My first two babies were hard. Very, very hard. High maintenance is the PC term that I've seen online. They were just difficult. I lived my first two years of motherhood in a daze of tears. My own tears included. They never slept-though my son did from 6 months old. But our daughter didn't sleep until she was 18 months old. And they were both loud criers with reflux and colic. No matter what we and doctors tried, they both suffered tremendously.
I suffered too. I felt like the worst mother ever. I could not comfort my own babies. Day and night it was a round of crying babies. Our girl only slept for 40 minutes at a time, hardly enough time to unwind. Her brother, who was 13 months old when she was born, referred to her as, "Waah waaah." That's how he knew her, that little creature that always cried. Feeding them on my own was a nightmare. I'd put him in his feeding chair and she would be crying.
Those were the worst two years of my life, made even worse because I had been begging God for a child after our infertility diagnosis. I questioned, "Had you purposely kept me from falling pregnant because You knew I'd be useless? Why is this happening to me? I need rest. Please, make this stop. The first child I can understand, because I begged for him, but this second one was not our plan! We were going to wait till we could afford to adopt. Why are You punishing me? Make it stop!" But it didn't. Not till lil miss was about 18 months old. I'd even call my husband in tears at work, hoping he'd suddenly drop everything and come home.We tried to get an unemployed young lady
Those two years were the best two years ever. They were a field of preparation. I needed them in order to better appreciate today's difficulties.
We expected our new daughter-the adopted one-to be just as bad as our first two were. She wasn't.
I keep expecting that now with her being the 13 months old that our eldest was when he gained a younger sibling, I'll struggle. Yes, it's not easy. It's tiring. It's draining. We're not sleeping much. But it's not as bad. He's only waking up twice a night-though he sleeps late. It's not as bad. I have not yet lost my mind like I did the first time. I have not shed any tears of frustration, heart ache, regret and extreme fatigue.
Those first two years prepared us so well that this is almost a dream. If it wasn't for our hot Swartland nights, even the two night wakings wouldn't phase me as much, but I am unable to sleep once he has woken up. That's where the trouble comes in with those night feeds. That's the only trouble. A pleasant trouble compared to the nightly screaming we used to live through. Unlike with both first babies, no neighbours are coming over to commiserate over our misery!
Those years were too awful to describe. I believe I was deep in the thralls of postnatal depression. I even answered a screening questionnaire for postnatal depression that said I needed urgent help but psychological help was beyond our finances so I muddled through with prayer and tears. It was a LONG two years.
It was a long two years because I mainly parented alone, with my husband traveling up and down the country, in and out the country for weeks at a time. It was a lonely two years. Not this time. He's here every night 99% of the time.
Now I'm doing it again. Two babies in a short span of time. Because of those two years, I know it can be done. Because of those first two years, I know I can do it again, not only now but one last time. I mentioned in an adoption group that the more children I bring into my arms, the more my heart expands and has even more love available for others. I love my ones that are already home even more than I thought possible and I am ready.
Who knows what the future will bring? Will it be infants? Toddlers? Pre-schoolers? I will NOT be signing up with any agency or social worker. Somehow, those precious children/babies will come and find us.
Those first two years of motherhood were hard. I'm ready for the rest my years of motherhood. They'll be hard, but they'll be joyful. They'll be hard but there will be moments of unadulterated happiness as we navigate life together. Biological and adopted-all blessings from God. None deserved yet given to us. Blessings abound!
And this time, I have a secret weapon. Not so secret. My first two who gave me a shocking entrance into this world are my allies. If I'm stuck with both babies at once and have dishes or vacuuming to do, I can call a "BREAK TIME" and they'll take a break from their school work to come lend a very willing hand. This time, I have reinforcements. It can never be as bad again. All thanks to the first two.