When we found out that we were expecting Felix I was instantly excited about having a newborn in the house again. My experience with Marley was a lovely one. I found the first year of Marleys life quite a breeze. It's only been the in last year (the beginning of his toddler years) that I've found him to be a real challenge. So the prospect of having a newborn brought back so many lovely memories. Newborn snuggles, lazy mornings, cute outfits & newborn milestones. It never crossed my mind that newborn baby 2 is an entirely different experience to baby 1.
Felix's start in life was not what we had planned and I know that this has impacted on the whole newborn experience for us but aside from that there are some very clear differences. So here are 5 reasons why having baby number 2 is just a bit crazy!
Lets start with the most important one and the one I struggle with the most. Everyone knows that newborns don't sleep but the term 'sleep deprivation' with baby number 1 and baby number 2 have two very different meanings . When Marley was tiny I could (and I did) sleep when he slept. If he was up at 4am for a feed then I would simply feed him and put him back to bed at 5am. Enjoy a few more hours sleep with him and maybe even start the whole process again at 8am if we didn't have plans. This time round I find myself feeding Felix at 4am and then I'm awoken by my biggest small person at 6am. He's not a fan of lying in bed so off we go to start our day.....which in turn rolls into the night until you pretty much find yourself in a situation similar to your newborn whereby you have no concept of day and night.....they just blend together. Sleep deprivation at its finest where you put colic drops in your tea, the kettle in the fridge and you find yourself nodding off during a lunchtime feed whilst trying to keep the biggest one quiet with pepper bloody pig and Biscotti biscuits.
2. GETTING READY FOR YOUR DAY
Getting ready with baby number 1 can often be tricky but is (with some simple planning) very achievable. Simply time your shower etc so that it co insides with a nap. The baby may only take a 15 minute nap but us mums are speedy when we need to be right?
Baby number 2 doesn't allow that little trick to work so easily. The problem with 2 is that one of them always needs something leaving very few 15 minute gaps in your day. During the newborn stage it's highly likely the littlest one will need something whilst the biggest one is asleep. Usually a feed which as many of you know takes FOREVER during the newborn stage! Oh yes please just take an hour to casually drink your milk.....i've got all day. I don't need to wash, or change my clothes.....just take your time!
So to sum up it's a case of reducing your 15 minutes to 3 minutes and just hoping for the best. I choose concealer application over shower gel at the moment so that I don't scare people in the street!
3. GETTING OUT OF THE HOUSE
They say that 1+1 does not equal 2. I didn't understand this fully until Felix arrived. Getting out of the house is a marathon. If you have ever tried getting an emotionally challenged two year old out of the house on their own you will know that this in itself can be a battle. Finding shoes, coats and bags is the first step. Persuading 2 year old to put BOTH shoes on is the second step.....if you can persuade them to wear a matching pair or something other than wellies you are definitely winning.
This is followed by the buggy or car seat game. The one you play right at the end when you think you are almost there. The game that resembles a WWF match whereby you use every limb and muscle in your body to position, hold and strap your toddler in as tight as you can whilst they kick and scream. 2 year olds are strong little buggers let me tell you! So add a newborn into the mix that needs feeding more than a baby bird and will always be sure to fill a nappy as soon as you have spent an hour squeezing it into its 100tog all in one coat and it suddenly becomes very apparent that 1+1 equals far more than 2!
4. HOUSEWORK & WASHING
There isn't much to write in this section other than it just never ends.
5. TIME WITH YOUR BABY
Time with your newborn is so precious. It goes super quick and then they are big, crazy and wild before you have time to blink. With Marley I would spend hours staring at him, talking to him and taking pictures of him. I would dress him up in cute little outfits and record every milestone.
With Felix Im not even sure I look at him some days. I mean REALLY look (if your not ACTUALLY looking at your newborn your going wrong and you really should be changing that)
But some days I feel like i haven't sat down and really taken time to watch him and see how he is changing. He has only ever worn babygrows despite the fact I have all of Marleys cute outfits folded neatly in his draws. He has had a total of 3 baths and the pictures in his album are minimal in comparison to Marleys. This is not because I don't love him because I do. Actually your love for the 2nd one is the only thing that doesn't differ! I just don't have the time to do what I did first time round.
So to sum up baby no 2 is a very different experience. It's busy, it's hectic, it's exhausting and it has most definitely sent me into the emotionally unbalanced spectrum. Some days I'm pretty sure that my husband fears for his life. But whilst there is double the amount of work there is also double the amount love. When you have baby number 1 you don't think you could love anything more. You don't think your heart would have any space left......but it does. It grows to twice the size and it holds them there together as a perfect fit. Life is crazy but it's the best type of crazy anyone could ask for and I wouldn't change it for the world. It would be an entirely better experience with sleep but you can't have everything right?