Tomorrow marks 2 years since we welcomed our youngest into the world. He was our little miracle so soon after a miscarriage and he’s the final addition to our family. While he enters another year of toddler life, I’m reminded that he is no longer my little baby anymore. The baby clothes have been packed away in storage, waiting to be passed down to future nieces, nephews or grandchildren. Baby rattles have been replaced with blocks, walking has progressed to running and baby babble has quickly turned into words and sentences. Some families make the decision not to have anymore children, and some have that decision made for them. Our decision is one we had to make late last year due to my own health complications, one that has taken me a while to be okay with. I’ve been blessed with two beautiful children who are growing so fast that some days I just want to freeze time and keep them as they are right now. 2 years on from the newborn stage, and I’ve finally accepted that there will be no more babies in our future. There will be no more little kicks or movements in my belly, no more pregnancy cravings, no more breastfeeding and no more first cries, first smiles or first steps. Those first milestones that we so impatiently want our first born to meet , suddenly become moments we want to hold onto and soak in with our last. We find ourselves torn between the excitement of our children learning new things, and the sadness that comes with knowing that we won’t get to relive that moment again. As my boy turns two tomorrow, I will remember his first breath and the way he gripped my finger so tightly. I will hold onto the memories of his first smile and I will remember the excitement of wondering what he would look like, what he would be like and who he would become. I will celebrate my own journey of motherhood so far and look forward to the future of raising children who have left babyhood behind ✨
My first child did not prepare me for my second. Regardless of the 3 years of parenting I had up my sleeve, having another child was like being a new parent all over again. I didn’t think about just how attached my children would be to each other, and how hard it might be for my second child to develop his own independence. Everyone says child #2 is always so much more laid back than the first, that 2 kids are easier than one. They’ll play together and keep each other company etc. Who ever said that must have some pretty sweet and chilled little babes. What most people forget to mention is that the second child is usually the first child’s shadow, They follow them around, watching and learning from them..taking in everything about them. They may be their own unique self, but they don’t know who they are without their older sibling. They aren’t sure of who they are yet and the absence of the sibling suddenly feels just as upsetting as dad heading off to work and being gone all day.
Since Willow started school, Ive noticed this is what’s happening with Luka. He’s walking around like a lost little puppy, not really sure what to do now his big sister isn’t home. At first I thought, wow are we onto the terrible two’s already? He’s had more attention and one on one time than ever before, he gets to play with all his sisters things when she’s not home and he’s doted on left, right and centre. Willow being at school meant more meaningful time spent with Luka, more trips to the park, more time for things like baking, playgroups and everything you get to enjoy with the first child. .haha how wrong I was! We’ve been to the park a few times, and everything else is still on the to do list. Our days have been full of temper tantrums, uncontrollable crying, constant cuddles and face time with dad whenever he has a spare moment.
Yesterday I spent an hour on the floor cuddling Luka after he woke from his nap, I wasn’t allowed to move from our spot and I definitely wasn’t allowed to get back to what I was doing before. Eventually I had to get up and carry on with making lunch and getting dinner ready, all while listening to my child scream the house down because he just wanted to be held. It was at this moment that I realised just how hard this new independence is for him. He’s pushing boundaries left, right and centre and needing all the comfort and attention that his sister would usually provide. “No” and “Go away” are the words of the week, and ” Where’s Wah Wah?” is asked constantly. In time, I know that Luka will learn who he is without his sister, and develop his own little personality.. But for now we’ll be over here surviving on caffeine, those much needed 9:30am naps and plenty of cuddles.
As parents we all have stories to tell about the lack of sleep we’re getting at night, and how often our child is or isn’t sleeping. Some babies sleep soundly through the night at an early age, while others take a bit longer. Then there are the babies that grow into toddlers who still aren’t sleeping through the night. We seem to put up with this and once we’ve exhausted all techniques and advice, we accept that we will just have to wait until our child starts sleeping through the night ..even if that day never comes. A few months ago we decided to see an Osteopath, and it has been one of the best things we have done so far. If it is something you’ve been wanting to do but weren’t sure about, I hope this story encourages you to give it a go and see what happens.
Our little boy Luka is 11 months old and has never been a good sleeper. From birth he would consistently wake at 11pm, 3am and 5am.. and that pattern never stopped regardless of our efforts. Up until a month ago we were up at least 3 times a night with him, rocking him and putting him back to sleep. He would kick and scream for an hour at a time on the worst nights, Some nights we were up every few hours! Aside from this, Luka was a very happy baby and could put himself to sleep during the day. Physically he was thriving and he was reaching all milestones in record time. Countless doctors appointments told us that it was just teething, our boy was perfectly fine otherwise and it was literally something we would just have to endure. Sleep routines and cry it out methods weren’t working, calm baths and massages before bed did us no favours either. All the natural remedies you can think of, we tried. It’s like our little boy became immune to everything that we tried with him, and slowly I felt like I was losing my mind because nothing was working. The constant sound of a crying baby makes your heart ache like nothing else. You don’t realize how important sleep is until you’re not getting enough of it.. and we definitely weren’t getting enough of it.
As a parent, you know when something isn’t right and you keep pushing for answers. Our decision to go to an Osteopath was made after a few days of no sleep through the night, and Luka’s resistance to sleep during the day. We felt like there was something internal going on that just wasn’t being seen. The first visit was a consultation. From the many things I was told, I learnt that Luka is hyper vigilant, super sensitive and also had some digestive problems that were affecting him. Everything started making sense and I felt like finally we were getting somewhere. The week that followed was literally the week from hell. Nothing had improved (obviously), but the recommended oils for sleep hadn’t worked either and not only was Luka not sleeping at night.. he was fighting his sleeps during the day as well. He was happiest in our arms and out and about, but we all know how difficult it can be to keep that up all day every day!
Our second visit to the Osteopath couldn’t come soon enough. While we were there I was shown some massages to help Luka with his digestive system, and techniques to help calm him when he gets agitated. She also recommended giving Luka some herbal tea to help with his tummy at night. I went to the health shop and was made up a herbal remedy made up of chamomile, milk thistle and Nettle leaf that I give Luka 3 times a day. Along with the regular massages, THIS has been our miracle solution. It’s been almost two months now and the boy we have now is totally different to the baby I described earlier. He goes to bed by 7:00/7:30pm and sleeps through until 5:30/6am . If he wakes before that it’s only to put his dummy back in, or give him an extra rock and cuddle while he has been teething. He has had 6 teeth come through in the past month, and is still sleeping much better than he ever did before. We still have a few rough nights here and there, but we have finally had our little boy sleeping through the night successfully and consistently. There are no signs of internal pain anymore and we have a much calmer, content baby. I’m kicking myself for not going to see an Osteopath earlier and would highly recommend one to anyone who is struggling with a sleepless child. Sleep is so important not only for our health but our emotional well being. As parents we shouldn’t have to accept that our child isn’t sleeping well, there is always something that can be looked into even if you feel like nothing is working! A well rested baby equals a well rested family and parents. I have a link here to an article with more information on the benefits of an Osteopath. I hope this helps any parent out there struggling through the sleepless nights.