12/05/2011 12:20 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

I Had Two Babies 13 Months Apart

I had two babies 13 months apart So Danielle Lloyd is pregnant again! All being well, come August she will be the proud owner of two babies under 18 months.

Wow. No, not really wow. More like: pah!

I mean, a 17-month age gap is quite impressive I suppose, but when you've had two babies 12 months and three weeks apart, 17 months seems a bit, well, lazy really. What took her so long?

No, not really (I mean it this time). As the only person I have ever met who accidentally had two babies within the space of 13 months, I feel both her joy and her pain (/fear/panic).

It is daunting (read 'absolutely terrifying') to discover you are pregnant again when you have such a little one. And it's confusing to experience all the feelings of elation that come from knowing you're going to have a baby, while simultaneously thinking: 'I can't do this I can't do this I can't do this.'

Ava was four-and-a-half months old when I became pregnant with Ruby. When that tiny, nagging feeling that I might be pregnant just wouldn't go away, I decided to do a test by myself at home while Ava had her lunchtime nap – you know, to put my mind at rest.

The test takes, what, two minutes? I am not sure how long I sat there on the loo. I think I may have been hyperventilating for some time. I know the words that kept coming out of my mouth belonged in the toilet.

While it was never an option to not go ahead with it, going ahead with it still felt like a gargantuan decision. It was all still so fresh in my mind – I had only just finished that long, winding pregnancy journey and I'd stepped right back onto the road again.

But this time, I already had a baby on my hip (at least I wasn't wearing wedges this time) – one who would barely have blown out the candle on her first ever birthday cake before the next little squidge came along.

I was completely and utterly wide-eyed, white-haired, petrified..


Oh my, how I love it all now! So many good things came from our little family emerging at lightning speed.

For a start, I learnt some pretty amazing things about myself. My body, which I always thought was a bit crap (little bit squashy in the wrong places, little bit prone to allergies and sinusitis) turned out to be pretty amazing and we get on so much better now. It's hard not to respect a body which, for many months, fed three people at once: me, Ava (I breastfed her past nine months) and Ruby inside.

My pregnancy flew by in a flash. I don't mean I didn't notice all the wonderful parts of it, but I was so busy with Ava that all the hard parts seemed less noticeable. There were fewer of them too. I guess my body was still in 'the zone'.

Once I had got my head around how barking mad the whole thing was, I started to enjoy the horrified/curious expressions on other people's faces when they looked at the babe in my arms and the bump on my belly. "That's going to be hard work..." – I'd heard it a million times by the time I knew quite how much hard work it would be.

When gorgeous, blue-eyed Ruby burst into our world three weeks early, Ava's birthday cards were still on the coffee table. Her new little sister was not quite the belated birthday present Ava had in mind – but the jealousy lasted just a couple of weeks.

Before long, she couldn't even remember a time when Ru hadn't been there and, as little as she was, she took on a sisterly ownership of Ruby that has never waned. I feel happy when they gang up on me – I want their closeness to be so tight that even I can't squeeze between them, and I hope it is always that way.

I'll happily admit that, other than Ruby's milestones, I find it hard to recall much from the first six months. I was knackered. Two Caesareans in just over a year; two babies who needed me constantly; too little sleep; too little food, because there just didn't seem to be enough time to put it inside me. By the time I had finished breastfeeding Ru at nine months, I had been pregnant and/or breastfeeding for about two and a half years without a break.

But we all got through it relatively sane. Admittedly I bark at the moon while Dan applauds me, Ava thinks I'm a bat and Ruby laughs when she sneezes – but that's 12 months and three weeks for you.

I'm sure 17 months will be totally different... and I wish Danielle all the luck and happiness!

Read Pip's regular column Terrible Twos here.

Have you had your babies close together? Share the good and bad bits here...