How It Feels to Have a Newborn Again (baby blues part 2)

“How has it been—having a newborn again?” I’ve been asked that a lot since Rosie was born, especially since I opened up about having a bit of the baby blues after having Watson. I received a lot of feedback after that post… so many of you felt the exact same way I did. Some of you shared your experiences after having that second baby. Some said it was so much easier and some said having a second child knocked the wind out of your sails even more than it did after your first baby. And then there were some of you who, like me, said you were afraid to take the plunge in having a second baby due to the experience you had the first time around. So, I definitely want to share with y’all how it’s going this time. My experience has been a lot different and it’s my hope to share some positivity and confidence to those of you who felt the same as I did after that first baby!

As we awaited Rosie’s arrival, I was blissfully excited, but I felt vulnerable at the same time—and that terrified me. I worried about how I’d handle having a newborn again. The thought of having her and snapping back to that dark place I was in for a little while after having Watson made me afraid. I feared losing myself again in the midst of a sea of newborn cries and having that feeling of sadness that I couldn’t nail down. And on top of that, I knew that this time, it would be no easier with an almost two year old running around needing me and with me trying to work at the same time. (The big downside to being self-employed is that work never ends. It’s around the clock and doesn’t include any maternity leave!)

One of the things I shared in that blog post about life with Watson as a newborn was that I envied all of the women who posted photos of their newborns and shared captions about that “newborn high” and how they couldn’t get enough of their new baby. I mean, I  felt the same way after I had Watson… From the moment I laid eyes on that sweet boy, I loved him more than anything else in the world and was incredibly grateful. But there was something going on in my body that I couldn’t help… and those feelings of love and joy were often overshadowed by the sadness I felt. And I didn’t even know where the sadness was coming from! I wanted to be happy like I expected to be and I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t.

To brace myself for that feeling this time, I really had my dukes up. I knew what to expect based on my experience last time and tried hard to mentally prepare myself for it. (The truth is, though, that you can’t ever fully be prepared.)

But then something unexpected happened after she was born. The new baby bliss that you have in the hospital while snuggling your baby never went away after I got home and had a few nights with a crying baby. It didn’t go away after the first week and it didn’t go away after the second week. And now, Rosie turned five weeks old yesterday and I still hasn’t gone away.

This time, my emotions are letting me feel the way I want to feel. Happy. Incredibly happy.

A friend recently asked me if I felt redemption in having Rosie. So, to answer that question directly: Yes, she has totally restored my viewpoint on life with a newborn and I’m a better mother to both of my babies because of it because it made me appreciate those early days in a totally different way.

I know I’m barely 5 weeks postpartum and I don’t want to speak too soon, but the only part that has been emotionally tough on me has been that I miss the individual attention I could give to Watson at any time, but I’ve found that balancing out more and more as time passes. And the only sadness I feel is that the weeks are going by too quickly. When we brought Rosie home from the hospital, I realized just how big Watson is compared to her and that made me sad. I feel anxious about them growing up! I want to savor each moment as much as possible—seeing Rosie and Watson together makes me want five more children!

So what has the difference been this time? Well, for one, our house is not under renovation this time, so we feel totally settled at home. That’s a huge one. The next big one is that we already have a child, so our life didn’t make nearly as much of a change this time. Another reason for my happy experience is that I gained far less weight during this pregnancy and because of that, I’m fitting in my normal clothes now, rather than having only 3 sweaters + two pairs of leggings to pick from as I did after having Watson. (Didn’t realize how much of a difference this could make emotionally, but it has! I’ll do a post on postpartum weight loss and exercise soon.) And lastly, I think having clear expectations of what having a brand new baby entails has helped because I haven’t been surprised by anything. All of the body changes, breastfeeding, sleep deprivation, and other life changes are now just little hurdles I’ve already crossed before, so it’s no big deal this time. Since I’ve done all this before, I’m more relaxed and I feel much more confident in motherhood. Plus, I now know that the newborn phase passes so quickly and my life won’t forever be spent waking up through the night to feed a crying baby. (Although Rosie is already dropping those feedings quickly!) I now know that those days have an expiration date. And this time, instead of hoping that date comes soon, I find myself soaking up every moment while I’ve got it—no matter how loud the cries and no matter how tired my eyes are. I want the days and weeks to pass slowly this time.

