So you pissed positive on the pregnancy test.. and it wasn’t planned as such.. and your baby.. YES BABY is only 12 months old. Shit you think.. It’s just a dodgy test you think.. This isn’t happening you think.. This soon? Seriously? A baby in me? Right now? Like growing as I shake in shock? How? What? Seriously? SERIOUSLY? Yep… That was me.. at 10:00pm at night.. while Ambrose was cheering on his footy team on the couch I was dripping wee on my bathroom tiles in SERIOUS shock. So much shock that I threw the test in the drawer, had a shower then sprinted to the bedroom to avoid Ambrose (ain’t nobody got time to have happy freakout this time of night) and woke up desperate to test again just to make sure… ya feel me? “You weeing again?” said Ambrose… “Ahhhh yeah babe I haven’t been all night!”… “You only went 2 hours ago.. are you losing your mind?” .. I was.. 2 things were happening here.. I WAS losing my mind & there was definitely a baby tripling my HCG levels by the minute inside me.. I was pissing like a race horse already and I was only like what? 3.5 weeks? 4 weeks maybe? Am I further along? Holy Shit. I checked last nights test and yep those 2 pink lines were there alright.. they were stronger, darker and bolder. So were the next 2 tests I did that morning… SHIT I thought. A happy Shit but then a scared Shit.. Then a freakout shit.. then a happy shit again… Then I told Ambrose as he was snuggling our current BABY in bed.. “Shit Daddy strikes again..BOOYA” he says with pride… you get the picture… I am one paragraph in and 200 SHITS have already been dropped… say no more… Within a few days the ‘Shit how am I going to cope’ thoughts eased and I felt more excited then ever. 2 under 2 is done all the time.. heck friends have had Irish twins… I can do this. I got this.. We got this. YEAH!
Fast forward a few weeks and the nausea started.. Fuk me. I can’t even put it politely. It just ruins your happy time doesn’t it? Like go away. My baby toddler was as active as a 5 year old preppie and my partner was working 3 million hours a day.. give me a spell. As if the exhaustion isn’t hard enough? Pretty sure Alfie changed his own nappies for the first 12 weeks.. or he spent the day in the same one.. Mehhhhh whatever.. He was happy.. I was holding my eyelids open with match sticks but hey we got through the first trimester and then before you know it.. 20 weeks rolled around then 28 weeks, then all of a sudden 34 weeks and then SHIT are we really about to have 2 under 2? But we haven’t got the capsule yet? or the double pram? How am I going to do 2 under 2? But Alfie is still a baby! Am I about to ruin Alfie’s life right now? Is my pelvic floor going to cope with 2 births in under 2 years? But this baby is breech!! It is bloody breech!! I can’t have a caesarian… how will I lift 2 babies? SEE at the time.. I had moments of freaking out.. a lot of freak out moments to be honest but a lot of whatever will be will be moments… this baby was a blessing and we were responsible adults.. We weren’t the first and we certainly weren’t the last to do it… and hell.. what does a few months mean? We were going to try for number 2 soon anyway so enjoy the ride or what is left of it because soon 2 under 2 was our new reality.
Below.. I have listed a few things that helped US.. I mean ME survive the first few months with 2 under 2.. Take note.. I wish someone had told me these.. it would have taken a lot of anxiety out of the unknown.. Basically… Hide in your room all day with tim tams and a bottomless coffee cup. Joking gf… kind of… no really.. follow the below and you will ACE this 2 under 2 gig.
- TAKE THE FREE MEALS.. This is essential.. when your granny Betty calls and offers to cook you some soup or a casserole, bloody say YES!!! YES PLEASE GRANNY… DROP it right now thanks a million… In fact keep them coming. You can never have enough meals loaded in your fridge & freezer… In fact this is the best gift of all.
- GET MEALS DELIVERED TO YOU.. Take note… when the above stops this is a necessity!! There are SO many options out there these days.. My only regret is not doing this sooner.. Ain’t nobody got time to cook a meal when your pelvic floor or wound is screaming for a rest.. not to mention the clean up… No thanks.. I have boobs to ice or bottles to clean.
- TAKE THE HELP... and don’t feel guilty about it.. your first born, who is also a toddler all of a sudden grows up.. and needs lots of attention… and has a LOT of energy that you can’t seem to help them burn… and that’s OK!! When Aunty Jo rings to take your babe (not the one attached to you) for a play, walk or park date.. by god take them up on it. Your child will be forever grateful.. If you haven’t experienced cabin fever before.. welcome. It’s CRAP and will drive you and your child mental. Alfie spent more time hanging with his fave aunties then me for the first 2 weeks.. I felt so guilty at the time but looking back.. I wish we had a never ending supply of nannies. Speaking of.. if you can afford it.. don’t feel guilty to hire some help. You still are super woman if you take help you know!
