Hannah is turning one next month. Yup. One month.
Looking back at some of her newborn photos, I can still remember the first few days of her life like it was yesterday. She came into this world, kicking and screaming. At the hospital, one of the nurses made her a special “girl” beanie with a bow on top. She cried inconsolably at night until I held her to sleep. She slept, always with one hand touching her face, which explained why during all of my ultrasounds she appeared to be sucking her thumb. Every morning, I held her close to my face, and I couldn’t believe she was real. I loved my brand new, fierce little girl so much it hurt.
But if I had to recall exactly when she first smiled, or at what month she rolled over, and if we put her on tummy time, I couldn’t. The year had been a total blur.
The transition from one to two kids was hard.
The months leading up to Hannah’s birth, with our preschool-aged, only child, we had achieved a sort of “balance” in our lives. I had things figured out, our routines perfected, a clean house, and weekly lunch dates with York. I was relaxed, content, and, in hindsight, completely unprepared for what came next.
Only after she arrived, I realized just how delicate that balance was, the harmony we had counted on was now replaced by total discord. Suddenly there was no down time, two tiny humans completely depended on us. For. Every. Single. Thing. The baby needed us to live while Nick fought to regain our attention. Grappling with the endless demands of our children, we were outnumbered in a way. And the sleep deprivation was real.
For months, I struggled to fit Hannah into our already busy schedules. I can’t tell you exactly how I got through the past year of breastfeeding, diapering, and milestones with a second child. Throw into the mix, food allergies and sleep regressions, it was the perfect blend of madness and exhaustion, serving up anxiety attacks week after week. Time alone didn’t fix things, nothing simply “fell into place.” No. It took conscious effort. One step forward, two steps back. Persistence, trial and error, and probably a lot of wine got us through the year. Chaos morphed into a sort of new rhythm, messy haired, dirty floors, and all.
At 11 months since we came home from the hospital as parents of two children, life is starting to feel “manageable” again. Motherhood is this completely weird thing. I have all these gripes with it, what it demands of me. To give up all the things I needed to feel human—my body, personal space, time— for a second time. It’s not ideal, and certainly not easy. But this wonderful, beautiful second child of mine, I love her with everything I have, and I would do it all again, a thousand times yes.