It’s been a while since I’ve just sat down and wrote about how I feel so prepare yourself for a word splurge.
I’ve got to that point in pregnancy where it’s all becoming very real. The chances are that within the next week or so I’ll give birth to my baby boy and begin my new life as a mum of two. And I’d be lying if I said that I’m not currently finding that quite a daunting thought. So, as ever, I’m turning to my blog for a therapy session just to get my thoughts out of my head and onto the screen (I know, paper would sound a lot better!).
When I was pregnant the first time with Darcie I can honestly say that I never felt nervous or scared about giving birth. I’m a firm believer in positive thinking and I knew that my body was designed to make and birth babies and therefore it would all be okay. I could see no reason or point in overthinking it or allowing myself to feel scared at the thought of it all. I do wonder if my laid-back approach played a part in how smoothly it all went in the end. They say that the more relaxed you can be in labour, the easier it is on your body, and that was certainly true in my case. (Definitely not saying that people only have difficult labours because they are stressed and not thinking positively, just FYI!) This time however, I know what’s coming. I will always maintain that labour and delivery was nowhere near as bad as people generally make it out to be, because let’s be honest people love to scaremonger. At the same time, it’s not exactly a walk in the park. It’s definitely not something that I’m particularly looking forward to having to endure again. They say that often your second labour is much quicker than your first and that scares me too. I want my body to take the time it needs to prepare for birth and I also want the midwives to have time to run the birth pool for me! On the other hand I am so unbelievably excited to meet my baby boy that I can’t wait for labour to begin. I love how empowering giving birth is, all those endorphins buzzing around your body, the adrenaline pumping and feeling like an absolute superwoman for bringing an actual baby into the world. I’m SO excited to feel all that again. Ultimately what I’m trying to get across is that I am such a mixed bundle of emotions about giving birth again. I have constant butterflies in my stomach from excitement and nerves and sometimes it’s impossible to tell which is the predominant emotion.
One thing which I am so, so excited for is the moment when Darcie meets her baby brother for the first time. She is so loving towards babies and is also at an age now where she really knows and speaks her mind. If she’s not impressed by the baby, she will certainly tell us! I’m actually not worried about that at all. I know she will love him, she’ll be intrigued and fascinated by him and she’ll want to be totally involved with looking after him. I can imagine her deciding that he’s ‘hers’ and not wanting anyone else to go near him, like he’s a new favourite toy. Imagining that moment when they first meet is what has got me through the most difficult bits of pregnancy and I know that it’s what will get me through labour too. I can cry just thinking about it so I’m sure my emotions will be sky high on the day.
I’m really looking forward to Dan’s paternity leave. I think those two weeks will be amazing family time for us. Sure, we’ll be exhausted and I’ll almost certainly be in pain from birth and breastfeeding, but how often do you get two weeks just to spend as a family? Darcie will love having Daddy around to do fun things with her. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to get out and about as much as possible, it’ll take my mind off the pain of recovery and mean we can make some memories as a family of four. It’s so important to me that Darcie sees Ernie’s arrival as a really positive event. That everyone is happy and pays her lots of attention and that she gets to help with the baby if she wants or she can choose to ignore him completely. I just want it to be an easy transition for her.
I’m excited to see her’s and Dan’s relationship flourish even more and for her to get to spend lots of quality time with all of our families who I know will be around to help us in any way we need. But on the other side of that, I know I am going to miss our one on one time so badly. Most of her life, it has been just the two of us and it hurts my heart to know that moments just for me and her will become few and far between. Just writing this down I can feel my heart break a little at the thought of having less time with my baby girl. She is so used to it just being me and her too that I hope the change doesn’t bother her too much. I know her so well and I can feel when having lots of other people around gets too much for her. I know the relief we both sometimes feel when the door closes and she cuddles into me and relaxes after a busy day. I don’t want to lose that connection that we have, the bond that we have been building since the first time I ever held her tight to my chest. It’ll be a beautiful thing to see her building stronger bonds with other people but bittersweet to have to sometimes watch from the sidelines while I feed and look after Ernie.
Once the hustle and bustle of visitors calms down and Dan goes back to work, I’m looking forward to getting into a new routine with two children. I know it will be hard but Darcie is so adaptable and I’m sure that Ernie will just slot into our lives. While he is a tiny baby, I think the days will still be able to mainly revolve around Darcie, he’ll just be along for the ride. Darcie will get used to me needing to feed him often throughout the day and I think it will be good for her to entertain herself during those times.
I think in a lot of ways that Ernie is coming along at a good time for us. It was the age gap I wanted and although he isn’t here yet, I do think we made the right decision. Darcie is at the age where I can see it would be easy for her to become a bit of a nightmare. A brat, for want of a better word. Dan and I, and all of our families, all love giving her our undivided love and attention. And while I maintain that a child needs those things to flourish and thrive, I also think that it will be healthy for her to realise that the world doesn’t actually revolve around her. (Of course, my world does revolve around her but she doesn’t need to know that!)
I can’t wait to meet my boy. I can remember so clearly how overwhelming it was to meet Darcie for the first time. I just looked at her and thought ‘yes, of course that’s what you look like!’ Despite not having a clear vision in my mind of what she would look like, she just looked right. I wonder if it will be the same this time. I hope it will! I’m imagining he’ll look like his sister, I’m definitely expecting him to have hair like she did but maybe he’ll surprise us and be bald. I’m looking forward to hearing his first cries as he tests out his lungs on the outside world. I’m just excited to get to know him, to proudly introduce him to his family and to start out lives together.
This pregnancy has flown by in a lot of ways. None of it has dragged because I haven’t wanted to wish any of my time as a mum of one away. Even now, right at the end, when a first time mum would be shovelling in the curries and bouncing frantically on the birthing ball, I’m just appreciating each extra day I get to spend just with Darcie. I’m appreciating all the nap times and the good nights sleep. I’m certainly not looking forward to newborn disturbed nights again. It amazes me now how I survived having a newborn the first time around, and I’m at a loss as to how I will cope on so little sleep with two children to care for during the day. A toddler that still wants to be taken to soft play even if I have only had an hours sleep the night before. I keep telling myself that millions of women before me have done this and survived and thrived, and I will do the same. It’ll be an adjustment but one I am fully capable of making.
That’s enough word splurge for now. My brain is distracted now by trying to think of a middle name for our gorgeous boy who will be here so soon. Any suggestions are welcome!
Ernest ______ Street.
Whatever your full name ends up being, I’m so excited to welcome you into our lives, our arms and our hearts.