As I am approaching week 34 of my pregnancy with baby number two, reality is starting to kick in. I’m feeling the kicks in my tummy literally! My obsessive, compulsive type A personality that I have grown to accept and love, is definitely in full swing. Not only am I nesting like a crazy bird, but I’m also over thinking things and writing numerous to do lists.
Lately I’m finding that people are offering me lots of advice on how to deal with the possible challenges I will face having a new addition to the family. There are suggestions on how I should be introducing Liele to the new baby. One mother told me that it’s ok to ignore the newborn whilst Liele visits me at the hospital so that she still feels like she’s number one in mummy’s eyes. Apparently there is a high chance she will feel jealous. Another mother told me to have a little present ready for her, from the baby.
People have suggested that the transition will be harder for all of us because Liele has had five years of being an only child, the center of our universe, and we will need to go through a huge adjustment. On the other hand, I’ve been told that Liele will adjust better because she’s older, wiser and more rational and will only want to ‘help’ mummy with the baby.
All these comments are well meaning and have my mind ticking in over drive, but whose advice do I take? Through my job I know well that what works for one family, doesn’t necessarily work for another. I tell my clients it’s important to remain inwardly focused and work with the situation your family finds itself. Not every family can follow what their friends are doing or what is written in the best parenting books. Sometimes, you just have to go with the flow and deal with your own reality.
I also find myself asking, could it be possible that even after years after helping parents with their baby’s sleep that I may struggle getting my little one into a healthy sleep pattern when faced with dealing with another child at the same time? Being a sleep consultant and advising parents on routines and settling techniques, I undoubtedly place extra pressure on myself to get it right!
There are other thoughts clouding my mind at the moment due to endless nights of sleep deprivation. I wake up every 2 hours to pee and am constantly tossing and turning in order to find my ‘comfortable’ spot, which at this point frankly does not exist. Oh and what about the sleep insomnia!! Each morning between 3am- 5am I lie awake at night with my thoughts, making non stop lists about what still needs to be done trying my hardest to get it ‘all organised’ before the baby arrives. As if life honestly works like that. Is it really possible to be completely ready? Can we always have a contingency plan in place to make sure bedtime doesn’t become a disaster each night with a new baby?
For me, I know theoretically that once you’re past the 4th trimester, a baby ‘should’ be in bed between 7-8pm but that will only be possible if there is help each afternoon around bedtime. At the moment I feel like it’s all going to be a little chaotic. We can’t always plan, we have no idea what it’s going to be like, and I’m better off just seeing what happens and deal with whatever life throws at me. The Buddhists teach us that the secret to happiness is to live in the moment and not to think too far in the future for you do not know what the future brings. Then there’s always the saying I love and use a lot in my life: Man plans and god laughs. I am going to say this to myself each day until the baby comes. Even a baby sleep consultant needs her own daily mottos.