To the mama preparing her heart for baby #2
I still remember the feeling of imminent change.
During the last few weeks of the pregnancy, we were nesting. Making sure we had everything ready for this new little person joining us. Grandparents on their way from overseas. That warm fuzzy, buzzing feeling of knowing your life will change once more within the next few weeks.
With the grandparents there to help take care of our little girl, I didn’t want them to take her away from home, not too far at least. I wanted her close, as I knew those were the last moments of just me and her together.
I mourned that our relationship was going to change very soon and very quickly. Even though I was ready and very excited to welcome baby #2 into the world, it was also difficult for me to surrender and accept this change. The fear of her feeling left out or alone. Feeling guilty in advance at the thought of her needing me and I’m unable to fully be there for her. How would she react to sharing my attention?
That night, while putting her to bed. Intense emotions hit me.
I held her in my arms, cuddled her, and told her how much I love her. We talked a lot about her needs as a baby. How she needed to be close to me for breastfeeding, needing to be held, and rocked. During the pregnancy, we spend more time around other babies, so she could see what they’re like and how they behave. Evenings we would shower together and she would talk to the belly, rub it and sing songs. That evening she asked him to come and said, we’re ready and waiting for him.
The next morning, after a wonderful birth, when we finally settled down and went to bed, our little girl woke up. Every morning for the last weeks of the pregnancy, she asked whether the baby was born yet. That morning, the answer was YES! We asked her to come to say hello to her baby brother, she screeched with excitement. Ran to our room with the biggest smile, and said softly: “Hello baby, baby”. She asked to hold him, she kissed his sweet little head and said: “I promise to love you forever”. Suddenly, my heart was overflowed with love and gratitude. Seeing them together like that is a feeling I can’t describe. The love in her eyes, the gentleness in her touch, that first interaction with her baby brother was the most beautiful connection I’ve ever witnessed.
Fast forward six months later, I would find my little girl kissing his forehead. Running to shush him when he cries. Always looking out for her little brother in case there’s something small or sharp on the floor that might hurt him. Sharing her toys and even her food with him (she was never too keen on sharing her food).
No one can make our son laugh the way his big sister does. He adores her, follows her everywhere, and loves to play with her.
To the mama preparing her heart for baby #2: You are ready!
If you’re wondering how this new baby will ‘fit’ into your lives, trust me, it happens so effortlessly. You don’t have to be afraid of having to share your love, because your heart multiplies tenfold as you get to know your newest member of the family. If you’re worried about how your oldest will react to having to share your attention, remember, like any other big transition in their lives, it will take time but it will be a short period in your lives. With each change you might notice a little regression, this is completely normal. Supporting your child emotionally will help make this transition easier on all of you. Explain to them what’s happening. They understand a lot more than we think they do.
Your usual routine will change and your life might seem a little upside down for a while, but you will find that comfortable routine once again and this time filled with even more love and joy. Before you know it, everything will fall into place.
If you’re like me, taken away by a roller coaster of emotions about the arrival of baby #2, just know that what you’re feeling is completely normal and very relatable. Know that when the day comes, and you give your big baby that last hug before welcoming your second one, that this is all part of how beautiful and crazy life is. From one mama to another, you are not alone.
Cover image by Pauline Mattia Photo + Film