18 hours of labour.  Excruciating contractions followed by projectile vomiting, and then a few curse words from a tired, first time soon-to-be mama after finding out that after all that- all those hours of awful contractions, a minute and a half apart, each worse than the one before - she was only 5cm dilated.  Cue epidural that felt as if it had just saved said woman's life.  A few more hours of not easy, but MUCH more manageable labour and an hour and a half of pushing and there he was - all 8lbs and 1 oz of my healthy little boy! 

That was my labour experience with Jase in a very, very small nutshell.  Little did I know, however, that the worst was yet to come.  It was a difficult labour (duh- aren't they all???) and I honestly thought that the hardest part was over.  So much of my pregnancy was spent wondering and worrying about what labour was going to be like- and I hardly thought about what the experience was going to be like AFTER he was out.  To be honest, I didn't think much of it because I was expecting it to be like living on a cloud with a perfect little baby and a heart and household overflowing with love.  Long story short, I felt a PAINFUL amount of love for him but my experience resembled less of living on a cloud and more of what I would imagine falling off a cliff would be like.... plus a lot of crying.  For lack of a better term, it was a complete shitshow (literally, at times - yellow breastmilk poop, AM I RIGHT???) .  But that's another post all in itself.

There was a point after having Jase that I genuinely thought I was stopping after one.  I knew that wasn't truly what I wanted - Kev and I always agreed that three kids would be a wonderful blessing (and also a good stopping point) for our family.  I just had such a hard time adjusting after Jase that I truly wondered if I could ever do that again - even once more, let alone twice more.  When I found out I was pregnant again, of course I was excited and so so SO thankful but OHHHH SHIT I WAS SO NERVOUS.  I spent my pregnancy with Bree much less worried about the labour part and a lot more anxious for the aftermath.

Fast forward to July, 2017.  The nursery was ready again, bags were packed, and after a week of false labour, the real deal started and lasted 20 hours before our little girl made her grand entrance (Bree was also 8lbs 1oz!).  But moms- maybe you'll feel me on this one- even though labour is tough as SHIT, it feels so temporary in comparison to everything else, doesn't it?  It was the bringing her home part that was truly different from Jase.  I still did my fair share of crying, and some days were hard.  But honestly, the transition from one to two was WAY EASIER than from zero to one.  

 It was like night and day bringing her home compared to Jase.  My mind was so at ease when I realized that it was naturally easier this time around.  Maybe it's because I was busier, I had other things I needed to focus on.  I had a toddler that already needed my attention, and of course we're also self-employed and the workload that comes with that does not take a break for you to have a baby- especially because we were right in the middle of building a barn, applying for offshore help, among 1000 other things and I needed my damn wits about me.  Maybe it's because I had some experience under my belt and didn't have the first-time-mom jitters.  Maybe it was a combination of all of those things.  It was just different (okay, for the sake of honesty- it was better).  I was so relieved!  I was infinitely more laid back, and Kev, Jase and I all settled into a new routine quickly and fairly seamlessly with our family's new little addition.  We hardly missed a beat.  11 months have now absolutely FLOWN by and we're as busy as ever as a family of four.  

The overall reason for this post is that I've been talking to a lot of people who are at the same sort of life stage as I am, who have the same concerns about growing their families.  Whether it's your second, your third or your ninth - adding another family member to the mix is a BIG deal.  Adjusting to life after having a baby is tough.  It's an absolute blessing, that's a given - but among the diapers (for both mom and baby right afterwards LOL ...ugh), the extreme sleep deprivation, the crying, and just trying to figure out what the f*** you're doing and how you're going to go about ever feeling normal again, there are a lot of moments of guilt, exhaustion, and absolute defeat.  

However - there are also moments of love, hope, victory, and accomplishment.   I know for a fact that there are a lot of parents who didn't find these adjustments to be so difficult, and I also know for a fact that there are a lot of parents who had it A LOT harder than we did.  This parenting gig ain't for the weak of heart - for any of us.  But having that second baby renewed my faith in the process.  I know veteran parents everywhere are saying "just you wait -  the hardest parts are yet to come" and there's probably a lot of truth in that.  But I have a lot more confidence in myself now as a mom who knows what's best for my babes, and also a person who has the responsibility of shaping and raising these babies.  Parents- rest assured.  We are capable of going through some crazy hard things for our kids.  And I know I'm biased, but my littles are TOTALLY worth it.  So I say- bring on whatever life has in store!!