baby

"When my son was just 14 months old, I gave birth to another baby. I was in a haze of exhaustion."

Having a baby is tough. Having two in less than 18 months is close to insanity.

When my son was just fourteen months old, we were blessed with the arrival of his sister.

None of my friends had children quite this close in age, so I felt very alone in my circumstance. I had a not quite toddling babe and a newborn, and boy were my hands full.

I remember the first day that we came home from the hospital. After having a C-section, I wasn’t allowed to lift anything heavier than a bottle of milk. My poor son cried as he reached up at me, wanting nothing more than to be picked up by his mummy. I couldn’t do it though, or I’d risk rupturing the incision.

Those first six weeks being unable to pick up my toddler were really hard.

That had nothing, though, on the pure exhaustion that was emanating out from my very bones.

I had just spent nine months with extreme morning sickness, waking at 5am to the nausea, racing to the bathroom, and continuing the day this way while looking after my toddler, who was not yet sleeping through the night.

To say it was tiring is an understatement.

I naively thought it would be easier once my daughter was born. I longed to stop being sick all day, for the side-effects that plagued my pregnancy to end.

jess-hunt kids

Jess' kids - a bit more grown now. Image: supplied.

The day we came home from the hospital, I cried and cried. My hormones were all over the place, I was so tired, I questioned my capabilities as a mother.

My daughter wasn't feeding well, I was struggling to breastfeed, the air in our home was thick with worry and stress.

I went to the doctor, but there was nothing she could do to help me. She said I was just exhausted, which was entirely normal for a woman in my shoes.

After a few weeks, things started to get a little easier as I started adjusting to life with two children.

But the days were hard, and sometimes it was a struggle just to get us all out of the house. In just eighteen months I had changed from being just me, I was now part of a trio, every where I went.

The first year of my daughter's life flew by in a blur, and suddenly I found myself chasing around two toddling bubbas, aged just one and two.

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Listen to a snippet of Mia Freedman's interview with Tiffiny Hall, on her post-baby body. (Post continues after audio.)

My son started to sleep through and I was no longer existing in a haze of exhaustion, waking to both children over and over, all night.

That's when I truly started to see the magic that was my pigeon pair.

I saw the beauty when my children laughed together. I brimmed with happiness when I saw them toddling along together, hand in hand. My heart swelled with love when we were all snuggled up together on the lounge.

I am so glad my children are so close in age. They have had a constant friend in their life, all day, every day. They have so much fun together. I don't think my son remembers a time before his sister anymore.

Sure, the road to where we are now was rocky at times, for me. There were times I thought I'd go mad, but somehow we have made it through all the tears and stressful moments and now I have two under five. It is a lot easier than two under two, let me tell you that.

If you're as crazy as me, and have found yourself in these same shoes, I want you to know it's going to be alright.

The early days are so intense. Don't feel bad if your house falls into disarray, if you're not getting dinner served on time, if you're fridge is sadly under stocked.

As long as your children are loved, clean and fed, you are doing a good job. Even if you're still wearing your pyjamas at 4pm.

Time will move forward and your little ones' demands will change, and you will find yourself with a bit more time. Your house will be spick and span once more, you'll have dinner ready on time, and if you're anything like me, you'll learn how to order your groceries online.

I'm not sure if anything actually gets easier as time goes by or if we adjust to the changes that motherhood brings and learn how to cope with our new reality as the days go by.

No matter how many days we struggled through, I will never regret having my kids so close in age.

My pigeon pair have brought me more happiness than I could have ever imagined, and their bond is unmatchable.

Jess Hunt is a freelance writer and mother of two young children, living in country NSW. She writes her thoughts and ideas about parenting on her blog, totallymotherhood.com.

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