Baby Number Two, Will I Love You?

Growing our families can sometimes be the cause of quite a bit of stress and anxiety because we genuinely don’t know if we can love anyone as much as we love our first born. The good news is that yes we can! However, don’t worry if you don’t experience that overwhelming instant gush of love that you had when you met your first-born. It is completely natural and normal to feel, well, a little put out to be honest. I found the pull away from my first born incredibly difficult and it took a lot of getting used to!!

Best friends and playmates!

Best friends and playmates!

I discovered I was pregnant with my son on honeymoon. I was indeed a little put out, having spent months dreaming of long lazy days on the beach sipping cocktails of EVERY possible concoction. I didn’t exactly embrace the ‘virgin’ variety quite as much, never mind the nausea and tiredness that go along with those early days (of pregnancy not marriage). I also felt put out because my husband had been made redundant only a fortnight before the wedding and so the extra cost of a family of four was worrying. I was mostly put out because, already feeling horribly guilty about abandoning our daughter for our honeymoon (see? cocktails would have been handy!) now here we were replacing her with a new baby! Oh yeah, thoughts spiralling out of control and then some, but I was allowed – I was pregnant.

Well we ended up having a lovely honeymoon – my husband who doesn’t drink very obligingly drank cocktails in my stead – we figured out our finances and knew we could manage on my salary a while before we hit a balance of €0.00 and so I settled down and embraced my pregancy, high blood pressure and all. The one thing I could not shake was the feeling that I was letting my eldest down. I sought reassurance from all my friends with more than one child, and they all said you will be fine. Then after a pretty tough, long labour my beautiful son was born. I was so happy to have him safely delivered into my arms… and then I instantly started to compare him to his sister. Surely she latched on straight away (she didn’t), she definitely didn’t cry this much at night (she surely did), wasn’t she more snuggly then this? ( NO my daughter didn’t ever enjoy a cuddle unless she had such a high temperature that she couldn’t physically resist one!). I very much went through the motions in hospital, and due to having had GH, I was kept in for three long days. My husband would come and visit me and regale me with tales of funny things Caoimhe was doing at home, I smiled and nodded thinking ‘great and I am stuck in here with this fella who won‘t do anything I want, whilst you get to have fun with her’.

First meeting could have gone better!

First meeting could have gone better!

Finally the day to go home arrived. I was bringing Conan for his BCG (which they still did while you were in hospital in those days), when my husband and a young lady walked up the corridor. I did a double-take, no TRIPLE-take before I realised that the young lady in question was my two year-old baby that I had left at home four days ago. She was completely over-awed by the hospital and so was in terrible form – needless to say, her first encounter with her baby brother was awkward at best! Nevermind, at last we were going home, a healthy family of four..yay. However, the first two weeks at home were anything BUT yay. Why? Because, while I was struggling to breast-feed (which is in itself a full-time job), I was also trying to show Caoimhe that nothing had changed, when of course it had. My husband tried to give me as much rest as possible so he took her to the shops, out for walks or up to her grannies to give me a break. A much needed rest that I didn’t want. I didn’t want to be the one stuck to the bed and the baby, I didn’t want to be the one that needed minding. I should be minding her! I couldn’t seem to shake the thought that by introducing a new baby we had somehow ‘broken’ our family.

We didn’t break our family, of course we didn’t – we enhanced it enormously. When I see how close Caoimhe and Conan are, and how much fun they have together, I can’t believe I ever doubted we would be a happy family. When I look at Conan in all his earnest thoughtfulness and fantastic sense of fun, I am overcome with love and pride. So how did I get from there to here?

  • Talk – I told my husband exactly how I was feeling, over and over again and he (not being the hormonal mess I was) reassured me over and over again.
  • Join forces – I invited Caoimhe to help me as much as possible with Conan. I encouraged her to sit with me while I fed him, I let her mammy him while I mammied them both.
  • Be honest – I did miss the life I had before Conan. I accepted that was okay and once I did that I began to enjoy life with Conan, to such an extent that I can’t really remember life before him without the aid of photographs.
  • Know your limits – I gave myself a very stern talking to. I had to rest, I had to have a break from them both when I could, or I would have done myself some serious damage, both mentally and physically.
  • Give it time – remember that having a baby is incredibly demanding. Of course you can’t do everything you did before the baby! However, with time to rest and acclimatise, I promise you will I promise, get back to feeling normal.
  • Accept help and company – the value of these should not be underestimated.
DSCN1030

Minding her baby bro!

 

I definitely found the transition from one to two children tough. I didn’t suffer from post-natal depression which I was checked for a couple of times at my own behest. So please believe me when I tell you that you will be fine – you can and do love all your children, not all in the same way, as they are (thankfully) not carbon copies of one another. So how does having number three compare? Not a bother – by then you realise that growing your family is in fact enhancing your family!

I love hearing your thoughts so please feel free to comment below.

Thanks for reading

Aisling

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Laura
    Oct 03, 2014 @ 22:35:44

    Reassurance, thank you, I totally connected to what you wrote about.

    Reply

  2. Kate Takes 5 (@KateTakes5)
    Feb 13, 2015 @ 18:19:09

    It’s such a confusing time isn’t it? I’d forgotten all those swirling emotions but I do vividly remember looking at my first born and being 100% convinced that I could never love another so much. (In fact there were two more to come that I love as much – though some more than others depending on that day’s behaviour… ;))

    Reply

    • BabySteps
      Feb 13, 2015 @ 18:24:07

      I found the transition from one to two, tough. Looking at the three of them now though, I can’t beehive how equally yet differently I love them all! ☺

      Reply

    • BabySteps
      Feb 13, 2015 @ 18:29:32

      I found the transition from one to two, tough. Looking at the three of them now though, I can’t believe how equally yet differently I love them all! ☺

      Reply

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