All things considered, I have found that the second baby is way easier than the first baby. I know part of this is because Lass really is just an easy baby. She sleeps well, she eats well, she rarely cries. But Miss was a pretty easy baby too compared to the stories I had heard from some moms I know. So I know that part of the reason Lass is so easy is because of me. I'm different. I'm more confident. I kind of feel like I know what I'm doing this time around. Things don't freak me out as much as they did the first time I did all this. I don't keep an obsessive journal of every feeding, complete with how long Lass nurses on each side, when I pump (heck, I haven't even pumped an ounce this time around yet!), and when she pees and poops. I know part of this is because Lass did not have issues with her weight gain, and though she lost a little bit of weight in the hospital, it wasn't much, and she was well over her birth weight by her two-week appointment. Miss on the other hand had lost a considerable amount of weight in the hospital and we had to go for weekly weight checks until she surpassed her birth weight, which I think took three or four weeks for her to do. But also, I'm less nervous about breastfeeding in general this time. Last time I was scared to death that I wouldn't have enough milk, or my "supply" would run out, or Miss wouldn't learn to latch or would refuse to nurse or whatever. This time I wasn't nervous. I knew that I had successfully nursed Miss for 14 months and could do it again. I knew my boobs could produce, so I didn't worry. In general, I really just worry less this time around.
So like I said, baby #2 is much easier than baby #1. What I do sometimes worry about this time around is Miss. I worry that she will feel that I'm not paying enough attention to her or that somehow she'll feel left out. I've found that the big trick to taking good care of two very small children and maintaining your sanity is juggling. Keeping the balls in the air. Coordination. Etcetera.
I've gotten pretty good at juggling. I'm able to do many more things at one time than I ever thought possible. Sometimes it's just small things to juggle, like holding Lass to nurse with one arm while using the other hand to help Miss put on her Daddy's coat, which she very much wanted to model for us.
Or bouncing a fussy Lass in my BabyEtte wrap outside so that Miss could blow off some steam in the yard.
And then there are the times when you can't help but drop a ball. Or two. The other night was one of those times. Picture this. My hubby was at a meeting. It was dinner time for Miss. I was planning ahead. Realized that Lass would be hungry right about the time that I would usually give Miss her bath and put her to bed. I'm flexible. Loose. I decide Miss can stay up a bit later while I feed Lass. Then I'll do the bath and bed routine with Miss. No biggie.
Well, just around the time I make this plan, as Miss is happily eating her dinner, she toots and says, "Biiig Poop!" (which kind of sounds like "Beee pup!" when she says it). And I reply, "No Honey, I think you just tooted. Say 'Excuse me' please." Not 30 seconds later I hear what sounds like an actual "big poop," and sure enough she says again "Beeee pup!" So I know I have to revise my plan. Because I can't let Miss sit in a poopy diaper while I feed Lass. But it seems stupid to change Miss's diaper only to put her in the tub 20-30 minutes later. So I roll with it and decide I can put Miss in the tub and let her play while I nurse Lass. Juggling, juggling.
Dinner is done. I take the girls upstairs. Miss hadn't really pooped much at all, but I went ahead with the plan. Cleaned her up, put her in the tub, and positioned myself on the stool by the side of the tub where I proceed to nurse Lass. This is not comfortable, but I'm keeping the balls in the air, and all is well. Until it's not. I hear the toot. See the bubbles. Miss says again, "Beee pup!" And I'm thinking, "Please, please, please let this only be a toot." But then Miss gets her "I'm pooping" look and sure enough, she poops in the tub.
Balls dropping. I have a moment of panic. Then Miss sees the poop and proceeds to completely freak out. She scuttles away from the poop, stands up and starts screaming at the top of her lungs, reaching for me and trying to climb out of the tub. So I have Lass latched onto my boob, and Miss clutched onto my arm screaming, and poop in the tub, and I do the only thing a Mom can do in this situation. I start cracking up laughing. Because really, what else is there to do in that moment? But the laughter only lasted for a second, since I did have a terrified toddler trying to claw her way up my arm and out of the tub. So I quickly gathered my senses, spoke soothingly to Miss while unlatching Lass (who fortunately had eaten enough to be temporarily content) and putting her in her bouncy seat right by the bathroom door, got all the poop out of the tub and cleaned up, and proceeded to finish Miss's bath with fresh water in a clean tub.
I think I'm getting pretty good at juggling a newborn and a toddler. I can handle two under two. And I've learned that even when I inevitably "drop the ball" once in a while, it's not too much of a big deal as long as I can just pick it back up and get back in the swing of it. And after the Poop-In-The-Tub Incident, as this will ever be remembered, I think I can handle just about anything.