Saturday, October 9, 2010

19 days out

Sorry for the long delay in updates.

Being a Mommy to 2 beautiful girls is wonderful and exhausting, all at once. I'm finding myself feeling surprisingly content, just happy to be experiencing all of this. And my confidence is much higher the second time around. I feel like I know what I'm doing, and I'm not afraid to be alone with Genevieve (unlike with Annabella, where I was terrified to be alone with her, not sure I'd be able to handle it.) It helps that Genevieve is a ridiculously easy baby. She's a great sleeper, eats well, is awake, happy, and smiley for long periods of time, and she's growing well. I thought at the time that Annabella was an easy baby because she was a happy baby. I still don't think Annabella was a hard baby exactly, but Genevieve is much easier.

Another difference the second time around is how much I let Genevieve cry. With Annabella I would jump to run towards her at the first little whimper. With Genevieve, I don't feel like her crying is an emergency. I think this is both good and bad. It means that I'm calmer and not as stressed out, which I think keeps Genevieve calm overall. But it also means that I'm not responding to her needs as quickly, and I don't like that. Plus, with Annabella, her cry would cause a painful physical reaction in my body, and that just doesn't really happen with Genevieve, at least not to the same extent. So my Mommy guilt is all flared up over that.

I still don't have my energy back though, and I'm easily tired. A trip to the park today with my Mom and both my girls left me so tired I had to nap. And while I was out with Jason on a short walk last night I got so tired I had to sit down for awhile just to get the strength up to walk home. But each day is getting better.

Unfortunately, I think the lack of energy has had a detrimental effect on my bonding with Genevieve. I remember wanting nothing more than to just hold Annabella while I was in the hospital, and with Genevieve, I was too weak and shaky. I loved her and wanted to want to hold her, but I was afraid I would drop her. Even when I did hold her, I wanted Jason or somebody else close by in case I got shaky. And now that I'm home, I have to spend so much time resting and taking care of Annabella that I just don't get as much snuggle time in as I'd like.

All of this is making me consider extending my maternity leave, to give me more time to recover and also to spend with just her, when I have more energy to really appreciate her. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I don't love her fiercely, because I do. But maybe a little more time would be good. I still have 3 weeks left of standard maternity leave though; so I still have lots of snuggle time ahead of me. Plus, even after those 3 weeks, I'm not planning to go back full time for a little while longer. So right now I'm just playing it by ear.

In other news, we went to the pediatric cardiologist this past Monday. Genevieve's heart murmur is caused by a ventricular septal defect, which the cardiologist assured us was really no big deal at all. The defect is basically a small hole (about 2mm wide) in the wall between the 2 ventricles, and will most likely close up as she grows older. The doc said that even if it doesn't close up on its own, the VSD shouldn't cause her any long term problems. He said that she could be a champion athlete even if the hole doesn't close up. He also said that VSDs are very common in babies, happening in about 1 out of every 200 births. So no big deal. And we most likely will not even need to take her back to the cardiologist. The doc said that if the pediatrician still hears the murmur after her 6 month check, then the pediatrician might decide to send us back, but we don't need a follow-up until at least then.

Annabella is still adjusting to her new baby sister, and also to her transition to the 2s room at daycare. I see signs of stress with her here and there (like crying before bedtime and laying down at odd times at daycare), but in general she's doing really well. Jason and I both strive to spend time with her and to really focus on her when we're with her, and I think that's helping. I expected it to be a lot worse than it is, honestly, but I still worry about her. I think having grandparents around to help has been good for her too. She seems to like the extra attention.

OK. It's late, and I'm rambling. I can't promise I'll post again soon as it's taken more energy than I expected just to get this up, and I don't think it's all that coherent. But I'll try :)


Katy said...

My nephew Max also had a VSD. His closed up by the time he was a year old. I hope that she does well and that everything starts to settle. Best of luck!

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