And Then There Was Two
By Paul Morrone CFP®, CPA/PFS, MSA
The experience of having Ryan couldn’t have been more different than with Kyle. The first time around, everything is new. You’re a dangerous cocktail of nervous, excited, sleep deprived and slightly panicked. I was like a deer in headlights, frozen, in shock and completely baffled after his delivery. Then the nurse casually handed me a minutes-old child like it was a meatball sub, as if to say ‘here ya go!’ There was almost an expectation that I would know what to do. Clearly, I was in over my head.
Ryan’s birth was, of course, eventful, but we now had a benchmark to compare everything to. From Jill going into labor to the ‘customer service’ at the hospital, to finally getting released and coming home, it didn’t feel so new. When Ryan came, our confidence was high. Jill knew exactly when she was going into labor and we already knew what to expect going to the hospital. Our only mistake was waiting maybe a bit too long to go to Yale because by the time we got there it was ‘go time.’ No time for an epidural, no time to get ready, no time for anything other than having a baby. Two pushes and he was out. Good thing we left when we did, otherwise Ryan would have been born somewhere on the southbound side of the Q bridge!
When the nurse handed Ryan to me for the first time, it felt natural. No deer in headlights look or awkward handoff, it wasn’t my first rodeo. The only thing that took me by surprise was how much smaller Ryan felt than Kyle, he was about a pound lighter at birth. Kyle was very stout right from the get-go, and even had great neck control within his first hours. With the lower weight, Ryan felt much frailer and skinnier, although equally alert and awake.
After getting acclimated in our room on the postpartum floor, it almost started to feel like business as usual. We knew what to do when the baby cried, how to hold him, feed him, change a diaper, and even how to swaddle like a pro (which is probably the hardest thing out of all of those to figure out). The nurses even commented in how low maintenance we were during our stay. A far cry from our first experience, I can assure you. While I can’t complain about our two nights in the hospital, coming home was a welcomed change of scenery.
I think both Jill and I were both surprised how much we missed Kyle during the three days he spent at my parent’s house. We certainly had not forgot about him and were excited to introduce him to his baby brother. Once we had gotten settled at home, my parents brought Kyle back and everyone got to meet Ryan for the first time.
We all were a bit concerned that Kyle would struggle to share the limelight with his little brother. So far, he has surprised us (in a good way!). He looks out for him, holds him (with our help, of course), talks to him, shares his toys with him, and even kisses him goodnight. Hopefully that love and affection only grows stronger over time. I’m sure they will fight, as only siblings can, but for now we will enjoy every minute of their peaceful time together.