Although a second baby is undoubtedly easier than a first – in the sense that you know roughly what to expect and can enjoy them a little more without that “rabbit in headlights” feeling, in some ways you know too much, which makes things more complicated. My first daughter got herself into her feeding and napping routines, I merrily followed her lead. This time round, however, number two (must stop calling her that!) is now nearly 2 months old and still sleeping a lot during the day, feeding roughly between 8 and 12 times in a 24-hour period (a useful yardstick I was given by my support group midwife) but is not yet showing any sign of consistency. ‘Hold on a minute’ I hear all those more experienced mums yell – I know, it’s early days but I know too much this time and am watching and waiting for her to start waking more during the day and establishing more of a feeding pattern to go with night sleeps and daytime naps.
Not that I really need this routine, I think we all become victims of wanting uniformity in our lives – particularly those of us, like me, who have worked in demanding jobs for many years and now find they have to “undiscipline” themselves to accept they no longer have control over everything all the time. It is, of course, the beauty of breastfeeding that I don’t need to plan to go out, I never forget my boobs (although if they were detachable, I am sure that I would manage even this!) and can always adapt. This week the weather has been beautiful and it is warm outside – little one has therefore been feeding more often, presumably as thirsty for a drink as I am every five minutes.
I keep reminding myself not to wish this lovely time away. They are utterly dependent on you for such a short time and already it seems she is growing apace; weaning will no doubt come around sooner than I can believe and then I have to face the realisation that she is no longer just “made of mummy’s milk”. I found this hard when my first-born started weaning. Even when it was just the relative purity of fruit and vegetables, I struggled with the concept that this little being, who I created (with my thanks to hubby for his important role here – ;-)) and who I have kept alive and for whose growth and weight gain I have solely been responsible, now has other sustenance. For me it felt like sacrilege to put anything other than the purest and healthiest food into her and, no doubt, I will do the same again.
For now, though, it’s just the two of us and this amazing bonding experience. I plan to make the most of it.