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My second baby girl is here! {Part 2 – Learning to be a family of four}

Well helloooooo!!!!  I’m back!!!  As you can probably tell by the frequency of my blogs lately – life has been B-U-S-Y!  The last time I blogged I was sharing my birth story…and here we are 6 months later.  Taiya is turning 7 months on the 17th and Emilia turned 2 not long ago – times waits for nobody!

So much has happened in the last few months, I don’t even know where to begin? All I can hear in my head is my mum’s voice telling me that my blogs are always too long!  I will try and condense 6 months into as short an account as possible…but you should probably make yourself a drink first and then get comfortable!  It won’t be as dull as it sounds!

The babies on the bus go “wah wah wah” all day long…

Looking back I have to tell you that the first 3 months were pure survival for me!  It was a relentless time of juggling two very dependant little ones and not really having any time to recuperate and rest.  Those of you that are without children at the moment may find it hard to relate.  Want a taster?  No?  Oh well, here’s one anyway…this could be your life if you ever decide to have two under two’s!

Although the days have no beginning or end, let’s just start at 5am…

5am : Taiya has just unlatched for the 100th time and is already snoring away in blissful harmony with her dad making it very hard for me to fall asleep!  This child is seriously noisy, if she’s not snoring, she’s making sounds come out her rear-end, inviting with it a smell so deadly and poisonous, it’s a wonder I’m still alive to tell the tale!

Between 6-6:30am : “Mummayyyy….mummayyyyyy….MUMMAYYY!!!!!”  Emilia is awake.  She has ever so kindly decided that she would now like to be up earlier than normal so that we can spend more time together.  So thoughtful.  So precious.  I am beyond thrilled and run into her room as fast as I can, so that her melodic yelling doesn’t wake my sleeping chainsaw-mimicking baby!  Emilia greets me with a huge smile….all is forgiven.

7am : While I am in mid-nappy change, Taiya wakes up for her next feed…screaming!  Of course, this signals to Emilia that she needs to drag out her time with mummy.  Cue nappies being thrown, legs kicking and a tantrum because I failed to sing Twinkle Twinkle during the nappy change.  I am a flustered mess, while I manically heat up some milk for Emilia to drink, so I can feed and change Taiya.

7:15am : Emilia, ever the helpful one, has downed her milk in 20-seconds and is now trying to climb into my lap while I feed Taiya!  I encourage her to grab her  “fun-things-while-mummy-is-nursing-Taiya” backpack.  I have just bought myself an extra 2 minutes without physical onslaught #winning

8am : Time to sort out breakfast.  Emilia is very good at feeding herself and cracks on with her breakfast while I attempt to put Taiya down for a nap in her moses basket.  It looks promising, Taiya has her eyes closed…”MUMMAYYYYY moorreee!!!” Taiya’s eyes fly open quicker than the speed of light…thanks for that Emilia!  Plan B it is – cuddle a grumpy, tired baby, while Emilia finishes breakfast.  Cleaning Emilia’s teeth turns into a gymnastic debacle, with only one hand to spare, and a very unhelpful toddler!  Emilia gives Taiya a big cuddle….all is well with my soul.

8:30am : Taiya finally drifts off to sleep.  It’s now or NEVER!  Emilia knows the drill…no time is wasted, if we don’t get into the shower this very second we will NEVER shower again!! A tad dramatic perhaps but that’s how it feels…the pressure is immense!  Just as I step into the shower with Emilia, I remember I left the baby monitor in the lounge! Out I get, drenched and freezing, grabbing the monitor.  Back in the shower, I still check a million times that the monitor is turned on as I can’t hear anything, and just for good measure turn off the shower every couple of minutes too in case the baby monitor has suddenly decided to give up.  I blame my post-baby hormonal imbalance for this irrational behaviour.  Before I even have time to worry about my mental wellbeing, Taiya wakes up just as we get out of the shower – we get dressed in 3 seconds.

The rest of the morning is a blur and involves lots of wishing there was two of me as both girls want my 100% attention!  Anytime Emilia and I leave the room, Taiya cries as she wants to be involved in everything…and every time I cuddle Taiya, who unlike a normal newborn seems to dislike naps and just wants to be held instead, Emilia needs me to help her get down from the window frame (judge not!), or pull her out of Taiya’s swing, or prevent her from climbing into the moses basket.  Again.

At some point around lunchtime, I am reminded that I haven’t had breakfast yet when my hands are too shaky to pour more coffee into my mug. Who knew crackers were so filling?

It’s a wonder my brain hasn’t blocked out my memories of taking two little ones down 5 flights of stairs!  It required me to be able to bend back far enough so that Taiya could rest against me and wouldn’t be able to flop her head back, while also leaning sideways so that I could hold Emilia’s hand, all with a hefty nappy bag under one arm.  Let’s just say, we spent A LOT of time at home until Taiya was easier to hold in one arm!

5:45pm : Dinner time was usually the toughest, especially as Paul isn’t around due to work.  Guaranteed, Taiya would be screaming after a day of not enough naps, and Emilia would be hanging off my legs while I tried to cook.  Any time I grate carrots, Emilia dances along to the rhythm.  I decide we are eating carrot salad for dinner, just to be entertained by Emilia’s swaying!

6:30pm : After dinner I would try and bath Taiya, while Emilia watched TV.  It always ended up with Emilia, desperately trying to take her clothes off so she could join Taiya, and Taiya looking horrified as she just wanted a few minutes of peace!  Haha!  I explain to Taiya, she is a second child, she will never know peace…

7pm : Paul and I wanted to get Taiya used to a 7pm bedtime as soon as possible, so both girls go down at the same-ish time.  While I put one child down, the other would be crying.  There really  was always one child crying at the beginning!  I wonder how our neighbours coped!  It wasn’t pretty, nor quiet!

