The last three months have been the most challenging, yet most rewarding three months of my life as a mom. Transitioning from one to two kids has been rough. There have been some really amazing, blessed days and some really hard, dark days. Of course, I am so grateful for Emilia, my sweet rainbow baby, but newborn babies are rough on me and Joe. We learned that with Enzo and when we fostered the newborn baby back in the fall. I knew it was going to be tough having a newborn in the house again but I also knew we would get through it.
Sleep – The first month or so things were smooth. Emilia slept well, was calm, didn’t cry much and just seemed to fit into the family easily. But something shifted around a month to two months and things got really hard. She’s been dealing with some major digestive issues with uncomfortable gas and silent reflux that makes it hard for her to sleep well and it seemed to be bad around 3-5 a.m. every day. We went through a really rough period where we were up multiple times every night, she would be awake for 1-2 hours at a time, not go down easily after her feedings and especially any time after 3 a.m. we’d have a really hard time getting her to stay asleep. Joe and I were able to tag team as much as possible but it was still rough not getting more than one hour of straight sleep some nights.
Since getting back from our trip to Houston, Emilia has actually slept amazingly well on our trip and had her longest stretches of sleep and was going back down easily in the middle of the night. I know things with babies can change easily, but I’m hoping some of those really rough nights of being up every 1-2 hours is behind us. If not, I pray for strength to get through and for reminders that this all will pass.
Breastfeeding – This has been much smoother this time around. The first couple of weeks were rough as my body adjusted to nursing again, but since then we’ve been smooth sailing. She has struggled with getting too much milk too fast but now that she’s getting bigger she’s handling it all much better. Thankful to not have the same struggles as I did with Enzo in this area!
Milestones – Miss Emilia is in love with smiling and talking to people. She does pretty good at tummy time but no indication of rolling at this point. She’s not quite grabbing toys yet but I can tell she’s getting much more interested.
Mental Health – Once the sleep deprivation started getting worse, my mental health also starting deteriorating. We’ve had so much support this time around and I’ve been really good about asking for help and that has been a huge blessing. I don’t think I’ve suffered with postpartum depression the same way I did with Enzo, but I’ve honestly had some days/weeks of depression, mourning the loss of my old life with just Enzo, and anxiety over anything sleep-related. Sleep is my medicine and when I wasn’t getting it consistently, I truly felt like I was losing my mind.
Just over the last week or so, things have started to turn a corner. About two weeks ago, I hit my lowest point and the depression took over my whole body. I felt an ache in my gut and couldn’t stop crying for two days. I honestly felt like someone had died. I hadn’t felt it that bad since she was born, so I reached out to my midwife to get some ideas on any supplements or other things I could do as waiting it out wasn’t an option anymore. I started taking a B vitamin supplement and had Joe take her for a couple of night feedings to try and get me a little longer stretch of sleep. She also recommended a fish oil supplement but it hurt my stomach so I decided to not take that for now. I’m also maintaining appointments with my therapist.
We just had our first family trip to Houston and leading up to the trip, I had a lot of anxiety about what it was going to look like and thought it was going to be really stressful. There were moments of course that were hard, but overall our trip was a huge blessing. My sister-in-law also took Enzo the week before that which was amazing timing. I was able to relax more with just Emilia and I feel that it truly helped my mental health start to get more stable.
Exercise – It’s been really difficult to get into any kind of exercise routine. The only real chance I have is if Emilia and Enzo are sleeping at the same time, and that doesn’t always happen. When I’m exhausted it’s also hard to convince myself to exercise. Right now my main form of working out is bouncing on the yoga ball numerous times a day while putting Emilia to sleep! Hopefully in the next month or so I can start getting more workouts in each week.
The second time around, being able to see that one day Emilia will be a toddler like Enzo, and the sleep issues will be behind us, is really helpful. When Enzo was a baby, not knowing what the next stage would look like, I felt like it would never end and I’d never sleep again. But I know that’s not true and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Toddlers have their own issues, but it doesn’t cause me as much stress or anxiety as the lack of sleep does.