Our little doll, Juliet Vera Niddrie arrived on March 29th at 7:44pm. The labour was faster than Nora's birth, but not any less painful, challenging, mind-blowing or overwhelming! I was induced that morning as my water broke two days prior and I still hadn't gone into labour. It took a while for things to get going, but when they did, they went fast and furious! So fast that I didn't have time for the coveted epidural which I was begging for! However, I conquered another labour and delivery and all is well with Nora's baby sister, Juliet.
The transition to having two kids has been tough on us all. I forgot how sore and hormonal I was going to be during those first few weeks. I have said to several people- if women truly remembered the agony of labour, the first week anxiety, the postpartum healing and the postpartum hormonal crying phase, I think the human race would have ended by now! It sucks! Yet somehow, we look back on those first few weeks with wonder and amazement and nothing but joy over that little sleepy little newborn snoozing away on Daddy's chest and decide it's a good idea to do it all over again! I'm not saying it was a mistake, but if there is a next time for us, I hope to be more mentally prepared for it!
Thankfully I am through the hardest part and Juliet is already "sleeping through the night", which at this age is 7-8 hours at a time. She went through a few weeks of being up for hours in the night, when I was convinced that both my children were slowly trying to kill me, as Nora was also waking up in the night and/or getting up at an ungodly hour when I had just been awake for 3 hours bouncing and feeding a fussy baby. However, we are entering into some kind of normalcy now, with more sleep and baby smiles!
Nora has had a really hard time with the new baby as well, which breaks my heart. She has been waking several times in the night screaming for me, which I know is some sort of subconscious insecurity about Juliet, as annoying as it is for me. She will have nothing to do with Tom and only wants me to come and tuck her in again, hug her and sing her a song and she goes back to sleep. One night this week, this happened 4-5 times in the night! She used to be so easy to parent, hardly ever acting up, and in the last month I have raised my voice with her many times which brought tears to my eyes, because I couldn't believe I was speaking to my perfect little baby like that. But she has to learn boundaries when it comes to my attention and Juliet's needs as hard as it is for all of us. She does silly things like throw food on the floor or spit milk out of her mouth, or rub her dirty feet in my face while I'm nursing or insist I carry her from one room to another and if I don't, throws herself on the floor screaming and kicking. It has been so challenging and I'm really struggling about how to deal with her. I give time outs, but I also give her more than enough hugs, kisses and reassurance that I'm not going anywhere and I still love her more than anything.
But, enough with the doom and gloom and complaining! I am so excited to have two adorable, beautiful, healthy baby girls! Juliet has been a much easier and less demanding newborn than Nora was. Tending to her needs have been so smooth. From the beginning she has been feeding really well and gaining weight just as she should be. She is growing like a weed and her big, dark blue eyes have started to dart around the room and focus on things now which is so exciting to watch. She is 5 weeks old and smiling at us, mostly first thing in the morning. When she is awake, she happily sits in her little bouncy chair in our kitchen and watch what's going on. She has finally started to going to bed a little earlier, so Tom and I have our evenings back and can have some kind of a conversation again, or in my case, I can stare blankly at the TV and NOT TALK for an hour before passing out with exhaustion! One thing has been different is the amount of gas and spit up this baby has! It has improved slightly, but at least once a day, I get covered in giant spit ups! We can recognize the look on her face when a big one is coming, and if I don't have a burp cloth or a towel nearby, it's new outfits for everyone. It's uncharted territory for us, because Nora hardly every spit up. I know it's normal, but I did begin to wonder at first, because the amount seemed so great.
We can't decide who Juliet looks like! She is not a ringer for her sister, or either of us. But we thought that about Nora at first too. When Juliet was first born, her nose and cheeks were so swollen that we all thought she would have this GIANT squishy nose! Within a week or so, it had turned into a cute little button nose, but still a very different shape than Nora's. Her hair is much lighter than Nora's was and her eyes quite a bit darker, although still blue like the rest of us. I think she looks like Tom when I see his newborn pics, but we will see! When I look back at Nora's photos from the first 3 months, I can't even tell that it's her comparing her to now. She turned out looking so different as the months went on. We will see what happens with Juliet.
I know each stage goes by so fast and Nora will adjust eventually. She won't even remember life without Juliet and seeing other siblings together, lifelong playmates, makes me realize it is a good decision to bless your children with siblings. I can't wait until Juliet can interact with Nora a bit more as I think that will make it easier for Nora to form a relationship with her. Until then, we forge ahead in the parenting trenches! Thank you for all your support and well wishes!