Sunday, January 3, 2010

Been There Done That

Just as I have with my other two pregnancies, I have once again become addicted to Babycenter and my birth board. I read daily what other moms due January 2010 write about---their questions, experiences, and advice. Most of them are FTM (First Time Moms) asking questions. Many are still so green about this thing called motherhood and what's in store for them. There are many posts requesting help from the "BTDT moms" (Been There, Done That).

That's me. This is my third pregnancy. My third time to go full term with heartburn, morning sickness (yes, without the medicine, I still get it. With it, well, I've gained 39 lbs so it works!), and experience labor. I've held two new babies in my arms. I've cried looking at my daughters and feeling my heart swell to a size I never thought imaginable. I've watched two babies grow.

But I've never had two at the same time.

I had one beautiful angel first. She was perfect. Everything about her was incredible. I loved her from the second I saw her chubby little cheeks. I lost her. Cancer stole her from me and I miss her more than I can ever describe.

Then I had my second beautiful little girl. She came out a spit fire. She was a screaming mess, and Andrew and I laughed and realized we were in for a wild ride. She's our funny girl, always surprising us and keeping us on our toes. I love her more and more each day and I'm just grateful for the opportunity to be her mom.

And now, I'm three weeks away (or less) from having what I know to be my next beautiful girl. I don't know what she will be like. I don't know if she will be a "chubalub" or a "tiny peanut" (as we described Allie and Maggie). I don't know if she will have the same blue eyes as her sisters, inherited from their father. I know I will love her as much as I do her sisters.

But what scares me most right now? While I've had two children, I've never had two at the same time. I've not had to juggle my love for my children or make sure I'm giving each child my attention. While I can answer the questions for the BTDT moms on Babycenter about my experiences of child birth, I have nothing to offer about what life with more than one is like. Even though this is my third child.

I was asked early on in this pregnancy by someone if I was going to have another so that I would actually have three. Thing is, then I would have four. I will always be one short. I am not wanting to chase after the child I no longer have. She will always be my daughter. I will love her until the day she dies. I plan to raise the two girls I have here and love them as much as possible and forever love the child I am without. That's the best I can do.

But first, I need to have this little girl. We're anxiously awaiting her arrival and this new experience in our lives. Two kids at one time? Haven't been there, done that, but I'm looking forward to trying.

30 comments:

The Nanny said...

What a beautiful entry, Jenny. Love you!

Amy Lee said...

Such a bittersweet post. I have no doubt that having 2 at one time will be a piece of cake for you. You did a wonderful job with Allie and Maggie. I can't wait to see pictures of your new baby girl! {{{HUGS}}}

Kelly said...

A very beautiful and bittersweet post. I'm so happy for you that the new baby will be making her arrival so very soon! Trust me....it may seem a little overwhelming at first. You won't know how to get schedules in sync, there will never be enough hours in the day, and there will never be enough sleep for you.......but you will definitely have enough love to go around!!

Congratulations!!!

Ashley H. said...

I can't wait to see the update announcing the birth of your newest baby girl!!! Anticipation! Can't imagine what it must be like for you, since you're the one experiencing it. Good luck!!!!

L'Amy said...

I've BTDT with the two at one time. My girls are two years apart. I'll be honest, I cried the night before I was induced because I felt as though I was losing something special I had with my two year-old. When I brought home our second daughter, the older one cried the first time she watched me change the new baby's diaper. I think it even took me a couple of weeks to bond with her...when I had the epiphany that I was NOT reliving the first year with my older daughter, but rather, having an entirely NEW experience...another first, if you will, with our second child. I quickly started to love every new second with her. She was her own person and I LOVE the person she is. The first year was rough because they were soo close in age. They are best friends now (complete with round-the-clock bickering) and couldn't be more different in the way they interact with the world. I love that! I often tell them that I'm so thankful they are so different because I couldn't handle two of either one of them!

Get ready for taking the parenting thing to a whole new level!! It's a wonderfully wild ride!

Myshel said...

BTDT with 3. They are ages 13, 9, and 4. When I brought our son home, our daughter loved him from the start. That was HER baby. She helped rock him, feed him, even change him. Still to this day, she is really protective of him and they get along great. Several years later we had another baby girl. She was very sick and in the NICU and we almost lost her. The older 2 were there and have always been very very protective of her. They spoil her and they have never let her cry. Our son is baby girls fav. person and she wants to marry him some day. He just smiles and says "we'll see" knowing she will grow out of it, but not wanting to break her heart right now. Never ever did I have to juggle my love for them. Never did I feel I was taking away from the other ones, I was giving them more. My heart just grew and I love each child equally.

You are a wonderful Mama, and from the pics Maggie is going to be a wonderful big sissy to HER baby. You will be amazed at their closeness, and your heart will melt watching Maggie with her.

I cant wait to hear that she is born and see the pics.

happygal said...

Jenny,

I have followed your blogs for years. But I didn't want to read silently anymore after reading this beautiful post. You have always impressed me (and so many like me) as a strong, amazing woman, mom and wife. All three of your daughters are so blessed to have you as their mother. You will do great.

