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'My heart grew, again': 7 things I've learned about welcoming baby number 2

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I cannot believe it’s been three weeks already. Three weeks today that we welcomed our son, Oliver Lee, into this world. Three weeks since our daughter, Annie, became the big sister at the whopping age of two.

So much has changed in these past three weeks and while it’s not all rainbows and butterflies around here, things are going pretty great. Better than the disaster expected, if I’m being honest but trust, I don’t want to jinx anything, i.e. please Ollie keep on sleeping like a champ. In the midst of diaper changing and nursing round the clock with a toddler who loves to “help,” I’ve learned a lot about myself, my marriage and my kiddos.


The newborn thing isn’t as scary the second time around

Not as scary and one million times easier. With Annie, we read and googled and phoned my mom constantly, so worried we would somehow break this tiny baby. This time I know those sounds he makes are normal. I know nursing is worth it but not always easy and yes, he’s getting enough milk. I didn’t lose my mind when his baby acne popped up or when Buddy, our dog, licked his head. I’m soaking in every moment of this season because I know how quickly it passes.

I married up

Way up. After holding my hand through every contraction and coaching me through labor & delivery, he drove us home and went into super dad mode. He helped me breath through the awful uterine contractions that came out of nowhere during those first couple weeks and prayed for us. He has told me every day how beautiful I am even when I haven’t showered and am covered in dried milk and Cheerios. He has taken over Annie’s bedtime and bath time and helped diffuse toddler tantrums and reheat our dinner while I’m most likely nursing Ollie. He has made sure I feel loved and seen and shows me every day we’re in every bit of this together.

“Frozen” has saved my life multiple times

We used to be very anti-screen time parents but Annie has watched and sang with this movie daily for the past three weeks and we’re all the better (and more sane) for it. Screen time and Disney for the WIN. The way I see it, we’re culturing her with a musical.

My parents are literal saints

They have been showing up and doing all the things to help us during this transition and it has made all the difference. They had slumber parties with Annie while we were in the hospital and gifted her a boy baby doll to practice holding her baby brother. Mom welcomed guests and organized food/gifts those first few days when I was too exhausted and sore to be much of a hostess. They have taken Annie to church at every service and have made sure we always have a clean kitchen and plans for our next meal. They have prayed with us and for us and have watched Ollie so we could venture out with Annie. I didn’t think it was possible but I love them more today than ever.

Self care is key

After being pregnant for almost 42 weeks and then in labor and you know, pushing a nine pound baby out, my body is tired. It’s sore. It’s somewhat of a hot mess but this time, I’m at peace with my body in this season. I know my body won’t look or feel like this forever – it just takes time. I’m not stressing about getting back into shape anytime soon but am focusing on feeling my best, physically and mentally. Last night that meant binge watching Brooklyn 99 with my husband and a big bowl of ice cream.

My toddler is obsessed with her baby brother – but also needs extra love, and grace

From the moment she met him in the hospital she has been showering him with kisses, hugs and constantly wanting to hold him. She runs to find him the minute she wakes up and she can’t go to sleep until she’s given him kisses and “held his hand for four minutes.” She has amazed us with being so incredible during this big transition but she’s still had her moments of toddler meltdowns because we didn’t put her “nack” in the right bowl. She’s been much clingier and I melt when she says “Mama, pwease snuggle” so again, WIN. We have also taken her on a couple outings, just the three of us, to show her how special she (still) is to us and that’s been a game changer.

My heart grew, again

I know, super cheesy, but my heart grew another size when Ollie entered this world. One of my biggest worries while I was pregnant was if I could love another baby as much as I love Annie. Boy was I wrong. My heart has grown and keeps on growing every day I spend with my darling boy and his big sister.

Life with a newborn and toddler is a daily challenge but one I am so thankful to have been gifted by God. We’re still finding our new normal and I know not every day will be easy. But it’s so worth it. I’m in love with this messy, beautiful season and I’m so grateful to be called “Mama.”

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