Change, whether chosen or accidental is always going to come with a learning curve or an adaptation period. Sometimes longer or more difficult than other times, but at some point or other the change blends into normal life and you stop thinking about it, moving on and challenging the next change to rear its head. I hope that at some point in time this is how change will seem to Luna.
It's not been so difficult for me, I have just taken everything in my stride, but then again Cesar and I made the choice to have a second child so soon after the first. Luna did not choose to have a little sister demanding mummy and daddy time. And she has definitely made that known! But the way I see it is that while these first few months may be tough on everyone, they are only a small speck on a lifetime of love and friendship. A small speck that neither child will remember consciously. Luna will most likely not recall that her little sister wanted to eat all the time, and Aurora will hopefully not remember the times her big sister tried to throw things at her head.
Luna has never been an "easy" child. She is highly sensitive and demands attention. This doesn't mean that she isn't independent, quite the contrary, but she does need a lot of physical and mental attention. She still wakes up multiple times at night and needs to be near one of us to feel safe enough to go back to sleep again. She still fights naps and needs to nurse when she is tired or upset about something. Aurora on the other hand seems to love a calm environment, sleeps well, just cries when she is hungry or wants to be held and literally closes her eyes as soon as Luna starts screaming about something and shuts her out. I try not to laugh...
So, it hasn't been easy, but that was to be expected. Navigating the bedtime routine alone, bathing one after another and trying to get Aurora to sleep long enough for me to get Luna to sleep has been full of trial and errors. Dealing with nighttime waking when one is hungry and the other wants comfort isn't always easy. Blocking out Luna's high pitched screams while trying to get Aurora to sleep can be somewhat trying. But day by day we are getting there, figuring out solutions and little things that work better than others. We have figured out that Aurora actually likes the swing and will sit quite contentedly in it, even if she doesn’t fall asleep, so she goes in it when it’s time for Luna to nap and sleep. It helps that Luna and I can have that cuddle time together too! Everything affects Luna’s sleep, so if I can give her 30 uninterrupted minutes of my time before she nods off I know that she will sleep more calmly.
Luna kisses her little sister and then throws something at her two seconds later. She cuddles her and then tries to kick her... She's still learning herself so how can she really know that she is inflicting pain on her sister? How can she really know that her sister isn't like her doll? I used to pull the heads off my dolls while saying "head off!". Then one day I tried to do it to my baby sister... At 2 years old I had no idea my little sister's head wasn't going to come off just like my dolls did. So we just have to gently but sternly tell her "no", usually about 100 times a day. I'm sure at some point it will stick and there will be more kisses and cuddles and less tantrums and flying objects. We always have to remember that Luna is only 18 months old and is still learning how to communicate effectively.
Sometimes I feel like my body is being ripped in half, one half with one and the other with the other, and then all of a sudden we are all one, cuddled together on the couch or in bed, breathing in unison and feeling perfectly happy and safe. Sometimes I feel bad because I can't pick Luna up every time she wants something because I am feeding her sister. Other times I feel guilty because I can't carry Aurora around constantly like I did for the first 4 months of Luna's life. But mainly I feel so amazingly happy and in awe of these perfect little beings that Cesar and I created. Their beautiful little faces, the expressions on those faces whenever you look at them, the little kisses and the laughs and the first smiles and that huge, aching love that you feel constantly, the love that seems so wide and deep and fulfilling.
All those worries about spreading that love you have for one to two melt the moment your new child is placed on your chest, there is more than enough love to go around and around and around.
It's easier the second time around. Your body is used to the sleep deprivation and you don't stress about a million things anymore. It's also easier for us because Luna was a tough baby, hated sleeping and would fight every it at nap and bedtime. She still does. Both Cesar and I expected the same with Aurora, but she is more relaxed, calmer. Or maybe that's because we are just more relaxed and calmer? Who knows. It also helps that my recovery was a million times easier this time, no back aches or knee aches or extreme fatigue. No breastfeeding learning pains or completely sleepless nights. No stressing about the state of the apartment - it will get cleaned when we have time, in the meantime these little munchkins get all of my attention!
I have even managed to carve out some me and some us time which is quite miraculous, usually both babes are asleep by 9, sometimes 10, which leaves a few hours to work, cuddle, chat, read and watch movies. Or clean up or eat if necessary. It's lovely to have a few hours like that, when everything is peaceful and calm, little children sleeping and grownups just relaxing.
It's all perfect in its imperfections. I never thought I would love life as much as I do today.