With the countdown to baby #2 only a few days away, I’ve been feeling anxious. I’m not anxious about the labor, the delivery, the surgery, the hospital or what to do after the baby enters this world…because I know what to expect (for the most part). I’m anxious about my baby, my first one. I know that having more than one child is nothing novel, and some may think “well it’s what you wanted, right?” Of course it is, we’re overjoyed. However, as a mother to a single child, there is rollercoaster of emotions one experiences in preparation for another baby, which is rarely discussed.
From the moment he was born 18 months ago, Chase has been the center of our world. Our hearts have swelled to capacity with immeasurable love for this little boy, and I’ve deeply thought out loud, “How is there enough space in my heart for another?”. Chase has always been a Daddy’s boy and solidified his fandom by making “Dada” his first word. He drops everything and runs toward the door when his Dada walks in, following him throughout the house and grinning from ear to ear. Most days, I can barely pry him from my husband’s arms without a protest. I’ve never taken this personally or have ever felt slighted by this daddy-son attachment . It’s completely heart-warming to see a boy so bonded to his father at such an early age. His father plays the role of permanent playmate and jungle gym, always up for a good piggy-back or game of peekaboo. I know my role is that of the nurturer; when booboos need kisses, tummy needs filling and his little body needs quiet cuddles before bedtime.
In the most recent months, Chase has developed a deeper attachment to me. He’s finally learned my name is Mama and can identify me from a photo on the wall. Every morning, he runs into our room, climbs onto the bed to nestle into his little space between my arm and my body. The other day he lifted my shirt, said “Hi baby” and gave my belly a kiss, all which were unprompted. Some may say “he knows the baby is coming”, but I argue that theory. Although, like most moms, I like to think of my child as a genius, I know his insight remains mostly in the present. I don’t think he grasps the gravity of a human being growing in my belly who is inevitably going to break into this world and usurp his position as “the baby” in this family. But there are no replacements, only additions. My friend said it perfectly, “A new baby is not just about having another child, you’re giving your son the opportunity to experience the love for a sibling”.
What worries me is not fear of the unknown, but anticipation of what is already known. I know how much time, attention and energy a newborn needs. I am coming to know equally how much time, attention and energy a toddler needs. I know that I am going to feel divided and guilty for not being able to spend as much with Chase as I am right now. So with these final days until D-day, I’m soaking up every single minute and moment that I have with this little guy before my lap is occupied by another. Although I barely have a lap left for him to sit on, Chase always comes over with a book for me to read him and plops himself wherever he can fit, pushing into my belly as if it’s a couch cushion. As tempted as I am to tell him “there’s no room, baby”, I remind myself that I’ll always have room for him.
You are my sunshine, my very first sunshine.
You make me happy when skies are grey,
You’ll always know dear, how much I love you.
And I’ll remind you that I love you everyday.