Two under Two
It didn’t take all that long after Oakley’s birth to decided I wanted more babies. I have a vivid memory of me with my legs wide open, the doctor stitching me back up after an emergency episiotomy. I was still high from the gas and air and I asked him to just stitch me up completely, ‘Yes doctor please just sew that up good and proper, no more babies for me’ Who was I kidding? By the time I was wheeled to the ward, holding my new baby in my arms I was already planning the next one. It was all completely forgotten. I liked the idea of a small age gap, as the oldest of three all of which born in the space of 3 and a half years it felt normal to be aiming for the same. Of course this was before I experienced that delightful transition from ‘beautiful sits still and can’t cause to much devastation’ baby to ‘crazy whirlwind wrecking ball’ toddler.
Oakley’s first birthday came and went, and it wasn’t before long the handstands in the bedroom began again. Don’t tell me you don’t know what I mean. Low and behold, 4 weeks after his birthday party there we had it, baby number two had been conceived. The following month on Daniels birthday I surprised him with a positive pregnancy test in a happy birthday box, our family and friends piled round for the birthday BBQ we had planed. I found it hard to keep making excuses about why I hadn’t got a bottle of wine with a straw in my hand so I shared our exciting news with almost anyone that would listen. We were thrilled and so was everyone else.
Slowly the comments crept in, ‘oh you will have your hands full’ and ‘2 under 2, aren’t you both brave’ usually the conversation would end with the ‘good luck’ salute. I soon noticed a theme emerging, nerves crept in but I continued to defend my decision as if to convince people I was going to be able to cope. People love to talk, but what no one talks about is the guilt. The guilt you will feel as your first baby grows by 10 years as you start washing newborn vests. The guilt that creeps in when your cuddling and wonder if you may not get time to cuddle them as much in a few months. The guilt when you put them down to sleep not knowing if this could be your last night as a family of 3. All the belly kisses in the world can’t convince you that they truly understand the changes that are about to occur. Then the changes happen, and they happen fast.
Sat in the hospital waiting for Oakley to arrive, I had dreamed of this moment for 9 months. I had also in some parts dreaded this moment for 9 months, as let’s be honest anything goes when it comes to 22 month olds. So in he bounced, he saw his sister in my arms and he beamed like a Cheshire Cat. He climbed on the bed, spoke his gibberish, gave us both a kiss and jumped down to attend to his inquisitive toddler ways. I cried because it was such a special moment but also looking back it was probably relief too. The guilt already seemed a distant memory, the realisation that he’s actually to young to care or understand. Why had I been working myself up? I was still his mama, I was still going to love him exactly the same.
How hard could it be, I already had one baby what was one more. So 2 under 2, I will tell you what it means… double the work! 2 under 2 means double the nappies, double the crying and a double buggy. Oh and double the time it takes to get out the door in the morning. It means that guilt you thought was a distant memory in fact has shifted from one baby to the other because your so aware of the fact that your first baby would never have sat in a soiled nappy that long. Your first baby would of been in your arms all day long, not propped up on the sofa whilst you attend to a demanding toddler. Your first baby had you both fighting over who got to do the next feed, because life was solely devoted to this first little human and you had absolutely nothing else to do but stare at them whilst they slept. This aspect had never occurred to me and is something that I’m getting my head around, it’s simply different! However it doesn’t mean Olive isn’t showered in love everyday.
So 2 under 2, I will tell you what it means… double the love! 2 under 2 means no more lonely laps, both mama and daddy get their laps filled with little bottoms. 2 under 2 means double the amount of milestones, double the nighttime cuddles even if it means half the amount of sleep. I didn’t expect it to be easy, and it’s not. I’m hoping eventually I will be able to not only rely on showering past 11pm but you know all those amazing fulfilling moments you experienced once before you get to do it all again. You get to see your first born love on your newborn and that’s a kind of overwhelming happiness money simply can not buy. I’m not sure I was ever ready for the hardship, but if we always wait until we are ready we would be waiting the rest of our lives.