I feel like my two pregnancies have been different in so many ways. I’ve had completely different symptoms and the biggest change has been how I’ve been feeling emotionally. I think with Violet’s pregnancy, I didn’t really know what to expect, so it was a constant excitement and apprehension that goes with anything new. This time, I feel very much more relaxed about what is happening with pregnancy and even birth to an extent. Now, my mind is very much on what’ll happen when the baby arrives – “what will life be like? How will we cope?” are thoughts that like to swirl around my mind at 11pm at night, just as I’m about to go to sleep. So I thought I’d write a post about the things that are REALLY on my mind when it comes to our second child…maybe once she is here, I’ll look back on this post after a few months and see if I was right or wrong!
HOPE #1: We will cope just fine as a family of four
It seems to be the common reaction for people to say ‘Wow, you are going to have your hands full! How are you going to cope?’ like we’ve done a bit of a crazy thing. Maybe we have, but I know plenty of families with children really close together in age and also people with twins – they are fine – so I’m confident we will we be too! Having a baby is crazy and chaotic at times – I also KNOW it’s going to be hard work as we’ve done it once before. I’ve absolutely loved caring for Violet and becoming a Mum so I feel I’ll be in my element with two, even if it is a bit more of a juggle, I’m up for the challenge!
FEAR #1: How will I divide my time?
That being said, I already have feel the ‘Mum Guilt’ when it comes to spending enough time with Violet! We can be home all day together, but I’ll be wrapped up in cooking, cleaning, blogging or just day to day life, although I try to make sure we have lots of playtime together too. She is very good at playing independently so usually I’ll get out some toys so I can get on with chores about the house. With the constant juggle, I wonder how I’ll manage to give them both enough quality attention and still get everything else done!
HOPE #2: They’ll be really close
I’m hoping as they are two little girls and so close in age, they’ll grow up and be really close. I didn’t grow up with any brothers or sisters around me, so I’m really excited to have given Violet the opportunity for a lifelong best friend. Let’s just hope it pans out like this and they get on!
FEAR #2: Do I have enough love for two?
This baby was very much planned (obviously!) and wanted, but I’d be lying if it didn’t feel strange to think about loving another baby as much as I love Violet. She totally turned my world upside down and my entire year has revolved around her, how can I do this again for another? I’m 100% sure that when she arrives and I take that first look into her eyes, I will feel just the same as at Violet’s birth. Someone once told me ‘love is elastic, it stretches’ and I believe that, but I can’t imagine what it’ll be like until she is here!
HOPE #3: I’ll be able to breastfeed for longer this time
With Violet I breastfed for around 10 weeks. It’s a long story but it wasn’t straightforward, she had jaundice from birth so the hospital asked to supplement her feeds with formula. Of course, I did what was recommended by the Dr’s and midwives, but what I didn’t realise at this point was that our breastfeeding relationship would never be the same again. As soon as she had a sip of formula and learned a bottle would pour milk easily, rather than having to suck and feed, all she wanted was that. I tried to express to keep up with her demands, pumping at all hours throughout the day, but after 10 long weeks of a daily battle with feeding, I admitted defeat. This time, I hope the baby will take to feeding as well as Violet did to start with and want to stick with it. Here is hoping!
FEAR #3: Will the birth be as traumatic again?
Violet’s birth didn’t go to plan. I did a hypnobirthing course and wanted a water birth, but all that went out the window a couple of hours after reaching the hospital due to feeling a total lack of support from midwives due to being a first time Mum, I just lost it into a crazy panicked frenzy and didn’t regain my cool until I’d had an epidural. I REALLY don’t want that to happen again – having the epidural is my biggest regret. I still get back pain from my epidural site and it caused Violet to go into distress too. It was bad times. This time I’m hoping I can keep my cool and aim for that waterbirth again, I’ll be armed with so much more knowledge this time and will know what to expect. I can do this!!
HOPE #4: We’ll be able to get out and about without too much of a drama
One thing I didn’t expect with Violet was how daunting I found getting out of the house with a newborn. Just a short trip to the shops seemed like a marathon and I constantly worried – did I have the right stuff in the change bag? enough milk, enough nappies? What if she has a poonami in public? Where do I go to breastfeed in public? – so many things to think about! Of course, I got in my groove eventually, but it took a bit of time – longer than I expected. I hope this time I can embrace getting out and about sooner as I hardly worry about any of those things anymore. I’ve dealt with it all – poonamis in public, screaming, breastfeeding – no one really cares, and if they do, it’s their problem! My only concern this time is trying to drive our new double pushchair, I bet it’s going to feel giant in comparison! I was lucky enough to win a Silver Cross Wave in a Facebook competition (which has arrived and is still in it’s boxes, excitedly waiting for August) so I’m sure we’ll be just fine.
FEAR #4: Will the lack of sleep finally kill us all off once and for all?
Just when I think we’ve got sleep cracked, something is round the corner to knock us off our kilter again. Violet goes through phases of good sleeping, mixed with VERY bad. At the moment we are having a bad patch which terrifies me she’ll be like this when the new baby arrives. Most days, I feel like I can’t function I’m so tired, let alone looking after another baby! She currently sleeps in our bed most nights as she just won’t settle in her own after about midnight – are we going to have to invest in a giant bed for the four of us (well, FIVE with the dog!) or will she eventually go back in her own room?!
So, these are my main hopes and fears for the second baby – I’m sure I’ll have many more hopes, fears, worries and of course moments of excitement too in the run up to the second baby, it’s only natural! I look forward to looking back on this in a few months time to see if I was right or wrong about how life will be. It’s an exciting but daunting time! Those of you with two (or more!) children, I’d love to know what your hopes/fears were and how it panned out for you! Do get in touch and let me know ☺️