A time for celebration, compromise, confusion + coming together.
Growing a Family from 3 to 4
I remember thinking NO WAY would I ever CHOOSE to drive 18 hours in a car with a toddler. But there we were, headed to Texas from Ohio, truck bed packed full of everything we could possibly need (and things we’d never use).
Why’d I change my mind? In my second trimester of pregnancy I all of a sudden felt the urge to go on an adventure + make some memories with my husband and son before our second baby arrives in April.
I have no idea how things will change when the baby comes and I feel excited for this change. There is also a part of me that needed to make peace with knowing that this is the end to what we’ve known as a family of three. So to do that I felt like we needed to celebrate and create some uninterrupted + happy memories together.
What will it be like?
There are moments when I think about all the freedom I have with my son and I know that won’t be the case once the baby is born. I imagine that feeling like a sacrifice that we will both have to get used to.
On top of that major adjustment, throw in some postpartum emotions and mood swings mixed with the emotions and mood swings of a toddler and you’re officially on the windesty roller coaster at the wildest theme park of all time!
And I will be honest, those emotions and mood swings are already happening around this big change.
The other night I found myself lying in bed looking at photographs of my son as a baby and balling. Like waterfalls out of my eyes, deep from my gut, ugliest of ugly cries type of cry.
There wasn’t a specific story around my tears. I wasn’t actively thinking “How will I love another baby as much?” or throwing around a million “what if’s.”
It was just a deep sadness around missing my son as my baby and thinking of all we have been through together.
Maybe part of it is I know now how powerful of a connection it is to be a mother to another living being. Maybe I am already feeling shaken by the love (and all that comes with that type of bone deep love) I am feeling for this other child. Maybe I am trying to digest how quickly the time goes by in seemingly slow motion?
And for my son witnessing this ever-growing belly, what does he think?
A Toddler And Pregnant Mama Meet
The day my morning sickness started (it was a Wednesday + it hit me hard enough that I remember that detail) my son knew something was up. I remember going to get him out of bed that morning and he was in a mood I hadn’t seen before.
He was being aggressive towards me and everything I did made him mad. Sounds like a toddler being a toddler right? But along with all this anger he was directing towards me was also a new obsession with me.
I talked to my therapist about this and she mentioned that some children (and pets) have very strong intuitions. She explained that James might not be able to understand what is happening, but on some level he knows that something very real + life-changing is on the horizon.
This anger meets obsession way of life lasted nearly the entire first trimester and it was terrible.
There were times I would have to put him in his room and walk away because I found myself not being able to manage my emotions or the situation. So I would sit on the steps and cry feeling beyond terrible that I couldn’t “handle” the situation. I felt sick and beyond exhausted and his little hands flying at my face would throw me over the edge.
But as I started to feel better and my belly grew, so did my son’s communication around what was happening and that has been nothing short of amazing to witness.
A Short Story
My son recently learned about fire safety at preschool and has become infatuated with smoke detectors and the entire protocol.
The other day he decided to put his babydoll down for a nap because, you know, “She tired.” and then he went back downstairs to play. All of a sudden I hear him yell, “Do you hear that? Smoke detector going beep beep! Have to get baby!”
He ran up the stairs as fast as his little legs could carry him, ran into the baby’s room, climbed into her crib, picked her up and started rocking her. I watched from the hallways as I saw my son hold his little doll tight to his chest saying, “James safe + baby is safe.”
I felt like I was witnessing this little person show his love for his little sibling in his own way. Up until that point he had done things like kiss my belly or answer questions we might ask him about the baby, but this was all on his own + in his own way.
What is to Come?
Preparing for another baby is like being on a ship. You do your best to have all the necessary resources possible and you prepare for all you can possibly imagine. But deep down you know the weather that will control your journey is truly in the hands of nature herself.
So I share this mantra with you as it applies to all of life, and most definitely during times of change:
Ride the wave. It will always bring you back to shore.
And that is where you will find me as I roll through this pregnancy and into a new layer of motherhood.