“It’s easier the second time around.”
This is both a fat lie and the honest truth. While, yes, I have experience from raising Zeke, caring for a newborn and also figuring out what to do with a toddler is a whole different ball game. To say that this first month has been one of the most difficult things in my life is a massive understatement. Just now, I had to take a break from writing this because my newborn seems to be cluster-feeding and almost refuses to let me put him down, and my toddler tripped and hit his face on a plastic chair. I would be lying if I said that I don’t want to pull my hair out at the sound of them screaming at the same time. It has definitely been a learning and growing experience for myself and Donald, who is also currently enrolled in Florida Southern’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
Elijah Theodore–aka Theo–decided he didn’t want to come out the normal way. The first two weeks were definitely a struggle as I recovered from a caesarean section–a whole separate post will be coming about that because wow, just wow. My mobility from the surgery was at an all time low. Everything from sitting up in bed to standing up straight was just hard. I’m fully breast feeding, so I had to get up and feed Theo almost every two hours, give or take half an hour or so. This left me with almost no energy to do anything with Zeke. After I got my dressing removed and my staples out, I was able to start getting up a little easier and walking around more. Although my incision was completely healed, I couldn’t fool myself because my muscles still had a long way to go.
It wasn’t all bad, though. We were blessed enough to have some combination of family with us for a majority of this first month. In the first week, Donald’s older brother, Paolo, and his husband, Spencer, stayed with us. My sister, Erin, spent Theo’s third week here, and Donald’s other siblings, Mawi and Mickey, came for a weekend somewhere in there. Since my mom works from home, she was able to help us out during the breaks between visitors. On top of all that, we only live 15 minutes away from Donald’s parents, so they are always there to lend a hand in a pinch. I want to give a huge shout out and thank you to everyone for lifting a massive weight off my shoulders by helping me with Zeke during my initial recovery period.
We all know Zeke. He will be two in December. We thought he’d beat the odds against the terrible two’s but boy were we wrong. It doesn’t help that the poor thing seems to be jealous of his new baby brother. It gets tricky sometimes because when he sees one of us with Theo, he will begin to whine to get our attention. Now that I’m on my own with the two of them during the day while Donald is at school, I’ve been trying to teach him how to take turns by telling him that it’s Theo’s turn when he’s hungry or needs a diaper change. On the flip side, I try to make a show of telling Theo that it’s Zeke’s turn. I’m not very consistent with this yet, but hopefully it will start to work over time. Despite his initial apprehensiveness and jealousy, we’ve begun to see Zeke’s growing affection towards Theo.
The number one person at my side in all this is obviously Donald. He is a true rockstar figuring out how to balance grad school and being a father of two. It hasn’t been easy for him at all, but that’s his story to tell. I can say that even though we see each other every day, I honestly miss him. I love spending time with him and the kiddos, but we hardly get time for one another. That being said, the few times we’ve been able to go out just the two of us have been awesome. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be sane. My mental health has not been the best these past few weeks, but knowing that we have the other to lean on and to share this journey with has made all the difference.
Now that I’m almost healed and this first month is over, I have come to the following conclusions/opinions:
- C-section recovery is actually so much better than from a normal delivery.
- Being a stay-at-home mom is hard.
- Self-care is VERY important when you now have two children vying for your attention.
- I married a super hero.
- Writing is a great outlet that makes your brain work when a majority of your day is spent listening to Baby Shark.
Here’s to hoping month two will get a little easier.
P.S. Shout out to you for making it this far in my first blog in a long time. I know it was rough, it’ll get better I promise.