In the short time since Jonathan was born, we often get asked, "How is it the second time around?". We have already noticed some major differences about being second-time parents and I thought I'd share them here:
First-timers: When Kaitlyn was born, we jumped at every little peep she made. The first night in the hospital we got very little sleep. Not because she was up crying, but because if her breathing pattern changed, if she made a "strange" noise, or if she exhaled loudly we both jumped up and hovered over her to make sure she was ok. And of course, she always was.
Second-timers: We got very little sleep our first night in the hospital with Jonathan, as well. But this time I think it was because of the nurses coming in every couple of hours to check both Jonathan and my vitals. Jonathan also made similar noises as Kaitlyn did, but I guess we knew what to expect this time. There were a few moments I jumped up when he would spit up, but I don't think Ron woke up once.
First-timers: For the first 2 weeks of Kaitlyn's life, we lived indoors and only went from the hospital to the hotel. Her first trip out was to the pediatrician's office for her 2-week checkup. I refused to go anywhere with her until I got the "ok" from her doctor.
Second-timers: Before his 2-week checkup, Jonathan had been everywhere...restaurants, the mall, our family's houses, poolside, etc. We realized this time around that we don't have to keep him in a bubble. As long as we take precautions, keep him covered and don't let people breathe all over him, we can go about our daily lives. And with an 18month old, that means getting out of the apartment!
First-timers: I couldn't imagine leaving Kaitlyn's side when she was so tiny. Ron and I reluctantly went on a lunch date when Kaitlyn was 11 days old--only because it was Valentine's Day. His sister stayed with Kaitlyn and our oh-so-romantic date consisted of inhaling subs from Subway and dessert at Cold Stone Creamery so we could get back to our little angel as quickly as possible. We were gone for less than 45 minutes and I know we called home to check on her at least once.
Second-timers: At just three days old and barely home from the hospital, Ron and I left Jonathan and Kaitlyn with his parents so we could go grocery shopping. It was still a quick trip out and I would have never left to go grocery shopping when Kaitlyn was small, but again, we realize now that it's ok. And getting a few moments away--even if it is just to the grocery store, is nice.
First-timers: I must have at least dozens of pictures of Kaitlyn for each day of her life---at least for the first month. I couldn't take enough photos of her.
Second-timers: I have gone days without snapping any photos of Jonathan. I even have the fancy camera now! It is definitely harder to find the time when you're juggling your time between 2 kids.
First-timers: When Kaitlyn was born, I could sit for hours and just stare at her. I'd wipe tears from my eyes as I sat watching her sleep thinking about how blessed we were to have such a gorgeous little girl.
Second-timers: A week after Jonathan was born, a friend asked me, "Do you just stare at him??" And I had to honestly answer, "No, I can't. If I did, Kaitlyn would be climbing onto the dining room table." It's so true! Kaitlyn is fast and adventurous, so if I take my eyes off of her for more than a minute, who knows what trouble she'd get into. Of course, I still get in some staring once Kaitlyn is in bed for the night. That's when I really get to chill out with my boy, look him over and tell him how blessed we are to have him.
Those are just a few and I'm sure we will encounter many more in the coming days/weeks/months/years. I do feel some guilt about splitting my time between the two kids and not giving Jonathan the same attention Kaitlyn got when she was born, but I know that this is just how it is. It's just different when you have two and I know we're not the only ones who've gone through it this way. We love them both equally and are more thankful for them each day. They are our joys and there is nothing more rewarding than being a parent!
This is what it's all about: