Second Child Syndrome

They say that there is usually less hoorah made over second children. There are less photos, less of a fuss made over every little thing because you’ve already seen it happen once.

In my case, I’ve tried my very best to not let that happen, but a certain amount of this so-called second child syndrome is inevitable. Even with this blog, a big amount of it has focused on Mr. T’s arrival into the world. That is because Ms. J’s entrance was much less eventful. It was simple and peaceful and just what you would wish for. Today I’m going to focus a little on Ms J arrival into our life because she is such a beautiful little girl.

I found out I was pregnant the morning of New Year’s Eve. It had been 3 months since I had the miscarriage and I just had this feeling that I was pregnant again. I got out of bed before everyone else and snuck to the bathroom to do a pregnancy test and it was positive! I wrapped the test up in tissue paper and put it in a gift bag. When Mr. T. woke up I told him we had another present for Daddy and he was very excited. So off we went to wake up Mr. C with our present. Mr. C opened the paper and stared at me, the look in his eye was part disbelief part sleepy face since he had just woken up. He was happy but I think a bit apprehensive after all we had been through.

To be 100% honest, I was very happy to be pregnant but I didn’t feel the same overwhelming joy that I felt when I was pregnant with Mr. T. I was too nervous. After our experience with Mr. T. and then the miscarriage I think it was a self-preservation thing…don’t get too attached I told myself. It worried that it could be even worse this time. I could lose the baby after it was born. For that reason I think I tried to keep myself mentally separated a teeny bit the whole pregnancy. As the pregnancy went on I became more and more excited but I still felt apprehension. I often wondered if this feeling was my gut telling me something was wrong, just as I had felt with Mr. T. or if it was just because with all that we had gone through it was totally normal to feel scared.

This pregnancy was totally different from my last. I was sick…sick..sick…sick! OMG thank god I wasn’t that sick the first time or else I may not have done it the second time. I was sick from the very beginning. I threw up more in those 9 months than I think I have in my entire life. It was terrible. I threw up in parking lots, in the bathroom on the GO train, in a plastic bag in the car. In fact I started to carry around a plastic bag with me wherever I went. I felt nauseous every second of every day, it was just a matter of if I could hold it in or not. I would be gagging as I was driving to the GO station every morning..poor Mr. C. didn’t know what to do…”Talk to me” I’d say “Tell me something to get my mind off of this!”…Mr. C. would be stammering away trying to find something to say so early in the morning that would be interesting enough to keep my mind of throwing up! I told myself this was a good thing…that the sicker I felt the healthier the baby was. That notion went out the window somewhere after the fifth month when I just wanted to stop throwing up. I never stopped throwing up! I threw up all the way up until the end.  Had I known beforehand I would have bought stocks in Canada Dry because Ginger ale was the only thing that made me feel slightly better. A teeny bit. Poor Ms. J….she was living on Ginger ale in there!

This pregnancy also consisted of many more doctors appointments. I was being followed by my regular doctor along with doctors and geneticists from Sick Kids and Mount Sinai. They didn’t think Mr. T’s issue was genetic but to be safe they were following me closely. I think I had ultra sounds every other month. Anatomy ultrasounds which took hours as they took pictures of every little inch of Ms. J in there.

Believe it or not I was due on Mr. T’s second birthday! We didn’t plan that, that’s just the way it happened. So for Mr. T’s second birthday we decided to do something low-key at home just family and a few close friends. Firstly because I wasn’t feeling 100% and secondly if I went into labour and we had to cancel family would be easier to cancel with. I made Mr. T’s Wiggles birthday cake and was feeling pains all day long. I thought it was just because I had been running around so much trying to get everything done. Decorating, entertaining, serving guests, making and icing and decorating the cake and cupcakes.  Since it was just family some people lingered around a little bit and helped give Mr. T his bath and put him to bed. Around 10:30 pm the last of our guests left, I put on my pj’s and went to finally lay down on the couch. Mr. C told me to come put my feet up and he’d rub them since I”d had a long day. I was sooo looking forward to it…Mr. C. is hands down the best foot rubber around by the way!.

