You are heavily pregnant and unlike last time where you put your feet up and binged watched neflix as part of your maternity leave initiation ceremony this time you would PAY TO BE AT WORK! Imagine that!
Being heavily pregnant around a just turned 3 year old is difficult, tiring and you are becoming increasingly worried about…well everything!
How on earth will you tend to both boys needs? Is Henry going to be left out? Is the baby not going to get enough cuddles? And the biggest worry, “Can I love another child? I want to tell you these are all normal thoughts and pretty much a right of passage when you add another child into your family.
Let me tell you, you feel this way because you care and because you are awesome at being a Mum. Stop doubting yourself! Have some confidence your ability and know that you will survive this and that you are giving Henry the most wonderful gift of a brother. You don’t know this yet but some of your favourite memories are yet to come. These memories will be rare moments in a constant sea of madness and fighting but that makes them all the more special when they happen. Those days you dreamed up of two muddy boys laughing and chasing each other round the garden will come but please BE in those moments. Don’t miss them by worrying about the mess, the noise and always trying to capture the moment on video. Just BE with them.
Family keep saying “one day Henry won’t remember a time without the baby.” They say this to cheer you up. They don’t see how bitter sweet that sounds to you. Does that mean he wont remember the days you spent together too? This makes you feel lonely and you cry uncontrollably and too often. Its ok, take time out to be sad.
Be prepared to introduce the new baby to Henry. It will be one of the greatest memories you have. You will be glad you caught this one on video. Even though he doesn’t look too impressed it makes for even better viewing as time goes on. Be prepared for the emotional overload of this though. As soon as Henry walks through the hospital door you will be shocked! Shocked at how big he is, how grown up he looks and in that same moment you will cry and yearn for your baby to come back. Don’t! You have done a fantastic job of growing him, feeding him and educating him. That’s why he looks big, he is big! You’ve helped him get there. Be proud of that and don’t look on it as a moment you lost your baby. You haven’t! You gained a big boy.
Once home the guilt will kick in. Guilt like you’ve never felt before. Suddenly you don’t have the time or energy to be playing, making and watching every single hop Henry does. It will be hard and you will feel as though every time the baby is asleep that you should be playing with Henry. Make time for him, yes, but also remember that when Henry was a baby he had you all to himself and that this baby needs some of that precious time too. Now is a good time to bring out that material sling you thought you would never use. It will be amazing and allow the baby to be close to you whilst having two hands free for walking in parks, doing puzzles and baking.
Your friends and family want to help. Take them up on this offer and don’t feel guilty if they take Henry out for the day. He will enjoy it, which will of course make you a little bit sad as you wish you could join in the fun but its all part of his developing independence. He still wants you just as much, he just doesn’t need you as much and he probably could have put his own socks on a long time ago too!
As time passes on and the baby becomes a toddler you can see how Henry imitates the way you are with his little brother. He shows kindness, falls over to make him laugh and it dawns on you that actually he didn’t have to love him. After all he isn’t from his body and he didn’t ask for him, yet he loves him anyway! That is love in its purest form and this will make your heart swell with pride.
Mummy your love is about to double. Baby Leo is adorable, the curve of his nose, the smell of his little head and those lips make you fall in love with him more and more everyday.
Still, there will a section of your heart that remains only for Henry. He is the one who made you a Mum, there are memories and moments in time that are reserved just for the two of you. You grew and learnt together and now its time to continue to grow together as a family as you welcome baby brother Leo into the world.
Your journey into being a Mum of two awaits. Embrace it and enjoy it.
Love Kathryn, A Mum like Me xxx