I have recently become a mum of two.
I have a two and a half-year-old little lady who is awesome; she’s sassy as hell, has enough curiosity running through her veins to kill 100 cats and enough energy to power a small village. And the most recent addition is our 12-week old daughter who is cute, smiley and super chilled, her needs are relatively simple at this point which has helped massively with the transition of 1 to 2.
As you might imagine I’ve been on a bit of an emotional roller coaster over the last few months, but I am now in a good place and feel that I can document this journey without either a) falling asleep or b) bursting into tears!
Week 1 - A complete blur, we were so in love and in awe of this new bundle and so desperate to show her off to the many people who visited, that we hardly noticed the sleep deprivation setting in. There was no routine, of course, my partner was off work and we just enjoyed the sleepy newborn cuddles as much as we could while also managing the needs of a toddler and finding time to eat.
Weeks 2 & 3 - These weeks are crystal clear in my head and were much much harder. Hideous even! I’d actually quite like to strike them from the record. I was exhausted from the cluster feeding that had started, and she would scream after most feeds (and at the time I didn’t know why), the toddler tantrums were in full swing and she was just very emotional and didn’t want me to leave her. Add to that all the post-pregnancy hormones and some personal health issues that meant doctor visits and a few hospital trips to boot and it was just the worst time! I cried a lot in these weeks and spent many a stupid o’clock in the morning feeling very lonely while I fed in the living room so not to wake my partner who was back at work and needing his sleep. Hideous!
Weeks 4 & 5 - Ever so slightly less hideous, all the baby elements had eased enough to make a small difference. Sleep was getting a little better, the cluster feeding had slowed, the toddler was a smidge less tantrumy (although still emotional) and we had reached the stage of newborn smiles. I had started using Infacol which was a game changer for after feed screaming and because of all the little improvements, things just generally seemed a little less like an uphill battle.
Weeks 6 & 7 - I will forever know these weeks as the golden weeks, magical, game-changing weeks in the parenting world, and one that brought a light at the end of the newborn tunnel. Breastfeeding had ‘clicked’ and she was going longer between feeds, she was also more efficient at feeding, so I wasn’t feeding her for an hour at a time. Her body clock had shifted so I was getting more sleep at night, and even the toddler seemed to find her flow; she was still emotional but much less so and I was becoming better at managing these emotions given that I was getting more z’s. This was the turning point for me!
Weeks 8 to 12 - These have been my favourite so far! The baby is feeding more regularly and can get a feed done in 20 mins; she is sleeping for longer stretches and overnight and even the toddler has been a superstar. Less emotional, fewer tantrums and has so much love for her baby sister that there are a lot of cute moments to help balance any hideous ones. We still don’t have a routine with the baby which is fine as it’s still early days, but we do have a natural flow to things now and having a more predictable baby to work with helps massively.
As we go into the 13th week I’m feeling much more human and more like ‘I’ve got this’ than I have so far. I’ve even started exercising and thinking about healthy foods to eat instead of shovelling biscuits and crisps in my face when I get 5 mins.
The first few months of having a new baby goes so quickly but it’s bloody hard... Whether it’s your first, second or fifth. But I hope my post gives hope that things get easier... the timeline may differ as all babies are different, but we all find our flow eventually and so stay strong, accept help if offered and remember that nothing in the baby world lasts forever.