Last year, I managed a whole year of weekly life updates. Little snippets of our lives that I could look back on and reminisce with my son about. This year, I’ve managed… two? Maybe three at a push? I could sit here and rattle off excuses but the reality is I’ve just been a bit shoddy. Since then I’ve given myself even less spare time by having another baby. That’s poor blog planning right there. Not only that but I got hung up on only sharing ‘pretty’ photos, the Insta-friendly ones. But we all know that’s not actually what life looks like, right? So I figured it’s time to share the everyday ones as well; the sleepy ones, the crying ones, the ones where I’m still in my pyjamas with crazy hair. In amongst the nice ones, obviously.
I promised I’d attempt monthly updates back in April and then promptly missed doing it for May. Given that I spent the majority of the month moaning about being heavily pregnant, you didn’t miss much. So for now, I’ll jump straight into June. Who knows, I may go back and thrill you with May at some point… you lucky, lucky devils you.
June started hot. Hot enough for naked picnics outside (for the toddler, not me. Unfortunately.) By this point I was approximately ten million days overdue and, as you can imagine, rather happy about being super preggo during a heatwave. Having spent the first three days of June frantically walking everywhere and bouncing on the birthing ball, we finally went to the hospital to be induced. Putting my baby boy into the car to go to his grandparents, knowing that the next time we saw him he’d be a big brother was one of the hardest emotions I’ve ever had. But, duties done, we headed to the hospital.
Thirty six hours of waiting around later (I’ll share the birth story separately but let’s just say that induction is actually really, really boring) this little lady made an appearance. Like her brother, she didn’t want to arrive but when she did, she came at speed. Unfortunately, due to a couple of hiccups during labour we had to stay in for an extra thirty six hours making it the longest time ever that I’d left the boy. Thankfully he forgave me, although I think he’s still iffy about me bringing home a sister for him.
Most of the month has been spent adjusting to life as a family of four. Dave took his two weeks of paternity, which meant we could get to grips with the juggle of a newborn and a toddler. Boy, is that a whole different ball game! We’ve found that a newborn is actually minimal work. I guess we’ve already had the big adjustment of becoming parents. The bigger challenge has been dealing with a two year old who’s little more than a baby himself. Watching him deal with no longer having our full attention has been a struggle but one that we’re all getting through on a day by day basis.
This time we didn’t get the chance to sit back and soak up newborn life. We were out and about within days, visiting the Donkey Sanctuary and the beach… anything to wear him out! Throughout the whole process, even when I was in hospital, we kept the toddler’s childcare routine the same meaning he had some normality and we got a couple of days to indulge in fussing over the baby rather than ignoring her for twenty three hours of the day. During which time we found out she hates having her photo taken… tough luck kiddo, you’re going to have to get used to that! I mean, seriously, what kind of a face is this?!
June is a month of celebrations for us (with an extra birthday in now!). We crammed in Father’s Day, my birthday and our wedding anniversary in quick succession. Celebrations were minimal for all of them; a meal at home for Father’s Day and our wedding anniversary and a meal out at the pub followed by cake for my birthday. Our first meal out as a family of four, it was quite a success; the baby slept the whole time and the toddler ran wild in the empty pub garden before crashing out in bed nice and early. Perfect!
As I mentioned, this month the toddler has been adjusting to his role as a big brother. It’s been hilarious to watch him mimic our actions with her; trying to comfort her and pick her up, something that’s rather terrifying! He’s been a little clingier than before; demanding attention from us and telling us to ‘put her down’ when he wants to play. Alongside that he’s desperate to stay at home all of the time, even when he’s playing happily at his friends he’ll ask when we’re going home. I’m hopeful that this is just a stage for him, perhaps a hangover from spending three days away from us with no contact.
I’m starting to think that he’s a naturally scruffy looking child, similar to how I was. No matter how many times I brush his hair or clean him off, he’s instantly bedraggled and covered in dirt and bruises. That’s a sign of a great childhood right? He’s obsessed with the sandpit, wants to be outside constantly (at home, obviously) and his language seems to have leapt on once again. I can’t believe this big boy is ours. The tantrum game is strong but in between those assertions of will he’s a gentle, slightly shy, funny kid that I can’t get enough of. Thank god for bedtime.
The baby has settled in well, she’s so different to her brother! Not only is she completely different in terms of appearance, the way she behaves is almost alien to us. For starters, she sleeps! And on her back! You may remember the months (nay, years) of sleep issues we had with the toddler, culminating in us bed sharing for months. This time we seem to have a baby who sleeps well, winds easily and is fairly content to sit in the background for most of the time. She’s ridiculously tolerant of her big brother’s poking and prodding and is already holding her head up well. I have a feeling she’ll be another one for rolling over quickly… great! I’m still coming to terms with the fact that we have a girl. I genuinely believed we’d be parents to two boys. That said, I’m fighting the incoming tide of pink, I’ve never seen so many different shades in my life! It’s taken us the whole month to stop referring to her as him and to hide our surprise when we change her nappy and remember, she’s a girl!
As for me, I’ve found this labour and recovery different to last time. In some respects it’s been easier as we’ve had to get on with things, but on the other hand, harder. There’s less of a chance to rest and recuperate given that when the baby isn’t wanting attention, the toddler usually is. The nights don’t seem as hard, nor does breastfeeding. It all just comes flooding back. It’s less of a shock to the system but this has it’s downsides, I’ve had to keep reminding myself and Dave that I gave birth a few weeks ago and still need time and support to get myself back to full fitness. Patience is not something that has ever come easily to me and I can feel myself getting increasingly frustrated at an inability to do as much as I used to. For now, I have to remind myself that it’ll come and in the meantime to soak up these moments, even the blurry ridiculous ones.
As ever, the month has flown by and I’m already over a week late in writing this, so I know that I’ll look back and wonder why I was so impatient for time to pass. That can be my challenge for the month ahead; practising patience. That and stopping eating quite so much chocolate. At this rate I’ll turn into a Ripple or a Bounty. Well, I guess there are worse things in life to be!