I’ve been home with baby Link for six weeks now and it’s definitely been different than I had planned. Clearly a global pandemic was not something anyone imagined would unfold, but here we are self isolating and doing the best we can to flatten the curve.
It’s wild to think that this time in our lives will be studied and included in history books. As they say, what a time to be alive. Having a newborn in the midst of this has been interesting, especially having big brother home with us and also playing homeschool teacher.
I asked my followers on Instagram story for questions and I’m answering the most popular ones in this post.
Q: How are you managing going from one to two kids?
A: To be honest, when I was pregnant I worried about how our family dynamic would change. Would I love this second baby as much as I love Westley. How would Westley react once the baby was born. So many emotions and thoughts. But it’s truly been wonderful. Even being home with the boys 24/7, it has been pretty awesome. People say it all the time, but your heart expands to love another tiny human without loving your first any less. I actually have so much more love to give having these two boys. Westley has been such a great big brother – helpful, loving and kind. I truly feel like our family is complete.
Q: How are you sleeping? You make having a newborn look easy on Instagram.
A: This question made me laugh! Instagram is a highlight reel, but honestly being a mama for a second time has its benefits. I’m a lot more confident in my abilities to care for a baby and have given myself a lot more grace. First off, we are incredibly lucky that Link is a great sleeper! Second, we have not been as militant about waking up the baby every two hours to feed like we did with Westley. Link is a good eater, but we’ve basically fed him when he’s hungry and at night we do a big bottle and he sleeps anywhere from five to seven hours. So I basically do his last feeding, put him down in the Snoo and wake up once in the middle of the night to feed him again. Sometimes he sleeps until 6am, so I am getting a decent night’s sleep every night.
Q: How do you like the Snoo? Is it worth the investment?
A: Technology has definitely changed in five years and there are so many products available right now. I did a lot of research and spoke to my new mama friends and the Snoo came highly recommended. We decided to rent it since we’re not having anymore babies. The rental is month-to-month, but we are planning to use the Snoo for the entire six months. It has been a GAME CHANGER. Link is a good sleeper, but I wholeheartedly believe the Snoo has played a huge role in getting him to sleep longer. The built in swaddle (while it looks like a straight jacket), keeps him safe and the vibrating motion and white noise soothes and keeps him calm. The total investment for six months is around $800, but if you can make that investment, I would highly recommend it. Especially because you also get to sleep better!
Q: How are you handling the Quarantine with the boys?
A: Having Westley home from VPK for the entirety of my maternity leave was obviously not in my plans, but it has been okay for the most part. I definitely am not a teacher and am juggling a newborn and a 5 YO, but my attitude has been to take it one day at a time. I signed up for ABCMouse.com and am using that platform for preparing W for kindergarten along with packets from his school. Most days, I break up learning into two time periods. The rest of the day W gets to play, go to the pool, watch movies, etc. I’ve been pretty lax with schedules because it’s hard to juggle everything and have a perfect schedule, especially with the baby. At the end of the day, my priority is ensuring both of my boys are happy and healthy and that we enjoy this time as a family. While a global pandemic is less than ideal, I am choosing to focus on making the most of this time together because we are never going to get it back.
Q: You are looking great post baby. What are you doing?
A: First off, thank you to those sweet people who have said this to me. I haven’t really done anything special, outside of wearing the Belly Bandit for the last six weeks — day and night. My best friend got it for me when I had W, and I saved it for baby number two. Outside of that, I’ve been trying to eat healthy, but nothing too crazy. Being home all the time, I’ve been craving sweets and indulging when I want. For some reason, my body has just bounced back a lot better than with my first pregnancy. I thought it would be worse off after a second baby, but I feel pretty good. Of course, there is still work to be done, toning that needs to happen and I have the “linea negra” (black line on my stomach), but it’s all worth it when you get a sweet baby out of it!
Q: Are you breastfeeding?
A: No. I tried breastfeeding again with Link and it was just as bad, if not worse, than with Westley. I just don’t produce a lot of milk and the baby is therefore hungry and fussy. I breastfed for about a week to give him Colostrum, but had to supplement because Link was not getting enough food. I also suffered from terrible engorgement. My breasts were like giant hard cones. It was beyond painful. I had to use cabbage leaves to help reduce them and dry my limited supply up. So Link has been bottle fed with organic formula and is thriving. Breastfeeding is wonderful if it works for you, but at the end of the day fed is best. For me, formula feeding is what works. It’s also better for my mental health, which is equally important.
Q: Any recommendations on affordable maternity clothes?
A: I didn’t really invest a lot on maternity clothes because you can’t really re-purpose them. I purchased a couple of maternity jeans from Old Navy (order your regular size just in maternity) and one white tee. Outside of that, all the clothing I bought and wore while pregnant was non-maternity. I either sized up or bought flowy dresses that worked with a bump, but I could also use post baby. I mostly ordered from Target, Red Dress and Vici Collection.
Q: I’ve seen you dressed up with hair and makeup at home. Why do you get ready with nowhere to go?
A: Valid question and while it seems silly to get ready, it honestly makes me feel better. I don’t always get ready with hair and makeup and some days I get dressed at 1pm, but staying in PJs all day is depressing to me. Although I’m home 24/7, showering, wearing actual clothes and putting on my face brings me joy.
Thanks for hanging with me and I hope some of this info has been helpful!