Everyone keeps asking me how I think SJ will be once AJ comes. And honestly, I think we are going to have a very jealous little girl on our hands. Which is why I had such a hard time with the idea of even trying to become pregnant in the first place. Guilt has seemed to be something I have struggled with immensely this pregnancy, for many reasons.
I’ve talked about coming to terms with hating being pregnant and the guilt I felt, but before I had to come to terms with that, I had to come to terms with the guilt of getting pregnant. I knew when I was ready to become pregnant again and grow our family, it consumed my mind. Before that, though, I had times when I thought I wanted to only have SJ because the thought of making her feel like she wasn’t important to me broke my heart. It didn’t matter how many other moms told me that “your love grows, it doesn’t divide”. Did I know that? Of course! I try my hardest to be a rational person, but the hormonal mother in me is not a rational person. At all. I can remember sitting in SJ’s room nursing her, and crying because I couldn’t fathom having another baby and her possibly feeling like I didn’t love her. The guilt of deciding to have another baby was less about worrying I would love either of my kids less than it was about worrying my kids would feel like I loved either of them less. Which is probably why I have tried to make everything as completely fair in terms of things we have done and bought for each girl.
Once that maternal need to have another baby kicked in, I was able to get past the guilt. Enough to get pregnant again, anyways. After I got the positive test, and saw her on the sonogram, my mind seemed to be constantly torn. In taking care of SJ, there were times that I actually forgot I was even pregnant. Even at 35 weeks, it still happens on good days. So then I felt guilt about that and feeling as if I was forgetting about my other child. Then on the other hand, I wanted to get SJ used to the idea of “Mommy has a baby in her belly, and soon the baby will come out of mommy’s belly.” But I’ve always called her my baby girl, so I worried she would think I was replacing her, or worried I was talking about the baby too much. Hormones, they make you overthink everything!
I knew this wasn’t good for me or my girls emotionally, and I needed to get past that. The guilt is somewhat always going to be there, but I just need to remember that all I can do is love my girls. That’s it. I will try to be as fair as possible, I will try to make sure I include SJ in everything baby related, but in the end all I need to do is love them and they will both know that mommy doesn’t love one more than the other. A mother’s love is one of the absolute strongest emotions there is, and I need to trust that. DJ and I know that we will definitely have to deal with some tantrums and acting out, because SJ is a mama’s girl through and through. But we have different ways that we are trying to prepare for that.
Talking About Baby
For Christmas I got SJ a book called The New Baby from Usborne books and when I read it, I substitute in our names and change a little bit about what will happen to fit us. I also try to play with her baby dolls more with her, but she isn’t too interested in that. For Easter, she will get a few more baby doll accessories like a stroller, doll carrier, and a bottle and sippy cup for her dolls. Every chance I get for her to see a real baby, I take and I try to tell her that mommy has a baby in her belly and soon the baby will come out. I still think she is too young to understand, but then again she seems to comprehend more than we realize. We also go in the baby’s room and talk about how the baby will sleep in there. She is just fascinated that the drawers in AJ’s dresser are easier to open than her dresser. But that gives me the chance to say “Please leave sissy’s clothes alone.” Hey, I’ll take any chance I can to get her used to the idea.
Meeting Her Little Sister
SJ will be the first one to meet AJ. This one is a little bit more for me than her. But how we plan on introducing SJ to her little sister is the important part here. If it will work out this way, who knows, but this is the plan. One of our moms will be bringing SJ to the hospital. Depending on the time, either first thing in the morning after she is born, or she will be there right after I have her and everything is cleaned up and I’ve done an hour of skin to skin. DJ will bring her in, and I plan on not having AJ. I want to be able to give SJ a hug and her see mommy before she sees mommy holding another baby. Like I said, she’s a mama’s girl and the time away from me will be hard on her. After I get to love on her a bit, I’ll have DJ bring AJ over. Then introduce them. And then when she has to leave again, I’ll make sure AJ is in the bassinet and I can give SJ all the loving I can before she leaves and has to be away from me again.
Big Sister Present
I have been wanting to get SJ a kitchen set because she LOVES playing with her cousin’s when we go there. So we got the kitchen set from IKEA and are going to make it match our kitchen. Since my due date is so close to Easter, I was a little torn about if we should give it to her for that, but one, we try to keep Easter presents smaller because that isn’t what Easter is about, and two, I wanted her to associate something good and exciting for when AJ comes home. It will also serve a dual purpose, as a present, but also as something new to keep her busy while we adjust to having a newborn again. So when we come home from the hospital, I’ll have DJ bring it out for her.
Just as much as I have been trying to prepare for having another baby, I have been trying to prepare SJ for having a baby around. She could completely surprise us and be the best big sister right from the start, or she could become even busier and temperamental than she is already becoming. But either way, I know God has led our family to this path, and not only will I love my girls equally, they will both know that mommy loves them more than they could possibly imagine. It is okay to feel guilty about changing things up on your little ones, it’s okay to worry about them, it’s just about how you handle it. And just like I always remind myself, SJ may not be “the baby” anymore, but she will always be the one who made me a mom.