Thank you so much to Elly Norris for sharing her experience with having two girls under the age of 2. From their birth stories, co-sleeping + their bond as sisters being so close in age, we got to know a bit more behind this mama and her two girls.
Having 2 girls who are 13 months apart has been tricky to be able to have 5 minutes to sit down and even write this. Right now I am writing this at 12.27 A.M., yes A.M. and I’ll probably be up for an hour giving this a shot, and then the girls will be up wrecking their bedroom wanting to get up within the next 6 hours. Why I do this to myself... I do not know.
But let’s start with an introduction. Hi everyone, my name is Elly and I am a mum of 2 girls who are, at the moment nearly 3 & 2. Their names are Vienna Mae and Everly Rose.
So let’s go back to 15th June 2017, the day my first daughter Vienna Mae was born. The day my whole world completely did a 180 on me and I was not sure about this new rollercoaster of a ride. Vienna was born at 3.06pm on the 15th June and I instantly fell in love with her. She was such a chilled out baby, but some say too chilled out. Vienna lost a lot of weight when she was a baby, for a few reasons, and I honestly felt like the worlds worst mother and at the time I wasn’t sure I was going to be a good one at that.
I had a tough first month but then all of a sudden, everything just clicked. Well, fast forward a few months when Vienna was around 5 months old, I had that funny feeling in my stomach... that feeling that I was pregnant. Now, I didn’t sort out any contraception by this time as 1. I was told that breastfeeding was a contraception, girls it certainly isn’t. I was a first time mum, honestly in my mind contraception was the last thing I had to worry about when I was hardly getting enough sleep to function! But my instincts were right and in October 2017 we found out that we were pregnant with baby number 2. Some would say I was absolutely barking mad, some would say ‘ahh that’s so cute they are going to be the best of friends’.
Being pregnant and having a baby/toddler to look after was the hardest job of my life. Imagine carrying a baby, the size of a watermelon (obviously towards the end) and your 12 month old baby learning to walk. Yes that’s exactly what happened for me.
Vienna decided to leave walking to the very last 3 weeks of my pregnancy, and my gosh, those moments are definitely supposed to be special, which of course they were and memories we will always cherish, but I was in absolute agony. Having to bend down constantly and help her walk whilst she was learning, and then when I didn’t or couldn’t (as I had SPD) she would throw a strop. It was definitely the hardest time of my pregnancy. But it was only for a short while and although I say it was the hardest time of my life, it was definitely so rewarding. Having a beautiful baby girl learning to walk and carrying our second child.
Fast forward to 23rd July 2018 - I started having mild contractions during the early hours of the morning and I just knew straight away that little lady was going to make her appearance. We were lucky the first time and had a very chilled relaxed labour, I really wanted a similar set up for our second labour.
Luckily I understood a lot more than I did with Vienna, so I stayed at home pretty much until I couldn’t bear the pain. When I went to hospital I was already 5 cm dilated. Result! For those that have been through labour will know what it’s like when a midwife tells you ‘you’re only 2 cm dilated’ yet it feels like the pain has been going on for hours and you should really be at 10cm!!!
I had my sister with me and my partner Mark as my birthing partners and my mum (who was at Vienna’s labour) had little Vienna for me as I wanted her to be able to get to hospital as soon as little lady arrived.
Luckily I managed to have a water birth and it was exactly how I wanted it. At 10.50am little Everly Rose was born and I honestly didn’t think that my heart could love another human as much as I loved Vienna but it did!
So, that’s all the cuteness out of the way, as soon as Vienna met Everly, which was a moment that I had been waiting for for what seemed forever, didn’t quite happen how I wanted it to.
Vienna came straight in with nanny, cuddled daddy, got jealous because I was holding Everly and threw a carrot stick at her. Honestly still to this day, one of the funniest moments. I will never forget it.
The first week was so hard for me, Mark was going through a lot of things at the time as well and as a family it was a struggle.
Everly’s first week was hard - I had a newborn baby that needed my attention constantly and a toddler who had just learned to walk who also needed me. I found it so tricky trying to work out where I should be, who should get the attention first, honestly I did struggle for a while. I have to admit I was really lucky with Vienna, she just adapted so well to being a big sister and I will forever be so proud of her. But don’t get me wrong the days didn’t always go too well.
After the first couple of weeks, I found my feet and Everly was exclusively breastfeeding so well that I finally thought I actually had control of being a Mum of 2.
I just want to mention that we had days where I really struggled. Everly didn’t like to sleep unless it was on my chest so majority of the time we co-slept and at times we actually ended up kicking mark out of the bed haha. Now I know there’s still a lot of debate over co-sleeping with a baby etc, but I just wanted my little girl to get the rest she needed and if that meant that she was to sleep on my chest or in bed with me, then that’s what I was going to do.
For the first 3 months I’d say that Everly slept in her next2me crib maybe a handful of times, but after that she just all of a sudden took to sleeping in their perfectly and that was when I started to feed her in her next2me (literally just leaning over into the next2me crib), once she was asleep then I’d just roll back into bed. So that was bedtime sorted whilst she was a baby.
Vienna’s sleeping, but this point, was the best routine we somehow got her into and she slept from 6.30-7pm until 8am the next morning.
Daytimes were of course the trickiest, having a toddler and newborn is always going to be tricky, you’ve got to try and occupy a toddler whilst either feeding a newborn, getting them to sleep or playing with them. It really isn’t easy splitting your time. I found that the best thing for me was the night before, when both girls were asleep, I would put together a little activity box for Vienna. This would be anything from sensory toys, colouring book with crayons, building blocks, anything that we may have around the house that Vienna was new too. I did this quite often and when I fed Everly that was when I would get this sensory box out for Vienna to keep her occupied whilst I fed Everly. And honestly girls!! It REALLY helped!!
Time has honestly flown by and I can’t believe that now, both the girls are walking and running around after one another, they both hold their own conversations with you and can tell you what they want and to top it off are genuinely the most loving little girls. If either one of them falls over and hurts themselves you can guarantee that the other isn’t far behind ready to give them a kiss wherever they hurt. It’s so beautiful.
However, I can’t lie to you, Vienna is certainly in her terrible two stages (hoping it’ll pass soon as she’s nearly 3) but my gosh is it an experience. When she’s on one that’s it, we all need to get our tin hats out, poor Everly’s had the brunt of it sometimes as well. Although, now she’s learning to fight her own corner haha but having the girls so close together has been one of the biggest, most amazing journeys of my life and I will cherish every moment, even the hardest moments. The girls are growing up to be the best of friends and as a result are into the same things, so Christmas is going to be slightly easier for me this year!
If anyone is ever thinking of having 2 really close together, my advice.... GO FOR IT, of course it’s going to be a challenge, but isn’t life anyway? You’ll completely love it. ♥️
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