If I told you I was thrilled to be having another baby, I would be lying. I'm not thrilled. I know the work that's ahead of me, and I know the tears the my older children are going to cry. This is the only instance i can think of where being an AP mom has been less than ideal... the babies don't know how to go to sleep on their own. I've always rocked them and loved them to sleep. It wouldn't be such a huge deal except that The Hub works second shift, so it's just me and my one lap, and its hard as it is. Beastie is 21 months old, and will be 26 months old when the new one comes. Anyone who thinks a 2 year old is not a baby is misinformed and expecting too highly of their children. A 2 year old child is gaining independence rapidly but is still very much a baby and needs the love and gentle guidance that one would give a younger child.
So the point is, I know my Beastie is going to spend some time crying once the new baby gets here, and that kills me. Because I refuse to let her "cry it out" to teach her to fall asleep on her own. It's non-negotiable; it isn't going to happen. She will cry next to me as I rock her little siblings, who will be 13 months and newborn. She does it now sometimes, and it hurts so bad to see your little child in so much emotional distress. I fear that it will get worse with a new addition.
But, I am starting to accept the new little one. The midwife gave me a packet of the things I need for the birth and immediately following, and on the packet it said "newborn diapers." That completely floored me. I know it sounds crazy but for some reason picturing tiny little cloth diapers (which I do not use, by the way) made the fact that a baby is coming seem so much more real.
And that got me thinking of the way newborns look, with their fat bellies and bowed legs and little black cord stump, and those unbelievably tiny butt cheeks, and their red faces and milia and stork bites (of which my babies always seem to have plenty) and the way their gums look and their little fisted hands and... for a moment, I can stop seeing the work and trouble, and imagine the little person who's coming.
I imagine white side-snap t-shirts and itty bitty socks and white caps and those little gowns. (I hate those little gowns. They always ride up and they never fit my babies properly, but I have a ton of them because they are just so sweet.) I'm imagining it being autumn, my favorite season, and bringing my Little swaddled bundle outside to smell the dying leaves and bonfires, and I'm picturing Halloween, with the baby on my front in a wrap and The Babe on my back in his backpack carrier, and Beastie and Four and EJ running through the neighborhood dressed as witches and ghosts and cowgirls, and in these moments, it doesn't seem so bad.
There's a little voice that creeps in right about now. Don't fool yourself, the voice says. You will be too tired to go for walks. You will be horribly depressed and overwhelmed, just like each time before. This might break you.
I know. I know in my heart that it will be, at times, horrible. But I also know that it will be fleeting. Look at Beastie and The Babe. It's almost laughably easy to take care of them now, and I've only been doing the "two under two" thing for eight months.
I think another reason I've had trouble with acceptance is because I come from a family who does not really value babies and children. No one has ever been happy to have a new baby enter the family, except me. When my brother and his girlfriend were expecting their children, I was the only one who was excited for them. My parents and grandparents, and my husband's parents, think children are a burden, and that child rearing is a dirty thankless job. It makes me feel really sad. I wish that, upon hearing we're pregnant, just one person would say "Congratulations," rather than "Oh my God, what are you going to do?" Because, really, what am I going to do? Birth the baby, then hate it? No, of course not.
I had to tell my mom I'm pregnant and she was furious. I do not understand this. We aren't rich by any means. Technically, we live below the poverty level. But we never ask anyone else for money, ever. The kids are well fed and dressed in nice clothes and always clean. The kids have plenty of toys and are genuinely happy. They have safe car seats and we ride around in a safe vehicle. There is no reason for people to judge me based on the number of children I have. I may need to deal with this further, and remove myself from these people and toxic situations, if it gets too out of hand.
I am going to make a conscious effort to love this baby now. I know it will get easier closer to the birth, but I want the baby to feel positive energy now, not negativity. I want the baby to arrive happy and in good health. And I don't care if they say your mind-set doesn't affect the unborn child - I think it does, and I want to surround him or her with light and happiness.