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SCOT BELLAVIA: First Week With The Second-Born

Day 1:

(at the hospital) This is all really familiar and really different.

(after she was born) Our first-born is at home so it feels like we don’t have him and now we’ve started the whole process over.

Nobody says “Hello” or “Goodbye” anymore; they say “Congratulations” and “Congratulations again.”

Day 2:

She’ll likely never know England to have a queen.

My plan: grab some zzzs at any odd moment so I’m always ready to help. Fool-proof.

I dropped the pacifier on the hospital floor and my wife said I couldn’t return it to the baby’s mouth. I’m curious in what ways we’ll be laxer than we were with her brother, but apparently this isn’t one of those ways.

I passed our delivering doctor in the hallway today and she looked like a cape-less superhero to me. But we were both masked so maybe she didn’t notice me and, anyway, yesterday was just another day in the life for her.

(when brother met sister) Somehow, even though they’re hardly twins, it was like seeing double.

I think because the firstborn had all our attention, I expected to be able to continue that with both children but instead, my eyes have to look in different directions like a chameleon.

Day 3:

(overnight) I’m not so sure that napping plan is as foolproof as I first thought. I’m the fool.

This is going to be tricky, figuring out a rhythm of how to do things.

There is a SIZEABLE size difference between big brother and little sister and I underestimate it each time I pick one of them up.

Day 4:

I can’t see having a favorite but I can see how it happens. I focus too much on one child because I forget about the other when I’m with the one except when I recognize that I’m forgetting the one when I’m with the other.

The days are long, the months are short, and the years are shorter.

We’ve looked back on pictures of our firstborn at this age and thought “How funny looking! How did we ever think he was cute then? He doesn’t look like himself at all.” But now, our second-born is that alien age and I’m thinking, “How adorable! How did we ever live without you? I know you don’t look like you will but I like how you look now.”

Day 5:

We have a new member of our family! That’s so wild. She didn’t exist and now she does. She has all the same rights and privileges given to her brother. Everything about being a Bellavia is hers now at only four days old. The Bible says the same thing when you come into the family of God.

Day 6:

We’ve started saying “the kids,” which feels very big.

There is absolutely no reprieve time, except when I make it and when I make it, it means someone else doesn’t have it. I don’t know how we’ll get anything done once my in-laws leave.

She is very much a stranger, one I’m intensely excitedly to know.

Day 7:

Let us not chuckle off the diminished personal time that comes with having children. Let us commiserate and help each other in it. Let us open our mouths to our spouses regarding it, because it is a loss.

Naps are a family affair! Now, if we could only take them simultaneously…

They said when a father meets his daughter, he’ll bawl his eyes out and promise her the world. I’ve always committed not to do that—I think it’s sappy—but my goodness I am in love.

– Scot Bellavia

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