No idea where to start with this post but I’m hoping unloading my thoughts will help me a) clear my head b) rationalise my thoughts. I also think it’s really important for me to be able to look back at my journey to appreciate where I am. Excuse the typos, the rubbish English and use of grammar, I’m knackered!
As much as social media may portray all is well, most days, I’m struggling at the moment.
Uncertainty … My life seems full of it at the moment. There is so much going on and it all seems to be happening around me. Like I’m in a dream watching on as a bystander. The recent death of my beloved second mum – my Suzi Thai Ji (aunti), our house extension, still living at my parents, a baby on the way, the guilt around Arjun having to share our attention …the list feels endless.
There is so much change happening, dealing with a new baby alone was enough to send me in to a frenzied panic without all the other change alongside it.
We started our extension in May and in my mind I would be back home, getting ready for our upcoming arrival by now. The reality is, I’m still at my parents. As much as I absolutely love being with my parents and my sisters, and having the extra pairs of hands and support has really been amazing, in my head I would be back home and getting things ready for the baby. Unfortunately the house isn’t ready for us to go back just yet. With no kitchen, no water downstairs, a house full of thick dust and still a construction site, we are no closer to moving back in the next few weeks.
I have no hospital bag ready, I have no baby clothes washed and ironed, I have no car seat at the ready, I have no moses basket ready. Yes I still have 2 months to go but 2 months isn’t that long? I’ve tried to do a few online shops for hospital bag essentials to make myself feel better but instead I’ve found myself in even more of a mess with half of it being delivered to my parent’s house, half of it to my house and really having no clue where anything is. My car is full of stuff so much so that there’s no room for passengers.
I can’t get Arjun’s newborn clothes down from the loft to reuse for the baby as there is no washing machine plumbed in at my house and they would get filled with dust in no time even if I was able to wash them. There is also no place to store them as we need to shift Arjun’s clothes out of the nursery and in to his new room but we can’t do that till the new carpet has come and the new furniture in Arjun’s room has arrived which won’t be till after the carpet has been lifted to finish off the wiring.
I feel so unprepared. And I feel like I have no control over what’s going on. It’s not as easy as pulling down one bag from the loft – I wasn’t sensible enough to sort things by age always. Out of the 15 odd huge bags we have up there, some of them are a combination of car seat bits, shoes, muslins and clothes! So I’d need to take all of them down to sort through them. Argh! For a normally organised person, I was pretty disorganised – I blame the sleepless nights.
The sleepless nights …something that I’ve become all too familiar with again. I slept like a baby when I was pregnant with Arjun. I’m sure a lack of sleep is adding to my anxiety. I’m wide awake between 4-6am every single night and my sleep till 4am is broken. The aches and pains I’m experiencing this pregnancy are alien to me. I didn’t have this (not that I remember anyway) when pregnant with Arjun. It often means I’m physically not able to do much –something that I’m finding so frustrating. With a demanding toddler who often wants to be picked up for comfort, an upside down house and a new baby to prepare for, being physically restricted is really frustrating.
I know Preetam shares my frustrations as I appreciate so much how hard he is working for us. He’s working flat out and sacrificing being with his son to get things done fast. I admire him for his drive – going to work in London, working an intense job and then coming home and working till past midnight to do it all over again this next day can’t be easy. As with most construction projects, things don’t always go to plan – materials don’t always get delivered when they’re supposed to or things sometimes take a little longer than anticipated which has meant sometimes things our out of Preetam’s control.
While his focus is on getting the house ready (rightly so), I’m not sure he understands the maternal instinct and my need to get things sorted – I’ve always been the one that takes charge of leading things with Arjun so he’s not really too aware of what’s involved. I think for him, the house is the priority and the baby will be here on it’s due date – wishful thinking! Similarly to me, he likes things planned and on schedule … unfortunately baby business doesn’t work that way. They say it’s common for the second to come early…!
The labour … I haven’t even thought about labour. It just seems like a “thing” on a list, it doesn’t feel real. What fate do I have in store this time? Will the baby be ok? … My goodness, we still have so much to deal with.
Will Preetam be ok this time? If I don’t feel like I’m ready or that it hasn’t hit me, how on earth would it have hit him? I don’t think he has any idea. He’s frantically trying to get the house ready and that’s his primary focus at the moment. He was absolutely amazing when Arjun was born, I just hope it’s not all too much for him this time around. He was my back bone especially during the first year, I don’t know what I’ll do if he’s on burn out this time around. I feel guilty for even thinking that way knowing he’s already under so much pressure.
