When I was pregnant with my firstborn, I was terrified. Not because I didn't think I would be a great mom — I knew I would be awesome — but because I didn't know where life would take me. My husband and I were embarking on a path we had never seen or experienced before, and have only heard tales from others. Those tales spoke of endless nights of sleep deprivation, hours of crying (yours or baby's, you choose), vomit-lined clothing, and so many other wolves in the forest.
When I had my firstborn, I had NEVER changed a diaper in my life. That's right. Never. I didn't how to change one until I went to the hospital class on newborn care — swaddle, diapering, fevers — all compacted into three hours with a book. Neat and nice your new path would be.
Not at all. The path after our first baby was intense, if not insane at times. There were times we didn't know left from right, up from down, in or out. Whatever manuals — errr, help books — that we acquired, should have been thrown out the window.
Then one day, things got easier. We weren't fogged out by the new sleep deprived parenthood. We could sleep 4-6 hours straight. We could see the baby smile and laugh and speed crawl away (babies, if you're reading this, there's no rush to crawl early in life!).
Even though at every milestone we had curve balls, we knew the path was lit.
Until I became pregnant with the second.
A second baby. WHAT WAS I THINKING.
As an only child, I have no frame of reference on having a sibling. Growing up together. Loving each other. Fighting, bickering, endlessly annoying each other. Playing. This was a world I have never experienced and now, will bear witness to my little ones together in life. That is surreal.
Photo: Fancy Fig Photography; Henna: Ritual by Design; Location: The Lighthouse at Glen Cove Marina, Vallejo
When baby #2 was born, I was a much more confident person going into the hospital. I knew how labor and delivery went. I knew the labor rooms were newly renovated and very nice while the recovery rooms were old, hot and had questionable bathrooms. I knew how to get a newborn to latch even if they didn't know what to do. I didn't even need my husband to stay one of the nights at the hospital because his presence was better suited at home with our 2-year-old freaking out. I even checked out earlier because I was ready to get home and begin round two of baby chaos again.
I knew the change would be difficult for our young toddler. After all, one day mommy is fat and the next day there's a screaming baby. And that screaming baby is staying with us. Forever.
Forever ever? Forever ever.
That's some shocking news to see.
Those first weeks were routed in meltdowns I had neither experienced nor witnessed in my life. They were nothing short of life-ending altercations.
This wasn't the road less traveled. This was the road that was overrun by a mudslide that fell into the ocean!
But eventually, and I'm being honest here, after four months of learning new routines and regaining sleep, we became a new family. To hear my older one say "me is here!" to comfort his little sister, to see her make funny faces to make her bhaya ("big brother" in Hindi) laugh, to even see them fight over the same toy, I know the path is unmarked, but it is by far the most adventurous road to take.
Vi ses snart! (See you soon!)