Duplicity

I've been waiting for this moment for nine months. Since I found out I was pregnant again I've dreamed, and stressed, about what it is going to be like to have another child in our family. The months have flown and the minutes have often dragged. I've wondered what this baby will look like and act like. Will it be a boy or a girl (we had one ultrasound but I never trust them)? Will this baby be a good sleeper? Will this baby be adventuresome? I've been growing another person who is just about ready to introduce herself to us and I really can't wait to meet her.

I've planned as best as I could. The nursery is ready, the sheet is on the cradle and positioned next to my side of the bed, it'll take Andy two minutes to pop the car sear in (he is an official professional this time around) and I'm sleeping whenever I can.

While preparing for and growing this baby I've also been preparing to be a parent to two children. Each morning, I take my prenatal vitamins and give Caroline her vitamins. I jokingly requested a frequent visitor punch pass at the clinic for the number of times I've been this year for my care or Caroline's. I've mentally planned how I'm going to get two kids into the car at the grocery store and how, at daycare pick up, to amuse Caroline in the car while I feed the baby. I've often heard myself slip to others the words, "my kids". It feels very natural (though I know it will not be easy) to welcome another child to our lives.

It has been less natural to Caroline who has spent the last nine months on a toddler roller coaster of emotions. Almost immediately I started talking to Caroline about her up and coming role as the big sister and the more invested I've become in growing my family the more anxious and often angry Caroline has become in accepting a new future sibling. It has been incredibly hard on me because just like this time around, I consider myself my child's world. I grew her, I fed her and she knows no life without me being its center. Enter one new character: baby belly and one secondary character: Daddy, who each now play starring roles.

I've been sad, and have to say, have even cried some nights when Caroline has kicked me out of her room to spend time reading with Daddy or when we drive to work and school and she asks repeatedly for Daddy. The growth of my belly has become a symbol of the distance that has grown between me and Caroline. As I have become more introspective, bonding with the person inside of me that only I know right now, Caroline and Andy have built a very powerful daddy-daughter bond.

Just when I'd accepted that it is ok for Mommy to be in the wings and that I'd soon be relieved that Caroline feels so comfortable with Andy, Caroline has suddenly decided that the belly isn't so bad and neither is Mommy. She asks me daily if her baby sister is still in my body, gives my belly lots of kisses, rubs my back (what a little saint!), holds my hand to help me stand up and best of all, cuddles with me.

I'm not supposed to pick her up but I've found that her little bum and legs fit perfectly at the top of my baby belly. She is able to wrap herself around me and rest her soft face in the crook of my neck. I love the feel of her breath on my skin and her cheek brushing up against mine. In the quiet we share, I am so happy to just be with her. These are our last moments together, alone. I've given her everything I have and she will always be my very first baby. I love to feel her belly rise and fall against my own chest and to know at that very moment, we are three hearts beating together and I can very simply and fully fulfill the needs of both of my children.

Comments

Erica said…
Melissa, that is beautifully written. You have been a wonderful mom for Caroline and will be just as wonderful for both of your children. Good luck, I hope the delivery is quick and painless. :) Can't wait to meet the new family member when I come home in June.

Erica

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