A few months ago I wrote a guest blog posting for OnParenting, a blog on washingtonpost.com. The gist of the article was how unprepared I was for my second child. I reread the article recently and here is my follow up.
On June 1st, an hour and a half before her due date and two and a half hours after my first contraction, our Dee forced her way into the world. The Hoos and I were surprised both by the swiftness of her arrival and the contrast in her demeanor and coloring.
LP had white blond hair and pale, sensitive skin at birth and Dee is a brunette with olive skin. In fact, we thought they were going to tell us, "It's a boy!" since we couldn't comprehend having a little girl that looked nothing like her big sister.
To be honest, it is a bit of a relief to have another girl. I still am not quite sure what one does with boy parts during diaper changes.
In response to my last guest posting, someone wrote in about how I would feel guilty for neglecting my older child while focusing on the newborn. I have actually found just the opposite to be true. I constantly feel bad for ignoring Dee. While she is adorable and sweet and has the most fantastic, pleasant demeanor, she doesn't exactly demand attention the way 2-year old LP can.
I can remember reading out loud and singing and doing all sorts of goofy things to entertain my LP during my maternity leave two years ago. This leave is much easier in terms of taking care of the baby; but I find I am more easily bored. I am not as infatuated with the idea of motherhood as I was upon welcoming my eldest. Don't get me wrong: I love being a mother and I love both of my daughters equally and enormously.
With experience also comes wisdom. I am more tolerant of crying when trying to complete a task; I am more likely to put the baby down when she is sleeping instead of holding her; and I really do cherish the middle-of-the-night feedings. Seeing my two girls together is wonderful and amazing and even better than I could have imagined. And I can't really believe that my maternity leave is ending very shortly and this stage and these feelings will pass and be forgotten in no time at all.
And so the ride continues...