Shit just got real. My second fourth trimester.

Shit just got real. My second fourth trimester.

On paper it should have been okay, I mean I had already had one child. Would another upset the applecart too much? It would mean I would only be back to work briefly, and then I would be on maternity leave again, happy days.

My second pregnancy was fine, no problems at all.

And then in the middle of it, in a fit of madness, we decided to move to the city.

My husband had a crash on the icy roads around East Cork which spooked us, we were afraid of having an accident during the winter with our smallie in the car.

Yes, the city was the place to be, near school for me and nearer to one set of Grandparents and i was sure there would be lots of mother and baby activities around the city.

Once moved in, we got on with life, as much as you can being pregnant and hauling a toddler up and down two flights of stairs!

My second child was born in January, I stayed in the hospital for one night, the night after she was born and, afterwards, I rocked on home.

Omg was I tired, but I kept going. I would sleep in a little in the morning but after that, I was up and about, there was no stopping me.

I was up and dressed and presentable — showing the world,  “All is good. Nothing to see here. I’m fiiiine!”

Ugh.

What was I thinking?

I wouldn’t normally be the perfectionist type, in fact, I’d be a bit of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, it’ll-be-grand sort of person.

But something took me over. It started almost straight away. Not only was I up and about and doing things. But I had two passengers.

I took my two babies to a music class and one of them had a poo explosion right as we were getting out of the car. So there I was, in the middle of an industrial estate with my toddler jumping up and down on the back seat and me covered in bright yellow poo.

I just thought, “Where the hell is everyone? What am I doing here?”

I just thought, “Where the hell is everyone? What am I doing here?”

But, if you’re asking why I didn’t just go home, why didn’t I call someone to help. Well, I’ll tell you why.

Pride…. or maybe shame, that i couldnt do it on my own.

So they both screamed the whole way home and I remembered everyone telling me, wasn’t I great for getting out with a nine-day-old and an 18-month-old.

And I thought, “I can do this.”

I felt proud of myself. But for what?

I should have had my ass whooped and been sent back to bed with my baby.  But I told myself that I had to get used to doing this on my own — and the sooner the better.

And so I did everything.

From early earlyyyyyy until late and through the night I was caring for two little ones that I loved so much but who I felt imprisoned by.

In hindsight, I can see that I was imprisoned more by the culture, a culture that’s only getting worse.

Families are increasingly isolated with no-one to help, no-one to turn to while you’re making dinner to ask “Is this normal?” or “Can you hold her for a second?”

We have lost our communal ways of living, a set of mutual checks and balances between elders and new parents, where everyone is involved and cares about what happens that baby and is physically THERE to witness her growing and thriving, where babies and children have lots of sets of eyes to keep them safe, lots of hands to lighten the work, a shared wisdom that just keeps you on the right path, but doesn’t tread over your confidence.

Now mothers are just left to get on with it, to care day-in and day-out, alone, and they will, alone, and when they are finished they will say nothing because there’s always something to be done and you just don’t have time to reflect on it. Women’s pain and toil don’t matter when that work takes place in the home.

And there was so, so much work — the shopping, cooking, cleaning, the caring, bum changing, washing, drying, I just couldn’t let anything slip.
I was so tired, had had no recovery time from the birth and had no childcare and was insisting on doing everything myself.

The logistics of caring for two small people was just so overwhelming. I had to keep my eye on two little humans now!

My 18-month-old never stopped moving. How in hell do I fill a day with two babies on very little sleep and very little company? I felt so forgotten about. What the real problem was that I was crap at putting my hand up and going “I’m out of my depth here!”.

I was bad at asking for help, at asking for company.

I was bad at asking for help, at asking for company.

So I did what I knew how to, alone mostly, even though people around me were willing to help.

But I didn’t want to put people out.  

I’ve learned the hard way how to navigate the slings and arrows of motherhood. In the years since I’ve trained as a Cuidiu Breastfeeding Instructor.
I’m passionate about helping parents not just get through but enjoy those first years with your children. Maybe i can help you too.

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