When I gave birth to my first daughter back in 2011, I honestly felt like I had been hit by a bus. I don’t think anything could have prepared me for the lifestyle change, I talked to other parents, joined online forums, read books but it wasn’t until she actually arrived that I realised just what it meant to be a parent and the impact it would have on my life. I remember for several weeks after giving birth talking to my husband and asking him if he was happy to stop at one. Lots of people would ask me “are you having anymore” and I would shudder at thought and say god no, one’s enough! Time passed by and I started to recover from the birth, Gracie was sleeping through the night, she was also starting to interact with me, smiling and giggling and amazingly one day I had a thought… “I could do this again”
Over the next few months this feeling got stronger and stronger and when Gracie turned 2 I was thrilled to fall pregnant again. Pregnancy the second time round was hard, harder than I remembered actually, I don’t know if it was having the toddler in tow but I just felt tired and everything ached, towards the end of pregnancy I struggled to move which made running round after Gracie lots of fun! (NOT)
Finally after what felt like the longest pregnancy known to man my second daughter was born, I no longer had a child but I had children, initially things felt easier, the labour was quicker, I was in and out the hospital within hours, bringing Nancy home was more relaxing as I knew from past experience what I needed to do and I just felt like I bounced back from labour a lot quicker however this was short lived as soon I realised that both my two children needed and wanted their one mum ALL THE TIME.
Suddenly I have no time to sit down, with one I could relax while she napped, or while she cuddled up on the sofa, or was happily playing alone, but not now, now they tag team me.
Gracie is inquisitive and follows me round like a shadow, what are you doing? can I see? Is my baby sister wide awake? can I hold her? can I kiss her? can I stroke her head? who’s that? what’s that? can I say hello? can I go for a walk? can I make a drink? can I look in the fridge?
Nancy is just in a cycle of sleep, cry, feed and wind, she happily falls to sleep on me but if I try to put her down she cries, I try to lay her down in her moses basket or in her rocker or under her play gym but then Gracie likes to “help” and disturbs her, she won’t settle in her crib upstairs so I have taken to either not doing what I need to do, or lugging her around under one arm and providing an half arsed attempt at getting things done.
It’s exhausting, I’m exhausted. I wonder if and when it will get easier and I wonder how those with 3, 4 or more get through the day! But then I look at them and they look at me and they smile and it doesn’t matter anymore, suddenly we’re embracing the chaos, I remind myself its not forever and bet myself that I’ll miss it when its gone…