I’ve put off writing this post because if you have more than one baby you’ll already know this and if you don’t have any then you might not believe me! But I’m going to write anyway.
There are times when I wonder what on earth we were thinking having children 19 months apart, then – as if they can read my mind – my children remind me. As soon as Wilbur merely whimpers Joni runs to him, offers him Pete (Peter Rabbit, her BFF) and says “don’t cry Wilbur” and in return as soon as Wilbur catches sight of Joni he smiles with so much love for his big sister.
To begin with it was hard. Really, really hard. I had a planned caesarean for Wilbur’s birth, which took a long time to recover from. In the first few weeks Wilbur was sleepy, jaundiced, and not putting on weight. Then he was hungry – really, really hungry. Then Joni got a tummy bug and so did Wilbur. Then he got a cough and cold, again from his big sister. Then I got sad.
I was really, really sad. I cried all the time, didn’t want to go out or see anyone. I cancelled plans and stayed inside. I was very worried that I was spiralling into a pit of depression. I was incredibly sleep deprived and not coping at all. I wondered what on earth we’d done to ourselves having two children so close together. In the end Chris had a week off when Wilbur was 8 weeks old and after then things changed. I caught up on some sleep, which really helped and I was feeling human again after the surgery. Chris was a brilliant support throughout a very hard couple of months, and talking to him really helped me through it.
I still get anxious, I get anxious when I have a day with no plans. I adore Joni, but her conversation isn’t exactly stimulating yet. I am still more tired than I could begin to describe. 3 or 4 hours sleep every night followed by a full day of juggling both children on my own is the most physically demanding thing I have ever done. But, I am managing and most of the time I actually like it. One huge benefit of having a second child is a reassuring sense of perspective. I know phases are short and change quickly. I know that, at some point, I will get more sleep.
Wilbur and Joni are an absolute joy. Recently Joni has cracked her first joke and her little personality makes her the best almost 2 year old ever (obviously). Wilbur is so easy to please, as long as he’s fed at least every two hours, he happily laughs and smiles the day away.
I have big plans for the next year, for myself and for our little family, and I think I’ve emerged from the newborn fog – with two children under two – more confident and with a renewed sense of I CAN DO THIS!
Despite our fair share of bad minutes, hours and sometimes days, I strongly believe that if I can do this then anyone can.