Second Baby Blues

Our second child is due in June, and I have been feeling a little melancholy at times. It is a sadness that hits me when I think about my little tornado of a toddler now, it is when I watch him sleep, it is when I see him play. 

I have been dealing with some bouts of the blues off and on for a few months, but I know what they stem from and how to deal with them. Sometimes hormonal, sometimes situational, sometimes just me overthinking things … all that I am used to, and I have my own means of coping. But this sadness that comes knowing that baby number two is coming – it is a strange one, and one I’m grappling with as tenderly as I can.

For who can get sad about the gift of another child? When some dearest to you are struggling to have a baby, you feel a bit silly and insensitive talking about being blue at all – how rude! 

But there it is, and it’s real, and it’s true. I cannot deny the existence of this odd kind of sadness. The few people I’ve talked to about this tells me it is normal. I am adept enough with the Interwebs to research and know that many moms have felt it this too. But knowing, reasoning and logic can only soothe so much. 

I look at my little boy now and wonder how I will be able to love him just like this, with another baby to look after. I wish I could play with him the way he likes to play, and yet this huge belly in the way means there are so many things I cannot do. Mommy, do this, mommy, carry me. And I deflect, or I pass the job on to his daddy. When I am tired, I resort to the telly or house bound activities with him, and I feel bad about it. If this is the way I feel now, how will it be when the second one arrives? I feel like I miss spending time with him already. All the times we have spent together, just us, in the parks, the galleries, the museums. My heart aches when I think about how I will miss just focusing on him, staring at him in happy wonder as he is learning something new. How much will I miss, how many new words will I not catch, how many times will I say ‘Not now, Luca, mommy is busy with baby’. Because you are my baby. You may be tearing the place down now as a toddler but you are still my baby. And now I am all torn up inside at the thought of distinguishing ‘baby’ in my tummy to you, when I still call you Baby. 

We wanted him to experience the love and joy of having a sibling, and we know this is one of the best presents we could ever give him. But sometimes part of me questions these decisions – is it too soon? Will we do both of them justice? I look at the father my husband has turned out to be, and I am comforted and heartened – Anh is the dad children can only dream of having, and I know why he is our child’s clear favourite. Perhaps my fears are to do with me, and my fears of my own abilities as a mother. Will I be able to do this? Will I be able to focus on this? Will I falter? Will I miss out? 

And so now we travel as a family. We are spending all the quality time we can with the little tornado. I have regretted not taking more photos of him or writing about him openly or showing him off to the world, preferring to not be ‘one of those moms’. But as time runs out of it being just us, I wish I had done this more. And so I am doing more staring. I am noting things down more. I read some more bedtime books, I sing some more songs. I watch him as he falls asleep. I linger on at his side as he slumbers. I run my fingers through his hair, I kiss his cheeks that are still deliciously plump. 

I know the heart can only expand to love more. 

I know that he will love having a sibling.

I know that all will be well.

But for now, I acknowledge this sadness and aching that comes from thinking it won’t be just us in the future. I can only try to do my best, and I may be shitty at a lot of things but we will make it work. 

You will always be my number one, son. 


Viva La France

We went to Paris for a long awaited family break just a week ago. It was supposed to be my birthday present from my husband last December, but too much was happening then. But I am growing steadily more whale-like as time goes by, and so it was time to do some travelling. And so off we went last Thursday, taking the Eurostar to this beautiful city.

At the Centre Pompidou

Hubby and I have been to Paris several times before in our previous single lives, this was our first together. But no romantic candlelight dinners for us or Before Sunrise-style walks in slo-mo, we were there with our little tornado. No complaints though. At 20-months old, he is now super active and chatty, and we delight in his company. (When he isn’t melting down) We had to confine ourselves to indoor activities on our first two days as the weather was unkind to us, but even then we had fun because the little one was happy to just run in available spaces, and found our hotel room hilarious somehow (‘Hiding Daddy!! Come hiding!’). Who knew a simple Novotel could please a toddler so?

Cy Twombly’s exhibition, where we saw many works that looked like our son’s masterpieces

How was travelling to Paris with a little one?

Well there were some revelations. The French were wonderful with the little tornado. Having experienced more un-smiley French or Parisians in previous visits, I was pleasantly surprised that they were always cooing and smiling and talking to our son. Older folks would say hello, one silver haired man even came to our breakfast table to just to talk to him. Many had a similar question – “Is it a boy or girl?”

Taking in the view from Sacre Couer

Saying a prayer for someone very special

With so much warmth and kindness for the little one, I was surprised then that the public transport facilities however, was not as friendly. We had a challenging time with our pram using the metro. I had forgotten my French friend’s advice to use our lighter travel buggy instead, and I soon saw why. The question is about buggy width. It was just ridiculous as we had to collapse it each time to fit through gates, and there were just so many gates. There were no dedicated ones for those with accessibility issues. It made me really feel for those with disabilities too – how were they supposed to navigate through all this? The Parisian metro has always been very intuitive – as in, if you are used to the London tube, the metro is not a problem at all to figure out. But for ease of accessibility, London’s underground is still heaps better.

Treats and hot chocolate at the lovely Angelina Cafe

I was nervous about restaurants – many have no baby chairs, but in the end we fared quite all right. The little one took a monster evening nap on the first day (quite unusual), and as I knocked out along with him, hubby took it upon himself to book a nice dinner at 9.30pm. When I woke up, that fact just shocked me a little! Bedtime for tornado is usually 7pm in London. But we went to the restaurant anyway, a quaint little restaurant not too far from our hotel. It was completely packed though, and we were the only ones with a child, no surprises there! I thought we would be so judged for bringing a tiny human to this elegant little restaurant, but we just got one or two curious but cheerful looks, and most just continued their dinner and chats. We got back to the hotel near 11.30pm (gasp), and our son just promptly passed out (phew).

We didn’t get to do the Louvre (hubby has never been there), and Jardin du Luxembourg (for son), but all in all it was a short but sweet little holiday. 

When attempting to do a family wefie, have an arsenal of distraction tactics to prevent child from melting down

Yeah, this is the kind of the blogging you do when you’re a parent. It’s all so fucking logistical and practical and with no oooh la la. Ah well, c’est la vie!