Clearly the combination of hormones and sleep deprivation that go along with parenting a brand new baby are behind my amnesia about all things newborn-related. I had completely forgotten about how often they need feeding, how much they cry, the weird poos they do and the list goes on. Maybe it is so easy to forget what it’s like because they are only this little for such a short time.
With just a 15-month age gap separating my first and second child, I thought that dealing with baby number two would be a breeze because I am still in “baby mode”. But I’m surprised how much I’ve actually forgotten about managing a newborn in just the short space of a year.
I breastfed our first child Alisha until she was six-months old. By that point, feeding was such an automatic and easy thing to do. All I had to do was place Alisha in the vicinity of the milk source and she’d do the rest. Sometimes she would even help herself by pulling my top down if I was taking too long!
It never even occurred to me that breastfeeding would be something I’d have to learn how to do all over again. I’d completely forgotten how to get a newborn to properly latch on and even the correct holding techniques. Still freshly etched in my memory though was how painful cracked nipples are, so at least I knew from experience how important proper attachment really is. It’s only now after month that our newborn Sara and I are getting into the groove with feeding.
I’m trying to find a positive aspect to my failing memory. You see, I was worried that I wouldn’t find the same wonder and amazement in caring for my second baby as I did with my first because nothing I’d be experiencing would seem new. In reality, it couldn’t be further from boring or old. It’s just a great, if not better this time because I’m getting to know a completely different little person with their own personality and temperament.
On the down side, there has been one thing that has stood out for me since Sara has come along: the issue of bonding. I hate to admit that it has taken me more a couple weeks to fall in love with Sara. I know from previously talking to other parents that some mums and dads take weeks or even months to bond with their babies, so I’m trying not to feel too guilty about my own feelings. In comparison, I loved Alisha before she was even born and then when I finally laid eyes on her, I was absolutely smitten. Maybe it’s taken me longer to bond with Sara because she was a “surprise” pregnancy whereas we tried over two years to fall pregnant with Alisha?
In any case, women in general and mothers especially always tend to find something to feel guilty about. So, if it wasn’t this, I’m sure it would be something else… and to think this is only really the beginning.