Saturday, June 21, 2014
We are pregnant again! Due right around Christmas time. By next Christmas, I'll have a wiggly little brand-newborn. We are excited and grateful!
I can't write about this pregnancy without reflecting upon our last one, the one that ended too soon. In fact, I had those little chicken hats custom made a long time ago in anticipation of announcing the pregnancy that I lost (the etsy seller must have thought I was crazy for requesting a chicken hat for an egg!). I kept those little hats bundled up in the closet, just praying we'd have a chance to use them. Finally, at 13 weeks, I felt brave enough to announce the good news.
I have been really paranoid with this pregnancy, but have tried to play it cool. I've tried not to worry unless there is a specific fact-based reason to be worried (so far, nothing concrete to worry about!) I remember telling myself if I got pregnant again, I would be hyper-vigilant and get an ultra-sound very early on. Well, my midwife doesn't recommend ultra-sounds in early pregnancy and advised against it. It was hard, but I agreed. Instead, we relied on blood tests to reassure me that things were going ok. Finally, at 12 weeks, the midwife felt my belly, pushed in a certain spot and it felt really tender right there. She put the doppler right on that spot, and a perfect heartbeat clicked away. "That tender spot is where your baby is!" she gushed. We were both super excited and relieved. The day we heard the heartbeat was 6/10, which happened to be our lost pregnancy's due date. Providential, no?
Sisi's reaction to a sibling was pretty neutral, at first. I tried to hype it up, like "You can help feed the baby a bottle! You'll have someone to read stories to! You can help bathe the baby!" She didn't seem too impressed.
Then, about 8 hours later, out of the blue, she began sobbing and flailing. She was inconsolable. Then she blurted out, "I don't WANT to help! I don't want to feed the baby! I don't want a baby!" Sure enough, she was grieving, and poured her grief out the way 3 1/2 year olds know how- in the form of a screaming tantrum.
I took her aside, held her close, and whispered, "You don't have to help with the baby if you don't want to. The only thing I ask you to do is be gentle with the baby when it comes. You will always be my baby. I understand why you are sad." She quieted down, and then was in a terrific mood after that. The fact that I accepted her not-so-nice feelings and validated them was huge for her. Since then, she's resumed her neutral stance. We shall see how she processes this in the months to come!