One crazed mommy said...

Awww - I can't believe you are so close. I got teary eyed reading about your beautiful girls. I am a mom of two, so I can relate to the fear you have of handling two at once. I was terrified before my son was born and just had my daughter - like Allie and Maggie my two are as different as night and day. My daughter (first born) is, as I lovingly like to say, my high maintenance child and has been from day one - she's the one who loves to embarass me out in public (last time we went to teh Dr. she announced to everyone in the waiting room that she was as tall as her mommy's boobies - I wanted to die!!!) My son on the other hand is very laid back and reserved and a big mama's boy. I love them both equally - I was afraid that I would favor one over the other, but the truth is I love them dearly, would lay down my life for either of them, and I appreciate just how different and wonderful they both are. It's definitely different having two at the same time - sometimes you'll be thankful (when they are keeping each other amused) and times you'll be wondering why me (when they are fighting). You will cherish every moment of it. :) Big hugs - and may the next three weeks go by fast.
Jenn

~~Mel~~ said...

I am a parent of an only...so like you, have no idea what it's like to have two at one time. I just know you'll do great though...and Maggie will love that little baby to bits!

Adrianne said...

The way you describe your girls are my boys to a T. Logan is Allie and Cole is Maggie. Maybe it is the 2nd child syndrome that makes them a spitfire. I am so curious to see the temperament of little Katie! I am so excited for you, she is almost here and yes the adjustment is hard and you will feel like a piece of you is gone (that special bonding of just you and Maggie) a new piece is formed. That special bonding of you and Katie! And just when you think you can't do it anymore. You push forward and it happens, you just keep going! We are here cheering you on from the sidelines us BTDT moms! If we can do it. So can you!!! :)

Sugar Photography said...

"I will always be one short."

This breaks my heart, and is so eloquently written.

Love you, J. Can't wait to meet Miss Katie, and watch your family envelop her with all the love you have to give (which is A LOT).

J

gnome517 said...

Jenny,
your hearth will grow to include little baby. It just happens. Ther'es more than enough room, even if it doens't feel like there is now. As for advice on having 2 at the same time, the best advice that I ever got maybe isn't the nicest advice, but it helped me anyway :) It was this "it just sucks for a while". so true and it helped me see that there was an end while we adjusted and juggled and found a way to all be cohesive again. The more you involve Maggie, the better it will be (Come help me change your baby sister's diaper, etc)
looking forward to reading all about it here :)
Naomi (also a dec 03 mom)

mydogteaser said...

I won't lie to you. It's not always easy having two. One will always feel as though they are being slighted and you will often feel like you cannot do it. But it gets easier. You figure things out and soon it seems like the new baby was always there. Plus you are giving Maggie and Katie the greatest gift: each other. I know you will be fine and that your girls are lucky to have you as their mama. You are an amazing woman and I admire you very much.

Mom Of 3 said...

I have read and followed your story for years, I am always amazed at the strength you have, strength as a mom, a wife, a woman, and in everything you do. I myself have three and I know that I worried about going from one to two kids and found like everyone else has said you find the love in you. The love for each child is different, as they are each different but they are all loved and they each love you. I know that with the strength you have shown in all of lives journeys this will be an easy one for you. I cant wait to see pictures of Miss Katie! Good luck to you, you and your family are always in my thoughts and prayers.

Jennifer said...

Jenny, I too have followed your blogs for years now, and I know that you will do fine with two babies at home. The first few weeks will be an adjustment but after that everything will be smooth sailing. I wish you the best of luck with this new chapter of your lives.

Jen

Kimberly said...

So excited for you! Have followed you through most of your journal life and can't wait to see your newest addition. I have 2 daughters that are 2 1/2 years apart. Meredith (my middle child and 2nd daughter) was with Maggie on the Nov BBC board. You will have no problem with finding love and attention to share. The challenge will be when they're older and fighting over everything :^). I'm dealing with a 6 and 4 year old right now plus their 3 year old brother. Sure it's challenging to have more than one and it will wear you out. However, you will cherish every day your girls get to spend together loving each other. The bond of sisters is priceless and something I never had and am so happy my girls have each other. Best wishes for a smooth delivery and don't keep us waiting too long for the pictures!

Tammy said...

I have no doubt you'll do just fine Jenny! Can't wait to meet your new baby girl! Who do you have lined up to keep us updated while your in labor! And those 1st pictures, can't wait!! Hugs from Fort Worth!

jg said...

This post is bringing me out of "lurkerhood" too.. beautifully written and obviously so many of us can relate! I have 3 children, the first two being 1 year apart. They were 2 and 3 when their sister was born.. I may go against many others, but I believe what worked for us was that we tried not to make a huge deal out of the baby's arrival. One of our sons was very excited, the other not so much... she was obviously always with us, but we didn't make a huge fuss.. let's be honest, she didn't know the difference! And they came around to her at their own pace.. now, at 3,5,&6, they totally adore her and she them.. maybe we just got lucky, but I think it had something to do with them not feeling threatened by her arrival.. I hope it all goes smoothly for you!!

