You might remember that back in March I wrote this post about my hopes and fears for a second baby. I wrote it when I was about four months pregnant with Pearl and full of worries about how things might pan out with another baby. Violet was my world and although I was excited for a second baby, I just couldn’t imagine it! Our lives were so different then too – Violet was so little, we lived in our old flat, I was back to work and I had NO IDEA what to expect from our second baby. So now Pearl is here and she’s three months old I thought it was time to go back to my hopes and fears and write a post about how things have panned out so far…
HOPE #1: WE WILL COPE JUST FINE AS A FAMILY OF FOUR
Well, those people who said ‘You’ll have your hands full!’ were right – it is busy on a level I never quite imagined and I do have my hands totally full but we are coping just fine. Having two very small children is EXTREMELY challenging at times and I’m busier than I’ve ever been in my life. I think I underestimated how hard it would be and some days if we are all alive at the end of the day I call that a win. It takes military organisation, preparation and the exhaustion is on new levels – but we are coping, we’ve found strength we didn’t know we had and it’s going just fine. Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean we can’t do it. We’ve got a new groove, a new routine and are still learning all the time – but isn’t that just parenthood?
FEAR #1: HOW WILL I DIVIDE MY TIME?
I’m still wondering that now! The juggle is real but I think I’ve realised you just have to do your best and that you only have one set of hands! There is always something to do and I feel like my time, attention and energy is stretched to it’s limits so I have to prioritise all the time and make quality time really count! I’ve had to accept early on that I can’t give them both my undivided attention, which for Violet felt really alien and I worried she would be upset by this. She does have her jealous moments but on the whole she’s used to it now and actually really loves having a baby sister. As a second baby, Pearl is used to settling herself and spending more time on mats/bouncy chairs than Violet ever did, but needs must! There are moments where they are both crying and I have to make a decision which one to tend to first – I try to detach my emotions about this and be as practical as possible, working through what they both need as quickly as I can until the pandemonium is over!
HOPE #2: THEY’LL BE REALLY CLOSE
I think it’s too early to tell, but Violet’s showing lots of signs of affection towards her baby sister Pearl. Often she’ll try to help when Pearl cries, or she will get a doll and copy what I do – putting a nappy on her doll, washing her or feeding her with a bottle. Just the other day Violet grabbed her sisters hands to dance with her to a song on the TV – I bet she can’t wait to play with her properly. They will be thick as thieves! It’s very sweet and I’m sure the love will continue to grow as she understands more about having a sister over time.
FEAR #2: DO I HAVE ENOUGH LOVE FOR TWO?
Until the moment Pearl was born I couldn’t EVER imagine ever loving her as much as Violet. My first born made me a mother and holds such a special place in my heart, I honestly didn’t think there could be a way to match it. I was SO WRONG. The moment Pearl was placed into my arms, the intense love for her fell down on me like a ton of bricks and I can safely say I most definitely had enough love for both of them and more. I have a very different relationship with each of them independently – they are so different, our situations have been different and you just can’t compare but the love is most definitely equal. I should never have ever worried about it for a second. If anything, with Pearl I’ve had the chance to enjoy loving her more than I did with Violet. With her it was a steep and scary learning curve of becoming a mother which dominated things at times.
HOPE #3: I’LL BE ABLE TO BREASTFEED FOR LONGER THIS TIME
I have managed to breastfed Pearl for longer as we are still feeding at 14 weeks, although I naively thought it would be easy the second time round. It’s been a real battle this time too – breastfeeding is REALLY HARD. It’s been an utter slog and not how I expected it at all, but I’m proud we’ve overcome so many hurdles and got to 14 weeks, I think that’s an achievement in itself even if it’s not exactly how I imagined it.
FEAR #3: WILL THE BIRTH BE AS TRAUMATIC AGAIN?
I’ve written Pearl’s birth story in full here, but I’m pleased to say it couldn’t have gone any better. I managed to have the water birth I’d hoped for and it just felt like everything lined up perfectly on the day, it was meant to be. I look back on the day with such fond memories, which is just what I needed to heal after a traumatic experience the first time round. The two births couldn’t have been more different!
HOPE #4: WE’LL BE ABLE TO GET OUT AND ABOUT WITHOUT TOO MUCH OF A DRAMA
Ha! This one made me laugh a bit as I remembered how tough I used to find getting out and about with Violet but two is a challenge and a half! It just shows you how far I’ve come. At nearly 4 months I still feel like I’m just getting in my groove with getting them both out and when I do it’s a military operation! Loading the car with two car seats, a buggy and change bags on your own is just a LOT of stuff, I think it takes me about 3-4 runs in and out the house, thank goodness we have a drive. As for my double buggy, I thought I’d use it loads but actually I tend to put Pearl in a carrier as I always worry the double will be too big to fit into shops/buses, it feels so huge! I tend to try and go to places where Violet will have a space to play so I can sit and hold Pearl whilst Violet lets off some steam or I meet other Mums who have children Violet can play with in a group. Once Pearl is on her feet I’ll need eyes in the back of my head!
FEAR #4: WILL THE LACK OF SLEEP FINALLY KILL US ALL OFF ONCE AND FOR ALL?
Well, I’m still here. My eyebags have doubled and I drink coffee like it’s going out of fashion but we get by! Currently I feel like I’m never going to sleep again, but I’ll keep you posted on that one.
So, those were my second baby hopes and fears finally answered! It turns out I was right about some things and wrong about others but I can safely say everything has turned out well in the end so I needn’t have worried about a thing. Having two children is the best thing in the world – they are just the sweetest little people and I can’t wait to watch them grow up together!
If you have more than one child, did you have the same hopes and fears as me? I’d love to know!