For a good few weeks, Taiya would fuss from 7pm until 10pm, and would not be put down.  She wouldn’t even be happy with a cuddle on the sofa – you HAD to walk around the room with her otherwise there would be complaining!  She knew the minute you tried to sit down or lean on the arm of the sofa…yes, aren’t these sensitive babies the best?!  Both girls were pretty sensitive babies…I always say, they will be very compassionate one day as they feel so much!  Thankfully Taiya was nowhere near Emilia’s level of crying, and once things settled down a bit a few weeks later, from 7pm, Taiya woke every 2 hours for the first 8 weeks.  The gap gradually got longer and now I only feed her at 11pm and then around 5/6am before she wakes up at 7am.   I can live with that.

Those evenings of crying, and interrupted nights were TOUGH!  But they don’t last forever! Sometimes I miss those special times, just me and Taiya awake in the middle of the night – her, so completely vulnerable and dependant on me, and me, so moved by her absolute confidence that I will be there for her whenever she needs me, no matter what time. She stole my heart in those early hours of the morning, while the rest of the world slept. 

…couldn’t put Humpty together again

Recovering from pregnancy and birth the second time round was so much harder in my experience.  The hardest, most challenging part was my energy levels, or lack of, and my joints!  I definitely got a glimpse into my future as an 80-year old!  I was so utterly shattered ALL THE TIME.  Where I would get times to rest up when it was just Emilia, this time around, there really was no rest for the first 3 months.  It was non-stop.  My joints were so achey when I woke up in the mornings I had to literally uncurl my fingers very slowly, one at a time, as they were so painful.  My back was constantly hurting, and I had to be extremely careful picking things up (including Emilia and Taiya) as it felt like something would come out of alignment otherwise!  It got worse, and peaked at around 6 months post partum, before it got better. Now, other than my back, I am feeling stronger, hooray! Apparently it’s a thing…I had never heard of it before!  Anyone else experience this?

If you’re happy and you know it….

Now for some positives – and there are SOOOOOOOO many!!!  Unlike with Emilia, this time was completely different – I truly enjoyed Taiya from the start and didn’t have that feeling of dread and hopelessness.  (I had PND with Emilia – I might tackle this issues in one of my blogs some time) I felt so overjoyed and happy, and just seeing Emilia and Taiya together, made me feel like the luckiest woman alive!  I felt like I finally managed to embrace my role as a mother, and stopped feeling like I should be doing more.  Being a mother was all I needed to be, and it made me relax so much more.  And yes, we lived in pj’s more than in normal clothes, and Emilia watched more TV than I would have liked, and we didn’t get as much fresh air as we probably should have, and the house was a complete mess, and sometimes dinner was weatabix…but so what?!  Nobody got hurt and I enjoyed those precious times, learning to become a family of four.  I truly savoured those times when we had nowhere to be, and we could just be together.  It was exhaustingly beautiful!  And it goes by so, so fast…

Twinkle, twinkle little star how I wonder who you are…

Some of you may remember, Taiya didn’t actually have a name for the first 2 weeks!  We were undecided between two names, one my choice, one Paul’s choice – and neither of us really wanted to compromise!  Two weeks later, when we were sure Emilia thought baby’s name was “sweetheart” we finally managed to decide.  Paul’s choice won!  Actually, we both really, really loved the name, but I just couldn’t get this other name out of my head.  We shall save it….juuuuuust in case, haha…but Taiya is definitely the perfect name for our second princess.  It makes for so many nick names!  I am sure she will be just thrilled about that when she’s older…oh, and explaining how to pronounce her name, even though we thought it was foolproof!

You are my sunshine, my one-out-of-two sunshines

If anyone else is thinking about having another child, or you’re expecting your second, I can confidently reassure you that you will have abundantly enough love for both your children!  There is never, ever even a worry in my mind that I don’t love one child as much as the other.  Yes, sometimes I worry that my girls don’t know just how much  I love them just because I can’t give them 100% of my attention, but I hope they know through my actions and numerous cuddle-attacks!  I did have to stop calling Emilia my favourite girl, and now she’s my favourite big girl, while Taiya is my favourite little girl!

Having one child has been the most incredible journey, and having two has made the journey even more fun and adventurous!  Watching your children love each other and care for each other makes you want to sob with happiness!!!  Even if you are not the sobbing type!

What are the girls up to these days?

Taiya is busy learning to crawl….she is getting so close, but now instead of going forwards, she is trying to go upwards and she goes into a downard dog position!  It’s hilarious!

She is a slow weaner and still refuses to swallow food!  Whether it be yoghurt, or a banana…she has even started spitting out water!  She just likes to do things her way…!

After the first 3 months, she really settled down, and now she is the most easy-going, happy baby.  She smiles at everyone and loves cuddles – she’s our very own koala!

Emilia is learning so much every day.  The most fascinating thing to watch is when she tries to put together sentences.  You can almost “see” her work it out.

Her favourite thing at the moment is shouting, “I did it” after doing something on her own, which is followed by a crazy dance around the room and a loud “hooray!!” in true Dora the Explorer fashion (her absolute favourite show).

Emilia has definitely embraced her 1/4 German side…she likes to tell me when things need tidying, “messy mummy” and she likes routine and knowing what the plan is for the day!

Whereas Taiya is taking after her laid back daddy, Emilia takes after me especially in taking her time to open up to people.  She likes to observe first, and you have to work a little bit to win her over! 😉

My mum is now screaming at me in my head – Stop!  Enough! :/  She’s probably not the only one!  Sorry! I’ll let you go after this shocker, I cannot believe I didn’t know this…did you know that “Twinkle, twinkle little star” and “ABC (The alphabet song)” share the same tune? #boom #mindblown

See you soon! Xx

 

 

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