When I first fell pregnant with LL I hadn’t ever thought about having more than one child. When she was born our world changed forever…we had the most beautiful baby girl, we were now parents and we had been thrown into the swing of our new roles (or perhaps make that thrown in at the deep end!) Nineteen months on and we’ve been on the most incredible journey, experiencing amazing days and also pretty low ones.
Over the past few months the thought has crossed my mind numerous times about what life would be like with another addition to our family. My dream has always been to become a mother. I feel so fortunate to be one and nothing makes me happier. Hubby and I have discussed having another baby more and more just recently. We’d love LL to have a sibling, she loves other children and is such a sociable little soul. There are questions and scenarios in my mind about extending our family…
1.) How will I manage pregnancy and parenting at the same time? – The nausea/sickness, zero energy and tiredness when I was pregnant was so overwhelming for me. But I was able to rest and sleep when I needed to as I had no one else relying on me. Second time around however I’ll be a mummy already and LL will need me. So how on earth do you get the strength to be super mum when you’re feeling like absolute shite? Obviously you just have to get on with it, but it does make me feel worried.
2.) Will baby no.1 take to baby no.2? – I’ve heard stories about children becoming jealous and nasty towards their newborn sibling. Someone I know said his kids don’t like each other, they just tolerate one another (they are both grown up adults!) This makes me feel really sad and apprehensive. I’d want my children to always have a special bond and be really close and supportive of one another. Or to just actually like each other. Leading me onto my next question…
3.) How do you give equal amounts of your time? – Having a newborn is EXHAUSTING. The night feeds and lack of sleep, recovering from the birth and baby blues all take it’s toll at some point, and all I wanted to do was retreat into myself for a little while. Or cry. I adore LL and would do anything to maintain her happiness. The thought of her feeling like she was being pushed out would break my heart. So how do you include the first born and make them feel involved and equal as the newborn?
4.) How do you juggle having two? – One desperately needs the loo when the other needs a feed. One needs a nap whilst the other is screaming the place down. Ok, so I know it probably isn’t plain sailing maintaining the balance parenting a young child and a baby. How do you prioritise? How do you keep them both happy at the same time? Someone told me that when you have your first baby you start a new routine which works around them. Then when you have a second child they have to slot into your existing family life. Which makes sense, but seems impossible!
5.) We co-sleep with our toddler. How will this impact on her with a newborn in the same room? – This is the one thing I think about a lot. I’m hoping by the time baby no.2 arrives we will have established a routine with LL where she feels comfortable sleeping on her own in her own room. But if it doesn’t work out that way, how on earth are we going to get through? Will one of us sleep with her in her room whilst the other takes the reins with the baby and swap accordingly? Eeekkk!
6.) How do you get the housework done?! – Our house is a teeny bit upside down since becoming parents, mainly because our time is focused on our child. With LL’s sleep issues it’s a struggle to get stuff done on an evening. If we’re having a bad night then I can forget ploughing through the mound of ironing sitting there. So with another load of dirty clothes added to the mix, is it a case of just smile and carry on?
7.) How do you teach them to respect one another? – Ok so this is partly common sense, but when you’ve never had to be an influence to someone before how do you know you’re giving the right advice? How do you get them to bring out the best in one another? And be an inspiration to each other? How do you make them not want to fight and argue?
8.) What if I come off my anxiety medication and feel awful throughout my pregnancy? – Such a tough one, and this scares me the most. I fell pregnant quickly with LL and came off my citalopram immediately as I was advised it wasn’t safe to continue taking. I muddled through and felt pretty horrendous. Looking back, it was mostly the fear of the unknown and I was petrified about labour and the birth so it probably contributed to how I was feeling emotionally. Plus throw those hormones into the mix and it can be a bit of a pickle. Even still, the subject makes me feel very uneasy and want to discuss options with my GP before trying for another baby.
9.) What if it all gets too much? – PND was something I experienced and I haven’t actually spoken about it to many people, only close family and friends. My biggest anxiety is finding that I feel really depressed again and I have two babies who rely on me to be well and to be their mummy. There’s no time to be selfish and think of myself as all my focus will be on them and making sure they’re ok. I remember feeling like I wasn’t in control when I had LL as I was poorly after the birth and feeling so anxious. I’m scared it’ll happen again.
In the grand scheme of things, these issues won’t put me off having another baby. At the end of the day we’ll get through it together and we have an amazing circle of support with family and friends. I’d be really interested to know your thoughts and advice and hear your motherhood stories with two little ones! xxx