I am about 25 weeks along in my pregnancy - more than halfway through and definitely pregnant enough to look like I’m growing a baby and not just storing access holiday cookies for winter hibernation (although I’m sure there are still remnants of that somewhere). This also means I’m going into my third trimester, where the waddling and bloating take place - my least favorite part of the process.
Because I had a relatively easy first trimester despite the occasional food aversions and constant debilitating fatigue, I am of course foolishly optimistic about the third. The baby kicks are rather constant now, and she’s been sending me Morse code about her preferences. Thumper, apparently, likes her coffee and dessert, which makes me think we’ll get along just fine. She’s also pretty nocturnal as she reserves her somersaults for bedtime, just like her big sister, who already adores her as she peppers my belly with kisses, knowing her little sister is in there, anticipating her arrival with the same fervor as she did with Santa (as in occasionally excited when reminded of them but mostly indifferent otherwise).
While this belly is making space for this growing baby, I can’t help but feel a little guilty for adding this distance between Little Miss and me. My firstborn enjoys hanging on to me for quickie snuggles and bedtime stories on the chair before climbing into her big girl bed. However, this belly bump has made it rather difficult for me to effortlessly continue our daily routines together. Approaching 30 pounds, my little girl is getting a little too heavy for my pregnant self. The nooks in my body that once seemed sculpted just for her tiny form seem to morph into that which precariously fits her shape with mine like a puzzle piece misshapen by a gnawing toothless baby awkwardly trying to claim its spot. Sadly, this space that was reserved just for her is no longer hers alone.
But I know I can’t wallow in what we could lose as Thumper joins us, but rather celebrate that which we’ll gain as she completes our family. Besides, I can take comfort in the fact that even though I can no longer hoist Little Miss as I used to, I know that if I need to, I will carry her on my back. That way, she’ll always, always be close.
One way or another, we’ll make it work. As an only child, I may lack experience in the sibling department, but I know my heart possesses an infinite space for my babies. Bump or not, there will be room for everyone.
Even the cat.
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If you’re a parent to two or more kids, what was your experience like as your family expanded? If you grew up with a sibling, how did your parents make sure everyone knew they were loved equally? Have they ever played favorites? How has growing up with or without a sibling affected your own decisions in the number of kids you’d like to have?