The Learning Curve

For those moms blessed with more then one child, you would think the second would be like riding a bike? Well, meet Liz.

Hi. I’m Liz Matthews. I’m a former librarian turned SAHM. My husband, Ryan, and I have been married for over nine years and together since we were 18 years old. We struggled with infertility for a while before having our first daughter, Eleanor. About five months after she turned a year old, we were ecstatic to learn we were pregnant again with our second baby. Margaret was born at home on March 24 at 12:45pm. She has the same cinnamon swirl on the back of her head as her sister.

You would think that I would have had this newborn thing down after having my first baby over a year ago, but boy that wasn’t the case at all. It felt like I had to relearn everything all over again — from nursing to swaddling to bathing. Everything. That was unnerving and really surprising. I remember feeling scared and nervous that first week after Margaret was born. How in the world could I handle taking care of a newborn and a toddler?! But, thankfully, with a lot of support from my midwives, husband and friends, I found my “new normal” as a mama of two around 6 weeks postpartum. Apart from feeling like a first time mom all over again, I think the most surprising thing about having a newborn was how quickly it felt like Margaret had always been a part of our family. Before she was born, I worried how we could ever love another baby as much as our first, but immediately after her birth, my heart felt like it doubled in size. It was effortless. She just fit into our family so perfectly.

My midwives were wonderful! I credit how well I recovered after birth because of their care and support. There were some things like benkung belly binding and herbal baths that I did to help me heal physically, but the fact that I knew that I had a great support system who not only looked out for my physical wellbeing but also my emotional health, made a world of difference and gave me so much peace to rest and recover. They made sure I took the “fourth trimester” seriously to bond with my new baby and heal. I also have to give a shout out to my husband because for the first two weeks postpartum, he took care of our toddler and the housework while I recovered.

Photos: Candice Dawn Photography

Austin, Texas