How has Watson been with having a new baby in the house? He absolutely loves his sissy, or “hithssy,” as he says. He gives her kisses all day long. Brings her blankets, pacis, burp cloths, diapers—anything he can find that might be helpful. We can ask him, “Where’s Rosie?” and he’ll point to her, but he hasn’t tried to say her actual name yet. She’s just sissy to him. He’s a super busy child, so the only time I’ve noticed any sort of frustration (occasionally) is when I’m nursing her and can’t tend to his needs at the same time.

It feels so good to follow up with y’all on a happy note this time. I’m sharing this to give hope to anyone who felt the baby blues after their first child and, like I did, feel fear of going through that again. Of course everyone is different, but I hope that all of you who fit that category will have an experience the second time around like I have. A happy one. Because we all deserve that… total redemption.

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33 Comments

  1. Laura
    February 7, 2018 / 11:41 am

    I’m sorry but this drives me nuts. As a woman and a mother, I have a problem with people saying after they have babies that they want their old life, they miss their body, doing things for themselves. Why did you have kids!!? It feels very much like me me me and I just can’t stand it. There are so many women that would love to have children and cannot, so the life that you are missing (gym going, shopping and dinners out) just sounds so vein and for that reason I cannot read your blog as a mom any more. When you are blessed with kids you should feel grateful, not selfish, and calling it the “blues” is a mask for the vanity that just makes me sick.

    • Molly
      February 7, 2018 / 1:40 pm

      It is shameful that as a woman and a mom you aren’t more supportive of someone who is sharing their journey with the baby blues. As someone who struggled with postpartum depression after the birth of my son in June, one of the biggest emotions I felt was shame that I was struggling. Becoming a mother seemed so easy for everyone else, even my closest friends, so why was I having a hard time? It was refreshing to read a blog where the author was honest about her struggle.

      I had many tearful conversations with my husband and mom about how I just wanted to feel like myself again. This wasn’t because I missed my old life or because I didn’t love my son or wasn’t grateful for what a blessing he was. I simply wanted to get through a day without crying, wanted to understand why I was feeling the way I was, wanted a little more rest, and didn’t want to feel ashamed for how I was feeling.

      The baby blues are real and they aren’t a mask for vanity. What will really make a difference is for women and mothers to support each other and be open to talking about it. Motherhood isn’t a walk in the park and admitting that doesn’t make you a bad mom or any less grateful for the children you have.

      • holycitychic
        February 7, 2018 / 2:44 pm

        You nailed it Molly. Thank you so, so much. And congratulations on your sweet boy!! <3

      • February 8, 2018 / 6:30 am

        One more time for the people in the back! There are hormonal changes in a new mother’s body that many of these emotions are rather uncontrollable. I went through a bit of PPD after my daughter was born last February. For the first 8 weeks, I felt like all I did was feed my daughter and lay on the couch. There were some days I didn’t even go outside. And THAT was depressing because of how much of a busy body I was before she came along. Did I miss my “old life”? Yes, I definitely missed having the working woman identity. But did it make me any less grateful for having a happy healthy baby? Absolutely not. And thankfully, these baby blues dissipated when I finished maternity leave. So thank you, Molly! Not every mother’s experience is the same.

      • Sarah Newman
        February 11, 2018 / 10:18 am

        Thank you for this comment, Molly! I am with you, girl. Postpartum depression hit me as well and if anyone out there thinks that you have control over the sadness you feel towards motherhood during that time, they are sorely mistaken. No one, and I mean no one, would CHOOSE to feel that sadness, the confusion, the “blues”, etc. It is clear that the reader above did not experience this herself (which is truly a blessing!) and it’s just a shame to see someone be so closed minded to something simply because it wasn’t their own experience. Again, I’m with you — we all need to stick together!

        Megan, THANK YOU for sharing your experiences so openly and honestly. You have eased some of the “am I the only one who feels this way?” shame that comes along with PPD and those baby blues.

