What Hard Meant for Me
When we were considering having our second baby so soon after our first, I asked a lot of moms that also had kids close together about their experience. Each one had a similar answer of, "it was really hard for the first year, but it's been so worth it." I would usually then look over to their 4 and 5 year old playing so well together, in their own world that they've created together. I thought, okay- hard. I can do hard. Hard is logistics of lots of shoes and mittens in the winter, and managing solid foods for a toddler while nursing a baby. But hard really meant so much more to me.
Hard meant a profound sense of loneliness for the first few months. It mean lower back pain for the first nine months, and it meant rounds of physical therapy and chiropractor care to heal. Hard was an unexplainable anger that I felt in my hands for the first time in my life. It meant that my second pregnancy was defined by caring for my young toddler, who still wanted to be held/carried/worn like a baby. It also meant that I resented my toddler for not magically maturing into a 5 year old when his baby brother arrived. So much crying, so many needs!
As for the pictures up top - these two buddies pull their beds together as soon as I leave the room. This is our wonderful now, and the wonderful I hope these two will experience the rest of their lives. They are so much of a unit but SO much their own persons, and it really is amazing to witness this deep connection they already have. But yes, the first year was hard - and in very specific ways. We got through it! And while I know that I'm a little crazier because of it, I would like to believe that it's also made me a little bit stronger.