Life is like a box of chocolates….you never know what you are going to get (well, if you have the picture guide then it’s not much of a surprise, but hey just sayin’!). It is true that you can’t choose whether or not your child is going to be an angel newborn or satan in disguise. We all want the angels, but we don’t always get what we want. I hear you say, “Yes, Dani, we know that”.
Chris and I have differing views looking back at our time with Aviana as a newborn baby. We also have differing views on looking forwards on the subject of growing our family again. But that’s OK because we often have differing views on some of our important life aspects and we still survive today to tell the tale.
Looking back, for me, Aviana was not an easy newborn baby, but she also wasn’t hellish either. There was that time when we were figuring out her silent reflux when I thought what did I do to deserve this nightmare?! There was the worry of whether or not I was feeding her enough because she was an IUGR baby (I still worry BTW!) There were times when I was creeping around quietly, anticipating Aviana to wake up because she didn’t nap well and I am not a good napper during the day so I struggled with the 2 hourly feeds. The times when I counted down the minutes to Chris coming home from work because Aviana had been fussy and I couldn’t help her no matter what I did, wondering if I would always suck at being a mother. The times when I wished our family and friends back in the UK could be there with us to see Aviana achieve her milestones. But I also put a lot of pressure on myself. I wanted to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months. I wanted to keep up with my work’s executive development program. I wanted to shower every day – haha!
So being honest, looking back at the newborn months, it was tough. And now it isn’t so tough – it is actually fun! I wanted the newborn phase to pass quickly, in the moment it seemed to drag. Now here I am looking at my daughter wondering how she grew up suddenly as an almost 6 month old, eating solids, giggling, interacting, playing, standing and sitting up. I can already sense she will want to be an independent kinda lady. And I’m cool with that. And now I want to spend MORE time with her, not less which was how I felt at times during the newborn phase. May be it’s because I know her better, I know myself better and I am catching on to the parenting thing that it seems easier. But raising a newborn baby is hard, and it does get easier (Although I am not naive to think that there won’t be tough times in the future, so I’ve been told teenagers are the worst!!!)
Would I do it all again? Yes. Would I do it all again with a toddler? Yes. Would it be harder? I think yes and no. Many of our friends are on their second child and I get a sense that I’m on the right track with this answer. It’s only until the next child comes along that they ever realised that they had an angel or a devil newborn baby. And their second one usually ends up being the opposite of their first. Because that is the whole life is like a box of chocolates thing (and it sucks if you were lucky to get two angels in a row then get a devil for the third!!) So this leads Chris and I to have the conversation about what Aviana could be considered as (angel or devil), what would our second baby would be like (with a toddler in tow don’t forget!) and do we want to make life harder for ourselves?
Why does this all matter? Because it begs the question what is next for our family (Oh and of course everyone always asks us if we will have another baby!). For those of you who may remember from the great pudding club hunt, we still have one frozen embryo stored away (that we pay $60 a month to keep there). It’s not an easy question to answer because we don’t have the luxury of planning when we can procreate another child. We are infertile and unexplained infertility means our future remains hazy. Plus there is the added risk of an IUGR baby again, we were lucky the first time that Aviana has not been affected too much, we may not be so lucky with a second. All of this confounds the basic question of do we want to grow our family for the second time? And I haven’t even mentioned the fact that Chris and I have different views on siblings and age gaps….. :-p