25 Jan The Impending Chaos Of Number Two
When are you having another?
A question I would never ever ask another mum these days. Baby number one had come along as a complete surprise, turning our carefree young professional lives upside down and inside out.
Baby number 2 – unfortunate title – her name is Esme (with an accent on the E that I never know how to do on the computer!) – took longer.
3 years of secondary infertility prompted a scan that luckily for me it was something fixable.
One month of hormone treatment and Esme was conceived.
That’s the short version – the longer one which I wont bore you with was the frustration of other’s opinions on the matter.
“Well, you already have one at least”.
Yes I do!
I wanted this baby for her as much as for us and who is anyone to quantify another’s longings based of what they have already compared to some others?
I knew I was blessed to have Niamh but my whole body yearned for another child so to be told to suck it up was at times devastating.
Now an unfortunate thing is that in a moment of desperation at Niamh being a lonely only child, I got a puppy.
Olaf was a little black and grey fur ball no bigger than my hand who seemed to grow into a 20kg dog in the car on the way home.
She adored him.
Me, not so much.
He had a terrible case of worms, paws like a bear and humped like his life depended on it.
He was a huge responsibility that I naively took on thinking he would bridge that gap…fill that void.
He humped everything from my Mother In Law to my settee cushions.
Early pregnancy was touch and go. It was only then that I appreciated how easy the first was.
Yes, she ruined my lady lair completely but I had a blissful 9 months of indulgent waddling, eating and afternoon naps to build up to the trauma.
Baby number 2 does not make such allowances – you have to just carry on.
The school run cares not a jolly jot if you feel like your insides are working their way outside.
There are swimming lessons and after school clubs and none of them will stop for maternity leave.
Long gone were the days of gazing at my blossoming bump in the bathroom mirror thinking how I look like some kind of renaissance art subject. Instead I had Niamh sat on the bath telling me my boobs look disgusting (like rugby balls to be precise).
It was so bitter sweet.
I was delighted to finally be pregnant again but fraught with anxiety over bleeding & reduced movements.
Niamh also seemed anxious.
We started with tears before school every morning and a horrendous vomit phobia that was exhausting for us all. She had always been a worrier but seemed to become worse the bigger I got.
I had moments of wondering if I had done the best thing for her after all.
Niamh had been my absolute everything.
She was an external part of me. I revelled in being her mum.
Reading to her, talking to her, holding her in that special way that mothers do yet things were changing.
The balance was shifting.
Esme came into the world via c-section 22 days early following an indication on a growth scan that she was small (She was 4lb 11oz).
Her birth was beautiful & calm and my tears this time were of love and relief.
Niamh came after school and she cried. We have a very powerful picture of this moment (the one above un fact) and her eyes are literally the window to her little soul.
Asked if she was OK she said “Can’t we leave her here?”
It had hit her – she has to share me.
I can’t drop everything to be at her beck and call in the same way. I now had this little person constantly at my breast as a physical and emotional barrier between us.
Esme was so tiny that I spent ages looking at her sister thinking ‘have her head and nostrils always been this big’?
She came around eventually and as with all families you just get on with things.
They love each other.
Esme looks at her sister with wide eyed adoration and although she has been dropped a few times by her, the feeling is mutual.
So now, 23 months on – Olaf humps far less following the early removal of his mojo, Niamh worries less and less about vomit but more about mortality and other complexities and my rugby balls have evolved into tennis balls in old socks, a tiny remnant of my life has been reclaimed and I’m almost thinking…..is it time for another?