up a bit, packed our car and left for the hospital.  Unlike my first csection, this one wasn’t filled with anxiety, worry and fear.  My biggest concern that day was more or less how I would personally handle the proceedure and less the fear that my son wouldn’t be born alive.  And let me tell you, that’s a huge HUGE thing.

The doctors and nurses were relaxed and chatty.  They introduced themselves and took their time to explain what would happen.  Michael came into the OR as soon as my spinal tap was complete, and held my hand.  Within a few minutes and feeling some pulling and tugging, our son was born.  The hospital we chose to give birth at implemented a new program where skin to skin is allowed between the mom and baby as soon as he is born.  My hands were not tied down like the last time, and the curtain was drawn much lower on my chest so I could have Magnus on me right away.  It was so lovely to experience that.  I remember feeling like an eternity before I could see or hold Johannes, it was torture.  I had skin to skin time with my baby boy until it was time to wheel me out of the OR, at which point they handed him to Michael to bring along.

Once in recovery we had over an hour of skin to skin with our son.  He latched perfectly right away and nursed with no issue.  Ahh the smell and deliciousness of a fresh baby is just the most amazing thing ever.  I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Recovery was much quicker this time also.  Without the prior 20+ hours of labour my body seems to have healed faster.

Now for the bad parts.  I really don’t react well to any type of anesthetic.  The spinal made me horribly nauseated, and I was unable to eat or drink anything for about 20hours after surgery.  I just couldn’t hold water down.  And the itching.  I couldn’t stop that.  But unlike at Johannes’ birth I was aware of Magnus’.  I savoured every minute and was able to really focus on him and his sweetness.

I am so grateful to have this little in my life, and to have been able to carry him to term and beyond.  I have no regrets, no guilt, just joy and admiration for what a mom’s body can do to produce a human life.  I think the key for me was not having too many expectations of myself.  Letting the pregnancy dictate the outcome, while taking into account the risks to both mine and my baby’s health.

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38 weeks

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Home stretch! The end always feels the hardest, but I forget that it ends just as quickly as it’s begun. In less than a month we will have a new baby in the house and my body is prepping for no sleep by waking me up every hour now with either hip pain or bladder needs. I will miss this, mostly the belly movement and the hiccups. But I’m ready to meet this little guy.

On the home front we have been battling the fever, a serious sore throat, coughing and as of this morning…an eye infection. No it’s not me, it’s Johannes. He’s sick. We are headed to the doctor just as soon as the office opens, hopefully he can kick this (whatever it is) quickly and get back to his cheerful self. Until then we are spending our days in bed watching old movies and eating popcorn.