Make or Break

Sameth is 13 months old now – the age Winry was when he was conceived …
And let me tell you a BIG secret … I am super broody …and I have no control over it …

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But don’t get too excited – there are no current plans to expand our lovely family of 4 any further at the moment …
I even feel guilty for my broodyness sometimes – and here’s why:

We have two beautiful, clever and most importantly healthy children – we even got super lucky and won the gender lottery with having both a girl and a boy…
They each have their own bedrooms, at least one parent’s full attention at bedtime, we can get away with a standard room when planning holidays and own a standard “normal” sized car …
Nanny and Grandad are more than happy to have 2 overnight guests every now and again and frankly it’s not been all that long since we started sleeping through the night again …

More importantly – I didn’t find motherhood terribly easy 2nd time around and had the misfortune to suffer post natal depression which was a wholly unpleasant experience to say the least …
My poor husband had to pick up a huge amount of slack and while he assures me that he didn’t mind in the least – it still makes me feel a pang of guilt and anxiety when I find myself flirting with the idea of being a mum of 3 …

So why put ourselves through it all again ?! … the morning sickness and heartburn, the sore nipples and smell of milky sick, the sleepless nights, post immunisation feevers and 10 teething drool soaked bibs every single day (at least)?
Well what can I say … I always wanted a big family … and denial can be such a sweet thing πŸ˜‰
Instead of all the chaos and exhaustion I picture the extended dining table at christmas where family members have to sit on coffee tables and upside-down bins because there’s not enough chairs for everyone…
Sunday mornings with 5 people cuddled up in one bed plus books and cuddly toys…
Maybe it’s because both me and my husband come from families with 3 children …

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Maybe it’s because having two children somehow feels “square” for want of a better word … with one child per parentΒ  …
if there were 3 I guess it would be more “round” …

You probably think I am mad … I probably am to be perfectly honest – but by the time you have had your second child reason has pretty much left the building … thats what it feels like most of the time anyway …
Life with young children feels sort of like a content chaos … You try your best to keep up with all the chores, to provide your children with educational activities and to do everything you are supposed to, but you also realise that ‘something’s gotta give’…
And so my tracksuit bottoms get much more use than my jeans these days … I have taught myself to cut my own hair rather than waste 2 hours in a salon …
I watch out for dvd release dates rather than cinema release dates of interesting looking movies and get very excited about buying Winry a funky new pair of shoes instead of buying the book that’s been on my amazon wish list for months … Who has time to read anyway πŸ˜‰

There are these memes on social media sites that you may have seen and they look something like this:

funny-parenting-advice

and they ring very true for me πŸ˜‰ …

Anyway … to cut a long story short – the question on whether we will stick with our two or add another to our family remains a huge question mark for now …

But If we were to have a third child I would have a pretty good idea about what I would and wouldn’t do.
I am not in any way meaning this to be advice for anyone… every baby, parent and family situation is different – so this is simply me sharing my experience.

So here it goes:

1. Birth

I always dreamt about having a Homebirth. I was never really frightened of giving birth – of course I was anxious to some degree but both my mother and grandmother used to say “i’d rather give birth than go to the dentist” and described birth as a very matter of fact/ nothing to worry about kind of thing and so I just assumed it would be alright …
That’s what my body was designed to do after all …
Now, this approach may have been courageous or it may have been very naive but it didn’t matter all that much in the end …
When I proudly declared to my midwive that I planned to give birth at home I was told in no uncertain terms that a homebirth was off the table for me – My BMI was too high, It was my first pregnancy and I lived in a 2nd floor flat…
I think my husband was hugely relieved – the idea of a homebirth quite frankly scared the life out of him … and so I had Winry in Ipswich Hospital.
The Birth was not entirely straight forward but I believe that intervention and policies for certain proceedures and timeframes were at least partly to blame for that.
In the end I had a natural vaginal birth following a perfectly normal 8 1/2 hour labour. I had “only” 2 stitches and managed my pain with gas and air and by crushing my husbands right hand …
Nothing I couldn’t have done at home…
I stayed in Hospital for 2 nights and found the experience nothing short of a nightmare – it was noisy – unbearingly hot and uncomfortably unfamiliar. Although the staff and facilities were excellent I might add!

