Our second child is due in June, and I have been feeling a little melancholy at times. It is a sadness that hits me when I think about my little tornado of a toddler now, it is when I watch him sleep, it is when I see him play.
I have been dealing with some bouts of the blues off and on for a few months, but I know what they stem from and how to deal with them. Sometimes hormonal, sometimes situational, sometimes just me overthinking things … all that I am used to, and I have my own means of coping. But this sadness that comes knowing that baby number two is coming – it is a strange one, and one I’m grappling with as tenderly as I can.
For who can get sad about the gift of another child? When some dearest to you are struggling to have a baby, you feel a bit silly and insensitive talking about being blue at all – how rude!
But there it is, and it’s real, and it’s true. I cannot deny the existence of this odd kind of sadness. The few people I’ve talked to about this tells me it is normal. I am adept enough with the Interwebs to research and know that many moms have felt it this too. But knowing, reasoning and logic can only soothe so much.
I look at my little boy now and wonder how I will be able to love him just like this, with another baby to look after. I wish I could play with him the way he likes to play, and yet this huge belly in the way means there are so many things I cannot do. Mommy, do this, mommy, carry me. And I deflect, or I pass the job on to his daddy. When I am tired, I resort to the telly or house bound activities with him, and I feel bad about it. If this is the way I feel now, how will it be when the second one arrives? I feel like I miss spending time with him already. All the times we have spent together, just us, in the parks, the galleries, the museums. My heart aches when I think about how I will miss just focusing on him, staring at him in happy wonder as he is learning something new. How much will I miss, how many new words will I not catch, how many times will I say ‘Not now, Luca, mommy is busy with baby’. Because you are my baby. You may be tearing the place down now as a toddler but you are still my baby. And now I am all torn up inside at the thought of distinguishing ‘baby’ in my tummy to you, when I still call you Baby.
We wanted him to experience the love and joy of having a sibling, and we know this is one of the best presents we could ever give him. But sometimes part of me questions these decisions – is it too soon? Will we do both of them justice? I look at the father my husband has turned out to be, and I am comforted and heartened – Anh is the dad children can only dream of having, and I know why he is our child’s clear favourite. Perhaps my fears are to do with me, and my fears of my own abilities as a mother. Will I be able to do this? Will I be able to focus on this? Will I falter? Will I miss out?
And so now we travel as a family. We are spending all the quality time we can with the little tornado. I have regretted not taking more photos of him or writing about him openly or showing him off to the world, preferring to not be ‘one of those moms’. But as time runs out of it being just us, I wish I had done this more. And so I am doing more staring. I am noting things down more. I read some more bedtime books, I sing some more songs. I watch him as he falls asleep. I linger on at his side as he slumbers. I run my fingers through his hair, I kiss his cheeks that are still deliciously plump.
I know the heart can only expand to love more.
I know that he will love having a sibling.
I know that all will be well.
But for now, I acknowledge this sadness and aching that comes from thinking it won’t be just us in the future. I can only try to do my best, and I may be shitty at a lot of things but we will make it work.
You will always be my number one, son.