Wow, day four already – India was born at 11.20pm on Saturday 24th July just in time to gate crash her older brothers 2nd birthday so now we have two beautiful angels born on the same day! This blog is going to share with you my journey to reclaim my body after the birth of my second baby. You can head back to 2008 and learn about my journey the first time around – I dare say it is going to be quite different. It’s only day 4 and I already have an idea of the juggling and coordination that comes with two AND absolutely no idea how I am going to manage it. I won’t be starting on the ‘time frame’ aspect of my journey for at least 6-8 weeks but until then I am going to share my journey and the planning and preparation that you can do for your body before that golden ‘6 week mark’. I will share my personal ups and downs and I hope you enjoy my journey. Please feel free at any time to comment or contact me to ask questions, share your own views, experiences, opinions and support – I would love to hear from you and it is for you and every other mum who deep down knows that they must look after number one (being ‘you’) that I write this for. It is a challenge to give time and energy to mums needs but I truly believe that this is the only way to nurture your family, be the best you can be for them and for yourself. Happy mummy = Happy baby.
So the fact that I am actually writing this now feels a little strange – my mind is very willing and has been ticking over with ideas for the last couple of days, but my body – my body says sleep – don’t go near the computer just sleep. I am listening to my mind as I have to get some of this stuff down on paper for you guys but I have set myself a time limit and then sleep I must.
The birth – we were fortunate enough to have a very short water birth this time around. I did hypnobirthing with my first son, Marley, which was a fantastic tool for me and kept me focused through what was a long and slightly traumatic experience (for us both) – learning to work with your body and to use its natural reactions is a wonderful thing and for me there was no other option but to do it again. I admit, not being as naive as the first time around (where you think you can conquer the world and do anything) made me a little bit more nervous in the lead up to India’s birth but I practiced and kept my head together and we experienced a very calm birth in the water of the birthing center at The Royal Hospital for Women in Randwick. I had a fantastic midwife, who also delivered Marley, and India was born within 2 hours of us arriving at the hospital.
We left the hospital on Sunday afternoon after having introduced Marley to his new little sister (whom he seems to have accepted very well so far!) and we were home – less that 24hours after giving birth we were once again sat in our lounge room feeling slightly in awe of how quickly everything had happened and how quickly we were thrust into our new world ‘as a family of four’.
So I don’t know how many of you are first, second, third or more time mums but given only having been through this once before I already see how different the experiences can be. Let’s start with the books – the to do’s and not to do’s of having a baby. Correct me if I wrong but it seems many of us ‘live by the book’ the first time around – I know we did or tried to and found ourselves almost distraught at times that our days old newborn wouldn’t do exactly as the book said it would – how could it be? What were we doing so wrong? But you push on through running on the ‘I must do this otherwise the whole world might implode’ feeling and the adrenaline of being a first time mum. You can do anything and you will do anything to make sure you are doing everything that is right so you can have the perfect child, perfectly timed routine and seemingly perfect existence. So, I recon there should be books for first time mums, pretty much as there are, suggesting what you should and shouldn’t do with your newborn. There then should be a book for second time mums that just let’s you know that chances are you will do everything different the second time around but more importantly goes into the reasons why you shouldn’t feel guilty about it and that it is okay to have the baby sleep on your chest because no one else is getting any sleep and it doesn’t mean that they will be sleeping with you forever more. For me it was night two that my rule book flew out of the window and I slept with my beautiful daughter on my chest for an hour or so before gently settling her back into her bassinet – this was at 3am when I didn’t have the energy for the resettling that I probably enforced from day one first time around. Do I wonder if us being so strict with Marley – settling, resettling, settling again but never bringing him into our bed was the reason that he has always been such a good sleeper? – Yep! And do I wonder that because we live in a two bedroom apartment and India has to be in our bedroom with us for a while (I would have never dreamed of this with Marley – it was his room from day one) that this will affect her sleeping habits? - Yep! And what about just not having the energy to be so structured from day one – will this be detrimental down the track? – Yep – I wonder about it all and about how it might come back to bite me in the bum later on but right now it’s about getting on with it and figuring out some kind of routine for myself and my family – once this is underway I can start to think about my ‘Body Beyond Baby’.
Nice start Jen. I think you hit the nail on the head with the differences between the first and second time around. There's definitely more time spent just doing what it takes to get them to sleep...and nothing that you do in the first few weeks is going to set bad habits (says the girl who has had the worst sleeper in the world for the past few months!). I think you get to spend more time cuddling them while sleeping than you do with your first....enjoy it, I say!
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