Lately, my anxiety levels have lessened. Since accepting that I’m suffering from either postnatal depression or anxiety or both since the birth of D – or if I’m honest a little before that – I’ve uncovered a few coping mechanisms that have truly helped. One being, baby wearing. I have recently been using an AmaWrap baby sling and I didn’t realise, but baby wearing has been pivotal in helping me cope with anxiety. Let me tell you how.
It’s taken me until motherhood to realise how important certain friendships are. I can count my friends on my two hands and still have a few fingers left over. But that doesn’t matter. I don’t need a dozen friends around me, I need the ones I have. The ones who matter and the ones I know will always be there. No matter what kind of shit happens in my life, no matter what temporary distance comes between us, no matter how quickly life takes over. There’s still always a place in my life for the friends that matter.
When I started writing Over Heaven’s Hill over a year ago, my aim was to write about how parenthood changed me. Changed my personality, my outlook on life, and my ordinary routines. Over the year, my focus has changed a little and I now write, more freely, about the difficult days, the hardships and the worries we all seem to have when it comes to parenting and how the changes that have occurred in my life are not always welcome. Of course, I write about the good days too, but being honest about how drastic life changes when adding children to the mix is important for me. And hopefully you appreciate my honesty.
Six weeks in to having two children and the pressure of being officially outnumbered has caught up. In one way, being pulled from either side by a toddler who has become increasingly clingy and won’t leave me out of her sight, and a newborn who will cry incessantly until her needs are met, has meant my body and brain has struggled to keep up.
You may remember that during my pregnancy, I struggled with pains, hormones and fears. For the second time in my life, I was hating the experience and willing it to be over. Throughout the nine months, I failed to bond with the bump. I rarely thought about what Little Bean would be like and how well she would fit into our small family. I couldn’t or rather didn’t imagine what she would look like, smell like, feel like. I didn’t have the time to focus on the fact that I was growing a human being. I had a three year old running around me and she kept me well occupied. Things changed in the first hour that Little Bean was born.
The nine months, the incessant worrying after a four week heavy bleed and clot, the intense morning sickness, the incredible pains, the lack of sleep – was all worth it. I’ve fallen in love for the third time in my life. The first time was with B, the second with A and now with Little Bean who will now be referred to as D. Hello Little Bean, welcome to the world and to our family. We love you so much already.
I’ve heard them say that going from zero babies to one baby is harder than going from one to two. I can understand why. Having at least one child has given you a massive amount of experience into this world of parenting. Whether you think you’re a good parent or not, whether you struggle every day with the long and arduous routine or have everything neatly organised and arranged for the week ahead, parenting is all still a mystery with learning curves every day. But adding a second child to the mix, apparently isn’t as hard as learning everything from scratch first time round. So why do I feel so damn nervous about becoming a Mum of two?
They say that when a newborn baby is on its way to a family, that older children may often regress into babyhood. Talking about the impending arrival, buying nappies and supplies and witnessing a whole new level of babyhood can be confusing for toddlers and young children, especially children who have never experienced a new baby invading their space before and don’t know what to make of all this change. We’ve noticed over the past few months, that A has started regressing in a playful manner as she alludes to being a baby again, using a soother, talking in goo-goo gaga language and wanting to be held and cuddled like a baby. It’s quite cute… once we don’t let it get to far and become an issue. So, she’s regressing a little. That’s perfectly fine since her world is about to be turned upside down, but we’ve noticed one other thing. B and I have regressed a little too.
You may have noticed that I have been a little quiet on the blog front. I decided to take a week or so off from writing as I caught up on, well everything. I’ll admit at 30 weeks I’ve been pushing myself too hard and have felt exhausted to the point of willing myself into a coma. Not to repeat myself, but I’m not made for pregnancy and find that I’m really struggling this time round. On the flip side, its gone a lot quicker than last time and the final countdown has crept up on us. But because we’ve only single digit weeks to wait until Little Bean arrives, I can’t help but feel anxious over the fact that I haven’t bonded with bump and that I have nothing ready for her. Oh how different pregnancy number two really is.