    • holycitychic
      February 7, 2018 / 2:39 pm

      I’m sorry you feel that way, Laura. I chose to have my wonderful children and gladly sacrificed my life as I knew it beforehand! I would never go back! I wanted children literally the day after I got married—couldn’t wait for them! But, as someone who is just as open about how wonderful of blessings they are to me and how grateful I am to have them, I am also being open and honest when I say that I felt the baby blues after having Watson. It shocked me. I didn’t feel sad only because I missed my life before children… it was literally an emotional/hormonal imbalance in my brain that I couldn’t help. “Baby Blues” are a real thing and there is nothing vanity about that. I shared my experience on my blog because so many other women feel the same way… and after that post, tons of women reached out to me in appreciation for bringing light to an issue that is often hidden behind the curtains. I believe it’s not discussed because of fear of being judged. Judgement like you just placed on me.

    • Katey
      February 7, 2018 / 8:53 pm

      Where is your compassion? I’m a mother myself and I hope I raise my daughter to be compassionate, instead of commenting unkind words on a stranger’s blog and thinking that’s okay. You may think baby blues is sick, but I find comments on a vulnerable blog post like this sick.

      • holycitychic
        February 8, 2018 / 9:41 am

        Thank you, Katey. xoxo

    • Lindsey
      February 8, 2018 / 2:32 am

      Ugh, Laura, you’re just mean and super rude! Your comments make ME sick! Im sorry but clearly YOU have no idea what you’re talking about! Totally shameful that you would ever judge a mother going through difficult emotions. PS that’s not how you spell “vain”

      • holycitychic
        February 8, 2018 / 9:42 am

        You’re the best, Lindsey. Thanks for the support!

      • Lauren
        February 10, 2018 / 9:27 pm

        Omg I couldn’t agree with you more. That comment made me tear up it’s so mean. I’m a mom. I love love love my baby. Sometimes I miss things I used to do or feel. It’s not vain. I think of people (including friends of mine) who can’t have children naturally all the time. Life is not black and white and I feel all of these things

  2. Kristina
    February 7, 2018 / 12:42 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing! I love that you have been so open and vulnerable about your feelings and your experience with each newborn! I’m currently in my third trimester with my first baby boy and, although I’m eternally grateful for this pregnancy and sweet baby (getting pregnant was a struggle and a journey for us!), I do have some apprehension about how I might feel when he arrives. I am beyond excited and thankful for our Leighton’s pending arrival, but I also know so many women experience the baby blues for one reason or another and I just want to applaud you for sharing your experience after Watson – it is beyond helpful and relatable! I’m also SO glad to hear you’ve had such a happy and positive experience with Rosie so far. She is beautiful and your sweet family seems so happy. Keep doing what you’re doing! I know I’m not alone in how much I enjoy following your story 🙂

    • holycitychic
      February 7, 2018 / 3:05 pm

      Thank you so much, Kristina! Congratulations on your sweet baby boy on the way! I love his name! <3

  3. Kelsey Mubarak
    February 7, 2018 / 3:18 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing! I love following along on your blog and really connected with your post regarding baby blues. I felt almost the exact same way after having my now 2 year old. I am 22 weeks pregnant with twins currently and this most recent blog post has given me hope for a different happier experience the second time around. Dont pay attention to the haters! Cheers to being a fabulous mom! Ps-purchased/ordered two of the million dollar baby cribs and cant wait to see how they look in the twins nursery-thank you for the inspiration💗

    • holycitychic
      February 7, 2018 / 3:40 pm

      Twins! Aw, how exciting! I hope you love the cribs… we love ours! Thank you for your sweet comment and sharing how you connected with my experience the first time around. Praying you have an experience like I have had this time.. so far, at least! Hope the rest of your pregnancy is smooth sailing for you. 🙂

  4. Jimin
    February 7, 2018 / 4:05 pm

    Love your blog. Thank you for your vulnerability and transparency. Sometimes I look at women on the blogs who always look manage to look immaculate and happy at the same time and wonder if I’m doing something wrong. Also would love to see a post on how you have already managed to wear your non-maternity clothes again. I’m embarrassed to admit that I am also a mom of two under two and my baby is three months old and I’m still wearing maternity.

