Waiting for Baby Barton Number Two

A little under two years ago we published our first blog Waiting for Baby Barton . After a fairly lengthy TTC process, I was 37 weeks pregnant with our first baby and we were eagerly anticipating baby’s arrival.

Now that sweet baby boy is a cheeky toddler, two months shy of his second birthday and soon to be a big brother. And I am again 37 weeks pregnant.

It all seems so surreal. Some days I still can’t quite believe that within the next few weeks we will be a family of four and will have a tiny newborn again.

But then my giant belly, constant braxton hicks, aching back and constipation reminds me that it is in fact real! Oh the joys of the final month of pregnancy. When simple tasks of rolling over in bed, putting shoes on or bathing the toddler are like doing a workout. I love it though, and try to never take the blessing of pregnancy for granted.

It’s funny, it feels like so much has changed since last time and yet it’s so familiar too. Again wondering what will our baby look like? Will it be a boy or a girl? How and when will I go into labour? Will I be a good mum?

I guess it’s always the same questions no matter how many children you have.

But, the bassinet is ready and the baby clothes are washed and folded. The hospital bags are in various stages of packed and the car seat ready to be installed. Dad is counting down the days to his parental leave and keeping fingers crossed baby stays in until then. While Mum is savouring these last weeks of pregnancy and preparing mind and body for birth. All the while big brother is blissfully unaware of what’s to come.

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To you my big boy, mummy loves you so much. You will be the most wonderful big brother. It is a big responsibility being the eldest but I know you will take it all in your stride and continue to be the funny, loving, cheeky boy that you are.

And to my second little love curled up safely in my tummy, it will soon be time to come and meet us my precious one. Scary I know, but I promise it will all be okay and we will all be together soon.

Until then….we wait…

This Time Around

I just knew.

I couldn’t exactly put my finger on it, but I just had a feeling. So when the first couple of pregnancy tests came back negative I wasn’t bothered. A far cry from how I felt when I would get a negative test when trying the first time. I sensed that Kaine was feeling pretty confident this month too.

We had decided back in January that we wanted to get straight into trying for another baby. Jesse was 7 months old. It seemed a tad crazy but we had to be prepared that it might take a while again. Plus we knew that chances were slim straight away anyway because I was still breastfeeding and my cycle hadn’t yet returned.

Over the next few months we weaned and four cycles later I couldn’t shake the feeling that we had been successful. I took another test and a beautiful yet faint second pink line confirmed my suspicions. It only took four months… I swallowed hard at the realisation that I was now that woman that long term TTC’ers want to throat punch. I know all too well how that feels.

I couldn’t wait to surprise Kaine with the news, and I had a plan to do so the following day. So when he asked me if I had got my period yet, I lied. I could sense his disappointment which only fed my excitement to tell him.

Thankfully, it all went to plan and I surprised him with the news that Jesse was going to be a big brother.

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One of many outtakes from our ‘Pregnancy Announcement Shoot’

Fast forward a bit over a week, I went to the doctor who confirmed the test result and I went for a dating scan. I left the scan feeling confident. There was a gestational sac, its not Ectopic, however, it is early days and there is not yet a foetal pole to measure. I’m told its normal for this early and to come back in about two weeks.

But the doubt starts to creep in. My mind races with questions. Is there no baby in there because there isn’t one? Suddenly I’m protective with the news. I was so excited to tell our immediate families but now, I’m not so sure. We keep it our little secret for a bit longer.

Fast forward a couple of months and the secret is out. All is going well, and now that I’m not feeling like crap all the time, the excitement is starting to kick back in.

This time around I think I’m both more excited, and more terrified. Excited because I know how wonderful having a baby and being a mum is, but terrified because I know how hard it is.

We could not be happier though. No doubt these next six months will fly by, but we will take joy in our time as a family of three while we wait for Baby Barton #2 to join us.

When is the perfect time?

So as you would have seen from our ‘Photo Friday’ post two days ago, there is a new addition to the extended Barton family. Little Flynn. My brother and sister-in-law’s second child.

And with that comes new conversations with family members and work colleagues. Well, not new for Renee and I, because its a conversation we’ve been having for a while now. But no one else knows that.

