It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted a blog, but it’s with good reason. On April 9, 2019 I gave birth to our second daughter, Palmer Elizabeth Taylor. If you follow me on my other socials, you’ve probably seen a picture of Palmer, but just in case you haven’t – here she is! I’m incredibly biased and have no problem admitting it, but tell me that’s not one of the cutest babies you’ve ever seen?! Seriously, if you don’t agree, don’t tell me because I won’t like you anymore. Ha!
The one thing everyone has said over and over about Palmer, is how much she looks like her sister Sadie. I did a side-by-side comparison from the day each of them was born and I have to say, the resemblance is pretty crazy. The running joke at our house now is that we only make one model of baby and that’s it. When our DNA combines, this is what you get, period! Sadie is on the left, Palmer is on the right.
When I had Sadie six years ago, I had no idea what to expect, obviously. That’s pretty standard for any first-time mom. What transpired was something I never could have prepared for anyway, and it left me very afraid to go through childbirth again. An emergency c-section. A baby that didn’t come home when I did. A c-section incision that came open and got infected. Horrible post-partum depression. A baby with awful acid reflux. Essentially, what should have been one of the best times of my life was actually one of the darkest. For that reason, you can imagine why it took me a long while to even think about having another child.
When we decided to try again, I got pregnant pretty quickly. Sadly that pregnancy ended in miscarriage. It took a while for my body to heal and getting pregnant again did not happen as quickly. But when I had started to think maybe it wasn’t going to happen again, it did.
Now that I’m a few months into this mom of two gig, I feel like I’ve learned some lessons worth sharing.
1. The doctor who delivers your first baby, does not have to deliver your second. If you love your doctor, it’s so great to have consistency. But never, ever stay with a physician who makes you feel belittled. It might seem scary to walk away from someone who has all that medical history with you, but it matters how people treat you, especially when your life and your baby’s life are in their hands. If you don’t feel good when you’re in their care, find.someone.else.
2. A horrible first delivery does not mean you’re doomed for the second. In fact, I would say a bad experience with your first is eventually one of the best learning experiences you could ever have to prepare for your second. Sometimes the lesson above can play into this – it did for me. Whether you’re staying with the same doctor or making a switch, I encourage you to ask questions about things you might not have understood or felt good about with the first delivery and see if there are things that could be better prepared for or done differently the second time. Right from the beginning, I asked my doctor if it would be possible to stay awake for the entire c-section so I could have skin to skin with Palmer ASAP. She talked to me about potential reasons why it wouldn’t be able to happen, but assured me if everything went well and none of those things occurred, they would absolutely keep me awake and give Palmer to me as soon as possible. Here’s a picture my husband snapped of us doing skin to skin after we went to recovery. I can’t tell you how much I treasured this moment.
3. You don’t need nearly as much crap as you thought you did with your first. This is due in part to realizing babies will have a tendency to favor one thing or another and that’s what you’ll use. Once they latch on to something, you’ll let everything else collect dust. The one exception to this is diapers and wipes. You can never, ever have enough of those.
Another big difference with the second baby? Amazon. Prime was not a thing when I had my first, and I talked about this in a previous blog post, here. Amazon is a game changer. Period. The bottom line is everything doesn’t have to be brand new, pink or blue, or the most expensive model to be good. I knew as long as we had the basics, everything would be fine.
4. The number of effs you give about what other people think dwindles to pretty much zero. For some reason, people love to give unsolicited advice when you’re pregnant or have small children. I’m not entirely sure where this phenomenon originates from, but it’s a thing, and it especially runs rampant on social media. As a first time mom, even the most sincere advice or comment can make you feel like you’re doing everything wrong. The second time around?
Sit down, Karen. No one asked you. What you will have are trusted people in your circle you know you can go to when you need support. Those are the people who will be your saving grace when you’re about to lose it, your help when you can’t do it all, and the comic relief you need when things are so crazy, all you can do is laugh.
5. There really is more than enough love in your heart for two babies. The last couple months of my pregnancy, I was overwhelmed with feelings about Sadie not being my only child. We would never just be a family of 3 again. Everything would be different after Palmer came, and something about Sadie not being “the baby” really messed with my emotions. The logical part of me knew it would be fine, but my hormones really did a number on me. Of course the moment I saw Palmer I immediately fell head over heels in love with her and I love both of my babies more than anything in the world – except for their daddy. And let me tell you, seeing your husband hold a brand new baby never gets old.
It has been quite the journey to become a family of 4. I feel so lucky and blessed to be a mom to two beautiful girls, and share my life with them and my husband. We have had gut wrenching moments and really sweet ones, too. It might be a cliche, but when we have each other, we really do have it all. Thank you so much for all your prayers, thoughts, and well wishes along the way!