When I was pregnant with Jacob, I found it really hard running after a toddler, I was so tired and just had zero patience with Finlay the whole time. I have never enjoyed being pregnant, even with Finlay, I have always found it just takes it completely out of me and I struggled to do much with both of them through lack of energy and being the size of a whale. So being pregnant with Jacob, and struggling so much had me worrying day and night about how hard it was going to be with having a newborn and a toddler. Surely it’s just a given that having a newborn and a toddler is so much harder than being pregnant and with a toddler? Much to my relief and surprise, I couldn’t have felt better. Once that baby arrived I instantly felt so much better. Of course I was beyond exhausted, but its a different kind of exhausted, and of course it’s had its really really tough parts, but I can honestly say that I haven’t found it very hard at all.
When Finlay was born, the shock of being a first time mum hit me like big fat bus. I mean to be honest I didn’t know what I was doing, I didn’t know if one cry meant he was hungry or if the other meant he had wind, and all I did was worry something was wrong with him because according to google he was 1 week late crawling, and that cough he had was obviously whooping cough because the bloody NHS website told me it was after typing into google “5 month old nasty cough with temp”, it was a cold, a very simple cold, I know what colds look like, I get them all the time, but there is just something about being a first time mum that sends you into crazy-obviously-a-medical-expert mode. I felt like I was drowning for a while, and just couldn’t get to the surface for air. There were so many times where we had the brief “what. have. we. done.” moment, but it never took away from all the fantastic times you get to experience with that first child, all those first times. Nothing can ever change the love you have for that baby, no amount of worry, crying, dirty nappies, endless feeding sessions, could ever change just how much you can love that little devil.
So when Jacob was born, I felt I was prepared (slightly terrified still), but prepared. I had done this before, I knew what to do, and I felt relaxed. Despite having the birth from hell again, I felt so much better this time after it, I bounced back so much easier, and I was able to enjoy those first few days so much more because I wasn’t constantly worrying like I used to with Fin. That’s not to say its been a walk in the park with Jacob at all. He has been a completely different ball game. With Finlay you used to feed him and he would gulp it all down and that would be that, but with Jacob for love nor money can we get him to be held to have a bottle, I have to lay him down flat or in his chair to feed him and have done this since around 8 weeks. He has been a nightmare with gaining weight because he just hated his milk, I’ve got no idea why, but we have had to fight to feed him, every. single feed. Now, had this happened with Finlay I would’ve been to the doctor every day, and cried constantly. Where as with Jacob even though there has been some frustration and worrying, I am so much more relaxed about it all and much more able to ‘wait and see’ rather than rushing up to the doctor at any moment.
We get days where sometimes it all gets a bit much, with both toddler and baby wanting things at the exact same time, or both being over tired, or in just a bit of a grump, and when we get a day like that, it can be the ultimate testing/breaking point. I have learnt to just go with the flow and not stress if one of them is crying whilst I deal with the other. If it isn’t a complete disaster, they will be ok for a few minutes whilst I do what I need to do. When you have that first child, in your head at times all they seem to do is cry and never sleep, but I can honestly say that compared to a toddler, you do not know they are there!
Whilst some days are extremely challenging and tiring, the memories we make as a family of four and seeing my two little boys grow together and bond, just completely over takes the bad days, and I am so grateful for them, for showing me how to be better. I love them with every ounce of love I have to give, and would do it all over again in a flash.