The hot topic of conversation… when Renee and I are planning on having a second baby. It never ends does it!

“When are you getting married?”

“When are you having a baby?”

“When are you having another baby?”

Over the past few days since Flynn’s birth, we’ve been advised on the benefits of having kids close together; we’ve been reminded about our ‘age’ and how the ‘clock’ is ticking (as if we didn’t know); and I’ve been told by someone that she is very keen to be an Aunty again! About as subtle as a gun don’t you think!

But what everyone doesn’t realise, is that we are already all over this.

The conversation about when we should have more kids, and how many kids at that, is a conversation that Renee and I frequently have. As do probably all first time parents. But funnily enough, even though we do talk about it regularly, I feel like we aren’t really any closer to coming to an agreement on both questions. Particularly how many children to have.

I am set on two. We won’t be outnumbered, and wherever you go, family passes are always for two adults and two children. Perfect! But Renee is still trying to talk me into three. She’s pretty adamant she will win this argument too! I think just recently she even said something along the lines of, “Oh we’re having three kids” in that kind of tone where you realise you don’t have any say in the matter.

So back on the topic of when we should have bubba number two! Well, while both Renee and I come from families of three kids, our family dynamics are quite different. Renee, her brother and her sister are all around 5 years apart, whereas me, my brother and my sister are all quite close at around 1-2 years apart.

And look, I really can see the pros and cons at doing it either way. Which timeline is best for us… I still don’t know at this stage. Though we don’t really have age on our side to consider the five years apart option.

Are we ready or a second baby? I don’t know… But is anyone ever truly ready for a second baby? Is there even such a thing as the perfect time?

I still feel like I’m learning to be a parent to Jesse. I still feel like I am yet to truly find my feet as a dad, where I can go out and confidently say, ‘yes, I have got this!’

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Though I’m not sure if a parent ever gets to that point.

But then you have the people that go, the second one is easy! The first born is always the hardest. It gets easier with each baby you have. Really? Does it? It seems like it’d just be Jesse x 2… and just Jesse by himself can sometime be a little overwhelming. Maybe its actually a matter of the parent getting more relaxed rather than the subsequent babies getting easier.

So the question is, is it time to jump into the deep end and try for baby number two? Or do we revel in the delight of our only child for a little bit longer?

Guess I better go find Renee so we can start the conversation again…

 

 

God, The Universe And Taylor Swift

On Saturday night my bestie and I saw Taylor Swift in concert for the second time. With grins from ear to ear we fist pumped, squealed like 12 year old girls and sang along to every word, loving every minute. We may have brought up the age average significantly, and I’m pretty sure I was sitting next to a ‘chaperone Dad’, but we had an amazing time. 

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There was a strange feeling about the night though. I put it down to this… Two years ago almost to the day we were standing in that same stadium seeing Taylor for the first time. I was so excited to be seeing her, but at the same time I had a little cloud over my head. It had been following me around for a while. At that time two years ago, we had been trying to have a baby for nearly 12 months.

At the same time, we were also planning a trip to Europe with said bestie and her now husband. We had agreed to give ourselves until the end of the year to conceive; if we weren’t pregnant, we’d book the trip. We were incredibly excited about the possibility of going to Europe for the first time and the adventures we would have there, but we also desperately wanted a baby as well.

Fast forward two years and the woman who stood in the stadium this time is now a mother of a beautiful 6 month old baby boy. Plus, we did get to go on that Euro trip. And life could not be better.

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It may not have all happened according to my plan but this way was so much better.

Call it God, the universe, whatever; sometimes we just have to trust that it’s plan will unfold with the perfect timing.

 

Photo Friday: Documenting A Love Story

The first time we worked with our photographer (and great friend) Renee Trubai was last year when she asked us to be a part of her project ‘A Love Manifesto’. The project is all about documenting love in all its forms through photographs and conversations. We immediately fell in love with the idea and couldn’t wait to be apart of it.

We chose a location that was very special to us, the beach where our wedding photos were taken. As we shared stories with Renee about our relationship and vision of the future, and the kind of parents we dreamed of being someday. I distinctly remember telling her that if we were not able to have children we would be OK because we had each other. What we didn’t say is that we had been trying for a baby for quite some time.

