As a first time mummy, the baby stage is the most exhausting part. It was never-ending episodes of changing diapers, milk feeding at every few hours interval. Feeding time can sometimes take more than 30 minutes. In between milk feeding I had to grab every chance I had to finish whatever I had to do such as eating, bathing, catch a short nap ( only IF the baby naps too). The first 2 years is the hardest part. When he had reached the toddler stage, lets just say having a pet dog is so much is easier because at least people won't give you the weird stare when you throw a leash around his neck. For a long time, I stopped hanging out with my friends. Most of them are like me, married with kids, so we also sort of understands each other's life. We do however try to meet up once every few months or whenever there is some baby shower or kids party.
Being completely honest, I had no desire for a second child.
For the first few years I had been robbed of my freedom, my most coveted sleep and lots of me time. Things only got better when he can walk on his own and I thought I should go get my degree already. it was something I have been thinking about. I felt like I'm punishing myself again having to work full time and study part time and look after my son at the same time. It was so tiring as I remembered all the nighters I have pulled in that one and a half year to complete assignments and projects... It was a nightmare because the assignments were tedious and time-consuming.
I almost threw my hands in the air and surrendered when my husband told me he wanted a second child, right after I finishes my degree. I thought it must be a joke because I wanted to rest awhile after completing my degree. But I agree to it because we didn't want Dominic to be lonely and to have a sibling with a huge age gap. My husband was such an expert in calculating my menses cycle and ovulating period that I always go to him when I want to know when is my next period. He have everything planned ahead. Not long after I handed in my final dissertation to school, I discovered that I was pregnant with my second! He nailed it so accurately, it's unbelievable.
Fast forwarding the pregnancy part as fatigue, morning sickness and backaches was nothing new to me. I wanted to enjoy every moment of freedom I have before the baby pops. I knew what I was in for, I totally saw it coming. I wanted to throw a farewell-to-freedom party before my due date. I wanted to cry because I can't bear to part with freedom and I don't know when will we reconcile again.
I finally give birth to her on 27 April 2015. So it was the baby stage all over again. I realized what some of my friends said is true. It's better to have children with closer age gap. Because after raising Dominic for 5 years, it's really quite daunting to know I have to start from scratch with my second child. I was constantly sleep-deprived and exhausted. The worst thing is Chanel wanted to be carried all the time. I hurt my hand in the process. Until now, it still hurts. I thought it's never going to heal until when she finally started to walk. Really.
My time, energy and finances were drained and so does my husband. He kept assuring me this is a temporary situation and things will become better when they all got older. Of course I believed him and I wished that there is a remote control for me to press fast-forward like Adam Sandler in the movie 'Click'. Really!!!!
Because nowadays, making a trip to the mall with a baby and pram, is so much harder. Everything becomes harder. Because everything you do requires an extra step. Everything has to be pre-planned. Packing the diaper bag is a test of my post-natal memory because if I remembered everything of Chanel's, I will forgot something of Dominic. I feel like a freaking failure that he had to brace the air-conditioned shopping mall without a jacket. And then I will have finger-pointing at me when he catches a cold because I was the one who packed the bag. I am constantly on the edge and aware of another human being's immediate needs. I can't get from one place to another without stopping a thousand times in between. It was like a marathon with many cumbersome obstacles to cross. Exhaustion. Frustration.
Sometimes, I wish I can just walk out of the door without a care in the world and go anywhere I wanted but I couldn't. And bringing a baby out is not as easy as bringing a dog out for a walk. Because a baby is a dog magnified by a zillion. Zillion.
It's not that I don't enjoy my second baby now, of course the joy they bring to us will always be priceless. But sometimes I'm in desperate need of some time alone in order to regain sanity. I feel I could have deal with everything much better if I'm not so sleep-deprived. I'm even willing to pay for some sleep.
And when my husband asked me for a third baby, I seriously wanted to box him in the face. If it was meant to be a joke, it is really not funny.