I lay down on the couch and felt this serious pain like Ms. J was kicking me really hard right down below, I heard a pop and rolled off the couch knowing exactly what it was…”ummm my water just broke” I told Mr. C…”Are you serious?” “Yep” I said waddling to the bathroom with water trickling down my leg” When I got to the bathroom and checked I saw meconium and started crying. I remembered from our time at Sick Kids that so many of the babies in the NICU were there because they had inhaled meconium and I started to panic. Mr. C. calmed me down and called his Mum to come stay with Mr. T. We called my parents and let them know what was going on but told them to stay home for now. Last time I was in labour for 26 hours there was no use in them driving an hour to the hospital if I was just going to be sent home.

Off we went to the hospital. My contractions started coming strong and fast. It seems like within minutes of my water breaking I was feeling intense pain. Remember how with Mr. T. I wanted to go au naturel? I had wanted to try again but the second those pains came back I PANICKED! With a capital P! I said to Mr. C. in the car…”I want the drugs..I can’t do all night without the drugs..I want the drugs right away this time.” He was calmly telling me that I could get the drugs as soon as we got to the hospital. If I would have really been able to focus I would have heard the slight bit of panick in his voice. He kept telling me that my contractions were five minutes apart but in reality they were 2-3 minutes apart. I think we both thought we may not make it to the hospital.

We did make it and my brother-in-law was waiting for us right at  the front door with a wheelchair for me ready to park our car for us. As a side note this was one of those things that no one asks you to do..but you just think of it on your own and do it to be helpful. It was a very thoughtful thing for a 25 year single guy to do. It took me a bit to get out of the car cause my contractions were so bad by this point. Looking back in was funny because almost like a movie, I was one of those ladies huffing and puffing while my husband rushed me through the hospital to labour and delivery.

We got settled into a room and I told them right away I wanted the drugs. The nurse said to me “OK let’s get you checked and we’ll see if you even have time for the drugs”. Again I panicked…what do you mean have time for the drugs???! This isn’t an option I NEED THEM NOW!! I think the fear was actually much worse than the pain. Or maybe it wasn’t, maybe as women we are made up to forget the intensity of the pain after it has happened otherwise there would be a lot of single child families out there! haha! Regardless, it never seems that bad after, but during I was seriously scared!The nurse checked me and I was apparently already 8cm’s!!! They had already put in the request for the epidural just in case and there was my best friend standing there with his needle in hand ready to save the day!  Mr. C. called my parents and told them they had better come.

By now it was just after midnight. It was officially the day after Mr. T’s birthday, they weren’t going to share a birthday. I was both happy and disappointed. I wanted them both to have their own special days but how cool would it have been if they were both born on the same day two years apart?

My parents arrived and the nurse told us that we could only have one support person in the room. I found this odd since with Mr. T just two years prior I had two. I started to analyze everything that the nurses said. I thought to myself “this must mean they know something is wrong…that’s why they wont’ let anyone else in”. Mr. C. asked if my parents could just come in for a quick visit since they had driven an hour to get there.  They came in for a visit and then went to wait in the waiting room with my brother-in-law.

A few hours later the nurse came in to check me and then asked me to give a practice push. I started to push and she asked me to stop and said she had to call the doctor. This all seemed to be happening so fast, which again I analyzed as being a sign that something was wrong. I felt like I had no time to prepare. I started feeling the need to push and asked if I could the nurse gave me the ok and then the doctor walked in. I pushed as Mr. C counted along for me. The last time one of the things we were able to laugh about after was that instead of counting with me while I was pushing Mr. T out Mr. C. just made a push face along with me! He got endless ribs about that one!! He claims that he didn’t know! Apparently he thought copying the strained look on my face was helpful!

This time he counted along with me and gave me advice and cheered me on! It obviously helped because after a few short but difficult pushes the doctor told me to look down and there she was. Ms J. brand new, making her grand entrance into the world. I yelled out “Oh my God!” which apparently is just what I said when Mr. T. made his entrance too!