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Deep beneath those words we spoke to Renee was actually a lot of heartache, frustration and disappointment. And by that stage I had actually begun coming to terms with the notion that it may not happen for us.

Little did we know that there were actually three of us in those photographs. We were in the very early days of pregnancy.

So needless to say, these pictures are incredibly special to us.

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Becoming a first time dad

The date is 5 January 2013. It’s with a sense of anticipation that we arrive at our accommodation for the week. We open the door to our suite and marvel at how nice it is. We drop our bags to the floor. With a sense of excitement, we open the box that houses the bottle of Dom Pérignon we bought for this special occasion.

As we raise our glasses for a cheers and drink the first mouthful of champagne, we look at each other and smile. Today, we celebrate the start of our journey of trying to conceive.

The long road ahead

Who would have thought that trying to conceive was so tough? We were under no illusions about how the adventure which lay in front of us looked… But we were certainly unprepared for how long it would eventually take us to conceive.

We thought we had prepared well… we had talked in length about when was a good time for us to start trying. We don’t smoke. We weren’t excessive drinkers. We were healthy and relatively fit. We had pulled the goalie. All that was left to do was to … well, you know … fall pregnant.

But what started as trying for a month, quickly became trying for two months, four months, 6 months and eventually 12 months.

It was at the 12 month mark that doubt starts to creep in and you start asking yourself questions. Is this ever going to happen for us? Why can’t we seem to fall pregnant? Is there something wrong with my… ahem… swimmers? Do we give up?

Having a break

It was around March or April in 2014 that after yet another unsuccessful month of trying to conceive, we decided to have a break from ‘trying’. We had recently booked and paid for a month’s holiday in Europe for our 30th Birthdays. And we both wanted to be able to enjoy the full experience countries like Italy and France had to offer (we ate and drank like kings and queens).

So it was agreed. We would stop actively trying to fall pregnant for a short while. That way, we could be sure there wouldn’t be any surprise attacks of morning sickness as we were driving between countries on a tour bus with 30+ other people.

We arrived back home feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. It felt like this was just what we needed. It was the perfect distraction from the frustration of having tried and tried and tried again to fall pregnant, but failed.

We felt like we could go back into trying to conceive with a new attitude and renewed focus…

Are you late?

It wasn’t long before we started feeling frustrated again. The same questions again circling round putting doubt in my head.

What do we have to do to conceive?

It was coming up to September 2014 and we were still yet to receive any positive news on our commitment to try and fall pregnant. Our journey made even more frustrating with a couple of glimmers of hope that ended in negative tests.

Around this time, as we sit and talk to each other about our adventure to date, Renee says, “Let’s give it our all this month. Let’s call this month ‘Sextember’.”

Let me think about that… Count me in!

‘Sextember’ was a blur.

It wasn’t until late September that I realised we hadn’t had the conversation we’d had so many times before throughout our quest to fall pregnant.

“Are you late?”

Then came her reply… “Yes.”

We’re pregnant!

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What a rush. What a thrill. What excitement. Those two little lines on that pregnancy stick was like opening the first gift on Christmas day as a child.

Oh … my … god … I’m going to be a dad!

I need to do something. I need to walk around because I am excited and nervous and overjoyed and happy and so many emotions all at once that I just need to keep moving.

I think there’s champagne in the fridge… Let’s have champagne to celebrate! Oh that’s right, you’re pregnant. Ok, no champagne for you. I’ll just drink it out the bottle. What do I do now? I don’t know what to do now? Hang on, I’ll drink more champagne.

The moment we had been waiting 20 months for has just happened and we both are over the moon with excitement.

A new adventure starts

30 September 2014 marked the day that one journey ended and a new adventure began. The adventure that is pregnancy.

Our pregnancy hasn’t been without its complications (which you can read about in Renee’s post), but it’s our journey and one that I don’t think I’d change.

As we inch closer and closer to the due date, I look back on our time trying to conceive and our time through the pregnancy and realise that despite the complications… despite the frustrations and how long the journey has lasted… it had made us appreciate this miracle even more.

And as we inch closer to the birth of our first child, all I can think about is how excited I am to meet the little person that will be born at the end of it all.

Baby Barton, I’ll be seeing you soon!