Wow, having another baby is a huge whirlwind. When I found out I was pregnant for the 2nd time, I was shocked! We hadn’t planned to get pregnant until at least August, but nothing ever goes as planned, does it? My husband graduates from college in April of 2019 so we really wanted to wait until he was done with school to have another baby. But this little girl wanted to be here sooner. And right from the start, I struggled with being pregnant. My emotions and hormones were all over the place and I was nauseous all the time. I wasn’t prepared to be pregnant again quite so soon. Yes, I was baby hungry and knew I wanted another child but I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly. My first appointment was in April and they said my due date would be November 21st, which was right in the middle of Geoff’s second to last semester of school. Talk about stressful. That just made everything worse. I started to really hate being pregnant, not because I didn’t want this baby, but because the timing was off and I was worried and scared. Because I don’t like being pregnant anyways and my first pregnancy was really rough so I knew this one would be the same. My first labor, delivery and recovery was rough so I figured this one would be the same. And I was terrified. I didn’t want to go through it all again while Geoff was still in school. But you can’t take a baby back, nor would I want to. But that doesn’t mean that anything got easier. I was still emotional and hormonal and nauseous my whole pregnancy. I had weird muscle pains, couldn’t sleep and was constantly stressed or worried.
I kept myself busy (probably too busy) to distract myself from the physical pain I was in and the fact that I wasn’t ready to have another baby yet. And then one day it all hit me. I realized how ungrateful I was being and how not planning and preparing for a new baby would just make things worse. I realized that everything would be okay. Even though I had to go through it all again and have Geoff in school, I found peace in knowing that this little girl was supposed to come to our family at this time. Geoff’s dad passed away while I was pregnant and that put things into perspective. I realized that life is short and we have to take advantage of all the good things that come into our lives. Pregnancy got a little easier and I tried not to worry too much. We decided that being induced would be the best option for us since Geoff couldn’t take much time off of work and school. So, on November 19th we headed to the hospital and started the process of getting this little girl into the world. Embree Dawn Tapp was born after 10 hours of labor and about 3 minutes of pushing at 4:55pm (way better than the 24 hour labor with Adalynn). Embree was 7lbs. 4oz. and 19 inches long. She had beautiful dark brown hair (but not as much as Adalynn had) and dark blue eyes.
We came home the next day and the first week or so was pretty rough. I was in so much pain and sooooo tired. While I tried to keep perspective, there were still lots of tears and sleepless nights. Geoffrey was so sweet and really pulled his weight for our family. He took care of me and both of our girls even though he was tired too. He made sure I didn’t do anything other than eat, sleep and feed Embree. And then a week after Embree was born, he went back to work and school. *sigh* I was slowly feeling better, but if you know me at all, you know that I am not a patient person. I like to be busy and self-sufficient and it’s hard for me to wait. So, I was frustrated that I wasn’t feeling better and stressed about having to take care of a toddler (who had no idea how to act around a newborn) and a brand new baby at the same time. While my labor, delivery and recovery was way easier than last time, I was still feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, maybe it’s from the sleep deprivation or the crazy hormones. But taking care of a newborn isn’t any easier the second time around.
And I was talking to my sister the other day about how hard it is. About how tired I am and about all the decisions I have to make for Embree. And about how overwhelming it all is. And she said something I’ll never forget, ‘Ya know, everyone always told me to savor those newborn days and months, that they wouldn’t be little forever and that they never wanted their children to grow up. But those were the hardest times of my life and that’s okay. There’s a time and a season for everything’. And this brought me so much comfort. Don’t get me wrong, I love having a new baby. She’s so sweet and it’s so fun to see her grow. And of course, the baby soft skin is to die for! I love her and I’m grateful to have her in our family. But I’m struggling. It’s way better than last time (read about Adalynn’s birth story here) but it’s still difficult and I’m still sleep deprived and I’m just trying to figure out what I need to do to help Embree grow and be as healthy as she can be. And then there’s having a toddler now too. Trying to teach her that she can’t shove her hands in Embree’s mouth or pick her up. Trying to teach her to communicate and use words and not to take her diaper off by herself.
So, I’m here to tell you that if you’re feeling overwhelmed or if you’re not absolutely loving every second of your life, it’s OKAY!!! It’s okay to be frustrated, overwhelmed, tired and stressed. We have to experience hardships and pain to appreciate when everything is going well. And the one thing that has helped me through these last few months and especially the last 4 weeks is knowing that this season doesn’t last forever. Adalynn will learn how to be careful around Embree and she’ll figure out how to communicate better. And Embree won’t wake up every 2 hours to eat forever! And it’s the moments that I realize those things, that I can slow down and take time to enjoy the hardships, to enjoy holding my sweet new baby girl even though my arm feels like it’s about to fall off. And to enjoy cuddling with my 2 year old for even just a minute when the baby is asleep. And of course knowing that my Savior is aware of all these struggles is comforting in and of itself. So, how is life with a newborn? It’s scary and frustrating and overwhelming and amazing and awe-inspiring all at the same time.