Last night, after Nick and I hung out with some friends from his new job, we went to pick up Nicholas from my in-laws. It was already pretty late, and he probably should have been in bed already, but we needed him to be home for today. It was a big day for us.
When we finally got home it was around 10 o’clock, and instead of being tucked in as he usually would be, he was up and ready to play! He hadn’t seen us all day, and was too excited to go right to sleep.
As babies do, once he became over-tired, he got a little cranky.
We have a “break glass in case of emergency” strategy when we can’t get Nicholas to stop crying, and that strategy is named Word Party. It’s a creepy Netflix show that is meant to teach kids new words. He is obsessed with it, so when he is inconsolable, we are those parents who turn to our animated helpers to cheer him up. Say what you will, it works for us.
We laid in bed with with him while he locked eyes with his favorite characters and calmed down. I said to my husband that these were moments I would never forget. When it was just the three of us, hanging out in our home. Happy.
I snapped this picture of our boy. I need to start appreciating these small moments with my family of three, and making sure I am committing them to memory, because soon it will all be different.
Which brings me to why today was a big day for us. Today was our ultrasound for our second baby, and we got some amazing news!
We are having a baby girl!
It was an awesome moment in the ultrasound room. I was able to see my husband’s face light up when the tech said “this baby is a girl!”
I am over the mood ecstatic about this! Usually, I am pretty good about not getting my hopes too high for things. Disappointment isn’t fun, and I like to protect myself from that, but man did I want to have a baby girl so bad.
After the appointment, we contacted close family and friends, and Nick took off to one of his last days at his old job. He is changing careers to spend more time with our family, which will help a lot with what I am about to admit to you all.
When Nicholas and I got home, I did what many of you I am sure would do if you got this news today, and hopped right on Pinterest to look at some baby girl nurseries. As I was looking, I looked down to where Nicholas was playing and realized that he fell asleep on the blanket on the floor! I was so excited to look at baby girl things online that I forgot to put him down for his nap.
Uh oh. The realization sank in. This new baby is going to take my attention away from Nicholas. She already has and she isn’t even here yet!
To all of you other moms of children with special needs, how did you cope with this? Thank goodness that my husband is going to be around a lot more now with his new job, but how did you deal with that initial time when you have a newborn who needs you 24/7 and a young child who isn’t used to sharing you?
I know that giving Nicholas the gift of a sibling, someone to play with and grow up with, trumps any of this stuff. But, I can already see the guilt coming down the road, which is why I am so thankful to have this forum to discuss these things with other mommas!
As I am writing this, he is sleeping on the couch next to me. I should have put him in the crib an hour ago, but I just can’t. Im soaking in as much of this adorable sleeping angel as I can.
I promise to treasure these next 20 weeks forever, and to make sure we have a blast during it! You are going to have a sister soon, and you are going to be the kindest, and most loving big brother I could ever imagine. I can’t wait to see you interacting with our newest family member.
I also can’t wait to watch you turn her into another fierce advocate, and to see how she loves and appreciates all that you can do.
Our lives are going to change drastically, very soon. I promise that the three of us will have a lot of opportunities to enjoy our family of three while we can. I will always treasure the time that you spent as an only child.
I will always remember us this way.
11 thoughts on “I’ll always remember us this way.”
Congratulations on your news! A baby girl to love!
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The guilt before having a second baby is real. I remember about a week before Hazel was born, I just cried and cried thinking about how our family of three would never be the same (which it obviously wouldn’t, but in the best way possible) and how I was somehow letting Lincoln down. I won’t say it goes away *immediately* after having your second babe, because I was definitely on the receiving end of an upset toddler saying, “we should have just left you and Hazel at the hospital!” But it does go away quickly once you realize that you’re wonderful family of three is now an even better family of four. Hazel seriously filled a hole in our family I didn’t know was there. And having a boy and a girl is so much fun. Congratulations! So happy for you. ❤️
Your* wonderful family, not you’re. 🤦🏻♀️
Thank you so much for the advice, Mallory!
First — congratulations!
I often feel that the best thing I ever did for Richard was give him a sister. I’ve long joked that was a tough kid to keep alive for the first 4 years — NICU baby born at 35 weeks, diagnosed with diabetes at age 1, diagnosed with a feeding disorder at 18 months resulting in 28-day outpatient treatment in another state….yeah, he was a solid challenge!
It was important for us (and him) to learn he was not the center of the universe. Being an older brother brought out some really lovely nurturing qualities in him, and changed our family dynamics in positive ways. Yes, there are adjustments that come with a younger sibling, but everyone learns to adjust. Second kids are usually go-with-the-flow types because it’s a survival thing — they just seem to figure out eating and sleeping and the rest because they have to!
Sending you the very best wishes as you prepare for your baby girl!
Thank you so much and I so agree! I don’t want Nicholas to be spoiled simply because he has Down Syndrome! I am glad he will be in the big brother role soon.
Although you make me cry every time I read these I hope you know that the amount of love you both have for Nicholas is endless and overflowing. There is no amount of additional siblings that could ever make him or any other children feel like they’ve taken a back seat. You two are extraordinary parents with a support system unlike any other. The first few weeks will be an adjustment but you will get in a groove and it will be wonderful. I’m ecstatic for the 3 of you!
Oh Mary! The feelings you are having are so normal. You don’t feel like you have any more love to give when you have one baby. He is your world. He consumes all your time. Now you will share your attention. Nicholas will get less and you feel like you’re robbing him of some love so you can give it to her. I remember those feelings so vividly. ALL moms feel those feelings. But it truly will blow your mind how you don’t have to take any love away from Nicholas to give to your daughter. Your heart just explodes with even more love. Nicholas will learn even more about your love, he will learn to love her and share your attention. He will become more independent, patient and will become a better person because he is not getting all the attention and he has a sweet little sister to love. Your daughter will learn patience quickly as she shares your attention with her amazing big brother. And the bond between them will melt your heart. Your feelings are real and scary and beautiful. Your family is growing and you all deserve the amazingness that is coming…! We are soooooo happy for you! ♡♡♡
Thank you so much, Alison!!
Congratulations! I too had the same worries but it all works out! Enjoy every moment!