Tuesday 12 December 2017

Small change

Siobhan O'Dowd Photo: Kip Carrol
Siobhan O'Dowd Photo: Kip Carrol

Just when new mum Siobhan O’Dowd is getting to grips with her current roles, a major re-adjustment is now on the horizon

It's funny how anytime we just hit a point where we have a handle on everything a gamechanger occurs. After sleeping through the night since she was 4 months old, Charlotte is hitting the '12 month sleep regression' phase.

After getting our heads (and babyproofing) around Charlotte walking, she's now climbing and is stuck in or on anything - the more dangerous, the better.

After work being a familiar comfort zone, my role is changing and I'm getting to grips with a load of new responsibilities I have been given. After spending a year in Westport, we're now in Galway and sussing out new GPs, new childminders, new friends and a new house.

It feels like time is existing in some sort of fast-forwarded state; I can't believe it's two more sleeps until Charlotte turns one. And in other news, it's 10 more weeks or so until her little brother or sister is due to make an appearance!  

The difference between bump 1 and bump 2  is incredible. With bump 1, all of the pregnancy apps were downloaded, and religiously checked for comparisons on all symptoms, baby milestones and tips - I would text my husband John proudly every week to let him know that our little bean was now a blueberry, or a cauliflower, or a watermelon.

With bump 2, I have the apps, have turned off the push notifications and go in to check how many weeks I am along with an increasing sense of panic at how few days or weeks there are left to go.

With bump 1, I spent a fortune on maternity clothes and couldn't wait to get into them. Isabella Oliver was permanently open on my internet browser, and I considered €150 on a dress to be an 'investment'.

With bump 2, I put loads of the maternity clothes from the first time around up on eBay, and having put it off as long as possible, am now alternating between one trusty pair of black leggings and a few size large dresses from COS. When John said on Friday night before a dinner outing 'What are you wearing?' I laughed, loudly.

With bump 1, I put together a comprehensive project plan for all of the baby-related stuff I 'needed', and spent vast fortunes on the ultimate in baby monitors and things like DVDs that explained the difference in baby cries, so we could communicate with Charlotte.

We used the baby monitor for a week before the puppy ate the handset, and I admitted I couldn't sleep anyway with the interference coming through on the sound. It's still gathering dust in the attic.

Bump 2 is going to be decked out in a lot of 'pre loved' hand me downs, and carted round in a car seat and double buggy from Done Deal, cosy in a footmuff from eBay.

Bump 1 meant no spinning classes in case I raised my body temperature too much; no running in case the jiggling was too jiggly and lots of 'rest' to ensure my body provided a safe, calm cocoon in which to grow a new little life.

Bump 2 is going to have rubbish taste in music as it is being subjected to blaring techno from spinning and tabata classes and it also did its first triathlon at 12 weeks. It's more a mental health thing than anything else, as working from home and having a toddler means this gets me out of the house and doing fitness stuff helps with sanity.

Tiredness is the new normal, as is working from a baseline of constantly tired. 'Rest' is an elusive concept that will exist when Charlotte is asleep, the house is tidy, the work is done, and there's no laundry piled up beside the washing machine.

It's a strange one, Bump 2 is a completely different animal. It's hard to get into 'excited' or 'connected' mode when you're so busy running around after a toddler and are constantly on the back foot with a million things to do. Even the due date is more about logistics than feelings. It will be a busy Christmas, that's for sure!

Irish Independent

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