'I had two babies just over a year apart. Here are 6 things I wish I'd known.'

When my firstborn was three months old, I looked at my partner and said, “if we’re going to have another one, we need to do it now”. 

The thought of going back to work, getting my pre-baby body back, being done with nappies and night feeds and swaddles, only to have to do it all again in a few years' time terrified me. 

I wanted to rip the bandaid off and have them close together so that I could then focus on myself and rebuilding my life, once. 

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Well, be careful what you wish for. A month later I was pregnant again and furiously googling, "babies 12 months apart – help".

My kids are now 15 months and nine weeks old, and I’m only just getting my head around the gig (i.e. I’ve brushed my teeth every morning four days in a row). 

Here are a few things I wish I’d known.

Your body will feel very broken.

‘Broken’ doesn’t even come close to how my body feels after delivering two babies in just over a year.

It’s more like my hip bones are grinding upon each other. 

And my core pretty much just collapses every time I go to lift everything. 

And my vagina is only barely being held together by dozens of stitches… oh wait, it is. 

And my boobs have gone through the everyday cycle of my washing machine 3457 times with a stray shoe, the contents of half a sandpit and the car keys I can’t find, when they’re used to only being washed on a delicate cycle.

It will be just like having actual twins.

You’ll go from feeding one, to feeding the other, then the first will need feeding again. 

Same deal when it comes to changing their nappies and clothes and cot sheets and bath towels and... everything else really. Then you’ll put one down for a nap only to realise the other is crying and needs to be rocked to sleep as well. 

See, told you, twins.

It will be nothing like having actual twins.

But actually, not really. Because they’re two completely different little humans. I know, cray cray, hey? But also, THEY’RE BORN 12 MONTHS APART. 

My eldest is running and my newborn can’t hold her head up. 

My eldest feeds herself and my newborn, well, can’t eat unless I feed her. 

My eldest says ‘eating’ when she wants food and my newborn just screams. So yeah, not really twins at all.  


Your first-born will become a toddler overnight.

I was completely unprepared for this one (and am still kinda mourning my ‘baby’) but it seriously does happen overnight, almost like magic. 

I literally left my first born with my mum to go the hospital one day and then returned the next to find a toddler in her place. 

I swear she’d even grown in size. 

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It’s like she knew that another little human was on their way and so kindly did some growing. And the developmental leaps have only gotten bigger as time’s gone on. 

I feel like in the nine weeks that we’ve had the second baby in our lives, the first has grown nine years.

I also feel like the gross developments in my eldest have been somewhat forced, and I’m not sure that I’m 100 per cent okay with that (let kids be kids and all that jazz), but she’s vibrant, happy, healthy, and I’ve accepted that I’m just going to have to wear the guilt.

You will need to neglect both children, regularly.

I realise need is a very strong word but I don’t choose it lightly. It’s the truth. 

You will actually need to neglect both your children daily if you want to survive.

That constantly runny nose that your older babe brings home from daycare will need to be left unattended so that you can feed your screaming newborn. 

Your screaming newborn will need to be left half swaddled so you can rush to get an ice pack for your 13-month-old’s bleeding head. 

Both kids will need to be left crying in their cots so that you can change your saturated pad from your still bleeding vagina. 

Some days the decision around which child to tend to first will be easy, others you’ll feel like you’re being asked to make Sophie's Choice.

You’ll feel like you can’t do it.

And finally, we come to the pièce de résistance of things I wish I’d known about parenting two babies just over a year apart.

Almost every website I visited before I had baby number two mentioned that it would be *hard*, but none actually bothered to mention that you will feel like you *can’t do it* –  All. The. Time. 

And that that feeling can trump all other feelings. 

And make you feel like you’re drowning. 

And like the next five minutes are impossible, let alone the next five days.

I honestly cannot even remember how many times I’ve sent a text to a friend or turned around to my partner and yelled, “I CAN’T DO THIS!” 

Every time I’ve thought it, or said it, things have felt dire and I’ve wanted to run away, or die, or run away and die but, well, I’m still here. 

Which is why I wrote, “you’ll feel like you can’t do it”. 

In reality, you actually can do it. And you do. 

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