I got a little choked at bedtime tonight. Blake; my generally affectionate, sweet little boy, lavished on me a cuddle of such magnitude even for him that it totally bowled me over physically and emotionally.
I am 39 weeks pregnant today. This means there are maximum of three weeks to go before we go from a family of three to four, and we are on high alert countdown to my due date next Friday. Pretty soon, bedtime is going to be somewhat different.
I am extremely conscious at the moment that the days of Blake-and-Me are drawing to a close. Things are going to change. Not my feelings obviously – I will adore Blake forever, and I very much hope he will continue to tell me, unprompted, that he loves me too.
But I would be a fool to think things won’t change. After all, I have done this before (albeit a while ago), I know exactly how demanding a baby can be, how relentless a vortex those first few weeks are, how life contracts for a little while. And I need to balance that with continuing to care for my four year old, with making him feel that he is every bit as loved as he is right now even with a little brother on the scene.
I’m sure it’s perfectly natural to be feeling this way, but bugger me it’s daunting. I know, just as I know each day that I won’t get it spot on with Blake, I won’t always (often?) get the balance right between the two of them. I’ve got to learn how to be a mum-of-two just as Blake learns to be a big brother after four and a half years of being the absolute centre of our world. And so I am a little teary and a little frightened as we stand on the edge of this brave new world.
And don’t even get me started on finding the space inside me to love two children. Of course I know this will happen, but I imagine I might just need to forgo a vital organ or two to give my heart space to double in size.
My biggest solace right now, in addition to the reassurance offered by every other Mum who has already made and survived this leap, is Blake himself.
Blake desperately wants a sibling and a key element of our decision to try for a second baby, a key factor in anchoring my sanity through these hard 39 weeks has been how much Blake wants and needs another child around.
He asks on a daily basis when the baby will arrive. He has little chats with my stomach. He likes to put his cheek against my bump and feel the baby kick him. His words tonight were ‘I love you Mummy. I love you more than ten. I actually love you 15. And I love the baby 15 too.’
This is a child much wanted by all three of us, and yes you can remind me of these words when the two of them are scrapping on the living room floor and screeching at each other.
I know there will be tricky times to navigate ahead, I know we’ll all need to adjust, but what I hope most of all is that exactly as James has with his brother Jon, Blake will have an ally. These two boys of mine will have someone by their sides when we cannot be, someone to turn to when Mum and Dad won’t do, a companion for their days. With what’s going on in the world at the moment precious little else feels more important than this.
And so as an invisible clock somewhere counts down to a date and time I don’t know (that will really pissing hurt) I hope the transition is not too tough and that the love between us all will always be at least a 15.
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