    • holycitychic
      February 8, 2018 / 11:12 pm

      Thank you for your sweet comment! And congratulations on your new baby. Trust me, I may be wearing regular clothes but it’s all squeezed in tight, haha! Thanks again! x

  5. Toni D.
    February 7, 2018 / 4:59 pm

    Wow, I’m not sure Laura and I read the same blog post. I didn’t get that impression from you at all. I felt you were open, honest and sharing in a way that many of us feel but don’t know how to express with trying to juggle it all and still be happy, smiley, and put on a grateful to be mom attitude with new babies. It is ROUGH having children and I had two c-sections to recover from. Now, my children are much older, son is 19 and daughter is 14 and I STILL vividly remember trying to tie a bow on her birth announcement (that was before Snapfish and Shutterfly was well known) and crying my eyes out over struggling to tie that darn bow! I had NO idea why I was crying, I should be happy doing it but I had no joy because I was exhausted and I’m sure my hormones were out of whack! Exhaustion is short lived for some but mine lasted 13 months, my daughter took that long to sleep through the night. Now she sleeps till Noon! Haha. Anyways, exhaustion can definitely lead to sadness and weariness but it doesn’t mean we are ungrateful for our child. It just means we wish for more REM sleep LOL. I’m glad you recognize the newborn phase is short-lived because IT IS HARD! Doesn’t mean we love our child any less nor does it mean we shouldn’t have had kids. Of course we all miss the free spirit of life before kids, I don’t think you’re human if you don’t, but definitely hormones get affected when having kids in in how it makes us feel and I agree with others, we need to support women in how they express what they are going through and not pass judgement. There’s enough negativity out in the world that I think to read your honest and open blog makes it happier, I’ll be sticking around. Keep up the good work and keep lovin those babies up because it passes far too quickly. Once they get older, it’s just a different kind of hard. Hard that you don’t see your college student as much and you miss them like crazy even if it is crazy expensive to send them there! Big hugs to you, you have a beautiful family! 💜

    ps. So sorry for the long comment. 😉

    • holycitychic
      February 8, 2018 / 11:14 pm

      Aw, thank you, Toni! I agree with you… hormones are crazy things! I can definitely relate to crying and not knowing why because you want to be so happy! I appreciate your kind comment and support. Thank you again!

  6. February 7, 2018 / 10:19 pm

    Bravo for you for putting it all out there and, although I know you aren’t, PLEASE pay no mind to those who have not walked where you have. I definitely think Molly nails it in her response to Laura, and I don’t want to focus on the back and forth, but MAN — it’s hard to see a fellow mom being so judgmental, short-sited, and really kind of cruel.

    I had short term blues after both of my daughter’s births, and I wish someone would’ve prepared me a bit more for that. All I’ve ever wanted to be is a mom, I love them each more than life itself, but I am still a human. An individual. We all are! I think the mix of recovering from c-sections and the fact that they both had colic is what did me in, but really, there doesn’t need to be an explanation. Sometimes it’s just hard. And that’s okay as long as we have a support system. You are providing one here, and that is so valuable! Enjoy your newborn snuggles with sweet Rosie… it really does go so fast. XO

    • holycitychic
      February 8, 2018 / 9:44 am

      Thank you, Jen! I felt the same as you… I didn’t expect to feel anything other than overly happy after Watson was born. So it shocked me to feel any sort of sadness! If only I had been prepared for that just a little! You’re an amazing mama— and thanks for having my back!

  7. Lindsey
    February 8, 2018 / 2:27 am

    Awww love this post! So happy to hear that you’re having a different new experience this time around! With my son, I had such a similar experience to you when you had Watson and I’m expecting a baby girl in the spring and share the same fears you had before Rosie, so this was so refreshing and uplifting to read! Thank you so much for sharing your honest and open feelings! (And please ignore that ridiculous comment earlier from that crazy judgey girl, she clearly has NO idea what she is talking about and I was so mortified when I read her annoying comment!) you’re an amazing mama!!! Rosie is such a doll! Xoxo -Lindsey

    • holycitychic
      February 8, 2018 / 9:48 am

      Thanks, Lindsey! I hope your experience with baby girl will be similar to mine! You will love having one of each—seeing Watson love on Rosie is honestly the best thing in the world and you’ll have that soon enough! Appreciate your support so much.