The baby … I can’t fathom that once we move back in to our new home, it won’t just be the three of us, there’ll be a fourth. I can’t seem to grasp it. How will I take care of a newborn again?! I feel like I’ve completely forgotten everything. I know everyone says it’ll come back to me but the truth is that doesn’t comfort me in any way. Because I have so much other uncertainty I don’t feel like I have the mental breathing space to comprehend that soon our responsibilities will double. I don’t even remember what you pack in a baby change bag? The change bag is currently covered in dust! 😐
With Arjun, I had 6 weeks off on maternity leave before he was born to absorb what was happening around me, to get used to the idea of a tiny little human. To really embrace it. And even still I struggled. I’m fearful that with my maternity leave being consumed with trying to get the house ready, I won’t get that time. I’ll probably be exhausted before the baby arrives and I’m worried that tiredness will send me in a downward spiral.
I’m really worried about how I’ll cope. My mind feels so cluttered mentally and I’m struggling to find a small space in my head to manoeuvre my thoughts and clear my head.
Maternity leave seemed so far away when I’d first put in my maternity leave request at work and it’s suddenly crept up on me. Next week is my last week at work. I had it all worked out between then and now. This was meant to be a lovely experience. We’d planned to get pregnant, I had hopes and wishes for his pregnancy too like I did with Arjun, I’ve not been able to do any of them and it feels like the last seven months have just whizzed by and I’ve not had a chance to enjoy any of it or just be in the moment. I really don’t want to make that mistake once the baby is here. I want to cherish every single moment because if Arjun has taught me anything, it’s that time really does slip through your fingers.
I’m feeling so guilty for Arjun too – I’d planned a beautiful few months before baby’s arrival. Family trips to the farm, the park, cinema. Making the most as the three of us. We haven’t been able to do any of it. I feel so guilty that soon he’ll have to share us. I’ve cried about it so many times. I know I always wanted him to have a sibling and I am so grateful to God for blessing us with another, but I can’t help but feel guilty as his oblivious little self wanders. I’ll probably write a separate post on this as I’m on a mini rollercoaster with this alone.
Last Saturday we lost my Thai Ji. I’ve never lost someone so close to me and I have no idea how to cope. My heart breaks every time I think of the day she passed – it’s unbelievable. I can’t comprehend it it. We’d spent part of the day together the day before. She was so happy to see her great grandson Reggie and Arjun playing together. I had no idea that would be the last time we’d see each other, the last time I’d hear her voice. I miss her so much already. I’ve found myself turning to my phone to text/call her so many times the last week like I always have. Except she’s no longer there. I can’t handle the thought of her not being in my life. I don’t know how to process it or how to accept it. Death is the one thing that’s guaranteed in life but the hardest thing to accept.
I feel emotionally, physically and mentally drained and the only tiny person that I’m taking comfort in at the moment is Arjun. That stresses me out too. What a burden for him.
My inability to always be able to cope at the moment has unfortunately meant Arjun has joined the iPhone gang. I’ve recently found myself relying on my iPhone to act as a babysitter for 15 minutes while u have a quick nap as I am too exhausted to deal with him. I’ve relied on it so much so that he now asks for it. I guess I’ve been lucky that he’s escaped the phone bug for the last 28 months but i cant help but feel really frustrated with myself for allowing it to happen.
I have no issue with Arjun using a phone / iPad. In fact, most of what he wants to do is either colouring, a puzzle or watching videos about colours and shapes. No. it’s the way in which it changes his behaviour. He is so oblivious to what is going on around him and that bothers me. It bothers me badly. I’m not sure if it’s because of the distance of the screen from his face, but the TV doesn’t quite have the same impact on him.
I really hate that I now use my phone to settle him when he’s having a tantrum, or when I need a break because I am mentally and physically drained. I’m conditioning him to rely on it. He knows exactly how to get it.
I’m so sorry that this is such a heavily negative post – I’m all about silver linings and I KNOW the change surrounding the baby and our home is temporary and soon all order will be restored and we’ll be able to create wonderful memories (God willing). I wish the same could be said about my Thai Ji.
I am so grateful that soon we will be back in our humble dream home reunited as a little family … the journey to get there just feels a little bit muddled.
My silver lining is that I get to spend lots of quality time with my parents – my family have been such a huge pillar of support especially during this last week where I have really struggled emotionally; Arjun is now fully potty trained which I’m not sure would have been the case without them!; and I’ve managed to still keep on top of things with Baby Brain Apparel (which turned 1 yesterday!) as difficult as it’s been!
Yes the next few months feel so uncertain for us, I have no idea whether I’ll be back home in time for this baby to arrive, what sort of labour I’ll have, what state the house will be in when we do move back, but the truth is, it’s out of my control and stressing over it won’t change anything – I just need to keep reminding myself of that. I wish I could compile a structured to do list but my to do list is dependent on other things out of my control.
Here’s to hoping I figure shit out!x