Ours is probably the most abnormal way to adjust to having two kids so I won’t call it relatable, but hopefully there are some universal nuggets in my experience that we can all share together.
With my first child, it was a casual adjustment. After two months of maternity leave, I started working from home more and going into work 1 or 2 days a week (we also moved about a 45 minute drive outside the city so that was more the reason why) and my boss was fine with that. I still got lots of work done and remained passionate about it so that helped too. I was still working when my second pregnancy caused my blood volume to greatly increase – that, paired with the stress of moving triggered my brain bleed.
This essentially caused me to be on bedrest starting at month 4 of my pregnancy – first facing 10 days of coma, relearning to walk, talk, eat… everything. I don’t have memories from that time but I’ve seen a little footage and it’s so bizarre. Eventually I was able to get out of bed and walk with assistance for physical therapy and I slowly started making memories again.
I stayed in Thailand for many months of recovery since doctors did not recommend flying without radiotherapy and did not want to administer it while I was pregnant. Fair. I’m so happy to have my sweet little buddy health and whole. I’m also really excited to move onto the next phase of life because we bought a house of our own again and we’ll move there next month and start figuring out our rhythm in a new space.
Things will be different and we’ll be on our own for the first time since the bleed – really though i’m adjusting to everything being different.
- brain injury – This is just my new reality but it’s also an ever-shifting reality since I’m constantly improving. I do balance and eye exercises to keep the momentum up as well.
- severe winter – I’ll be honest, I expected this to be MUCH worse in Northern Canada. I’m guessing it’ll be pretty bad still during the first month of our move but it’s been very doable and Minnesota, where I was before Thailand is in the middle of a crazy winter storm so it’s been so mild, considering.
- no nanny or job – These are both massive changes for me. I left my job behind when I was admitted at the hospital and then when I was transferred to Bangkok, we said goodbye to our nanny in Chiang Mai as well. I think after our next move and after we settle in for a while, I’ll try to find someone who can come part time or nanny-share with my sister-in-law so that I can do some video work again.
- no driving – I’m not driving yet because we’re hoping for the best on my improvement, especially for vision and reaction time. It’s hard to gauge when I will be healed enough to drive on either of those fronts because driving doesn’t come with any guarantees. I’m worried that my reaction time may be lowered for a while yet but I don’t have a good way to gauge it. My glasses help immensely with the vision issues. But we’ll try to keep me not driving for a while yet, or at least not driving the kids around. I don’t know when I’ll ever feel healed enough to drive them around. We’re setting ourselves up really well not to need to with a grocery store, library, cafe and park right around our new place so that’s exciting to me as well.
- not my city – Right now we’re living in an unfamiliar city so everything is unfamiliar to me. I don’t know where things are or what activities there are to do in town. We are spending a lot of time with family, which is great, but there aren’t easy places to walk to or check out.
- living with family – There are no appointments to make with family; it’s been constant.
Having this little guy around as well has been really cool. He’s so laid back and very sweet (unless he’s hungry!). Mostly he just wants to be part of the action or close to it and then he’s happy. I also forgot how much they sleep in the first year of life. My daughter continues to be a sweet big sister and that’s really cool to watch. She loves to help take care of him or make him laugh. And she’s the best at it! He thinks she’s hilarious and I love it.
With so much change on the horizon too, I’m excited that I’ll have more and more agency. I’m so grateful to be on this side of everything – with two healthy kids no less! I’m realizing how hard it is to compare going from one to two kids because literally everything in my life has changed in the adjustment. Perhaps next month after the move and everything I’ll be able to reflect more on the difference between having one and two kids. I feel like my whole life is still an adjustment so it’ll be great to settle down somewhere more permanently, that’s for sure.