Four years after being a mum for the first time we welcomed Ian into our lives as our second baby. The experience with him is totally different from what we experienced with Isaac. One of the things I wondered during my pregnancy was how Ian looked like because he’d turn away every time we did the ultrasound. But I thought to myself, how different can he be from Isaac right? After all, they are both from the same “factory”. Boy, was I wrong. I saw no resemblance in the two of them the moment we met Ian.
Looks aside, Isaac was an easy to manage baby. He is probably the perfect baby anyone would wish for. He was smiley, his cries were soft and best of all, from when he was over a month old, he slept through the night without waking up for milk. When I say through the night, I mean from 8ish pm to almost 7am the next morning.
I always thought how lucky we were that Isaac was so easy to handle and was hoping Ian would be somewhat similar but of cos, all babies are different.
The first month with Ian was extremely challenging. He had a huge appetite and we were feeding him every 2 hours instead of the recommended 3hrs. I find myself with almost no sleep because feeding him and putting him back to sleep took about an hour and a half. This also means it was almost time for him to feed again. With no confinement lady, the hubs and I took turns to watch him through the night. However, even on nights that the hubs took the night shift, I will still have to get up to express the milk so there is enough supply for Ian and also to avoid engorgement. Many nights I find myself questioning when this situation will get better.
When Ian was 18 days old, he got hospitalised for close to a week because he came down with fever. After admission, his blood test revealed that he had bacterial infection in his blood. It was a major heartache for me seeing him with the plug on his little hand and later, lumbar puncture was also done to check if the infection went to his brain. We spent the long nights together being woken up by the nurses to have his temperature taken every hour. Thankfully, he got better and finally discharged from the hospital.
After a month of having the hubs at home, he finally went back to work. The first week of being home with just Isaac and Ian was trying. I tried to juggle between the household chores and the kids’ demands and I kept telling myself that I can do this and I did. I managed to plan the day according to Ian’s sleeping timing. Every time he took a nap, I would attend to Isaac, cook lunch (dinner on some days) and have some house chores done. Some days I’ll take them out too. On days that I am tired from the broken sleep, I will just cook lunch and watch over the kids. After all, the kids’ and my well being is more important than the housework. I did not want to suffer from a burnout myself so I can continue to look after them. The housework can wait.
To be honest, I am surprised myself at the confidence I have to manage them on my own and I am really glad that I have the opportunity to. The nights are long but the years are short. I shall cherish every moment with my babies.