My Pregnancy: Week 13

My Pregnancy Week 13Now that family and friends know about our upcoming bundle, we’ve been more open sharing with our children. Our just-turned-two year old could really care less. He says “ba-beeee” and walks on. He vaguely understands when we say to be “gentle” with mommy as he plows into my belly for story time, tickle time, or just because he’s so inclined to ram the ones he loves.

We held off telling our 3-½-year old until we told family as we feared he might spill the news sooner than planned. Daniel Tiger came on with re-runs of its second season opening week when Daniel Tiger gets a little sister.  Our conversation began with introducing a baby. That led to explaining belly where food goes is different than baby that’s “down low.” Then came the week-long clarification that baby is in MOMMY’s belly, not his belly. Since we heard the heart beat last week we’ve had more than one conversation about the heart. The heart, you see, is located “up here” and “this is where the food goes in the belly and mommy has a baby growing, too!”

This led to an on-going conversation about the heart. Somewhere, somehow, he got the memo that hearts break. One day while instructing him to go to nap he informed me his heart was broken. Luckily a kiss and lullaby fixed it. He shan’t be so lucky in 15 years, but that’s for me to know and him to find out.

Just like most anything important in life, the baby is an ongoing conversation. He mostly remembers to be gentle with baby, even giving my belly a hug and kiss when he forgets and roughly falls into my lap. Last doctor appointment he most looked forward to the doctor making his lovey feel better (lovey had a headache). Now he mentions wanting to “know the baby’s heart” (hear the heartbeat).

The University of Michigan Health Center suggests a number of ways to help a child adjust to a new addition. Things like introducing our son to others with babies, books with babies, and shows like Daniel Tiger with new sibling storylines can help. Including him in doctor appointments takes extra effort on my part (and the doctor’s) but I enjoy that my doctor takes an extra few minutes to play and include all my children. I’ve shared photos and videos of him as a baby, younger brother as a baby (the one he most easily recognizes), and daddy and me as a baby. I’m sure some of these will continue and other opportunities will arise to include our sons in planning for, anticipating, and adjusting to the littlest sibling.

As my husband includes in his earliest, four-year-old memories the birth of his brother, I am keenly aware that something around this new baby could be our oldest son’s first memories. I can’t control everything (anything?) but am mindful that my husband and I can help create an environment that will help everyone adjust into this new world we are already in and will soon fully realize.

Annie is a mom of two toddlers finding comfort in breakfast foods and the excitement of one little baby on the way. This just in, she’s still exhausted with a gut that is prone to picky outbursts. 

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