  8. February 8, 2018 / 3:19 pm

    I’m so glad to have found a blogger like you who speaks the truth! I also had a very hard time after having my first daughter, and ended up being diagnosed with PPD 6 months after giving birth. I’m now home with my second baby girl, and we’re only at day 5 but I can already tell such a difference in the way I feel. And like you, I couldn’t believe how big my other baby looked to me now! (She’s 18 months). So, thank you for sharing. And thank you for always being honest and not just being an ad blogger. I love coming to your page and seeing what you truly think about products and not what you’re paid to say. I hope you continue to feel that baby high too! And I’m sorry for people who don’t understand what you meant to do with this blog post.

    • holycitychic
      February 8, 2018 / 11:14 pm

      That is so nice of you to say. Thank you!! <3

  9. February 8, 2018 / 4:48 pm

    THANK YOU for being open and honest about this. I can’t imagine how dejecting it is to put your feelings out there, only to have someone discount them. Just know that your candidness and openness is much appreciated, and as a working mother of a one year old, I completely identify with ALL the feels you have — having a child is the toughest, yet most joyful, thing I have ever done. I have never felt more like myself and less like myself than I have in the last year. This post is the kind of thing I needed to read … especially since my husband (and I!) want a house full of babies. Thanks for sharing your experience. You are total #momgoals, just like all the other mama’s out there. 🙂 Keep it up!

    • holycitychic
      February 8, 2018 / 11:23 pm

      Kelsey, THANK YOU! So nice of you to say. And yes… a house full of babies!! I’m trying to talk Brandon into that right now. 🙂

  10. Tiffany
    February 8, 2018 / 5:03 pm

    I am constantly amazed by the women shaming that goes on in our society. Why we can’t just lift each other up? Thanks for being brave and sharing your story. PPD is hitting me now after almost 4 months and I so appreciate your story right now. And coming from someone who under went fertility treatments and years of being told my chances of ever having a baby were slim, when I did get pregnant, I still worried about the things you did. It is totally normal and doesn’t mean that we are not grateful for the little blessings that they are! xoxo

    • holycitychic
      February 8, 2018 / 11:22 pm

      You’re so right, Tiffany. It’s all normal! And a big congratulations on your baby! It sounds like it was a tough road for you and I’m so glad it led to your sweet baby. Keep your head up, mama… your baby is blessed to have you!

  11. Megan
    February 8, 2018 / 10:42 pm

    Thank you for 2 very honest postpartum posts. This seriously gives me courage. My little guy is 16 months and we are debating on the next. Following my first I was also having a really hard time with feeling down, being tearful, and anxious over everything. In addition to the regular newborn struggles, he had a dairy intolerance so I had to cut all dairy from my diet causing me more anxious knowing that if I slipped up I was causing him distress. Needless to say I have felt extreme anxiety about a second child. Reading your words truly helps. It makes me feel like I can do this too. And like you said I know what to expect and I can embrace it. I cannot exactly put it into words, but thank you, your words spoke right to my soul.

    • holycitychic
      February 8, 2018 / 11:17 pm

      Hi Megan! I’m so glad these posts helped in some way. Your anxieties sound like what I felt and so hopefully you’ll be so much more relieved this next time—if y’all do have another baby. And I hope you do!! Thank you again for your sweet comment!

  12. Megan
    February 13, 2018 / 2:29 pm

    I also appreciate you being so open. I’m newly pregnant with my first…about 12 weeks in and I’m terrified of getting the ‘baby blues’. I assume because I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety most of my life and know how it can make you feel day in and day out. However, when others share their experiences, it gives me hope that it will be okay and I’ll make it through! Again, thanks for sharing. XOXO

  13. February 23, 2018 / 2:12 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experiences Megan. I’m due in three weeks with my second and definitely had the “baby blues” with my son. I think it was the sheer overwhelming feeling of having this new little life and not having a clue what I was supposed to do along with the hormonal changes going on with my body and the fact that my body had just been through something amazing and horrific and was trying to heal. I’m hopeful that I won’t have as much of the “baby blues” with my daughter that I had with my son, and like you said in your post knowing what could possibly be coming and being able to mentally prepare myself for it is the best thing I can do. So glad you shared this, really helps other moms like me feel like we’re not the only ones. : )

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