I thought I was well-prepared. Hadn’t I heard for 9 months the experiences of all my neighbors, friends and relatives about “siblings”, “sibling rivalry”, “the first year”, and so on till I couldn’t hear anymore? Equipped with an earful of well-intentioned warnings, I felt I had enough pointers to tackle my new mom days.
“Demand help from everyone”
“Take one day at a time”
“Make sure the older one doesn’t feel left out”
and so on.
But one thing truly caught me by surprise. No one told me how much I would miss my first born when the second came along. That first night after the c-section, I was confined to the bed. I needed help to sit upright and depended on others to help me breastfeed the newborn. I was in pain and felt quite helpless. (I might share more about that in another post). But what was more difficult to bear, was not having my first born by my side. and hearing him repeat over and over again, “I want to sleep with Amma”. For 4 years, we had co-slept. Not one night apart! We all fell asleep eventually, but we deeply missed each other.
That was just the beginning. My husband and the grandparents a.k.a my support system have replaced me as his primary caregivers. This has given me time not only to take care and bond with the new baby but also get some rest. As thankful as I am for all their support, I still have missed him terribly. Oh, how the heart aches even with a beautiful, precious little one in your arms! I have missed him on the weekends and nights when he has decided to sleep in a different room with his dad. I have missed eating our meals together and playing with him. I have missed it being just us.
So when he has two different feelings about the baby: enjoying the baby at one time and wanting the baby to go back into my tummy at other times, I get it. I know why. He is missing how it was and is still adjusting to how it is and will be. That said he is already doing a great job. He is being flexible and more independent. Being the sole milk-vending machine I am on call all the time. Evenings are especially difficult what with cluster-feeding and the baby not sleeping for hours on end. So he does feel left out. He is having his share of trials and meltdowns but is coping the best he can. He clings onto his dad more, which I am thankful for. We try to snatch our moments of one-on-one time when we can. In the past few weeks, we did manage to make clay solar systems, learnt to draw 5-pointer stars, read “I am a BIG Brother” and danced around. We squeeze in our share of hugs and kisses when we roll around in the bed in the morning or before bedtime.
Now the “us” is getting redefined. And once both are sound asleep, I think of the days when they both will build bridges with Legos, just run around or of fighting for the TV remote. I fall asleep dreaming of family dinners, long road trips and having the time of our lives.
I am linking up this post with #mg