Well, we did it. After almost 42 weeks, the little baby arrived and he is a boy and we named him Angus. We are now a family of four, which feels much more of a unit than three. It feels good in that way. It also feels strange. This will be an adjustment.
One thing people kept asking me leading up to the birth was, "Is Amelia excited to be a big sister?" I always felt it was an odd question to ask and a difficult one to answer. How does a 2-year-old feel excited about something she doesn't understand? Excited, no. Curious? Perhaps. But I knew it would be difficult for her. No, it would not be exciting in the beginning. It would be difficult. My heart was aching for her even before Angus came. I cried about it sometimes, even knowing that eventually they would become best friends.
Turns out, my anxiety was justified, in part. When Angus was a day old, Amelia came to visit us in the hospital. Her first reaction to seeing me holding the baby was to burst into tears and cry, "Uppie, Mummy!" (which means she wanted me to pick her up). My heart broke. Luckily, I had support. I handed baby off to Papa and swooped her up in my lap and gave her a toy giraffe "from Angus." This appeased her and the visit ended on a high note. But I was nervous about coming home and what the adjustment would look like.
On the one hand, to my surprise, she adjusted pretty quickly to having a new baby brother. She actually has become "excited" and fascinated with his poopy diapers, his crying, his nursing. Everything.
Sadly, what she's not excited about anymore is her Mummy. She wants her Papa for everything--to bring her to the loo, to put her to bed, to put on her socks.
"I don't want Mummy in the room," she whimpered to Papa the other night before bedtime. My heart broke, again. But I left the room quietly, wanting to give her space, not quite sure how to deal with this new parenting challenge.
I wasn't prepared for this. And it's breaking my heart over and over again. At daycare, her teachers say she has become very attached to her two female teachers and is upset whenever they cuddle with any of the other children.
They wonder if she is searching for a mother-figure. My heart breaks, yet again.
"But I'm here!" I want to tell her. I want to hug her and kiss her and tell her everything will be ok. And I do this, but somehow I feel she doesn't quite understand her own feelings yet. And then the baby cries and I must leave her to go and attach him to my breast for a half hour.
This is very complicated stuff for anyone to deal with, let alone a 2-year-old.
Now the difficult question people keeping asking me is, "How is Amelia doing with Angus?" The easy response is, "She's doing great, she loves him." But the stuff the trails after in my thoughts is harder to put into words.
And I know it's a phase. I hope it is. That's what I keep telling myself. But in the meantime, I miss my little girl. And she misses me.