It’s 100% different and I think that’s for so many reasons. It was a different pregnancy, it was a different delivery. Everything couldn't be more different and recovery has been different in good ways and bad ways. I think the hardest thing for me - and I’m lucky that this has been the hardest thing - has been just trying to deal with the emotions of two, splitting the time and the guilt of not being there for my older daughter. The only times I’ve cried in this recovery have been because I’ve been sad about that. It’s so weird. Last time I was a wreck. I had a hard delivery so I had a hard recovery plus I had terrible postpartum anxiety.
This time, it’s a mix of two things: the hard work and the inner healing leading up to preparing for this baby and it’s also luck. A lot of it is out of your control and you’re either hit with bad anxiety or depression or not. I’m lucky that didn’t happen but I also did the work to be prepared if it did happen and I think in certain situations maybe panic attacks would have come on if I had not been in therapy since having my first. I have a regular therapist and I’ve had that radical acceptance, which is what my therapist has taught me. Anxious moments will probably come and it will come in waves so my tools have been different this time.
My two greatest tools have been perspective and experience. Perspective wise, because I’m in a season where everyone around me is having babies I’ve seen so much. The first time you have the baby, you're so worried about yourself and your baby but bringing home a healthy baby from the hospital is not a guarantee. Having that perspective this time around has been completely life altering for me. I had friends that were not able to bring their baby home from the hospital and when my baby was born there were three different cases of moms being separated from their babies immediately for weeks so my perspective is that if my biggest problem is that I'm tired, I'm lucky. I’m lucky that I’m home with my healthy baby and I’m lucky to be tired because there are moms who would give anything just to be tired with their newborn. Unfortunately, when you’re in that season of everyone having babies around you, you’re going to hear about these things.
The second has been experience. Knowing everything is a phase and knowing that there is light at the end of the tunnel. My stitches will heal and my gas pain will go away and eventually she will sleep. Having that knowledge and perspective and experience makes everything completely different the second time around. Those are the tools that have helped me survive up to this point. And it’s still hard. I’m not saying it’s not hard but perspective and experience makes it a lot easier.