Dear Baby Number 2
Dear Baby Number 2,
Right now, you’re a 16 week, avocado-sized growing baby in my belly. That makes me roughly four months pregnant and it’s suddenly starting to sink in - we’re about to embark on this wild, beautiful ride of welcoming a new baby into our family again, just 20 months after your older brother was born.
I haven’t yet done a single thing to prepare for your arrival. I know I still have plenty of time, but at this point in my pregnancy with your brother we had already purchased furniture for the nursery and painted his room.
It’s not that I’m any less excited to meet you. In fact, even though I know we have a few chaotic months ahead of us, I feel much less anxious this time around. With your brother, I was always impatiently waiting for the next milestone: the end of the first trimester, the 20 week anatomy scan, entering the third trimester, and finally holding him in my arms. It couldn’t come soon enough. If I’m being honest, sometimes I wished the days away, anxious to take on my role as a mama. With you, I’m embracing the process, doing my best to savour this pregnancy, because I know my time with you growing inside me will be over before I know it.
Oh, Baby Number 2, sometimes I worry that I won’t get to spend lazy days on the couch with you sleeping on my chest like I did with your brother. I won’t have the time to nurse and bounce and rock a fussy baby to sleep several times each day because I’ll also have a toddler to care for. I worry that your brother, who will still be a baby himself in many ways, won’t understand why Mommy’s attention is suddenly divided. You’ll know a world of hand me downs and sibling squabbles, which I know will teach you valuable lessons but also makes me feel slightly guilty. And, selfishly, I worry that the minimal time I do have to myself to do the things that make me feel like me outside of my role as “Mommy” will be further eroded.
But, you know what else? Your brother is spirited and he loves fiercely, so I know that despite the inevitable arguments, he’ll be your best friend and protector. Being able to give you each the gift of a sibling makes my heart swell. I’m also wiser this time around. I know how fleeting the newborn stage - and every stage thereafter, for that matter - is. Most importantly, I know that no matter how prepared I am, parenthood always presents curveballs, but that I’ll get through them one way or another.
So, Baby Number 2, I may now spend my days chasing your brother around and less time browsing Pinterest to find the perfect theme for your nursery. I may be more lax with my caffeine intake this time around. I don’t spend nearly as much time Googling and fretting over each and every pregnancy symptom I’m experiencing. Though I’ve done this before, I still can’t tell if I’m feeling muscle twitches or tiny flutters in my belly.
But, when we can muster the energy after a busy day, your Daddy and I still stay up talking much too late, pondering names and dreaming about what you might be like. You’ve already taught me so much about living in the moment and letting go of things I can’t control. And, I know without a doubt that you will fit seamlessly into our little family. Baby Number 2, you are so loved.
Brittany Van Den Brink is a PhD Candidate and freelance writer living in small-town Ontario with her husband, baby son, and their Golden Retriever, Chevy. She founded Motherhood Her Way to collaborate with other moms as they go through the ups and downs of motherhood. Say hi on Instagram @brittanyvandenbrink.