Becoming A Family Of 4

Happy Friday and I hope you all had a lovely Christmas! I wanted to do a post about how its been so far growing from a family of three to four. Its been just over one month (I cannot believe it!!) and many things can change but so far its been surprisingly smooth (apart from our hospital visit which was heartbreaking and scary but I will get to that.) I say surprisingly because some people who have more than one child told me when I was pregnant that the change is really full on. However some others said that they actually found that your second just sort of slots in with your existing routine. As a person I am very much about going with the flow with most things in life and I am not sure if that helps but I definitely feel like its been a relatively straightforward transition for us. Of course there are challenging moments but thats always going to be the case however many children you have!

I wanted to touch upon a few different things but first of all what do I find challenging? The one thing that I find really hard is having less time for each child. Not being able to spend as much time with Mila when I have been used to being with her all the time for the past 17 months. I feel guilty a lot of the time – when I am not giving Mila my attention I feel bad for her and when I am with Mila but not focusing on Anoushka I feel bad for her. And don’t even get me started on the guilt of going on a date night and leaving them both! But I have always felt that having a little time for yourselves whether its once every couple of weeks or once every couple of months is really important. We went for our first date night a few nights ago exactly a month after Anoushka was born and it felt so good to go out for a meal I actually enjoyed (for any new followers I had pretty bad morning sickness for the entire pregnancy and had to stick to really plain boring food so wolfing down an amazing plate of pasta was the dream!) Like with any changes in life there is a transition period and I am sure over time it will get easier so I try not to stress about it especially as I know that ultimately I have given both of them such an amazing gift – a sister and a friend for life.

I have to be honest I have really been enjoying the slower pace of life. Yes amazingly life actually feels slower right now even though I have two babies. Maybe its the fact that its the holiday season and I don’t feel like I need to be doing much and yes of course there are hectic moments (for example doing bath time alone with my two girls can be a major juggling act – if Anoushka is sleeping then its no different to bath time pre her being born but if she wakes up hungry then I have to manage breastfeeding her whilst making sure Mila is safe in the bath) but it feels like we are in this newborn bubble all together and I just want to enjoy that for a little bit. I have also learned to let go a bit – I am quite OCD as a person and a bit of a control freak but you can’t get everything done and thats OK! As I mentioned the other day on my Instagram I know this time that time is SO precious so some days I would rather sit there and watch them nap side by side than do anything else because I know those are moments I will never get back.

Mila was such an easy baby and that definitely played a big part in us deciding to have another so soon. I did sometimes think in the lead up to the birth that we might have a really difficult second baby but Anoushka is an absolute dream. In fact she is so zen I call her Yoda like the old character in Star Wars (you know the one with the pointy ears? Coincidentally she has one pointy ear and a dimple on the other!) and at the moment she wakes up once in the night. That’s usually at around 1am and then she sleeps through until 6 or 7am which is when I wake up anyways so to be honest I feel a lot more rested than I did during the end of my pregnancy where I had insomnia and didn’t sleep much at all. Of course she has some off nights but as one of my followers quite rightly said as we were messaging each other, as a mum you just get on with it. She looks a lot like Mila did as a baby but with blonde hair (Mila had dark hair when she was born.) She pulls some faces where she looks IDENTICAL to Mila which is so crazy it feels like I am in a time warp especially as its only been a year and a half since Mila was a newborn.  She is a big girl – she was born at 4kg (think thats around 8.5 pr 9 pounds) and has put on over a kilo since being born. My obstetrician both times has wondered where on earth I have been hiding these giants (Mila was 3.7kg) and I am always a bit shocked too! But she is healthy and eats well and that was also a relief when she was sick last week because she was still feeding really well throughout.

So what happened with her hospital visit? She got a fever on the Wednesday before Christmas- it was 38 degrees and anything 38 or above is considered to be serious with a newborn. When she woke up she had a slight snuffly nose which led me to take her temperature. I immediately called my GP but when I spoke to him I took the temperature again and it had gone down. So I kept monitoring it and a couple of hours later it was back to 38 so I decided it was time to go in and see our GP. I have a private GP for the girls which is fantastic as I always see the same person and its always very quick. Because she is so little he advised that we go straight to a paediatrician as you don’t want to take risks with newborns. So we went to the Harley Street Clinic Children’s Hospital which is a private hospital and I cannot recommend enough. I am sure the NHS is great for these sorts of things but as it was the first time we have ever dealt with something like this (Mila never had even so much as a runny nose until she was 13 months) we thought lets get her seen ASAP. When they started talking about meningitis and sepsis my heart literally jumped to my throat but basically if you have a fever in an under 3 month old they will always (NHS and privately) do every single test to make sure it is nothing serious.

