Well…the time has come and we couldn’t be more thrilled!! Mateo is going to be a big brother in August of this year!! Our little guy and his new sibling will be 3 years and 10 months apart and Mateo will be heading to Pre-K a month after his new sibling makes his or her appearance. I’m still trying to process the whole thing and reality is beginning to set in meaning that the guilt, panic, and life assessment is in full effect!!
Where do I start? What is my greatest concern? I have SOOO many!!
My son is the King of our “castle”. Everywhere he goes he is Numero Uno. Not only is he the only grandchild on both sides of our family, but he is the youngest child in both of our extended families as well. He’s constantly fussed over, lavished with attention, and thanks to my father and my husband’s father, and even sometimes my husband and I, gets EVERYTHING he wants. He has never been sidelined or been told he has to wait because someone else needs priority attention over him, and now that’s what’s in his future. Of course I feel terrible!! I don’t want him to think he is being replaced and shoved off to school and going to become second best, I don’t want him to not get the attention he needs because I need to give the baby a lot of the attention he used to get. I’m even getting emotional writing this!! Obviously I know this is all irrational and that one day he had to learn to share the spotlight, and that he’s not going to suffer the way I am picturing it in my head. I’m also aware of the fact that by the time Baby Smith #2 arrives he will have had nearly 4 years of undivided love and attention, but it still weighs on me.
Then comes my own selfish thoughts…AHHHH!!! A newborn, a toddler, a husband, a home to maintain, and a job. How do you do it all without going nuts in the beginning? In this past year I have finally gained back some sort of freedom and social life, and have been able to have at least a monthly night out with friends and nights that I actually sleep all night. Also, Mateo has just finished potty training which is a huge victory in our house (and due in large part to “Mama” who is our daytime Potty Enforcer). Now I am going to go forfeit it all again to go back to diapers, no sleep, and breast feeding around the clock…it seems daunting. Not only will there be a fourth person in our family, but my big one will be going through a huge adjustment of his own. Mateo will be going to school for the first time ever and it will be the first time in his entire life that he will be out of the home without myself, my husband, my mother, my father, or his other grandfather. This frightens the hell out of me as I will admit that I am an overbearingly protective mother. How will he do? Will he cry? Will there be a daily struggle to get up and out of the house to go to school? I know it’s time to let him go, that he is big enough, but I can’t stifle my natural urges. I guess it’s more about me than him…all kids go to school and even if they do cry at first I know he will get over it. I want him to blossom and make more friends and learn, and that’s what he will do.
Then come my vein concerns, ones I am not so proud to admit, but they’re there so I must address them. After Baby #1 I bounced back within 3 weeks. I was back in my old clothes, weighed four pounds less than I did pre-baby, and my stomach was stretch mark free, and washboard flat just as it has been before. I was incredibly fortunate in that sense. Can that happen again? My inner vapid, body conscious 23 year old self is concerned about this. Shameful to admit, but its one of the insignificant things I worry about. I am not a dieter or an exerciser and now I think I will need to incorporate both into my imaginary free time.
Work…sigh…work…I stayed home for 15 months the first time. I will not be able to do this again. This has me freaking out. How will I handle the separation from baby so early…I cried leaving my walking, solid food eating 15 month old, what will I do when I have to leave my 3 month old? How will I do with pumping? What will the transition from breast to bottle be like for the baby? I exclusively breast fed my first child so he never touched a bottle, EVER. Now I have to hop on the bottle bandwagon and start all that fun sterilizing, figuring out ounces, and whatever else accompanies bottle feeding. There are going to be a lot of firsts with me having to go back to work as quickly as I will have to with the new baby and I am already freaking out! Does me going away so soon mean the baby won’t be as connected to me as Mateo is? I am overwhelmed and near tears on a regular basis over this. Every mother I say this to has gone back to work after the 12 weeks and they assure me that everything will be fine and I do believe them, but I’m still sad.
Realistically I know a bazillion people do what I am about to do everyday. I understand that things will be different, some things will be lacking, and that nothing will ever be the same again. But at the same time I am so excited for Mateo to have a sibling to share his life with and that I will have another person to know and love unconditionally. I am over the moon, exhilarated and all the other expectant parent feelings. My husband wants a girl but is afraid for it to be one at the same time, realistically we are just hoping for healthy above all else. Also, I am looking to thoroughly enjoy this pregnancy as I know it will be my last. I can’t wait for our little family to be complete.
So now we are roughly 26-29 weeks away from welcoming another person into our home and lives…let the countdown begin!!!