So, that’s it, she’s finally here! After what seems like a lifetime of waiting (but also a super fast pregnancy in comparison to the first), my gorgeous girl Daisy Emma is in the world. And it is amazing.
All that worry about how I would love another child as much as Lyla just vanished immediately as I fell head over heels for a second time round. And then for a third, fourth, fifth time when I saw how much Lyla already loves her baby sister, there really is no feeling like it. She gets so excited to see her, and then panics when she can’t; strokes her head so tenderly; gives her kisses out of the blue (although that is probably why, at 11 days old, Daisy has already had her first cold); and just generally ‘helps’ with anything to do with ‘baby’.
But anyway, I will stop gushing now…
It is true when they say that nothing can prepare you for having a child, and then you have a second and everyone’s response is “ooo you’re brave” or “you’ll be busy!”. Yeah thanks, I hadn’t considered that beforehand (FYI, I had). BUT, as it stands, it hasn’t been as much of a shock to the system as I had expected. I am not, in any way, shape or form, saying that it is easy!! It’s just easier than I expected. This could be because for pretty much all of my third trimester I felt so unbelievably tired and in pain from my hip/pelvis, that anything in comparison to that is a dream. This newborn tiredness is nothing compared to how tired I felt in pregnancy, nothing. I could literally run a marathon on the energy I have now (there is no way I could actually do this, it’s just the only thing I could think of to explain what I needed to say..). Also, there are currently two of us looking after two children, so come back in two weeks and I’m pretty sure I will be saying something completely different! But, that being said, we have eased into being a foursome quite nicely.
A lot of my friends said to me beforehand that Lyla’s, sometimes interesting, behaviour (aka the terrible twos), could be because she knew what was going down and that her world was about to change. And they were right. Because since Daisy’s arrival I cannot stress how much she has stepped up to the mark as the bigger sister. Not only does her development seem to have gone into overdrive, but she accepted her, and the fact that she now has to share her mummy and daddy, like a duck to water. I couldn’t be more proud. She listens, she can be distracted so well (I wouldn’t go as far as saying she can be reasoned with), she plays so nicely if I am feeding and can’t assist her in her cafe immediately (her ultimate favourite game), she behaves at bedtime, she sits at the table to eat, the list goes on. I fully expect this to all go tits up in a few weeks time when it is me on my own, but for now, at the time when it is most needed, she is being incredible. Although, after spending A LOT of money on a newborn photoshoot, we will probably come out with one photo of the two of them if we are lucky. Did she want to sit down nicely next to her sister? Hell no.
And then, as lovely as paternity leave is, it has to come to an end (we still have a good week and a half to go so no rush just yet). Just as you find yourself settling into a routine, everything will change once again. And as cliche as it is, we both run around like crazy prior to leaving the house currently. We literally have to start preparing at least half an hour before our planned departure time, but to be fair we have only been late 1 out of the 3 times we have had to be anywhere by a certain time which is pretty good going. The thought of doing that on my own though? Oh good god, send help now! I am considering putting a tick list up by the door, one for each child, to make sure I have everything I need before leaving the house…
So, as we prepare for the next few weeks of the reality of life as a 4, I thought I’d share some tips on how we prepared (as much as was possible) for the new arrival, in order to make ours and Lyla’s lives a little easier…
- Spend as much quality time with child no. 1 prior to the arrival of baby. We spent a week going for days out as a family to make sure we had a chance to appreciate her and show her lots of attention beforehand, and she loved it. We plan to do the same in terms of lots of quality family time now that Daisy has arrived, but at least Lyla has had some one-on-one with us to show her how much she is loved!
- Don’t take sleep for granted (only applicable if no. 1 sleeps obviously, which we are very lucky with). I hadn’t forgotten about the sleepless nights, nothing will ever erase those memories of a reflux baby, but I had definitely got used to not having them. As much as I could, I slept when she slept. Whether you can ‘stock up’ on sleep is another thing, but at least I slept.
- Involve no. 1 in preparing for the baby as much as possible. We got Lyla used to playing in Daisy’s room, she came to the first scan with us, she would help sort the clothes out, give ‘bump’ cuddles, etc etc. I’m pretty confident in saying that it helped with her adjustment when she actually arrived.
- I really worried, as I mentioned above, about the psychological aspect of not being able to imagine loving two children the same amount. All I can say is you will. You just will.
- DON’T WORRY! As scary as the prospect is, you just get on with it, and it immediately feels like it has always been this way. I’d say don’t stress, but there is no point in saying that to a parent because that is all you do, but just know that it will be fine!
Who knows what the future holds and how we will cope in the long run (I have a post-partum body to deal with first, one that goes on holiday in less than 4 months…), but at the moment life as a foursome is pretty awesome (I’m a poet and I didn’t know it). See, even having two children doesn’t mean you have to grow up.
Love from The Knapps xx