The Big Announcement
17 months and 13 days. That’s how far apart Vivian and Henry are, exactly. I still remember finding out we were expecting baby #2. Henry was about to be ten months old and the Fourth of July was around the corner. The Fourth of July seems to really stick in my head, we were out on a boat with family and I didn’t want people to be suspicious when I turned down homemade sangria. Since we weren’t ready to share our secret until after our first appointment.
At the time, Henry seemed like our “big boy.” We didn’t see him as little baby anymore, he was standing on his own and on the verge on walking, in our mind he was our little toddler. Most of all, we were excited about baby #2! So, getting past our rocky first couple appointments meant sharing shared our big news!
Here’s where you can find Henry’s announcement shirt.
What we didn’t realize is that everyone else still saw Henry as a baby. So now we were “those people” with a baby, having another baby. Most people thought we were crazy. I can’t even tell you how many times I heard, “But, Henry won’t be two when the baby is born.” “Was this a planned thing?” First of all, if someone announces they are pregnant you have two choices:
1. Say “Congratulations” and be excited for them.
2. Keep your pie hole shut and say nothing at all.
End of story. Unless, you are the father of that baby or the one who is going to be caring for the baby those are your options.
Being Pregnant & Having a One Year Old
I think this is for most people having a second baby, but your pregnancy will fly by. Seriously, it felt like one morning I woke up and was 37 weeks pregnant and our little peanut was going to arrive at any moment. But, with the realization that she would be here any day I started getting feelings of “Holy Shit, this is real. I’m going to have two babies soon.”
During this pregnancy I got a lot of stares, looking back now, I get it. People are curious, they are trying to do the math in their head, “How pregnant is she? and how old is her baby she is carrying?” I should have just worn a T-shirt that had it all, “Yes, this was planned. I’m seven months pregnant. My baby is 15 months old.” It would have answered a lot of questions I’m sure.
It all became real when she arrived, life was about to get crazy. Vivian graced us all with her fast arrival on February, 10th (a week before we expected her to arrive.) We were so excited for Henry to meet his little sister. I must admit, at some points my “mom guilt” took over. I felt bad that we were cutting Henry’s “only child” time short. He was very interested in meeting her, but it only lasted a few minutes before he decided playing with trucks in the lobby and running around getting attention from the nurses was more entertaining.
We went home as soon as the hospital would let us. I missed Henry, it was the longest I had been away from him. My heart was SO full and I was on cloud nine. Our first week home was much “easier” then anticipated. My husband took a few days off and with people visiting Vivian reality hadn’t set in yet (I just didn’t know it yet.)
Vivian was born on a Thursday and I believe Derek went back to work on the following Tuesday or Wednesday. Thats when the panic set in. How was I going to survive the day by myself. Slowly, I got the hang of hit and we had a schedule down. But, getting out of the house was a whole different story. It was hard. Henry still needed to be carried in any parking lot and carrying a car seat at the same time was difficult. Again, this brings stares and people trying to do the math. A full year later and I’m still getting “those” mathematician stares.
I remember Vivian’s first doctors appointment, She was two weeks old and Derek had an important meeting he had to go to. I was on my own and again, I was panicked. It wasn’t a walk in the park, Henry didn’t listen in the lobby (he wanted to run around) and I had a crying, hungry newborn that wanted to nurse and I wanted to cry too. But, guess what? We survived and it opened my eyes to how I would get house with two babies.
Fight or Flight
A few times (okay, maybe more) I felt pity for myself. I didn’t want to be stuck at home, I felt like I needed more help, I wanted a few minutes to myself, and even more sleep. PAUSE. I want to be clear, when my husband was home he was helpful and when my mom and sister were free they were willing to give me a hand too. BUT, Monday through Friday 6am-5:30pm felt long when I was alone with the babies.
In the end, it didn’t take more then a couple weeks of feeling like it was impossible to get out of the house before I figured it all out. I figured out how to juggle it all on my own. If you’re reading this and you are pregnant with your second baby, know you will figure it out too, its like some magic power “us moms” have! Check out my 5 tips for surviving the first year with two under two, here! The exhaustion may never go away, but it will be filled in with lots of hugs, snuggles, kisses, and millions of happy moments. Below are moments where I started to get it “down” I started to feel like I could really handle this two-under-two thing.
Since both kiddos were sick a few weeks ago and we went in to see their pediatrician. She reminded me that this is the busiest I will ever be. Even though it may never seem feasible… in a few years I will look back and wonder how I did it. When thinking about it, as a mom with two kids 17 months apart, you just do everything that needs to be done and you don’t think about it until someone brings it up. Getting in and out of the car and car seats, diaper changes, lots of crying, feedings, lack of sleep, messy house, learning to multitask. I don’t think anything of nursing Vivian while making Henry lunch and trying to find cartoons he wants to watch until I think about how silly I look trying to do it all at once. You just do it.
A year later and I’m still surviving, I have even had a few brief moments of baby fever. Don’t panic, it will be a couple more years until another Budde baby joins our gang. But, I want you to know I would do it all over in an instant, happily.