Coleen said...

It's not so hard to have more than one. Maggie is of the age she'll probably want to love on Katie and help a lot. I did a lot of reading stories to one while nursing and they adjusted very well. You'll do an excellent job because you're a great Mom - I have no doubts!

Karen - Mommy to four sweeties said...

I have 4 and my love grew with each one added. Yours will too.
You are a great Mommy and won't have any trouble.
I have also followed your blog for years and am very excited for your family's newest addition! I din't realize how close you are getting though. Three weeks--wow!

snekcip said...

Beautifully written! You are gonna be fine! You are a wonderful mom! Allie, Maggie and Katie can surely SECOND me on that!

Mary Anne Whiteley said...

I was pregnant with my second when Allie passed away, and I anxiously read the updates each day, and still follow your story. My two girls are 6 years apart, and yes, the first months were rough. I had to take my oldest to PM kindergarten (during a rainy season) while my youngest was in tow. Inevitably, she was unwilling to feed before the pickup but would be screaming and hungry when it was time to walk onto the campus and pick up my oldest. And oh, she refused a bottle! But, I survived and my baby is now almost 5 (January 11) and those girls have a great love/hate relationship. They get excited to see each other after a day at school, but fight over things. There is enough love to go around for all. You just find a way to do it!

Debbie said...

Hi Jenny,
I am another who has read your blog for a while now and is finally going to respond! Congratulations on your upcoming arrival! You will do fantastic and somehow, you will find that you have more than enough love for all of your babies! As for being a BTDT mom of 2, I would like to pass on the best advice I got from a friend when I was due with my 2nd baby. The first is to put out the infant carseat, swing, pack n play, baby seats, and all the baby stuff early so little Maggie has a chance to play with it before the baby is in it! Let her put her dollies in the swing and push all the buttons, let her dollies go in the real baby carseat and let her rock it as hard as she wants, etc. She won't remember using any of this stuff from her time in it as a baby, so it will be like a bunch of new toys for her. Rather than tell her NO everytime she tries to rock the baby on high speed, let her "get it out of her system" now and by the time the new one arrives, it won't be so new and exciting anymore! The second piece of advice she shared with me is to get a basket (or two) and fill it with toys that are either new toys or toys she hasn't played with for a while. Put the basket on top of the fridge (or in a place she can't get to it) and only bring it down when you are feeding the baby. As soon as you are done feeding, put the basket back up. That way, every time you need that one on one time to feed, she is entertained by the "new" toys.
Good luck! You will do just fine and what a great big sister Maggie will be!
Debbie

Minivan Mom said...

Hey, if I can do it, you can do it.

Seriously. Because I'm no paragon of motherhood, and my kids are turning out okay. Well, mostly. You know, that one in the middle...

I digress. You'll be fine. Andrew will be fine. Mags will be fine. We'll all be here to help you. Love you. (and, um, since Jen will be busy taking pictures and Andrew will be busy helping you, maybe I should be stationed right outside the delivery room giving updates? IJS.)

Molly said...

Beautiful post. Having two at the same time IS hard, but so so wonderful. I HIGHLY recommend reading Siblings Without Rivalry. Read it now and read it about once a year as a refresher. As an only child I had no idea how to handle the sibling relationship. This book was such a help.

. said...

You know... I think there are days that having 2 is hard, but there are more times than not, that I sit back in awe of how wonderful they are behaving. I was afraid of how I could love another and if I would have favorites, but I don't have a favorite and I love them both the same.

You are one of my greatest inspirations and I know you will do fine having your 3rd baby. ((((HUGS))))

kelleyborgmeyer said...

Jenny,
I worried about the same thing before I had my second daughter this past April. I have my Ella Bella who is 5 (she was 4 when Claire was born) and my Claire Bear who is almost 9 months. I worried that I would not be able to love Claire as much as I love Ella or that Ella would feel that I am replacing her with a new baby. The second Claire was born and I looked at her, I loved her as much as I love Ella! Everything just fell into place. There were crazy days where it was hard to juggle two kids but I got through it. Now I got it down and these girls are just such a huge JOY to my husband and I!

Good luck with your delivery and I can't wait to see pictures of her!

Kelley

Andrea said...

I have also followed your blog forever, my daughter was an 03 baby on BBC too. My first daughter died and my second was a chubb like her and my third was a peanut! My fourth just arrived and she is a chubb as well (all girls!), so you never know but I have a feeling you'll get another chubby little munchkin :)

snekcip said...

Just checking to see if Maggie was here~~~!! Hope everything is going good today!

Dayna & Alan said...

Wow. I remember having these exact same thoughts, Jenny. It is both strange and wonderful - to finally have two in the house together after effectively having two "only" children. I remember coming home and thinking the house finally felt "full," which was a beautiful thing. The guilt is brutal in the beginning, but it gets better! Can't wait to meet your newest beautiful daughter (and see Jen's awesome pics of her)! Love ya!