When 4 Became 5

As a family we have never done things the easy way, whether through choice or fate.

When we were expecting Rudy we lived in a tiny little flat in the city and had decided to move out to the sticks, both for space and to be closer to family. So when Rudy finally came along we had already sold our flat but hadn’t yet found anywhere we liked and ended up squeezing our full life into the spare bedroom at my parents place.

When we were expecting Koby we were settled in our new house, but I had only just changed jobs and we also found out only a couple of months before he was due that my wife was being made redundant.

So this time, considering we were settled in our home and both in secure jobs it felt like we were finally doing the whole pregnancy thing the easy way for a change, boy were we wrong!

Despite all the turmoil in our lives whilst expecting Rudy and Koby, the pregnancies were relatively straight forward and enjoyable for the most part. This time my wife had a pretty rough ride, discovering more than half way through that she had developed gestational diabetes. We were up at the hospital so often for scans and checks etc that I was considering donating to the NHS in return for a designated parking space. Also, as Rudy had been an emergency C-section and subsequently Koby was a planned C-section, this one was also to be a planned C-section; which combined with the diabetes meant that our new arrival was going to be coming earlier than we had expected. As it turned out, 2 days before the oldest ones first day at school.

So I think it’s safe to say, that despite thinking we were well prepared and relatively experienced this time around, we still didn’t manage to buck the trend of the previous two.

All the way through the pregnancy people would ask me “are you ready”, and I would laugh them off thinking, of course I’ve done this twice before already. But it’s amazing how much you forget about how organised you need to be on a daily basis; whether it’s remembering to steralise bottles for the next day, or to always have a spare tin of milk in the cupboard, because you forget that a baby doesn’t know how to wait yet! Compounded with having one who’s now at school and all the logistics involved with that and just having a toddler generally, I will openly admit I was naïve laughing them off because I clearly wasn’t as ready as I thought. You would never know that my day job is a planner would you?

Also, I don’t know if I have subconsciously erased the trauma of sleepless nights from my memory or if it is just worse now because I am older, but I will never laugh at anyone ever again that says they are tired when they have a newborn. For the first time in my life the other day I actually pulled over on my way to work to shut my eyes for a couple of minutes for fear of falling asleep whilst driving.

All this aside though, our family growing from 4 to 5 has been an amazing experience so far and I wouldn’t change it. It has been great to watch how it has affected Rudy and Koby and how it is changing their personalities. Rudy is the proud big brother personified and has been amazing with Mylo; helping to change nappies, giving awesome cuddles and even offering to feed him so we can get our dinner “in peace” (his words not mine). So I’m obviously not doing too bad a job so far!

Written by Stewart Strachan for his blog, Diary of a Glasgow Dad!

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