It has recently occurred to me that my husband and I have two kids. As in plural. As in there are as many children in our family as their are of us. Huh. There are few times in a life when one experiences the power of becoming plural: marriage/partnership, puppy, first pregnancy, first baby, subsequent babies. It’s an interesting moment when you realize “you” is becoming “we,” and “we” is becoming different.
Even though the whole pregnancy thing is planned and a long time coming (sometimes it can feel like forever), we all have those moments when the weight of our life sinks in–both in beautiful ways that make us feel grateful and amazed and on other days, in ways where we think it’s very possible we have doomed ourselves to a never-ending cycle of feeding, cleaning bodies, and cleaning houses/clothes. Both are true.
Some differences I am noticing with this iteration of “we” now that we have a 4 and a new-year-old:
For the forseeable future, and thanks to OR car seat laws, probably the next 7 years, we will always have to take separate cars to locations. Getting a table at a restaraunt for our family plus anyone is now looking more like a banquet affair–no “squeezing in” six people. And, unlike our first, where my husband and I were the trailblazers in baby-having, we are surrounded by more supportive friends and their families who are helping us bask in the joy of our newbie and the new family dynamic, which really does make things sweeter.
Another benefit, which I’d heard of, is just being more relaxed. I don’t immediately jump off the couch or out of bed at every little whimper. In fact, here are two totally terrifying body things that, thanks to second baby, I am not remotely worried about. 1)Face paralysis. Normally not being able to control one half of your face all-of-a sudden might be cause for alarm–usually this brings “stroke” to mind. I now know this is a just a whimsical little condition called Bells Palsy, which is totally harmless and temporary, although does a number on one’s vanity. It is also completely random and not necessarily pregnancy related. Sigh. 2)A marble sized hard lump under the breast of your newborn. First thought: cancer. Reality: hormones from breastmilk can cause these (in girls and boys). Again, temporary and harmless. It is weird how many body things having a baby can make you normalize. Although, I would like my face back soon, please and thank you.
Alas, this post is random, reflecting the day-to-dayness of our lives with the Ellie addition. Some days I literally have no thoughts to share because I am too tired or too wrapped up in the cycle of people maintenance. Other days I feel like we are hitting the stride of the new normal. Either way, we are cozy and content and grateful.