Maybe it’s because I’ve kept myself so busy with projects, goals and hobbies. Maybe it’s because I’m not prone to negativity. Or maybe I’m just really good at repression. But now, just 3 weeks away from having baby number two, I’m starting to think about all of the ways that our little family is going to change.
And it’s kind of scary.
One of the benefits to being an overthinker and a research-aholic is that I tend to work out my feelings, thoughts and behaviors so thoroughly that there is no room for doubts and fears when push comes to shove – not many anyway.
My husband and I, long before having Tessa, decided that we wanted to have our children fairly back to back. When Tessa was just a line on a pee stick, Thyme was very much a planned for and sought after baby. Our plan was, “Have baby #2 when baby #1 is about 18 months old”. Guess how old Tessa will be in a few weeks? (Yes, something in our lives ACTUALLY went according to plan / schedule!)
So it goes without saying that we are beyond excited to grow our little family. We already talk about our “kids”. We’re already making future plans that involve “the girls”. Just like Tessa Freeman, Thyme Freeman is already our precious, irreplaceable, darling daughter, and we haven’t even seen her face yet.
So why is it, that NOW, of all times, 37 weeks into the pregnancy, am I joining the ranks of all soon to be mommies of a second child, and experiencing flutters of the “new baby” fear?
Silly thoughts keep surfacing unbidden into my head. Thoughts that have been considered, weighed and dealt with so long ago that I cannot account for their inexplicable return. Thoughts like:
“Will I love this child as deeply and desperately as I love my first?”
“Will Tessa feel like I love her less?”
“Will she like her little sister?”
“Can I focus my energy and attention on two children, giving them the individual love and affection they deserve?”
“Will the dynamic of our family change in a negative way?”
“Will I be a good mom when I’m dealing with not one, but TWO little lives?”
These thoughts are silly, I know. They’re normal, they’re healthy and they’re most likely a mixture of hormone fueled paranoia mingled with lies from the fiery depths of hell. Ya know, the usual.
Because the fact is, I already love this little lady so much. It is a love that expands, multiplies, and intensifies when shared as a family. Just as Tessa joining our lives made me fall even deeper and madly in love with my husband, so giving my first daughter a sibling and best friend is expanding the love I have for my husband, my daughter and my family.
I am so excited to grow our little family. I am impatient to gift Tessa her new best friend, roommate and partner in crime. Tessa is ALREADY a big sister, and she doesn’t even realize it! I mean, according to human biology, medical science, and common sense, at the very moment of Thyme’s conception, Tessa became a big sister.
When I first became aware of the little life growing inside of me, I knew I was carrying a genetically distinct, unique, living, growing little human who already had her gender, features and particular personality charted out. Like toddler to child and teen to adult, an unborn baby is just a stage in human growth. The absolute worth and value of this tiny human life is the same at all stages – no human is worth more or less based on size or maturity.
So how silly is it to quibble and fear over loving a human being that is already so priceless, precious and irreplaceable? Even though we don’t know her face to face (although her kicking behind my rib cage and stomping on my bladder has gotten us quite chummy over the last few months) the fact is, we already love Thyme so deeply that any “Will I love her enough? Will I love Tessa less?” fears are just.. well, they’re pretty dang dumb.
The biggest uncertainty – and only legitimate concern in my opinion – is how Tessa will react immediately to her new sister. It’s hard to tell what she can understand regarding the new addition to our family. At times she will point to my belly, kiss it, and say in her gibbering toddler talk “Baby!” While I’m swooning in maternal love overload at her seeming comprehension of her baby sister, she’ll then shift gears and randomly slap my belly and say, “Belly!” Soooo, does she know she has a baby sister on the way? I honestly have no clue.
But what I DO know is that she is going to be an amazing big sister. God had this role cut out for her before there was time, and that I know for a fact.
I watch Tessa play with her baby dolls, carefully and gently brushing their hair, feeding them a bottle and hugging them while chattering in a sing song voice. I watched her face, so intense with curiosity and kindness, as she stared at a newborn baby we had in our home for a newborn photoshoot last week. And I think: “You’ve GOT this little girl. Best big sister EVAR.”
This little child in my belly is a blessing. I can’t wait to meet her. I can’t wait to watch my daughters become best friends. I can’t wait to see my husband coming home from work, walking in the front door to crouch down and scoop up TWO little girls for kisses and cuddles instead of just one.
All of these fears are so silly and “me” centered. But isn’t that just like human folly, to fear a blessing from the Lord? When I stop to think about all of these upcoming changes, it becomes abundantly clear – we are SO BLESSED. And we don’t even fully realize it yet.