There is nothing that adjusts your parenting confidence quite like adding another child to your crew.
I remember how confident Chris and I were in our abilities and decisions when we first brought Hannah home, and how quickly it was all shattered. We spent the next two years feeling like brand new parents again because almost nothing worked with her in the way that it had with Jayce.
Now that we’ve added Michael to our home it’s fun to look back on the similarities and differences between them all. Different pregnancy experiences, births, newborns, babies, etc. Since Jayce and Hannah are old enough to be interested in these conversations, we end up talking with them periodically about their various preferences and nuances as babies or toddlers, and they love hearing about it. Jayce beams with pride when we talk about him sleeping so well through the night. Hannah giggles mischievously when we tell her how before her first birthday she had always refused baby food, but would lean towards me with her mouth open when I ate my sandwich. It’s all kind of funny in hindsight.
I saw this list last week on the post of this fun blogger who is currently in the middle of her third pregnancy. As I read through her list my mind kept wandering as I filled in my own answers to her prompts.
One of my dear friends used to say that she didn’t like getting together for playdates because inevitably everyone ended up telling their birth stories. She was right. No one really wants to hear all of that, particularly from multiple people who each have multiple children. But if it’s JUST the highlights, the cliff notes comparison, that is a different story. I love hearing those, and here is mine.
Baby #1: Excitement, yelling, photo documentation.
Baby #2: Great! Let’s go eat.
Baby #3: Caution.
Baby #1: Until 13 weeks. Constant ginger ale helped. I haven’t eaten pasta salad since.
Baby #2: Until 16 weeks. Had to avert eyes from meat and dairy to make it through the grocery store.
Baby #3: Until 14 weeks. Food with flavor and apple juice helped. Made the mistake of eating a hotdog once, but only once. More here.
Baby #1: Dark hot cocoa.
Baby #2: Mug root beer.
Baby #3: Meat. Also switched from lifelong allegiance to Italian dressing to Caesar/Ranch.
WEIRDEST PHYSICAL AILMENT
Baby #1: Giant water balloon feet.
Baby #2: Idk. Best rest for the last 6 weeks reduced some of the discomfort.
Baby #3: Brutal sciatica made worse by 3 hours in the car 5 days a week for school runs.
Baby #1: First baby giddiness, coupled with move to US giddiness, and new home giddiness.
Baby #2: Time to nap, read, work on nursery while 2 year old super-napper Jayce slept.
Baby #3: Last pregnancy nostalgia coupled with anticipation of dream home.
Baby #1: International move while almost 8 months pregnant.
Baby #2: Baby heart rate scares, incessant preterm labor followed by bed rest.
Baby #3: Inability to set up house/nest, almost constant discomfort.
GENDER GUESS BEFORE ANATOMY SCAN
Baby #1: Me-girl, Chris-girl, Result: Boy!
Baby #2: Me-boy, Chris-don’t remember, Result: Girl!
Baby #3: Me-boy, Chris-girl, Result: Boy!
Baby #1: Due date +1, induced
Baby #2: Due date -6, induced
Baby #3: Due date -6, natural
TOTAL HOURS OF LABOR
Baby #1: Checked into hospital at 5 am, born ~ 4:30 pm. Full story here.
Baby #2: Checked into hospital at 5 am, born ~ 4:30 pm. Full story here.
Baby #3: Checked into hospital ~ 5:00 am, born at 12:06 am
FIRST WEEK STRESS
Baby #1: Mastitis, hospital check for jaundice.
Baby #2: Evening crying spells and fear of colic, hospital check for jaundice/nursing support.
Baby #3: Few wet diapers, Dr office weight check.
Baby #1: Super chilled out. Easy.
Baby #2: Temperamental. Fierce crying at random times or very calm.
Baby #3: Sweet but spicy. Fierce crying only at bath time, diaper change, or when made to wait for milk, otherwise super calm.
BABY’S SLEEP PREFERENCE
Baby #1: Swaddled in pack n play with baby positioner on his side.
Baby #2: In bouncy seat un-swaddled.
Baby #3: Swaddled in pack n play with baby positioner on his side.
BABY’S SLEEP MILESTONES
Baby #1: 12 hours of sleep through the night at 7 months.
Baby #2: Slept through the night at 2 years.
Baby #3: 3-4 hour stretches first week.
Baby #1: 8 months.
Baby #2: 12 months.
Baby #3: We shall see.
Baby #1: 10 months.
Baby #2: 16 months.
Baby #3: To be determined.
Baby #1: Cut the paci at 2 years, 2 months. No big deal.
Baby #2: Cut the paci at 2 years, 3 months. No big deal.
Baby #3: He kind of hates it so I don’t anticipate a problem.
BABY’S STANCE ON BABY WEARING
Baby #1: Ergo regularly when we’re out until 1 year.
Baby #2: Only tried a few times, neither of us were very into it.
Baby #3: He’s fine with the Solly Wrap but prefer to just be held and not wrapped.
Baby #1: Self weaned at 7 months.
Baby #2: Mom weaned at 20 months.
Baby #3: We’ve been supplementing since the first few weeks, so this could go one way or another.
Baby #1: Week of terror at age 2 1/2, left it alone, picked it up in a week just before age 3.
Baby #2: Casual interest at age 2, did completely on her own in a day at age 2 1/2.
Baby #3: Who knows?
Baby #1: Still took daily naps until started full time school at 4, only stopped napping both weekend days at 6, still will nap one weekend day at 7.
Baby #2: Excellent napper, always sleeps if we make her lay down, still 4-5 days a week depending on our schedules.
Baby #3: So far so good, particularly in the swing or on a shoulder, and occasionally in the bouncy seat.
Baby #1: Half day, 2 days a week, age 3. Best friend in his class, loved it, no big deal.
Baby #2: Half day, 5 days a week, age 3. Had a friend in class but saw the paint and mom became invisible. Loved it.
Baby #3: Hopefully something like Jayce had, definitely not as many hours as Hannah.
HARDEST YEAR OF PARENTING TO DATE
Baby #1: Age 7: Boundary testing, back talk, flopping onto the floor and scooting along like a slug to the dinner table, to brush teeth, to get shoes, etc.
Baby #2: Age 1-2: Based entirely on the lack of sanity (mine) that comes with not achieving REM sleep in almost 2 years with a child that refuses all forms of nourishment aside from mom.
Baby #3: Age 3-4 weeks, his week in the PICU the hardest week of my life, thankfully brought into sharp contrast by the most joy of my life at the end of the week when he was healthy and released.
Baby #1: Thoughtful, sensitive, creative, strong opinions, smart as a whip.
Baby #2: Confident, chatty, performer, strong opinions, never knew a stranger.
Baby #3: Will smile at you all day long.
CHILD’S INTEREST IN ADDITIONAL BABIES
Baby #1: 2/10
Baby #2: 11/10
Baby #3: It doesn’t matter, we’re done. 🙂