Another child? What were we thinking?
Just the three of us!
We were a family of three. It worked. I was just starting to get a little more time to myself as Ronnie got a little bigger and able to play and walk and talk etc.
I always wanted another child. That was a personal decision. I was one of three children and I liked having siblings. My husband however, was brought up by his dad, on his own, and was quite happy to stick with just the one child. He wasn’t adverse to having a second but I think it was mainly my choosing. This leaves me with a feeling of, not guilt, but responsibility to ensure things work in the family unit.
In an ideal world I wanted a two year gap between siblings. Partly due to my age (I’m 42 now!), and partly because I thought there would be a better bond between them. However, when Ronnie turned two and was a rambunctious wild child (or feral as I fondly refer to him as!) I was quite glad there wasn’t a baby number two arriving any time soon.
When we found out I was actually pregnant (after 12months of trying!) we were given a due date for 2 days after Ronnie’s third birthday. Oooops. Now it definitely wasn’t planned like that! She did in fact actually arrive two days “late” which gives us a 4 day difference between their birthdays (and all of our birthdays, including mine and my husbands within a month!) I’m not sure it’s what Ronnie had hoped for as his third birthday present?!
Number 2 arrived!
I was pleased to have a “normal” delivery and be discharged very promptly to get back home and straight back into a routine for Ronnie! He seemed pleased with his new baby sister as we all were.
However quite quickly we realised Elsie wasn’t as calm as Ronnie as a newborn baby. She fed regularly. Slept little in her cot and mainly only on us. Spent a lot of time upset and seemingly in discomfort. This was difficult for all of us. It meant neither myself or my husband got much sleep. Ronnie quickly cottoned onto the fact that Elsie had almost constant attention off at least one of us. Plus she was always there!
As the days and weeks went by, I began to feel a little bit like a milking cow. She was feeding every 1-2 hours which left very little time in between feeds to do anything. She failed to settle at night after feeds and I’d often just sit up most of the night holding her as she wriggled and writhed and squirmed and squealed in pain. Feeding would be brief but winding would be long and painful. Then before you know it she’d want feeding again!
People always say, “sleep when the baby sleeps”. Now can I point out this is virtually impossible when you have an active toddler in the mix too. Others may say “accept all the help you can”. Now this I did/do but when you’re breast feeding it’s hard to escape for long.
The visions I had of having a second easy going child, who I could feed and put down for a sleep/play whilst I devoted some one to one time to Ronnie were shattered. That was quite obviously not going to be the case!
Elsie is now 8 weeks old and the GP has finally agreed that she has some reflux and colic.
We have started some medication to try to relieve some of the symptoms. I think this is helping. More often than not (not all the time!) we can feed her and she will settle back down in her cot for at least the first half of the night which is amazing.
During the day she still wants to be held ALL DAY LONG!
If one more person says “oh it won’t go on for ever” I may just have to punch them (not really!). Either they have never had a baby with reflux or they have totally blanked it out of their brain and can’t remember how torturous it really is. Severe sleep deprivation coupled with constant screaming most of the time, knowing that this crying is because they’re in pain and there’s not a lot you can do about it is pure hell!
So many tears!
It has been known for Ronnie to be throwing a dicky fit and crying, Elsie screaming and me just sobbing with not knowing what to do all at the same time! We have yet to reach all 4 of us crying at the same time! However, I don’t think my husband has ever drunk so much gin in his life!
Right now, as if stuff wasn’t enough of a challenge, Ronnie is giving us a run for our money. He wakes up regularly during the night (after being a 12hour 7 until 7 sleeper since he was 7weeks old!). His behaviour is somewhat demanding and boisterous and downright naughty a lot of the time!
It must be hard being 3! Being the only child, then a baby arrives that screams all the time and is always being held and mum and dad are so tired and grumpy they snap really easily! Any attention is good attention right?! I try to devote one to one time with him when I can. This can only be done when somebody else is here to look after Elsie as she won’t go down for a sleep on her own!
I know it doesn’t sound like it but I don’t regret for one minute having a second child. I know it will all get easier as time goes by. Elsie will hopefully become more settled and Ronnie will get used to the new family dynamics. Until then, pass me the chocolate or cake, or chocolate cake seeing as I can’t have wine!!!