45/52 – Big brother
A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, for the 3rd year of his life.
Anakin: In a few short months you’ll no longer be the baby, but a big brother. A big boy, about to turn three and about to have your life turned upside down by the arrival of your little sister. I don’t think you quite get what it involves, but your affection for the baby bump makes my heart explode. I get your apprehension, I’m a bit apprehensive too, but we’ll do fine. We’ll do better than fine. I have no doubt you’ll make the very best big brother.
It’s been a turbulent time with big emotions for a little person. For us all really. So many things happening at once; my partner finally returning, wedding preparations, baby preparations, birthday talk and getting ready for two months of overseas visitors. It’s a lot to take on for someone not quite three, it’s a lot to take on for me too. I’m finding myself pulled closer as Anakin has become terrified that I will leave him, even for an hour or two. I’m also receiving a lot of anger and confusion in response to everything going on. It’s becoming clearer to me how carefully we need to navigate the next few months ahead, always making sure that number one stays, and feels like, number one. Keeping routines, slowing down, not taking on too much. And most importantly, never, not even for a second, let Anakin feel as if he is being set aside from us, from me in particular. He is so protective of me these days, perhaps aware in some sense that soon he’ll have to share. After my partner was away it has become even more important for him to know that we are here, that I am here, to take care of him. So whatever is going to happen over the next few months, this is my main focus.
At 28 weeks I get easily tired. Without a rest when Anakin naps I’m not worth a dime come three o’clock. Sleep is broken and allusive, but despite the general forgetfulness and pregnancy brain, I am feeling great and still thankful for the time we have left as just three. I too am finding myself overwhelmed by everything about to happen, perhaps even a bit scared. Scared that I won’t be prepared to be the mother of two, that I’ll be too tired from everything happening before the birth, that there will be no break between visits and birth, that she’ll come early, that she’ll come while we’re away and so on. These kinds of thoughts race through my mind more often these days and I occasionally struggle to keep them in line. I just have to remind myself to keep breathing and that whatever happens I’ll be able to manage. Learning hypnobirthing is really helping as I find I can calm myself quickly if I remind myself just to breathe slow and breathe deep.
As chaotic as our lives will be it will also be a wonderful time shared with family and friends. It may all happen at once, but they’re all good things, the best things. Wedding, birthday, baby… bring it.