Our little Georgie girl is now 7 months old… which means her “6 month update” is actually a month late. But I’d rather post her 6 month update a month late, than post her ‘7 month update,’ because I have a thing for even numbers and it just sounds really awkward. (This might help you to get to know me a little better… I’m really quite particular, but also a bit of a kook).
And I’m also completely besotted with my girl! It doesn’t feel like 2 minutes ago I was laying in a hospital bed, with this little pink bundle of perfection nestled in my arms – and now here we are: she crawls, sits on her own, has two bottom teeth, LOVES peaches, thinks her sweet big brother is just totally hilarious, and has the cheekiest twinkle in her eyes. She’s determined and sassy and such a sweetheart, and I love her more every single day.
Tonight she waved goodbye for the first time, as Nick was taking her downstairs to have a bath. Only I can’t mention that (and actually I shouldn’t have mentioned the crawling thing) because that happened at 7 months, not 6 months, and… oh who cares!
It wasn’t the easiest getting Georgie – I had stopped (or rather, hadn’t resumed) ovulating after I had Beau. So there were many months of confusion and upset, before I went to see a fertility specialist. Long story short, pesky little ovarian cysts meant I needed hormone drugs in order to start ovulating again and then we could try to conceive. Gratefully I did, of course. And it was as she was pulled from my womb and placed on my tummy I overheard my wish (which I didn’t even realise I’d had) coming true. “She’s a girl,” Nick said. We had a daughter.
It was like someone had injected me with the greatest drug ever known: pure love. Such a high. A whole new world opened up.
In the 7 months Georgie has been in our lives, she has turned us from parents into a family and we simply feel complete. The four of us immediately fell into a new rhythm together, and – as they say – it was as though she had always been here.
Becoming a mother again
Beau’s acceptance, inclusion, and love for his little sister has made me prouder than ever. I consciously prepared him for this, of course, and so am entitled to be proud of him – but what I didn’t realise was just how much his own embracing of the transition would help me immeasurably… because it was me who lay awake in those early days, weeping for the little boy in the next room who is no longer my baby, weeping for this little girl in my arms who would never have me fully, and unsure of how I would ever manage all of this emotion.
Gradually, yet in almost no time at all, I didn’t need to worry anymore. Because, as any second-time parent would already understand – love multiplies. Of course you don’t love your second child as much as you love your first… because there is no measure for your love. There’s no comparison. You simply love them both, fully, completely, unconditionally. Your love for each of them is as unique as they are. Incomparable and immeasurable.
And of course Beau is no longer my baby… I soon realised I wouldn’t want him still to be. Because then he wouldn’t be my gorgeous three year old – bursting with thoughts and personality and so much to offer.
And of course Georgie gets me fully. I’m fully her mother, just as I am fully Beau’s mother. That undivided attention Beau had, which Georgie doesn’t, is more than made up for with our more experienced parenting and an older sibling to love her too. We’re not ‘figuring it out as we go’ quite so much, with Georgie. Obviously we don’t have it all figured out! But it feels as though the hardest yards are behind us, and the light’s starting to get a little brighter.
From the practical side of things, I knew what to expect a little more this time. I knew just how exhausting those long days and nights of breastfeeding would be, but I also knew just how quickly that consuming phase would pass. So I knew to surrender, to embrace it, and to enjoy it.
We had prepared well for a month long babymoon, getting ourselves nice and comfy! Nick made sure there was always someone to help me if he needed to work, and I made sure he/my help looked after Beau, whilst I simply snuggled in with Georgie.
Her night feeds were actually something I looked forward to. Knowing how all too soon she would stop needing them, and how I would long for her husky little cries to call out for me once more, to be the centre of her world again, just for a little longer… so, whilst I am, I’ve been breathing it all in. Her sweet vanilla breath, her fuzzy peachy head, those delicate little fingers clinging to me.
The Fourth Trimester
All too suddenly, Georgie was 6 weeks old and our cocoon began to open. Nick was back into the swing of business, and Beau and I both felt the need to get out and about again. So I would take the kids for a drive most mornings – Georgie would have her morning nap in the car – and we would end up somewhere like Cornwall Park. I’d roll out a picnic rug under the trees, and Beau would run around exploring, whilst Georgie and I sat in the shade and watched him, letting the breeze refresh us.
Beau would nap in the afternoons, and I would lay in bed with Georgie, feeding and snoozing for a good couple of hours. Then we’d find ourselves in the living room – watching TV, playing with blocks, talking and snuggling and waiting for Nick to get home… I’ve often wondered exactly how many times I’ve kissed my children. An infinite amount. Continuous kisses. So many days of just kissing them and not a lot else.
Once Nick got home I’d shower, whilst he cooked the dinner, and we’d all eat on laps in the living room, hanging out together until bedtime. Sometimes I’d be aglow from the day, other times totally frazzled and worn out, but always content.
Sleep eat repeat. Bliss.
With the end of the fourth trimester came the summer-time, and it felt as though Georgie ‘woke up’ at this point. She was no longer a sleepy newborn, suddenly she was 3 months old and much more active and alert.
By 4 months she was rolling herself from one side of the room to the other, determined to get to where she wanted to be. And our nights of going to bed at 10pm and sleeping til 5am abruptly ended… with the summer’s heat, and her increased activity, she needed regular feeds through the night again. It suddenly became quite exhausting – almost the opposite of Beau, as things started getting easier by this point. We’d had a cruisey newborn phase and it caught up with us!
We thoroughly enjoyed the summer, though, finding our feet as a family of four – enjoying long weekends and slow, relaxed days, surrendering when the exhaustion and heat (gosh it was a hot summer!) got too much.
By the end of the summer, as Georgie reached 6 months old, I started to get restless – eager to get out with the pram for long walks, for the head-space and to regain my fitness – but unable to do so with a three year old in tow, not to mention the intense heat and humidity. So I began to feel a little trapped and overwhelmed, as well as restless. And it was becoming increasingly apparent that Beau needed more now. He was ready for preschool.
So, with Autumn, came a welcome relief. Beau started preschool 3 days a week, the weather cooled down, and I gained some space – to go for walks, to reorganise the household, and to get some special time just with Georgie. Now, when Beau gets home from kindy, I have more energy to engage with him. To be more present with him again – rather than going through the motions.
I am slowly getting back into my Celebrant business, and am taking regular time to write, to practice yoga, and to do those things that fill my cup. Nick and I still have our monthly date nights – but we’re craving more quality time with each other. And we’re starting to feel the need for more one-on-one time with each of the kids too.
So a new rhythm in our family life is emerging. The next 5 months, until Georgie’s 1st birthday, will continue to be slow and deliberate, but with a new found energy and us starting to look a little further ahead…
We already feel quite sure that our sense of ‘completeness’ will remain… and we’re all but certain we don’t want to ‘go through all that again,’ despite having enjoyed it…. but how funny it is that, every now and then, I wish more than anything to be able to go back. To be pregnant again, just for a few moments. Or to experience childbirth again, just to relive the magic of it – the power, the wonder, the beauty of that new life.
I don’t think this means we want more babies… just that the whole experience of having our two has been so utterly amazing. And I have loved every single moment of it.