It's been 3 and a half weeks since Miss O was born and life with 2 kids began! What a whirlwind of emotions. I really had no idea how much life could change in such a short space of time. I actually didn't think I'd be writing a blog again so soon, because while they say 'the days are long but the years are short with kids,' I am actually finding the days are flying by because there just seems like so much to do! (I am able to write this now as Miss O is asleep, and Miss M is at the pool with Brendan).
Miss O's birth was a natural labour and even though it was shorter than Miss M's, it definitely didn't get any easier! I spent a week in hospital, even though I expected a shorter visit this time, but once again we had feeding issues. It's so hard having to recover from labour, and just wanting to sleep, or have a long shower, or a cup of tea in peace, but having a little one who wants and needs you at random hours of the day and night. Being sleep deprived would have to be one of the hardest things, especially when you have been used to having a good amount of sleep (Miss M hasn't been sleeping through for that long, but just long enough for me to forget how hard it is!) For both of the girls, I haven't felt an instant love or connection with them. That's really hard for me to admit, but it's the truth. It came a couple of weeks later with Miss M, and at least a week later with Miss O. As we hadn't found out Miss O's sex until she was born, I also felt a little bit disappointed because I had expected a boy (as my whole pregnancy was 100% different to Miss M's). Now I know that is the thing that you aren't supposed to say, but I've been reading Sarah Turner's book 'The Unmumsy Mum' and she felt the same after she had her second boy. Sarah talks about how people don't talk about being disappointed in your baby's sex, but that it's important to acknowledge those feelings, because they are real. It's refreshing to read other's experiences with these feelings, and actually her whole book really resonated with me, and I'd definitely recommend it, especially if you are keen for a good laugh!
On the flipside, I am so thankful that I have been blessed to be able to carry children; I am thankful that I have two healthy children, and I am [now] loving having two girls. I love referring to them as 'the girls' and I love that they will grow up having a sister, as I would have loved to have had a sister (I have two younger brothers).
Miss M absolutely loves her little sister, and as she can't say Miss O's name yet, she refers to her as 'the bubba.' She has really embraced her entry into our little family, and when she wakes up in the morning, she immediately asks 'Where bubba?' She has been acting out a little bit more than normal - she does this little fake cry - and I'm guessing it's because she isn't the centre of attention anymore, even though we have been trying really hard to include her when we give time to Miss O, and we have been able to still give her one-on-one time with both Brendan and myself. Either that or it could just be that she is 2 in less than 2 months!
Miss O was a healthy 9 pound 10 when she was born, and is already in 000 after 3 weeks! She feeds every 3 hours, even through the night, which I like because I love things being predictable and routine! Getting up at night was like torture for the first 2 weeks, but I've now been keeping myself awake by watching series that we've taped on our T-box, and Netflix, and reading. Is it weird that I half enjoy getting up and watching my shows in the middle of the night?! I would rather be asleep and get a full night's sleep, but I have to find some joy in those night feeds!
Looking back to life with just 1 child does now seem like a walk in the park, even though it certainly wasn't when I just had Miss M. The biggest challenge is how to leave the house on my own with 2 - I've only done this twice so far. There's certainly no rush, but now I'm reassessing whether I really need to leave the house at all! Though being stuck in our lounge room is getting a bit old. In time I know it will get easier. I certainly take my hat off to those with more than 2 kids!!
A big worry of mine prior to having Miss O is that the house would now be a bomb all the time, and that the dishes and washing piles would be overflowing. Brendan did an amazing job of cleaning and tidying before I came home from hospital, but unfortunately it didn't stay like that for long. Yes, that first week at home did resemble a scene out of Jumanji, but miraculously, when Miss M went to daycare, Miss O also happened to be very settled, and I somehow had the energy and motivation to tidy my house up, and since then I've just stayed on top of it, one day at a time. Looking around right now, there's a little more clutter than I'd like (you wouldn't think I did a big declutter when I was on maternity leave!) but the house is tidy, the dishes are done, and there's just one load of washing I plan to do tomorrow. How?! I have no idea. I've just been doing one load of laundry a day, I've been washing up a little more frequently so the sink stays clear, and I've managed to find 15 mins to do the bathrooms, and when Brendan is home, I've quickly vaccumed the floors while he occupies the girls. When Miss M has her nap between 12 and 2 each day, I make sure I eat lunch, and then I wash up, and then I tidy up her toys (all while attending to Miss O as well). I've been trying to fit in a 20-minute nap as well. It might take me 2 hours to do all these things, but that's ok. I guess I assumed I've have no time, and so anytime I get something done, it really is a little victory.
After completing Project 14 (through 'Organising the Four of Us') earlier this year (I'm currently doing Project 14 2.0, although it's hard to be fully committed with a newborn), I realised just how important self care is, and I've been making sure each day, for my own sanity and mental health, to do a few little things that make a massive difference. I make sure I get dressed (I do love pyjama days but you don't feel great if every day is a pyjama day), I make sure I eat, sit down for a hot cup of tea, and have a shower. Yes some days this is going to be impossible. But having these little goals, and doing these on most days has really helped. I have a history of mental health issues, so I truly believe that you cannot pour from an empty cup, and I need to look after myself, as well as the kids. I cried most days in the first 2 weeks of Miss O's life, but after we sorted out the feeding issues, and I made sure I was looking after myself as well, I have felt much better. I've also had a ton of support from family and friends, and that has been invaluable - I really couldn't have done this on my own!
So there's a little insight into these last couple of weeks - some wins, but some really, really challenging times as well. The things that are really worth it are never easy though, are they?
Miss O smiled at me for the first time yesterday, and it absolutely melted my heart. She is so different to Miss M - a head full of dark brown hair, compared to Miss M's blonde hair. I already love her so much. I guess most second-time parents worry that they won't be able to love a second child as much as the first, but your heart really does expand and even after 3 and a half weeks, I cannot imagine life without her. She is absolutely beautiful and such a joy. I am trying to enjoy and embrace the newborn stage, but I cannot wait to see her little personality emerge. For now though, how wonderful are newborn cuddles?! Nothing compares :)