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Adjusting to baby #2 after PE with child #1?

So, the baby's born, what comes next? Discuss your postpartum and parenting concerns here.

Adjusting to baby #2 after PE with child #1?

Postby jmom08 » Sun Jun 13, 2010 02:51 pm

I hope it's OK to post -- I got the idea from a recent thread (I think in another folder) that mentioned a unique mother/child relationship because of the PE experience, and how it's hard for non-PE moms to understand...

DS is 4 years old -- his whole pregnancy was rough, especially at the end, but he's doing great. He is my universe. Tomorrow I'm scheduled to deliver baby #2 (repeat c-section), DS has been expressing excitement throughout the pregnancy, and no PE! I was feeling fairly prepared for the birth. Then, as of yesterday, DS has suddenly withdrawn from me, to the point he won't interact with me at all, doesn't want me to put him to bed for the first time ever (*sniff*), etc... it's like he's pretending I'm not in the house. The good news is that he's still acting happy, and is attaching himself to DH. He knows the the baby comes out tomorrow. I'm guessing this must be a normal reaction to his worries/anxiety (protecting himself from changes?), but I'm having a hard time with him avoiding me, especially with other stresses/events going on. Plus pregnancy hormones. I feel like one big kleenex.

I'm sorry for the long post -- I would just be really grateful for tips for making the adjustment to baby #2, especially with respect to your relationship with child #1, and especially when child #1 was a PE baby. I feel like I'm losing this unique relationship we've had. I've been told it will be good for both me & DS to have baby #2, and we very much want baby #2, and I know how lucky I am to have made it this far with no PE, and I know we can still make time for me & DS alone -- but I'm also aware things won't be the same. I think having DS suddenly withdraw from me (especially this weekend... I'd had these plans for a last special "3 of us" weekend together) is sort of driving it home.

We watched the Sibling Silly video a few weeks ago, and we've read big brother books, and DS is still expressing excitement about the baby... so I guess attaching to DH at this point must be what he needs. I'm glad he's happy, and it seems like he's adjusting as best he can. I'm just feeling weepy and having a hard time (I'm sure not for the last time!) seeing him grow apart from me. :( Part of me feels like I'm being silly and irrational and that I should be focused on the good, so maybe it's all just hormones. I apologize for taking up so much space with it!

Thanks very much in advance.
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Re : Adjusting to baby #2 after PE with child #1?

Postby mellybute » Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:23 pm

My son was 3 1/2 when I had my second little boy last August. There was an adjustment period for sure and my son struggled with having to share Mommy and Daddy's attention. But he loves his little brother so much that it really wasn't so bad. We bought him some books about being a big brother, etc. and we read those a lot in preparation for the baby. Now they are 4 and 10 months and they play, play, play together. They have their own unique language. No kidding. It is the MOST wonderful thing you could imagine. And the second one for me has been a breeze. You're not nearly as anxious as with the first, so the whole house is calmer. My 4 year old thinks his baby brother hung the moon. And vice versa. There will be an adjustment, but the rewards of having the sibling are so wonderful. One thing I tried to do and still try to do is when the baby is sleeping I give some special attention time to my 4 year old. Sometimes I will just hold him and read him books or do an art project. We do a lot of cuddling when the baby is asleep. I also let him help in any way he wants to and he loves that. I tell my 4 year old that he was my first baby and now I have two babies.

I don't know how much this helps you, but it will all be GREAT! I promise!!!


Best of luck with your delivery!!! And hears to NO PE!!! That is great!
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Re : Adjusting to baby #2 after PE with child #1?

Postby trish » Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:29 pm

Tomorrow - how exciting!!! One of the best pieces of advice I got was to make the older kids feel important. That the baby won't notice if you "ignore" him for a few seconds while you do something with older sibling but older sibling will notice if he's constantly having to wait for your attention with baby. Granted there are times when you *have* to attend to baby but try and think of times if baby fusses a little & you can purposely say (so older sibling "overhears") I'll be there in a minute I'm helping "X" finish this book (or whatever).

Also getting big sib to help with things like getting a diaper for you etc. And even if it's just a little each day, do something just with them (babies sleep a lot so this is easier than it seems). But again, when you do, make a point of saying how neat it is to be a big kid who gets to do this (since everyone is cooing over how cute & adorable everything baby does).

I hope that made some sense. I've taken Tylenol PM to go to sleep because I have a 101 degree temp & feel awful!!
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Re : Adjusting to baby #2 after PE with child #1?

Postby sonja » Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:51 pm

The best advice that my mom gave me when I had dd #2 was that my new baby would be okay if she had to cry for awhile, my older child would not. It is fine to leave a new baby crying a bit, the older child is the one that needs the attention. Of course this is not possible all of the time, but it is just something to keep in mind.

Best wishes to you tomorrow!!!
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Re : Adjusting to baby #2 after PE with child #1?

Postby glimmer » Mon Jun 14, 2010 00:15 am

I think it's normal that your DS is attaching to your DH. It was the same for us. And while I missed the closeness to DS, it was good that he had his father. Especially if you are nursing there are times
when it has to be you that cares about the needs of the baby. I would say it took us 6 months or so to fully adjust. Also, I asked my husband to look after the baby on weekends and DS and I had some "special time". Good luck!
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Re : Adjusting to baby #2 after PE with child #1?

Postby jenmatt1 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 05:35 pm

I agree with Sonja- there will probably be a million hands to help with the newborn and it is your job to make your oldest feel special and give him special attention. Before you know it, he'll love the little one as much as you do, once he realizes that you are not replacing him.

Congrats on a PE free pregnancy.
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Re : Adjusting to baby #2 after PE with child #1?

Postby jmom08 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 04:08 am

Thank you so much everyone!!! This is exactly what I needed. My son and I had a great bonding evening the night before I went to the hospital. Unfortunately, while I was there, he came down with a bad cold, and we're having to keep him away from me & baby. :( I feel awful about it, and he isn't handling it so well. If I were able to breastfeed & give antibodies to baby I would be less nervous (another story!!). Unghh!! Wish us luck in the short term.

But this is wonderful help, thank you so much. I am so glad I'm not the only one thinking about this! :) Thank you!!
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Re : Adjusting to baby #2 after PE with child #1?

Postby season » Fri Jun 18, 2010 02:37 pm

Congrats on #2!

I so remember that feeling in those last days before #2 came. I so enjoyed my little guy and knew it would be different when there were two of them. It did help though that my DS was so excited to be a big brother. I did make an effort to give him focused attention - so he knew mom still loved him too.

I'm sorry to hear about his cold - that must make the transition so hard for all of you. I hope soon you will be bonding with them together. I still cherish the early memories of DS loving on his baby sister.
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