No one tells you the immense struggles you are about to face, or how the world you have just gained control over, is about to completely turn upside down.
The labour is much easier. This the good news. After a 39 hour labour with my first born, I was amazed that my second baby came in thirty minutes. I remember with Oscar, I freaked out the whole time, I was terrified. In the end I had 11 epidural top ups, pethidine and a forceps delivery then the added trauma of being rushed to theatre as my placenta was retained. Luna’s labour was with no pain relief, as I didn’t have time, three pushes and she was out, literally the perfect labour. If all labour’s were like Luna’s, I can’t see myself ever saying “no, thats enough children now”. Its amazing how your body remembers what to do and somehow makes it easier. The way Luna shot out I was expecting her to be tiny, but no, she was an ounce heavier than her brother at 8lb 12oz.
The guilt. Suddenly when I took Luna home, reality hit. I had guilt overwhelm my body, and with the fresh hormones from Luna this was a really hard time. To be honest, I still feel that guilt now. Every time I held Luna and I saw the way Oscar would look at me it broke me. He realised he now had to share me, and I hate that. If he asks me to help him with his colouring, or puzzles or if he just wants a cuddle, sometimes I have to say “No”. A newborn baby relies on you for everything, two hands is not enough! People think its one hand for each child, but thats a load of shit. Two hands for one child is much more realistic. Then suddenly amidst all this guilt my two year old had grown up in to what seemed to be a five year old, he helped me with bottles, nappies and instead of me having to wave the pointless toys in Luna’s face, he would do it. I realised how big and grown up Oscar had become compared to this tiny baby who needed us. Like I said the guilt is still there, but its a little bit easier now Luna is crawling and able to do more things for herself and I can spend some time playing with Oscar because although he seems grown up, he still needs me probably just as much as Luna does.
I’m still learning. Google was- OK, still is, my friend. The amount of sleepless nights I spent googling why my baby wouldn’t sleep, or why they were screaming when I had done everything possible, well I thought with my second I kind of knew everything I needed to know. I was wrong. I never knew babies could be so different. Oscar was an easy baby, he only suffered with a little bit of colic. Luna, well she had reflux and a milk intolerance so it was a whole different ball game with her. I have learnt that I will forever be learning and will experience new things with both my children and if I have anymore in the future. Also I still find it reassuring looking on google, and any other mum forum I can find.
Help. What help? When baby number one comes along, everyone is quick to help and offer to babysit anytime. Number two comes along and it disappears. It’s a thousand times harder to get a babysitter for a day let alone overnight. That help you turned down with number one, you’re begging for with baby number two. I’ve cried a lot more with Luna than I did with Oscar. No one tells you how hard it will be, mentally. When it gets so hard that you lock yourself in the bathroom just so you can have five minutes to yourself. I am lucky to be honest, since the new year my mother in law looks after both the kids one night a month. It’s so important for Dan and I to focus on our relationship, otherwise we would both be going insane by now. The house is a shit heap, constantly. I have no time to clean, as soon as Oscar is at nursery, and Luna is down for a nap, the perfect time to clean, I sit and do nothing, well, because I can. I appreciate nap time and Oscar being at nursery a lot more now. I probably should clean more when Luna naps but I miss slobbing about! So I tend to do that, and germs are good for your babies right! Build their immune system and all that, right?
More chilled about everything. I haven’t put the second baby in a routine like our first born was in by now. So what. Luna hated tummy time because of her reflux, so I barely did that with her, but it hasn’t affected her development in any way. She was crawling at six months, just like her brother who had countless hours of tummy time. The second baby will learn to figure everything out eventually, on their own. The amount of times I wrapped Oscar, so he couldn’t bend his limbs, Luna will go out without her coat on or without a blanket and there is a slight breeze, shit, I’m like living on the edge, and I kind of like it.
It will get better. I am writing this almost seven months into being a family of four, and I think I have it under some sort of control. It is bloody challenging though, Oscar and his tantrums and Luna and her clingyness but I know this is all just a stage of this parenting malarkey and they do grow up too fast. I haven’t had time to cherish the milestones so much with Luna like I did with Oscar, I’m just so preoccupied as a parent and housewife. -I don’t know how you parents of more than two manage! Hats off to you, you amazing humans.