The Sweetness of the Second

November 28th, 2011 by Dionna | 24 Comments
Posted in Adults, Eclectic Learning, Ensure Safe Sleep, Feed with Love and Respect, Guest Posts, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, natural parenting, Pregnancy and Birth

  • Email This Post

I am so honored to share a guest post today from the very talented Megan from Sorta Crunchy. Read more about Megan at the end of this post!

It has been four years since our second daughter was born, and as it seems to happen all too easily, so many of the details of that second whirlwind of pink and ribbons and bows have lost their sharp focus in my mind, blending and smudging together into one big hazy memory.

There is one thing, though, that I still remember perfectly; one memory of that moment in time that is precise and vivid in my fond recollections, a magical First with my second baby. For the first time as a new mama, I treasured and even looked forward to nighttime feedings with her.

With my first baby, nighttime wakings and feedings and time spent with her in the rocking chair were anything but sweet and idyllic. I spent most of her earliest months of life consumed with her “sleep problems.” Why wouldn’t she nap for more than 45 minutes at a time? Why was she waking up so much at night? I was following our schedule perfectly. Why were we up so much at night?

I grew bitter and resentful of those nighttime feedings, just sure that it was a symptom of a bigger problem – either an abnormal baby or a failing mother.

Months later, I happened to stumble across an article by Dr. Sears and soon discovered the concept of nighttime parenting. Wow. What a difference! I was able to let go of unrealistic expectations and finally felt empowered to nurture my child through the night, just as I would during the daytime hours.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t go back and change the early months of tears and anger and desperation that marked my first months as Mama. My second child, though, she offered to me the power of redemption.

Those are the moments I can recall with crystal clarity. She would awaken and together we would slip out of the darkness in our room and into the dimly lit living room. My husband is a terribly light sleeper who was under a lot of stress at work during this time, and our wee babe was the nosiest eater you’ve ever heard, so we would settle into our nursing nest on the loveseat several times each night.

Goodness, I loved those times with her. I was completely free to enjoy her without a smidgen of guilt over not giving my oldest my full attention. I thought I was prepared for the emotions of mothering more than one child, but I don’t think I realized how tense I was during the day until those blissful moments alone with my new baby at night.

I can still picture it now: the soft glow of the kitchen light gently illuminating her sweet little face, the flicker of the TV screen, the gulps and slurps followed by the contented sighs of a milk-drunk baby. Common sense told me to hurry us both back to bed, but so often I didn’t. Alone in the dark in the middle of the night, those were the moments I really got to know my second child.

Those first babies do the hard work of breaking us in and smoothing off the rough edges of who we thought we would be as mothers. The babies that come after owe an enormous gift of gratitude to those first-borns, I think, because they weather our anxieties, worries, and insecurities. With the babies that follow, we know better than to waste time with worry. Once we get a taste of how fleeting the baby days are, we learn the importance of savoring each moment, drinking in the sweetness of the second.


For over five years, Megan Tietz has written about faith, family, and natural living at SortaCrunchy. She and her husband and two daughers live on the windy plains of Oklahoma where she spends her days engaged in the fine (and messy) art of mothering.

Stop by and check out some of my recent favorite posts from Megan: In Defense of Scuffed Shoes, Lunchboxes and Love Notes (sniff), and her Pinterest tutorials – one for beginners, and one with more tips and tricks and FAQ.

24 Responses to:
"The Sweetness of the Second"

  1. Rachel Obrokta

    That is so sweet! Makes me look forward to having a second baby some day (hopefully soon!) :)

  2. LOL, I did nighttime parenting w/DS, breastfed on demand and all that, and he STILL only napped for 45 minutes at a time.

  3. Valerie @ Momma in Progress   mommainprogress

    Love this! Congratulations on your new little one. Ah, newborns! Sniff! My youngest just turned one, and no more newborns for us. Sigh. I have such wonderful memories of just he and I in the living room in the early morning hours . . . we stayed in the guest room for the first few weeks (hubby stayed with the girls in our room; their bed is on our floor). As a general rule, if it were after 5 am when he woke for a feeding, we got up for the day. He would lie peacefully on the floor while I made coffee and turned on the computer. I loved those quiet hours just sitting with him, watching him stare at the ceiling with that wonderful new baby intensity. I would talk to him about what I was doing/reading and he would just look at me, you know when babies look at you like they’re hanging on every word? Love.

    • Megan at SortaCrunchy   SortaCrunchy

      I love those days so much! There is just a kind of magic about it that just cannot be replicated in any other way.

