Hub and I were talking the other night, while at dinner with the kids at IHOP, about whether or not we were planning on doing a family photo prior to the baby’s arrival (along with how that relates to buzzing off Bud’s hair). I mentioned that we had one done prior to Lucy being born to remember our little family. Hub made some sort of comment to the effect of “doing it before Olivia comes and ruins our happy family.” He said it with a smile, and was definitely joking but my feelings were hurt nonetheless. There is after all, some truth in most jokes.
I can’t lie though; similar thoughts have crossed my mind. I think that what he said shocked me so much because he put in to words what I have been feeling, on some level, for the last 27 weeks. What if this isn’t the right time for another baby? What if having a new baby causes issues for Bud and Lucy? What if I can’t love her the way that I love them?
I think that these unspoken thoughts; the what ifs, are normal in this type of situation, or honestly, in any situation where you are preparing for a big change.
I remember feeling exactly the same way, maybe even more so before Lucy was born. Bud was such a Mama’s Boy. He would only be 19-months old when she came. What if I was cheating him out of his time to be the baby? What if he was jealous? How was I ever, in a million years, going to love Lucy even a fraction of the amount I loved Bud? I had many moments where even though I was going through the motions, buying all of the pink stuff, preparing for our girl, where I would think to myself “I’m not even sure that I want another baby.”
And then before we knew it, she was here. The first 6 weeks was hard. She didn’t nurse nearly as often as Bud had, but was the type of baby who wanted to be held or carried constantly. I always had her in the bjorn wile I was tending to Bud, cooking dinner, you name it. She was like an appendage. Oddly though, Bud wasn’t overly jealous. He found a way to weasel in to my lap while she was nursing. And regardless of what was going on, Lucy was placed in her bouncy seat or swing while I put Bud to bed every night. She might fuss or spit out the paci, but I felt like it was important to keep at least that part of his routine, after so much had been uprooted, sacred. And it worked.
It took me close to 2 months before I felt bonded to Lucy, after I spent 3 solid days with her at the children’s hospital for a meningitis scare. From that point forward, it was as if she had always been there. And she and Bud are the best of friends (on most days). The biggest relief though was the love—it really just grows to encompass both kids. I love them both so much for different reasons. I love them differently, but truly, the amount is the same.
So what does this all mean for baby number 3? Well, for one, I have time on my side—Bud will be 4.5 and Lucy will be nearly 3 when she arrives. We have talked about the baby and my belly and everything that goes along with it for months now. They have each other, and also have the ability to understand why Mommy is tied up. More importantly, I have experience now. I’ve reprioritized twice, by adding our first baby and then his sibling. If I can handle two, I can handle anything, right? And surely, like her brother and sister before her, she will be an excellent addition to our family.
Knowing this all doesn’t stop the “what if” thinking, but I do know that I…We….All of us love her already.