Having a poorly newborn is literally my worst nightmare come true. In the lead up to Anoushka’s birth I even pulled Mila out of nursery because I thought OMG what if Mila gets sick and gives something to Anoushka but you can’t live your life like that. You should always be sensible but you can’t worry about every single possibility or you will drive yourself mad. In a few years time if I have one or two more babies and Mila is at school, I can’t pull her out for weeks on end. Although I have concerns I am still pretty relaxed as a mother. I don’t believe you need to sit at home for months away from the world – besides a bit of fresh air is good for everyone. But when she fell ill I initially questioned myself – I think most mothers will blame themselves first when anything like this happens. I wondered if perhaps I should have stayed at home with her rather than taking her out of the house. But the doctors assured me it was nothing to do with that.  Even if I sat at home for 8 weeks with Anoushka, my husband or my nanny might go to a supermarket and get sneezed on and bring back germs. Its just life and unfortunately we just had some really bad luck.

After all the tests the actual diagnosis was a urinary infection – I never knew babies can get them but apparently they are actually quite common especially in girls and thats what caused the fever. It was a scary time and I wish for Anouhska that she didn’t have to go through that but Anoushka is now well and thats all that matters. And thank goodness we got to go home for Christmas.

One big change this time around is that I don’t have a maternity nurse. With Mila I had a maternity nurse and I decided even before getting pregnant again that I never wanted one again because I want and feel like I should do the nights myself. Towards the very end of my pregnancy when I felt really sleep deprived I thought oh no am I making a mistake but I stuck with my decision and I am so happy I did. I want to be the one to always be with her in the night not have someone else do it. First time around you have no idea what you are doing so looking back its what was best for us at the time but this time around taking care of her all by myself is what is best. You learn I guess through your experiences and second time around you will always be more relaxed and knowledgeable. And you also know that everything is a stage – so however sleep deprived you might feel you know that eventually your baby will sleep through the night.

Its definitely busier with two – you need to dress two babies, change nappies for two babies, put two babies to sleep, feed two babies. But because they are both still babies and have similar needs its actually relatively easy. Anoushka sleeps all the time and sort of just follows Mila’s routine so from 1-3 every day the house is totally quiet. But I have some help and that makes a big difference – I think its important to accept help and not feel like you should be doing everything yourself – whether its from your mother or in laws or a nanny or whoever, having a bit of help can make the world of difference. Going out with both girls is really fun. I am loving my Bugaboo Donkey – seeing the two of them side by side fills me with so much pride and although it seems like a really big pram you definitely get used to it after a few weeks. You just have to accept that its a bigger pram and that you might have an issue with space once in a while but most of the time its totally fine.

The most amazing thing has been to see how Mila is with her sister. Every morning the first thing she wants is to see her, and when Anoushka is hungry or needs a nappy change and cries Mila gets really concerned about her. We caught on video the first time that Mila ever met her sister and its something we will treasure for life – she was SO incredibly sweet and stroked her without truly understanding what was going on. Mila has a very kind and affectionate nature and I cant wait to see how their relationship develops when Anoushka is a little bit older.

To round things off I wanted to touch upon the subject of breastfeeding. Mainly because its been quite different for me this time around. I never had an issue with the actual latching – Mila always fed well and I always had plenty of milk. But what I did have an issue with was feeding in public and perhaps because of that I didn’t enjoy breastfeeding very much at all first time around. I guess its only now looking back that I can really reflect on it – I remember trying to feed Mila during a summers day in a busy garden square and it was such a disaster. So I would express a lot. I don’t know what changed this time around- perhaps its the fact that I am a second time mum and I just feel much more confident about everything but I love breastfeeding. I’m so at ease about feeding in public I do it everywhere – it feels so natural to just lift up my jumper and feed her. And its SO much easier not caring! You don’t have to think about bottles and sterilising and expressing.You don’t need anything – all your baby needs is you. And sure sometimes it can feel like thats all you are doing all day long (I am totally feeding on demand at the moment) but in the evenings I find it so bonding to have those quiet moments with her when Mila has gone to sleep and its only about us. I wanted to touch upon it because I know that some women do find it difficult and I was one of those last time around. However I still believe that ultimately happy mummy = happy baby so whatever method of feeding works for you & your baby and makes you happy is the best.

So thats it really! If anyone has any specific questions then you can of course DM me on Instagram but I hope I have covered a little bit of how it has been for us. I feel very blessed that I have two healthy happy girls and although I couldn’t imagine life as a family of four before Anoushka was born, now I simply couldn’t imagine it any other way. My two girls are my world xx


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