Sunday, August 25, 2013

How did I cope with two so close?

I have an 11 month gap between my two baby girls. I had assistance (fertility drugs) with getting #1, then naturally while using protection #2 surprised us! But we are so so so blessed. I wouldn't want it any other way. 

How did I cope? Well my first daughter was 9 weeks old when it all began. So mentally getting my head around it was a staged process; 

Denial (it took me 2 weeks to test after we already had strong suspicions), 

Shock (could this really be happening after 3yrs of trying to get our first child), 

Grateful (happy, excited, feeling blessed, I'm going have another baby), 

And then concerns came... How can I look after two little ones? I'll never get any sleep! What will everyone else think? How embarrassing/awkward! Can I carry two? How will I give them both the attention they deserve? What if they both need me at the same time? I don't want the oldest to resent me/us/or the new baby. I was worried about bonding with the second becos I didn't spend the same time with her during pregnancy like I did the first. 

I found you must talk it thru constantly with someone supportive. I used my husband... I'm a lucky girl. He was great. He had concerns too so we worked thru them all together. 

While we talked things through we thought about and organised the practical side of things. We needed two cots (one converted into a toddler bed), two high chairs, the clothes could be passed down (tick), more towels and bed linen were needed. A new car seat. A new pram. 

Also remember God will not give you more than you can bear. Pray to Him. He will help you. He planned this. 

Try to stay calm and if you have a support network around you while your pregnant organise some time where you get to do something just for you. A bubble bath. A lunch date with a good book. A sleep in! 

Coming home with two...
It's fun, daunting and special just like your first time. Take it one day at a time though. Your oldest probably will have two sleeps, the newbie like 6 sleeps. Try to let them get this as much as possible. It's not fun when one is overtired. Two is worse! 

Don't plan to really go out - like play dates or big outings until your comfortable. I found it easier to get a routine. I stayed home for the first 3 months (on weekdays). 

Having said that if you're having a bad day, put them both in the car and let them fall asleep. You'll get at least 40mins to yourself. Don't drive the whole time. Just pullover when they're both asleep and take a nap yourself, read an iBook or text a friend. And don't feel bad if you do this a few days in a row. We all have needs. They need sleep. You need a break. Win:win! 

Plan ahead... Make a list of ppl who can help. Attribute jobs to them on paper, then call them and ask them. Give them specifics. Eg; mum in law to come every Friday to help with dishes and tidy kitchen at 11am. Or sister to bring around a meal every Monday. Hubby to vacuum on Wednesdays before work. 

As you arrive at your newborns 4 months old period things will start to settle. You will be comfy going out. You will have a routine. You will have developed your own way of coping. I used to do the grocery shopping with a 14 month old and 3 month old in a capsule. People often looked. Some offered help. Sometimes I needed it, sometimes I didn't. 

At 5 months we were great at walks, baby story time at the local library, shopping and a few play dates. 

As bub turns 7 months old the world will almost be perfect.... Enjoy. 

A few recommendations if you're in the same position... Invest in a capsule and if you can afford it get the Chicco double/together stroller (it holds a capsule). Well worth the $$. 

It can be done! 
Nat x 

P.S. I found it so precious mostly! Especially when the two bubs interact. 

P.P.S. Oh and while I was never one who wanted to have my kids watch tv at all. I have learnt that it doesn't hurt and it actually helps :) 

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