In just a few weeks we’ll be welcoming the arrival of our second little boy. As yet, he remains nameless but healthy and that’s all that matters! He has been a wonder to carry but it will be another nine months of health issues and anxiety that I’ll be happy to put behind me as we start the next chapter of our lives.
But in doing so I recognise that there are a few things I really want my first child to know before baby number two makes his appearance. After all, I doubt he’ll remember anything of these first two years with us before our family of one-two-three became four.
It’s lovely that he’ll always think of us as having been a unit of four, a solid square that can withstand anything, but I guess in these first two years we’ve been more of a triangle. My husband and I have poured more love and energy into this boy than we ever did with anything before. No project was ever as big as this, no mountain was ever as tiring, no achievement was ever as rewarding.
So, baby boy (I won’t be able to call you that for much longer!), here are five things that I want you to know before your baby brother leaves the safe space of ‘Mummy’s Tummy’ and enters our world.
1) You were (and still are) so wanted.
We planned and prepared to change from a one-two into a three. We wanted you so much and were so sad when our first pregnancy ended in loss. But we know now that if that first baby had survived then we wouldn’t have had you. We would have loved that baby with as much ferocity as we love you, but he/she would not have been you.
Our tears shed on that day only served to lead us to the point of wanting you more. The fear when I started bleeding at 7 weeks, and then again at 11 weeks, of my pregnancy with you will never compare to the complete and utter love we felt when we saw your little face on the ultrasound screen – and even more so when we saw it on the day you were born.
2) The day you were born was hard.
I won’t lie. I generally don’t tell people about your birth, and will probably never tell you unless you ask. But it wasn’t an easy one. Nor was it easy for your dad who had to watch me go through so much pain. I steer clear of “birth story” sharing with other pregnant ladies because I don’t want to scare them. It was tough and probably (hopefully) the hardest day of my life. I pray every day that your baby brother comes out with more ease than you.
You are a fighter and a survivor and I am so thankful for that instinct in you. I hope and pray it grows to make you a resilient and dedicated man. Your wife and children will appreciate those qualities.
3) The day you were born was worth it.
Despite my prayers of an easier second birth, I would go through that day every day if it meant keeping you safe and well. It may not have been easy but it was so worth it. We have one photo from not too long after your birth where I am holding you and there are smears of blood on my hand – I love it. It encapsulates everything from that morning. As does the photo of you asleep, cradled in the curve of my arm with the cannula in the background, transfusing blood into me so that we could go home as soon as possible.
They tell the story of you, me and your Daddy – and I would do it all again every day if it meant keeping you safe and well.
You, and the life ahead of you, were worth every moment. Never forget that. When a kid trips you up or a girl turns you down, when your grades aren’t great or an employer says no – remember that you are worth so much and always will be to me and your Daddy.
4) Our family of three was great.
There was absolutely nothing wrong with our little family of three. I know you’re probably too young to understand a lot of what is going on, and maybe we’ll be lucky and skip the sibling jealousy, but we’re not having your baby brother because three wasn’t enough. There were nights we lay in bed and marvelled at the fact that we were a three, and how lucky we were that the third was you.
Your baby brother will enhance our family. He is not coming to fix us, but to improve us. Had we forever been a three we would have been just as happy with our lot.
God granted us a little number four and we know that the experience of having a sibling was and is something we want for you because we had that experience ourselves. One day we may well find ourselves a one-two-three-four-five, but there are no plans for that. Your baby brother will make your life even better, the way you made our lives so much better. Our one-two-three was amazing – never doubt that.
5) There will always be time for you.
Life with a newborn can be hectic and foggy. Sleepless nights, tiring days, visitors who come all at once and then go, leaving the four of us to muddle through the best we can until we find our rhythm. But know this – there will always be time for you. Though there will be feedings and more nappies and maybe a baby who won’t sleep anywhere other than on Mummy or Daddy, there will always be time for you. Whatever you want to tell us will be heard, whatever you want to show us will be seen, whatever you want to do with us will be done (within reason, baby boy – I’m not eating Cheerios off the carpet with you!)
We are fortunate enough to be surrounded by family. Your grandparents will always have time for you. Your extended family will always have time for you. Our friends who have become like family will always be there for you. Whether it’s a drum lesson or some cuddles you’re after, a kick around or a place to crash when you’re mad at us… both we and they will provide that space and time for you – for your beautiful little face and your amazing big personality.
Our love for you will not split with the arrival of your brother. Rather, our hearts will grow to accommodate extra love, extra time, extra vitality and strength. Your space will not get squashed. Our triangle becomes a square. Our one-two-three becomes a four. You were a fantastic only child but you’ll be an even better big brother.
Thanks so much for reading! Please like, share, comment and retweet – your encouragement means so much. Come and find me on Facebook at facebook.com/mumwriting or Twitter at @mumwriting. Have a lovely weekend 🙂