- BUY YOUR BIG BABY A LITTLE BABY .. Why didn’t I do this sooner? Instead of Alfie trying to dunk Essie’s head in the bath he did it to his plastic baby Sam instead. When I changed Essie’s nappy, Sam got a wipe too.. When I fed Essie, Alfie tried to feed Sam. When I had Essie screaming strapped to my chest.. Sam and Alfie read books.. Who would have thought Sam would be more popular then his sister? Definitely assisted in decreasing any jealousy in the air.
- DON’T BE AFRAID TO TELL A WHITE LIE.. THIS my friends is your saviour. We all have that one ‘friend’ who appears from the wood work every time you have a baby or that stage 5 clinger that seems to pop around every single day unannounced… My fave was “sure pop in.. I have to be at the MCHN by 1”.. or “Can we make it tomorrow? All the extended family are here”.. OR even better, be honest (which I felt bad doing) and TELL THEM YOU CAN’T BE BOTHERED… Sounds terrible doesn’t it but we all need a day to ourselves to regroup so don’t you ever feel guilty for it… As if one baby isn’t hard enough..you now essentially have 2 at home.
- RUN THE ERRANDS WITH YOUR BIG BABY... When you are up to it.. it’s the little things like running to the shops to get bread and milk that can make for some quick one on one time with your oldest babe. Alfie and I would do the food shop together while Essie stayed at home.. he would hang the washing with me or we would unpack the dishwasher together.. Sounds stupid doesn’t it.. but SMALL everyday things like that make them feel some form of normal and appreciate just having mum to themselves again without a baby attached to the boob or bot bot.
- KEEP YOUR TODDLER ROUTINE CONSISTENT… this definitely helps your toddler adapt to the new addition easier and keeps you as the mother sane… It provides a sense or normality for them and takes the limelight off the newborn for a whole 5 minutes.. You as the mumma (if you can) do either the bath or book before bed. That one on one times provides much comfort to your babe (believe me no matter how much time you give them it won’t feel like enough anyway) and also halves any separation anxiety from you they may be feeling.
- RIDE THE ROLLERCOASTER TOGETHER.. as a family… There will be good days, bad days, testing days, happy days, easy days and tiring days (a lot of them to be honest.. let’s be real.. motherhood is hard work a lot of the time)… So this means that if YOU as the mumma need to have a cry then do it.. if you need time out (which you god damn will and deserve) then take it.. Also – feel free to let loose on on your loving partner should you need a sounding board.. Poor Ambrose has copped some good (and well deserved at times) sprays from me. If I can’t take it out on him then who can I take it out on? To Love and to hold and to fight and unite right? HA! First and foremost.. listen to your toddler.. if he/she needs you.. take a step back (put the washing down) and meet their demands .. there is no use banging your head against a wall out of frustration.. calm them down.. appease them and you too will feel more at ease. Same goes for your newborn… they will demand your attention and rightly so.. Lastly.. the same goes for you.. See next point!!
- CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK.. Seriously.. take a moment to yourself… or 300 moments. There is no possible way you can parent to 2 children if you can’t care for yourself first. If you need help.. ask for it. If you aren’t coping, don’t feel ashamed.. we don’t have 10 sets of hands when we need it and we certainly don’t have the energy of a marathon runner.. You are a mum. A mum of 2 under 2. That is a hard job. Being a mum full stop is challenging at times. One baby, two babies, three babies, four.. the list goes on.. you get my drift. Pat yourself on the back more often. You are doing a blood brilliant job. If you and your family are safe, happy and healthy – that is all that matters. No one has ever been awarded mother of the world, even though you reading this really are.
- DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF... the washing, the cleaning, the catch ups, the spilt milk, the stained clothes, the dirty bed sheets, the messy sink, the empty milk carton, the missed calls.. all of it. LIVE in the moment.. it’s hard at the time but far out it goes quick… flys by actually.. Alfie was 20 months when Essie entered this world and now he is 2 years and 2 months and she is 6. And now I am trying to choke my ovaries out on yearning for baby number 3 so soon.. so that would make it 3 under 3 right? Not happening yet.. but see my point? Although, challenging, what will be will be.. dirty nappies that should have been changed an hour ago, cold cups of tea, sleepless nights.. it is bloody worth every second… how did I come to this conclusion? I stopped trying to be a control freak and stopped sweating the small stuff.. try it.. My washing pile may be high and I may still be wearing my maternity undies with old blood stains that won’t come out.. but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Pass this on.. I really feel these basic points that took a while for me to fathom amidst my post natal brain, would be invaluable to other expecting mums having a freakout like I initially did.. Whether it be 2 under 2, 3 under 3.. or 10 kids in 10 years like I hope to achieve (jokinggggggggg my vagina would fall out after 5 believe me) I wish I knew the above sooner.
I’ll be sure to give you a recap of ‘Surviving 3 under 3’ should that crazily unexpectedly happen (hello contraception).. Until then.. Happy Birthing Mumma’s!