Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Raising Arizona

A while ago, my friend Arizona wrote me this email:
"Any tips on bringing home 2nd baby for Reid?
I’m nervous he will get jealous or sad and that it will really change him personally."

Obviously, she contacted me because my children are the picture of obedience, cleanliness and emotional perfection.  I'm practically Mother of The Year... 4 years running.
My deep insight:
Things to remember, at the hospital...
#1. Have Baby buy Reid a present.  Have it wrapped and ready when he arrives at the hospital.  We told The Kid, we raced Tink over the Walmart and the model car she first pointed too... we bought him.  He believed that to be tru for years.
#2. We tried to make sure The Kid was one of the first people to hold the baby sistas.  And we did our best to have him enter the room, while it was quiet (and cleaned!) with only a few people.  Then he really felt like the babies were his first. 

#3. Most of our family members were very sweet and purchased The Kid presents, as well.  Which helps him not feel like "yesterday's news"
#4. He came with Coach to 'pick the ladies up' from the hospital.  Allowing The Kid to feel special, for bringing Tink home.
#5. Let Reid help. Let him give a bottle, find the pacifier or grab the blanket. Let him hold the baby when he wants... it will become annoying because it will only last 35 secs but it lets him feel like a Big Brother.
Mostly, YOU will be the problem.  Reid will adjust... kids just do.  YOU will have a more difficult time. You have to give up power.  For the first few weeks, Reid will be having fun.  Grandmas will take him to lunch, Daddy will take him to run errands, friends will offer to take him for a walk.... While you have to stay home with the dumb ol' baby who can't even talk and always wants to nurse!!  You will feel more replaced than Reid will. You'll resent missing Reid.  You'll hate burping the baby, while Daddy reads books and cuddles Reid to sleep. Reid will hardly seem to miss you.  That will be the biggest adjustment... realizing Reid is Big. 
This is my best advice: While you are jealous and bummed you are not getting Reid... Remember once upon a time, Reid was your only little baby and he got ALL of Mommy's uninterrupted attention.  Try your best to give New Baby a little slice of that focus.  Because one day, Second Baby may have to welcome Third Baby.  In the middle of THAT chaos you won't know what happened... suddenly she is starting all day Kindergarten. And you'll hardly remember what her tiny baby snuggle felt like.
Only a few more days, Arizona! Enjoy every amazingly exhausting blissful moment.  There is no greater miracle than welcoming your small gift into the world. Smell the top of that tiny little head, like you have it on a very limited loan... because you unfortunately do. You're an amazing mother and your little people are blessed to arrive into your heart. 
Congratulations on your mini family,
becoming a Four Family.

*** UPDATE***
Arizona delivered a beautiful baby boy on Thursday!



Unknown said...

That made me cry! Partly because in my heart Arizona is still my Millhouse and cannot possibly be a mother to one, let alone two children. Millhouse, all grown up. Love you my friend. Before you know it, you will be handling two like a pro. Now three.......don't do it!!!

Tru Stories said...

Arizona also asked me:

"Is the skip from 1 child to 2 children more or less difficult than the skip from 2 to 3 children??"

My answer: The skip from 2 to 3 children is WAY WAY more difficult. Like not even on the same page of difficult, more difficult.

Doc said...

The skip from 2 to 3 is more of an adjustment for sure! Have fun! Good advice TS.

Flag Girl said...

Well......Docs skip was more like a sprint. She barely took a breath between kids.

Anonymous said...

Great advice! I will be taking all of that into consideration :)
Pregnant jj

Arizona said...

Incredible advice. I knew I was worrying about all the wrong things... but THIS?? Its too much!!
Thank you so much!!
And at this point I may be too chicken to attempt 3... unless this is a boy.

The Mrs. said...

Not that anyone asked, but I totally agree about letting Reid in when the room is quiet. When we brought McKenna in to see Elaina (she was not quite 2 years old) The General brought her in while I held Elaina. No one else in the room, and we didn't let anyone else in until McKenna was ready. And when she asked to hold her we let her.

Also, when you get home and you find yourself alone, it's okay to let the baby fuss for a short time while you tend to Reid's needs. If he needs a snack, help with a toy, etc. don't be afraid to put the baby down to give him your undivided attention.

Good luck - I have no doubts you'll be a pro at handling two in no time!

Tru Stories said...

Make sure YOU are ready when Reid comes in the hospital room... meaning that you are cleaned, put back together a little, covered with a fresh blanket.
Little things like the IV, will worry the big kids.
I had one spot of blood near my IV arm and Tink could barely focus on anything else, she was so worried.

Unknown said...

He is a beauty. Arizona does not make ugly babies!