It’s 1am and the house is quiet. Jake is in a deep sleep, I can hear Connor’s sound machine from his room down the hall, and Henry is nursing on me. My eyes are barely open, my neck aches from sitting in this overpriced glider for hours on end, and I can’t help but wonder, “Will I ever sleep through the night again”? I already know the answer…nope. Even when Henry starts sleeping 12 straight hours, as a mother; sleep will never be what it once was. My boys will grow and another worry will pop into my head, keeping me up most of the night, sleeping with one eye open. Maybe I should ask myself not if I’ll ever sleep again, but will I ever sleep without a worrying cloud over me? I already know that answer too.
In case you missed it…
Henry Good Hilgendorf made his arrival on Tuesday, February 8th. His delivery was quick and as calm as can be. Jake and I couldn’t have praised God more that another healthy baby boy entered into the world so beautifully.
My hands have never been so full (literally), and I don’t think there’s enough caffeine in the world to keep me up past 10pm. I don’t think my heart has ever felt so much love before either. It’s already been a month since Henry was born, and I still catch myself saying to Jake, “Can you believe that we have TWO KIDS?!”
What a dream come true, a privilege, a gift from God that I don’t take for granted.
A few lessons I’ve learned in the first month of raising two boys:
- Bringing Connor home from the hospital/his first couple months of life was the biggest blur. Postpartum healing, seemingly impossible nursing sessions, and trying to find routine was overwhelming. From the second Connor started crying I would break out in a sweat, I was psychotic about nap schedules, the list went on… this second round though, I feel much more relaxed. I don’t have the time to sit in my pajamas all day because life with a toddler continues on. I soak up cuddles with Henry when Connor is napping or once he’s in bed, but throughout the day, Connor likes to steal the show. Henry sleeps on the go, hangs in the dock-a-tot, or gets worn in my Solly Wrap. He’s been the BEST eater, which makes life go a little smoother too (breastfeeding, IYKYK). I think deep down in my heart, I know this phase of life is just so short. In a blink, Henry will be a toddler too. With Connor, I was just trying to survive, wondering if I would ever get out of the “deep end”. Today, I am trying my best to just roll with it. If I only get a few hours of sleep, I better have an extra cup of coffee on deck. Someway, somehow… we all get through these tough months.
- A personal lesson that has nothing to do with my children? Giving my body grace. I conceived, grew, and birthed two perfectly healthy baby boys in a matter of two years. That’s freaking amazing. Does my body look like it did 2 years ago? Nope. Even just a year ago, after having Connor, there’s so much change now. I am blessed with good genes, and a love for a healthy lifestyle… but I also have a history of disordered eating and thoughts. It’s easy to have those sinful routines creep back into life, but truly I feel at extreme peace with where my body is right now in life. My sweet Henry gave me a few more stretch marks than I would have liked, but instead of finding shame in them, I am proud of my “mommy marks”. He is worth every single scar on my body.
- The biggest, and I would say the hardest lesson I’ve learned is to stop the mom guilt I feel with balancing time between each boy. Before Henry, Connor was our 100%. Every minute of the day revolved around him, giving him attention. He indeed seems to be okay during this transition, but I have spent many evenings crying to Jake, constantly asking, “Have I given enough attention to Connor today? He knows that I still love him, right?!” It breaks my heart into a million pieces when I am nursing Henry, and Connor is tugging on my leg with his toys, wanting to play. Suddenly his world with mommy has to be shared with a stranger. I know he will never remember these early days, and he and Henry will soon become best friends. Nonetheless, my momma heart aches with guilt most days. With that being said, I do my best trying to create very intentional 1-on-1 time with Connor. When Jake is working from home, I will take him to gymnastics solo, or we will adventure to the grocery store just the two of us. Even me simply taking control of bedtime some nights helps us both bond. My first baby is suddenly a big boy, but I never want him to think he’s been replaced. Henry doesn’t get 100% of me all the time like I gave Connor, but now he gets a mother that’s more experienced and more intentional.
”A hard moment doesn’t mean it’s a bad day.”
My daily reminder? (that maybe we all need everyone once in a while)… we are doing the best we can. There are days I will feel like I’m on top of the world; meals prepped, thoughtful playtime, getting fresh air, etc. But I also have to accept that some days will be harder. There will be moments where I lose my patience, nobody wants to nap, and maybe Disney+ has been the majority of our entertainment. Every morning when I wake up though, I try to remind myself that it’s a new day. That extra cup of coffee may help me power through, but showing these boys love and attention is what I am set out to accomplish. No mother is perfect, but like anything else in life; I must show up and simply do my best, raising my boys.