This time I heard a shriek! It was just what you would expect. A loud, what the hell are you doing to me kind of shriek and it was music to my ears. They put her right on my chest and Mr. C. got to cut the cord. It was just perfect and beautiful.

Ms J. was born at 3:34 am, she missed sharing her birthday with her brother by 3 hours and 34 minutes.

When Mr. T. was born I felt like it was the happiest moment of my life..how could I have another happiest moment of my life??? But I did. She was perfect and I felt like the luckiest woman in the world. The moment she was born all of my anxieties went away. It was like a mother’s instinct or something, I knew she was alright. I just felt it in my heart.

I looked down at her and felt my heart bursting with love, joy, pride and a million other feelings that simply can not be put into words. It’s often said that when you have a child and are pregnant with your second you worry how you can hold anymore love in your heart. Well I think the moment that second child enters your life your heart just doubles in size, and at that moment it felt like my heart had doubled.

My parents came in to meet their new grand-daughter and were beside themselves. I think once they saw her all of their fears were put to rest too. I think we all had our secret fears throughout my entire pregnancy. My Dad got to be there this time. The last time he was on a business trip when I went into labour. His first meeting of his first grandchild was in a hospital incubator attached to tubes and monitors. This time he got to meet one of his grandchildren fresh into the world and I think he was a little taken aback by the beauty and greatness of this moment.

Mr. C. and I took our little princess to our hospital room and we just lay beside each other in bed. Mr. C. whispered “you did it and I am so proud of you.”…I whispered back “we did it”. It was the most amazing feeling in the world to be laying there with our baby beside us.

The next morning Mr. C. went to bring Mr. T. to the hospital to meet his brand new baby sister. In he walked looking a little bit scared and a little bit worried. He saw me sitting in the hospital bed and I think he felt a little relieved to see me. It was the first time we had been apart for a night.  We introduced him to his sister and he hopped up on the bed to get a closer look. Almost instinctively he gave her the most tender little kiss on the head. It was a beautiful moment.

The very next day we got to walk out of that hospital into the sunny, crisp, autumn air with our baby in tow. Just like it’s supposed to happen. I couldn’t have asked for it to be more perfect. I was in heaven. I didn’t notice any pain, I didn’t feel exhausted. I just felt elated to be taking my baby home. 

It has been 6 months and our lives have changed dramatically. Adjusting your life to one baby is one thing but when you add a second into the mix the whole dynamic changes. Ms. J has already shown us who she is in dramatic ways. She is feisty. She wants what she wants when she wants it and isn’t afraid to let you know it. The fight she has in her is going to be wonderful trait to have when she’s older and has to find her path in life. She’s a happy little baby and is full of smiles and coos and giggles. She isn’t the greatest sleeper but I have to live with it. Lack of sleep is probably the hardest part of being a parent. I try to remind myself of what we could be facing whenever I feel frustrated at yet another cry in the middle of the night. She tends to enjoy sleeping all snuggled up beside me in bed so that’s where you’ll find her most nights. I don’t care what the books say about it. I don’t care what anyone else’s opinion is. If she’s happy sleeping beside me then that’s where she’ll stay for now. Feeling your baby snuggled up against you, breathing peacefully, holding on to your pj’s is a much better feeling than touching your baby through an incubator so I will take it..every beautiful moment of it. With her personality I have a feeling there is going to come a day when the last thing she’s going to want to do is snuggle up against me so I will take it while I can get it! 🙂

Mr. T. is an excellent big brother. He loves his little sister and is very protective of her. He has his moments of jealousy but they are few and far between.  We’ve been given another blessing. This time without the hiccups. Our family feels complete. Does this mean we won’t be adding any more babies to the mix? Never say never. Mr C and I do make beautiful babies!

Let’s wait until the sleeping through the night has been perfected and the terrible two’s are over..then maybe..just maybe we can revisit it. Maybe then we’ll be ready to do it all over again!

Big Brother Little Sister

Ms J in all her beauty!

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