It’s February 2011. The weather is hot, humid and positively awful! We are in Noosa with our four month old, baby boy Aston. I’m still breastfeeding so I couldn’t take my travel sickness tablets and worst of all, I couldn’t sip on a couple of Cosmopolitans in Hastings Street!
I remember the moment just like it was yesterday. We were at lunch with family when I just couldn’t cope with the heat any longer. I may have been dehydrated with the heat and breastfeeding, but whatever it was, I wasn’t feeling very well. My husband’s aunty suggested I might be pregnant!? My husband and I looked at each other as if she was mad. A four month old baby, breast feeding AND on the mini pill? The woman was out of her mind. With a nagging feeling that we should probably get a pregnancy test from the chemist to prove her wrong, we left lunch early and headed back to our hotel room with a ‘packet of 3’.
The five minutes wait to see if I was the proud owner of a ‘two lined stick’ was the longest five minutes of my entire life. If this was happening, how was I going to cope with an eleven month old baby and a newborn? Surely these things can’t happen? Five minutes passed. One very distinct pink line and one VERY faint pink line. Obviously a dud test. Test No.2. One very distinct pink line and one very faint one. My hands trembled as I attempted test No.3. There was no mistaking it, there was definitely two lines. Wow. The realisation that I was going to be a Mother to two babies under the age of one.
We arrived back in Adelaide a few days later and the first thing I did was book in with my obstetrician. You can imagine the reaction from the nurses in his office that I had befriended and grown to love during my first pregnancy. I was told that I was eleven weeks and six days along. The first three months of my pregnancy were over and I had only just found out! That means I had no morning sickness and being back at pre-baby weight already, I had no weight gain (due to breastfeeding I’m guessing). These are stories you only read in magazines surely!
My second pregnancy was long and hard, caring for and carrying a very heavy and active Aston for the most of it. There were some days were I cried at the thought of how I was going to cope with two babies, a husband that was Chairman of a company, two stepsons that we have a little over half the time and not a lot of family support. I wasn’t even sure I was maternal when I met my husband at thirty years of age, enjoying a fabulous career and hadn’t really thought about being a Mum….
Amongst all of the tears, the worry and the overwhelming feelings of fear, we were going to have another beautiful life to add to our family of three amazing sons. As time went on, the idea became easier to cope with and the excitement built of having two children so close together that they would ultimately not know life without each other. Affectionately known as our Irish Twins ☺
Our second (technically fourth) baby boy Damon was born in September of 2011. A doll. Blonde with green eyes and the face of angel. A total contrast to his dark eyed, dark haired ‘big’ baby brother and his copper haired and strawberry blonde older brothers. A seven minute birth with no complications and, (after a very traumatic birth with Aston), an experience of true Mother and Baby bonding that I will never forget.
I worked hard to get Aston into a very strict routine and had him sleeping through the night from six months of age and we have rarely had sleep troubles with him since. Damon was sleeping through from five months. People ask why I am so strict on routine and why I chose to ‘have no life’ through this last year with two babies. The truth is, it was and is my only coping mechanism. If I didn’t get sleep and downtime, I couldn’t function the next day and I needed the energy.
There were days when I didn’t think I could cope. There were days where I wanted to ‘pack it all in’ and run away. There were days I thought I could have borderline post-natal depression as I was so overwhelmed, but, it was all due to lack of sleep and exhaustion. A form of torture in some countries!
Damon turned one last Friday. Aston is yet to turn two. It has been such a wonderful experience raising two little boys so close together but I have to mention that the support from my Husband has been amazing. We have had so many laughs, so much fun, our fair share of ups and downs, frustrations and lots of craziness, but the one thing we do have in our house is love…..and a lot of it.
Here’s to life as a Mother. There is no better job in the world.
Tania Lewis is the mum of 4 children and wife to Mark.
Her blog ‘Bambini Di Casa’ can be found here: www.bambinidicasa.com.au