I just thought that I'd write myself a little note for the future in case I ever get that broody feeling and decide that three would be a good idea.
Dear Me in the Future,
You're probably wondering why you (I?) wrote this letter. After all, it's a few years down the line (I sincerely hope!) the girls are absolute dreams, Dearest Partner ( husband?) is making oodles of money and you are all living the dream in deepest suburbia. Now, with the Snot Queen about to start school and the small one not so small and having long since lost that new baby smell, you are experiencing those old, familiar pangs. You are getting mushy over pregnant women you see in the street, your eyes well up when you come across the girls' old babygros and your uterus just about leaps out of your body when you encounter a tiny baby.
You imagine the sweet smell of a newborn's head, you can practically feel the soft, warm weight filling your arms and you heart flutters at the thought of breastfeeding again. You are broody and thanks to Mother Nature and her sneaky cocktail of selective amnesia hormones, there are a few aspects of pregnancy, birth and the early days which you may have forgotten.
And THAT my love, is why I've written you this letter.
It is a Thursday in July. Don't ask me the date, It's a miracle I even know the month. Tiny one is six weeks old today and it is merely the grace of god and the fact that your mother is spending 4 weeks helping out that has kept you somewhat sane and barely alive.
The girls are taking it in turns to make you old before your time and judging by the grey hairs you've recently found cropping up in your once luxurious locks, they are succeeding. You know all those charts and books that say newborns sleep 18 - 20 hours a day? HA BLOODY HA. In the last 24 hours, tiny one has spent approxtimately 19 of them AWAKE. The other five were spent in a light doze which you would have taken advantage of were it not for the Snot Queen waking up and declaring the hours of 23o till 530 party time.
You are currently living in a perpetual cycle of feeding, changing, winding, bathing (them, not you. What, did you seriously think they'd let you shower?) chasing, washing, watching and worrying. Like a puke drenched zombie, you wander through your home randomly picking things up and putting them away in an attempt to maintain some standard of household cleanliness, all the while cycling through the same old script of phrases.
"Ah Ah! Not for babies!"
"NOT HER EYES!"
"Good girl, gentle... GENTLE!!!"
"Where's mama's girl?"
"Ssshhhhh.... it's okay, come to mama, we'll kiss it better, shhhhhhh... it's okay..."
"Time for sleepy sleeps..."
"AH! AH! NOT FOR BABIES!!!!!"
"Ta Ta to mama..."
Do you remember the feeling of terror as your 28lb toddler attempts to CLIMB your newborn baby in order to get to your lap? The horror as she lovingly pats (re: violently whacks) her little sisters still soft head or plays wishbone with her tiny toes? Have you forgotten how quickly a box of salt can be emptied onto the floor as you try in vain to boil something for supper? Do the words TRAPPED WIND CRYING ALL THE TIME WANT TO BEAT MY HEAD OFF A BLOODY WALL BUT AM TOO TIRED TO DO SO mean anything to you?
You spent the last month of your pregnancy unable to walk more then a few feet without your hips threatening to seperate. Your bladder control was pretty much non existent and not a day went by that you didn't plead with the universe to end the torture now.
Little did you know of course, what with the snot queen having been born with the aid of a high powered epidural, that the real torture was yet to come, that pushing 7 and a half pounds of squiggling, wriggling, red faced indignation out your wahoo WITHOUT THE AID OF PAIN RELIEF is far from a walk in the park and that the phrase "birth canal" is a real misnomer. It's not that big.
Your hormones are all over the place, you are still carrying an extra stone weight (hips, thighs, belly and boobs) and your hair is due to start falling out any day now. You have also learned several valuable lessons in recent weeks. Just because you escaped you escaped stretchmarks the first time around did not make you immune to the damn things the second time. Just because you have a newborn does not mean that your older child will miraculously stop teething/start sleeping/ become potty trained etc... Newborns Poo. A LOT. Unless they are constipated, in which case they cry - ALOT. At around 4 -6 weeks your newborn baby will get fussy - very fussy. Nothing you do will make them happy. During this time, they will not sleep and neither will you. Babies do not come with housekeepers.
I am not saying these things to be cruel. I do not mean to rain on your baby scented parade. I am merely being honest and presenting you with the facts as they stand so that you can make an informed decision on this matter. I could continue on and regale you with tales of teething troubles and terrible tantrums but number two is only six weeks old and I still have it all ahead of me. Even talking about it would be enough to send me into a spiral of despair and anxiety from which not even the biggest box of maltesers could rescue me.
All the best!
Your younger (and infinitely wiser) self
P.S Do we ever become a size ten or is that just another pipe dream?