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Ailia and I have been semi-reclining in the living room for a few nights, b/c we’re both sick. I have definitely enjoyed the alone time with her, but I’ll be happy when we can enjoy our family bed again too :)

  4. That was beautiful. Sniff. (If only I wasn’t still getting up to nurse my second-child-now-three-year-old several times a night. I clearly went wrong somewhere.) :-)

  5. Amanda

    Baby #3 is pushing 6 weeks now (and where does it go?) and cuddling on my lap while I type. So far, she’s the sweetest, sleepiest, most laid-back baby and I’m not sure I’d want her to suddenly need need need me all the time, but when she is up and wants to lie in my lap and stare at me, I can’t help but look at the one who was my baby just one second ago (or 19 months, time flies) and spend the extra minute not multi-tasking. And when she curls up with me in the middle of the night and we both doze off, I’m trying so hard to just enjoy it and not stress about her sleeping by herself or my bed being a butcher knife and instead revel in being her whole world.

    • Megan at SortaCrunchy   SortaCrunchy

      Such a beautiful, thoughtful response. Thank you, Amanda. I forget how they just stare and stare at you – you are so right, for the moment, Mama IS the world. Oh, I miss that.

  6. laura @ hollywood housewife   hollywoodhwife

    Love, love, love this post! I’m in the early days with Baby #2, and am also finding it surprisingly sweeter. Partly because of their different temperaments and partly because of mine. :)

  7. Rebecca

    Beautiful post! Loved every word of it. It both comforted me in that the second baby is less worrisome, yet made me nervous (never truly thought about how nerve-wrecking it will be to parent two children!) Thanks for illustrating a peaceful nighttime feeding in my mind. I loved those nighttime feedings with my oldest (starting when she was 3+ months old) and look forward to those moments again.

    • Megan at SortaCrunchy   SortaCrunchy

      It’s such a sweet, sweet time. And I’m not denying that it does take a physical toll eventually, but I really do miss those nights. Nothing like it.

  8. I really needed this reminder today. In my case, I’m worrying about the sleep habits of this second one, and I just want to be grateful and mindful of her sweet baby-ness.

    • Megan at SortaCrunchy   SortaCrunchy

      I was a total wreck over sleep issues with my first, so I can relate to that so much. I do wish, however, that I had focused more on those fleeting new baby days. It’s hard, I know, when you are trying to navigate the no-sleep days.

  9. Katie P

    I am currently pregnant with my second and this post just brought tears to my eyes. My son will also be 4 when this little one arrives and I am nervous/excited/anxious about how to handle and still savor each moment with two kids!

  10. Steph

    What a lovely story. I can relate. I co-sleep with dd2 and it feels like it’s our “quality time”. It’s so precious. Although the cosleeping can sometimes feel like a burden (I miss my hubby, as our beds not large enough for all three of us), I try to remember to cherish this time while I have it.

  11. Leigh

    So beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing! She really put to words everything I feel with my own daughter in the wee hours of the night!!!

  12. Gaby @ Tmuffin   tmuffindotcom

    Wow, thanks for reminding me of that! I still sleep in the guest room with Little M after his first night waking, and sometimes I curse under my breath when he wakes up, but I always wake up in the morning to his sweet, snuggly self, and it makes everything better. Or when we lay next to each other and he snuggles in to be closer. My first baby was not a snuggler at all (and is now a very tantrummy 2-year-old), so I love this.

  13. Marie

    Im currently 17 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child. My first and second are going to be 13 years apart. But I still remember getting up w my first and feeding her letting her lay on my stomach while I laid across the loves seat. I still tell everyone that time with her was when I felt the most relaxed in my whole life. I hope to cherish it the second time around also.

  14. Such sweet words. I was so anxious with my first too.I tried to schedule and it didn’t work, so I found peace in following his needs, but still regretted that I worried and missed those first months of his life. Then before my second was born, I resolved that I would just feed on demand and enjoy those middle of the night feedings and carrying her with me everywhere. Well, she showed me. She was born sleeping long periods at night, out grew her middle of the night feedings really early on her own, preferred being on a “schedule”, laying peacefully on the floor, and spending time at home. I’m not sharing to brag, but just pointing out how ironic it is because I was looking forward to doing the opposite! But this post does beautifully display my sentiments. I just revel in her beauty and babyness (you know… the baby smell, the rolls) as much I can.

  • Grab my new badge!

    Visit Code Name: Mama

  • Visit Natural Parents Network
  • Display & participate!

    Visit Code Name: Mama

  • Carnival of Weaning

    Carnival of Weaning