So when I went for my booking appointment at the beginning of my second pregnancy I bravely broached the subject of homebirth again, thinking that, as I’d had a complication free first birth they would be somewhat more accomodating, but I had no such luck …
I was still too heavy and lived on the second floor … two major risk factors … apparently …
And so Sameth was also born in Ipswich Hospital following a 50 minute labour, no stitches… I was very persistent with the staff and made it very clear that I would not be staying the night…
Since Sameth and me were both well and he was a pro at latching on and feeding right from the word go, they had no objections and so I left the hospital on the same day with a 10 hour old baby…
Much better …

However – should I need to make plans for a 3rd birth following a complication free pregnancy then I will not be so easily deterred!
I am of course still overweight but we no longer live in a flat with a 10 minute drive to the hospital but in a house with a 35 minute drive to hospital – in good traffic.
And with a previous 50 minute labour – I really don’t fancy taking my chances …

2. Boobs, Bottles and Dummies

I am, as you may have gotten to know by now, from Germany. Breast or Bottlefeeding is much less of a cause for argument over there – Mothers breastfeed if they can and want to, and if you do so in public you are very unlikely to offend anyone.
People would generally not be likely to even notice and as a breastfeeding mother you would certainly not be made to cover up or feel uncomfortable … thats what their intended use is after all.
On the other hand Germans are quite the pragmatic folk and if, for whatever reason, you happen to bottlefeed your baby then that’s just the way it is, and no one would think any less of you as a mother or attempt to give you lectures on the benefits of breastmilk.
Having said that, I was absolutely determined to breasfeed when I was pregnant with Winry and once she was here I worried a great deal about everything to do with the conundrum that breastfeeding turned out to be…
It was probably the hardest thing about being a first time mother … Yet I somehow managed to feed her until she was 14 months … She never had a Soother and refused to take a bottle – even if it contained breastmilk…
It was hard work and sometimes I could have kicked myself for not having tried to introduce a bottle while she was younger and more likely to accept it …

So when Sameth came along I combination fed him right from 3 days old – I fed him as much as I could and Craig would give him a top up bottle at night to give me some relief … Sameth was also given a soother when he was a few days old …
I was by then in a no nonsense / anything that makes life easier frame of mind … It worked amazingly well for several weeks until my little monkey cottoned on to the fact that, actually, this bottle feeding business was much easier work than getting milk out of a boob … and so he started to refuse the breast more and more in favour of a quick bottle.
I managed to trick him into latching on a few times every day until he was 4 months old and that was when he decided he’d had enough boob and that marked the end of nursing for us…
And although this has afforded me a lot more sleep, it has also made me very sad on several occasions since nursing is such a lovely bond and connection – even in the worst of days …

So … My plan for a potential 3rd baby would be Breastfeeding and Soother so as to not end up as a human soother like I did with Winry so so often … It seems like the best of both worlds to me … but hey – I might change my tune if it ever actually comes to it … πŸ˜‰

3. Weaning

This is a short one – Winry had only homemade, pureed fruit, vegetables and carefully planned meals from about 4 1/2 months old and she has been a dinner time nightmare on many occasions…
Sameth has had whatever we were eating put in front of him from about 6 1/2 months and he either ate it or played with it … He now manages extremely well with all sorts of textures and flavours and, although he has a severe sweet tooth, he also eats veg, meat and fruit without any fuss.
He is really good at letting us know when he is hungry and when he is done eating and it has been altogether a much nicer, calmer weaning experience …
Baby led weaning all the way !

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4. Sleeping

This is another short one and also the last point …
Of course moses baskets and cribs and cots all have their merits and are perfectly safe, suited places to put your baby down to sleep…

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Having said that, I have grown more and more attatched to the idea of co – sleeping and think that it could have saved a huge amount of stress, and that it has so many benefits that are rarely ever mentioned because of the huge, very valid fear of SIDS. But co – sleeping can actually be very safe when done correctly …

http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/health-concerns/sleep-problems/sleep-safety/latest-research-co-sleeping-safety
I, myself am not too keen on having a baby in bed with me since I do worry about the obvious risks… However if a 3rd Baby should be expected then one of the things I would invest in would be a co-sleeper bedside cot …

And they look something like this (I got this picture of the internet) :

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At the end of the day – every parenting experience brings with it lessons learnt and mistakes made … things I have come to swear by and things I regret…
I know I made the best decisions at the time, based on the information that was available to me – and that’s the thing that matters … I think You could have 30 children and still think of things you could have done differently …
So that’s my bit of wisdom – to put out there for anyone who wants it …
And all those ‘revelations’ don’t make the decision about a 3rd baby any easier …
The title of this post is “make or break” – It seems a drastic title and of couse every child is a blessing – but I feel that having another baby is not a decision that should be made on a whim – because there are 4 people already here that have to be considered. 4 people who’s lives would be affected – in positive and possibly negative ways too …

So I think We will be stewing over this for some time yet …

Until next time …

Ta da

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