There has been a lot of baby buzz lately.
The only way you wouldn’t have heard that the royal baby has been born is if you live in a cave. But in case you have been cavebound and haven’t heard, the newest heir to the throne came into the world July 22 weighing in at eight pounds six ounces.
Hubby was thrilled! An event as big as the royal heir being born on his birthday ought to remind his own heirs to be a little more thoughtful and creative in the coming years than simply taking him to the store and letting him purchase anything of his liking (within reason, of course).
In my defense, I thought letting him buy whatever he wanted from his favorite store was more creative than my gift last year, which was a t-shirt and a trip to the ER with our daughter, Maddie, for an ear infection.
While the royal birth is of huge interest throughout the English-speaking world, and a great reminder that I should probably start planning for Hubby’s birthday next year, there is another important July birthday that I would like to take the opportunity to spotlight.
On Wednesday, July 17, my newest niece, Alaina Jean, came into the world via a planned c-section. Mom and baby are doing well and are at home resting and getting to know each other. My brother, Dan, and his wife, Allison, have one other child, Dominic, who is three years old.
Alaina weighed in at just over nine pounds and measured 20 inches in length. She is beautiful and shiny and new with the most beautiful round, soft head full of dark hair and chubby, kissable cheeks.
After her birth my brother called me to announce she was here and asked when we would like to come visit. I told him that we would wait until they were home and settled, but he was insistent I come to the hospital to see her.
I was perplexed. As a second time mom with a c-section I could sympathize with Allison that down time at the hospital would be much needed and appreciated. On the other hand, once they got home to the reality of two children it might take a year before an invitation to visit came again.
Then it dawned on me–second babies do not garner the pomp and circumstance a first baby does.
For example, when you announce the pregnancy of your first child, friends and family are over-excited, to the point that you feel like changing your phone number in the third trimester so anxious grandparents will stop calling to see if you’re in the hospital. After the birth, people fill your hospital room and line up around the block waiting for a chance to get a peek at your new baby. Your hospital room begins to look like a flower shop and your husband has to make several trips home with gifts before you and the new baby will fit comfortably in the car.
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With the second baby you have less visitors, less congratulations and less gifts.
Once you get home a majority of your time is split between explaining to the first child why he no longer gets all of your attention and the necessary care of the second baby. Not to mention, this time around you don’t have vats of hand sanitizer at your home in case a visitor stops by and wants to hold the baby—you gladly hand her off to any germ-infested sucker willing to hold her, so that you can take a break and get something done for a change.
Like taking a shower for the first time that week on Friday.
But to Dan and Allison, I will say this. Even in the most trying times, try not to wish those moments away. The lack of sleep, the smelly diapers, the feeling of being totally and completely overwhelmed is all part of the wonderful journey. In no time, you’ll be packing away Alaina’s baby clothes and wondering where the time has gone.
Life will never be the same again—it’ll be fuller, crazier, messier. Better.