Life as a Four- The First Two Monthsby Kerry Edney
Happy 2021 everyone, I hope you are all managing to stay safe, sane and well.
After what was a very hard November, we had the most amazing Christmas gift, we welcomed our gorgeous little boy into the world. As you know I had been being monitored for Low Papp-A during this pregnancy, and at my 36-week scan they were very happy with the measurements but his weight was slightly lower than expected, so they wanted to see us again at 38 weeks, I nervously went along, on my own, and when they plotted his measurements on the chart it looked as though his femur bone hadn’t grown since the last scan, but his little belly had. I spoke to the consultant who reassured me that everything was fine but due to the Low Papp-A and the fact that our little boy was at full term, they suggested that I be induced, just to be on the safe side, in case my placenta stopped working further along. The thought terrified me, I really did not know what to expect, it was very different to my first time around and I really wanted another birth in my local birthing centre, however, I was also really excited as I knew we would have him safely in our arms just before Christmas. Three days later I had been induced and welcomed our little man into the world, he was beautiful, healthy, and safe. The birth had been completely the opposite of what I had planned for, but I still had a positive experience due to the help and guidance of my amazing local midwifery team, I still managed my birth in a birthing centre attached to the local hospital. Because I had had an epidural we needed to stay in overnight, but other than that we were both fit to come home and make the introduction to his big sister.
Throughout my pregnancy, I had wondered how it will be once I bring the ‘new’ baby home and the impact it would have on mine and my daughter’s relationship, but I kind of brushed the thoughts off because, to be honest, I had no idea how it was all going to work. She is only two and still finding out how to express her own emotions and feelings, bringing someone new into the mix was going to turn her little world upside down and back around again. It has been 7 weeks now, I do not know where the time has gone, and she still has moments of jealousy and gets upset a lot, but she also has times when all she wants to do is love him. The first thing she does as soon as she wakes up is run through our bedroom door shouting ‘mamma, babba’, blowing us kisses and wanting to give her brother cuddles, my heart melts every time. I can be sitting on the sofa feeding and if he’s having a bottle she wants to help hold it, if he’s getting upset she gets upset too and wants to give kisses, but then within half an hour she wants our full attention and sees the baby as the enemy, she wants to hit and scratch and pull his little feet, she points to the Moses basket and asks me to put him down so I can play or just cuddle her.
She has become a proper little daddy’s girl, because thanks to the lockdown my husband has had a very extended paternity leave, and I can’t thank furlough enough for that, because it has been so hard, and I honestly couldn’t imagine having the two on my own for the first few weeks. However, because my husbands around more she has clung on to him, he’s a chef and normally works a lot of hours meaning the past two years it has mainly just been me and her, which now means if he has to pop out for any reason or nip into work to check on things, or I take her for a walk or in the car to pick up the shopping, all hell breaks loose and she will scream, tears flooding her cheeks, she pushes me away, kicks me, screams for her dad and I can’t do anything other than watch her. It is seriously heartbreaking and I have spent many a moment in tears over it. I spoke to my mum and she gave me probably some of the best advice I have had so far through motherhood, she told me that I have to be her mummy not try and be her best friend. I am constantly trying to please my little girl and cannot for the life of me give eye contact when I should or tell her when she’s doing something she shouldn’t because I just want her to like me. She has so much respect for my husband and I couldn’t understand why, but it’s because, when needed, he is firm with her if she has done wrong, hitting baby or lashing out at me for one reason or another, she knows I can’t be that firm because I don’t want her to hate me for it and instead I get upset, she sees this and knows she can push my buttons and get a reaction, she knows she won’t with her daddy.
Having a new-born has been a lot easier this time around, he has really slotted into family life and it all just works. Our little girl is definitely still adjusting, and it is going to be a long road ahead, but one we are figuring out together and I know in another week we will be in a different place again. I’m so lucky, I feel like I am in such a good place mentally and physically this time around and I think that’s because of my little girl, knowing she still needs me to be strong and be able to run around after her, has made me get up and go, I make sure I get up and get dressed every day, showering every day is still tricky, but we're getting there, don’t get me wrong, I’m still working on the emotional aspect, the baby blues are still lingering and I still have moments where I sit and cry for no particular reason, but life is good and I feel so blessed every single day to have two beautiful healthy babies.