From the moment I gave that final push and my doctor said, "Open your eyes... your baby is here.", I accepted the challenge with my entire heart.
It's been five weeks since I've welcomed baby August into my world and I am so, so in love. And I'm surprised at how I'm approaching this whole mother-of-two thing. I'm surprising myself about how I'm feeling about August's newborn stage versus how I felt with Aiden's newborn stage eight years ago.
I'm calmer, more cooler, more collected, more patient, more present...
August starts squirming around in his stroller. I take a peek in and see that the pacifier is no longer in his mouth. I put the pacifier in his mouth and he settles back into a light sleep. A few stops later, he starts squirming around again. Then, his arms start flailing. Then, he starts crying.
I nursed him not too long ago so I know he's not hungry. He just wants to get out of the stroller and be cuddled. He cries when he wants to be cuddled. Loudly. So I unbuckle him and take him out in the hopes of settling him down.
He's still crying. Loudly. And now, everyone on the train is looking at him. Me. Us.
I can feel Aiden tensing up while sitting next to me, hoping that August settles down and falls back asleep. He doesn't. Instead he continues to cry.
I rock him, stroke his face, and sing a silly song in his ear. He's hot so I take off his hat and unbutton his winter onesie coat thingy. More rocking, more singing, more stroking of his face.
But he's still crying and Aiden's still tense.
I used to feel the same way when he was an infant and would cry in public. Whenever he'd cry in the privacy of our own home, I was calm and cool. But in public... not even close. I would literally freeze up in fear... hoping, praying, begging him to stop crying. Instead of tending to Aiden, I'd be more focused on the stares from strangers who I just knew were judging the fact that I was a young mom. Didn't matter if the stares were real or imagined, I'd still focus on that instead of on Aiden.
In this moment, my babies need me.
I start singing a silly made-up song about how many stops he have left and Aiden starts laughing. August stops crying and starts studying my face and voice. Right here, in this moment, I'm mothering my two babies. I'm calm, cool, collected, patient, and present.
And it feels good.
Then I had a mini freak-out and suddenly decided that I needed to pumped and save all the milk. Like, all the milk. So, for an entire week, I was focused on my milk supply. Then, I decided to chill the eff out because the milk ain't going nowhere and I'll always have enough to feed the baby. Always.
Nowadays he's more alert, stays awake more during the day, cooing and taking in his surroundings. He also spends more time studying his hands, trying to get them into his mouth. His eye-hand coordination is improving because most of the time he gets his hands into his mouth and sucks like there's no tomorrow. Loudly. (This is how I know I'm in love because I swear, I've never seen something so cute in my entire life!)
He loves hugs and kisses, being in his Moby Wrap, and going for a walk in his stroller. He loves staring at pictures of Aiden. He loves napping on my chest or HEB's chest. And he loves, loves, loves sucking on anything that you put near his mouth. Seriously, a cheek, a nose, a boob, his pacifier, his hands... it's all fair game.
And I'm just taking it all in and soaking it all up.
More calmer, cooler, collected. More patient, more present.