Everyone jokingly (maybe not) said before I had Anya, “Gosh you’re keen having them so close” and “Wow, you’ll be busy”
Noooo?? You’re kidding me??, like I didn’t already know that. But cheers for the heads up.
Honestly though we were so unprepared for that newborn stage again. Even with the age gap being only 19 months I think we had just about forgotten what it was like.
The constant nappy changes, the leaking yellow poos that seem to find a way out of the nappy. The feeding 2-3hourly if not more, the burping, the spilling, the watching what you eat and drink if you’re breastfeeding, the clingy unsettledness, the next to no sleep and the newborn cry which always gets into your head and makes you feel so anxious….god damn no wonder we forget, I think we block it out.
The first week with Anya was a good adjustment period for me as I was in hospital for 5 days. Having the midwives there to help at the press of a button, having all my meals brought to me, which I must say for hospital food was quite nice, and just having quiet one on one time with her with no other worries.
Coming home was a whole different story.
Trying to deal with a forever hungry, demanding newborn and a temperamental 19 month old at the same time is definitely not for the faint of heart.
Sam had almost a month off work in total which was a god send. We spent the first week of all of us being at home trying to remember what the hell to do. Surviving on about 3 hours sleep a night has made it a bit of a blur….or maybe that was the tramadol. Healing from my C-section made it hard for me to do much other than sit on the couch feeling like a dairy cow. But still I found myself doing washing and sorting the dishes and trying to keep some sort of order. We didn’t really go out much, just enough to keep sane. Taking turns having naps during the day to try and catch up on some sleep.
The next week was pretty much the same but we went out a bit more. Even made a day trip up the line to visit Anya’s great gran.
The proviso of Sam having so much time off work was that he had to go in for a few hours one day a week. It left me wondering what the heck I would do when he went back full time. But we all survived and I think it was a good way to transition into being alone with two children. Being unable to leave the house made it easier on me but left Milena going a little stir crazy. She’s so much like her father. He can’t stay at home or sit still for long.
Speaking of Milena…her attitude had been somewhat bi-polar as of late. Happy as Larry one second and a screaming, tantrum throwing mess the next. This had started before Anya was born so I’m putting it down to “terrible twos” and some epic size molars coming through. But having a tiny person taking away the attention she would have had all to herself before would be an adjustment and a half. We have been making sure we are giving her as much if not more attention as to not make her feel left out.
On the other hand she has been the best big sister we could have hoped for. Always tenderly kissing her and getting so excited every time she sees her little sister. Gives me the warm fuzzies.
The final week of my whole family being home went far too fast. We did much the same but things were starting to get better. I was healing so well and being able to sneeze and cough without feeling like I had ripped myself open again was great. Anya was starting to sleep more hours during the night but becoming increasingly clingy and not wanting to settle unless on us. The dummy has been a lifesaver for us. And I don’t really care if you agree with them or not, it works for us and keeps some sanity. A happy parent is a happy baby.
On Sunday we went out and I decided to eat some Jalapeño. Rookie mistake. Anya did not approve at all and was so unsettled all of Sunday night and most of Monday. Of course Sam had work Monday and we were all surviving on about 2 hours sleep. Except for Milena who has anywhere from 8-12hours sleep every night….I’m somewhat jealous. So my first full day alone with them was nothing short of hell. I was so strung out and found myself starting to crack. But at the end of the day we had all survived, I learnt my lesson with watching what I eat, and know that there will be good days and bad days. All you can do is ride it out and know tomorrow is another day. I sit here almost one week down with two children alone, things are better and I’m feeling like I can do this. I have so much respect for solo parents. You guys are rock stars.
No one is perfect and this parenting gig sure isn’t easy, but there will come a day when you wish you could do it all again.
The days may be long but the years will fly by.
Take a breath and power on.
Photo credit – Anna Munro Photography