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‘I am more apprehensive about having a second child than I ever was about the first’

Pandemic Pregnancy: Aisling Marron gets to grips with cancelled antenatal classes

The toddler is teething and her sleep is disrupted. It’s absolute hell to go back to this after months of sleeping through the night.

During one particularly spectacular fit of wailing (the toddler’s, not mine . . . though I was close), I buy a packet of homeopathic (don’t @ me) teething granules. The receipt is emailed to me instantly and it says that delivery will be “two-three days (call us if urgent)”. I spend a few seconds too many considering the urgency of my homeopathic teething granules.

I’m starting to wonder what on earth we were thinking going back to square one. I am more apprehensive about having a second child than I ever was about having the first.

One friend helpfully told us that having a second child is eight times the work of having just one. Another reassured us that, no, it’s not eight times the work, but there is never a break and the closest you get to a break is choosing the least difficult child and snaking off with them.


This is not inspiring.

I look back at photos of when the one year old was a newborn and it seems as though she was constantly asleep. So we should be fine, right? Though how come it absolutely never felt like she was constantly asleep at the time?

Support the head

When we told our parents number two was on the way, I expected shock at how close the gap was! “Another baby? So soon!” But their responses were muted to say the least. “Ye, we noticed you weren’t drinking at the first birthday so we thought so.”

Staff shortages due to Covid-19 mean that refresher antenatal classes for second-time parents have been cancelled. Oh God, I should have paid more attention the first time. There was something about breathing?

I panic slightly when I realise my reaction to seeing a photo shared on social media of a father holding a newborn is: “Oh yeah, you have to support the head . . . I’d forgotten that.”

The creche springs a “Winnie the Pooh day” on us and I ask my mother should I buy the toddler a Winnie the Pooh T-shirt for it. She tells me to “just send her in with a pot of honey”.

When will I attain this wisdom? Or any wisdom?

Outrageous uptightedness

At one of my appointments, a midwife going through a questionnaire asked if it was a “spontaneous pregnancy” and I was wondering how on earth it could be spontaneous. Was she asking if the baby had magically appeared in my belly without any (literal) input from my partner? She had already answered her own question with a “yes” and moved on to the next before I had a chance to query, “Excuse me what? Spontaneous? No it wasn’t spontaneous.”

I recently read an article about a woman who had two kids in her late 20s and early 30s and a third child in her early 40s. She said she was much less uptight with the third. In the article, she told the reader how she had even used thermometers in the kids’ bedrooms when she was younger – this cute little anecdote was meant to demonstrate her outrageous uptightedness. But all I could think was – well how else would you know if the room is between the recommended 16 to 20 degrees?

Maybe it will take a third kid before I can look back and laugh at myself . . . or leave a baby in a room without knowing its exact temperature (madness).

Part 1: This is all getting a bit Angela's Ashes
Part 2: We got bad news at the first baby scan
Part 3: What's the oldest woman you've delivered a baby to?
Part 4: Not yet telling your colleagues about the baby
Part 5: I go in to the scan and it turns out, I do miss my husband
Part 6: Was she asking if the baby had magically appeared?
Part 7: I am more apprehensive about having a second child