Three girls. Three pairs of feet. Three different personalities and routines, wants and needs.
When I became pregnant with Victoire, I often wondered how life would be like, looking after a 17 months old and newborn. I wasn’t so much worried about organization than how Sixtine would react to this change in our lives. I felt sad for my baby daughter thinking she would have to share her Mama, a Mama who could barely walk her to the park during a long, tedious pregnancy. I felt sad thinking she would have to be the “big girl” now, a big girl that was only so little…
I never really enjoyed being the eldest of four. My friends in school would call me “the little Mama” and that, I didn’t want for my daughter to have to go through. I wanted her to live her life and not worry about who was coming after. Or at least, not for some time. I guess I was projecting my own fears on Sixtine.
I had been dreading it for a week but one very early Monday morning, my husband had to go back to work after three weeks home (including one at the hospital for the birth of baby). When that day arrived, I had a good cry (I can’t-do-it-alone-sob-I-am-too-tired-sob-help-I-need-somebody-help), wiped my tears, got up and went. I nursed Victoire, prepared breakfast for Sixtine, got both girls ready, and one thing after the other, it was bedtime for Sixtine. I had mixed feelings at the end of the day: I felt both happy and proud, and at the same time I wondered how I would be able to do it for another week, month, year. But I realize now that children bring the best in you.
Looking after both of them day & night is extremely challenging – I find it hardest at meal times and at the end of the day, when we are all tired. But even then, it is much better than what I had envisioned.
Sixtine who I feared to be jealous and terrible, is actually very sweet to her baby sister, helpful, and generally well-behaved (as much as a 18-month old can be). She helped me change her sister this evening, holding wipes and diaper for me, and putting the dirty one in the garbage. She kisses, and strokes her sister’s head every single day, many times a day. She does sometimes walks on all fours (she has done that a few times now, since her sister has arrived), steals her sister’s soother, or jumps in her sister’s bed but I guess she is just showing her love. She loves her sister so she wants to be like her. She has also done a few cute things like putting a nursing pad under my shirt or hers. She’s also tried to nurse a couple times, asking then for a bottle of her own. (Oh yeah, and that one time when she told her sister not to scream with a threatening finger…I was in shock when it happened – it was the first time ever I heard her say “no screaming” (in French), let alone associate two words together.)
She loves her to pieces. The thought of it makes me really emotional as I can tell how happy she is to have a baby sister, even if she is still very small and doesn’t interact with her. I am so happy that we were able to give her the gift of a sibling. Now, I can’t say that it is all roses. I am extremely exhausted (as in major case of baby brain, and falling asleep for a half hour and waking up thinking it has been a full night already). I sometime forget to go pee or eat. I sometime feel like I am running a never-ending marathon. I haven’t blow dried my hair since Vic’s birth. I have very little time for myself until the night comes, and even then, baby Vic keeps me company. She is breastfed and we co-sleep. But I enjoy her company very much.
It has only been a month and I know there are more challenging days to come but this is how things are right now. I don’t think I can afford to worry about how it will be in a few months down the road. Let’s see how it goes tomorrow and make the most of it. It is much less scary that way!