My baby girl is an angel. She smiles all the time; she laughs all the time; she smells of love, feels soft as truffula trees and clings to me like I’m all she needs. She’s so busy doing all these things that she has no interest whatsoever in sleeping. Time has become a loop. I am once again where I was 3 years ago, obsessed with when I might lie down and shut my eyes for just 15 minutes. Please, just 15 minutes. I’m clock-watching most of the time, alert to two things - whether my daughter is ever going to zzz and whether my PND is going to return. I know this - PND is most likely after the 3rd month. Tick, tock. Next week, my daughter turns 12 weeks-old. Tick, tock.
I also know this - coping with your second child is supposed to be easier than coping with your first. I’m waiting...When does this ‘ease’ kick in? When the 'you deserve a sleeper this time around' genes are activated?When my first child decides that waking up my second isn’t actually fun? When my second child decides that reflux and colic are not such a tasteful combo? When I figure out how in the world to juggle supper, tantrums, a screaming baby, a jealous, attention-desperate 3 year-old fond of oven-diving, the inadequacy of only 2 hands and extreme sleep dep? When? I’m waiting. Tick, tock.
But, wait a second. I’m not figuring out which knife in my kitchen drawer would be the most appropriate for arm-based artistry. I’m not lying awake in the pitch black pleading for all this is to end. I’m not weeping uncontrollably every second no one’s watching. I’m not spitting at my baby to shut the fuck up and then suffocating in the swamp of mother-guilt. I’ve got a quiet voice inside my head whispering ‘it’s just a phase’ and ‘you got through it before’. I’ve got voices outside my head reassuring ‘we are here for you’. I’ve got a little 3 year-old who cuddles me when he catches me crying.Tick, tock. Tick, tock.
Wait a second, perhaps I’m not actually afraid of every second of my Second. Perhaps everything will actually be OK.