9 months ago we had our bfp, and in the very same week, so did my close friend. She lives in the next village, our daughters are best friends and we have coffee weekly together. Her pregnancy wasn't planned but after worrying about health complications, as she has had a ruptured uterus before, they decided to keep the baby and our due dates were 6 days apart.
I instantly worried. Yes I was pleased for them, excited but how would it make me feel when our bumps grew, when people at the school started asking about our symptoms and gender reveals.
Surprising myself, I have been completely great with it all so far- I am honestly genuinely excited for them , can't wait to go and buy little gifts and it doesn't make me broody or sad. Of course seeing them in the first few weeks may be harder and as birthdays roll around each year, I may become a little more nostalgic but i am a grown up, i can deal with this. What I stupidly didn't think about was my daughter.
Our daughters are 4, just started school and and are extremely close since play group. And as its a village school, they share a class with the next year up, which is where my next child is too, so essentially the three of them all play together and have play dates. And as the pregnancies have gone on I have heard more and more worrying things coming from my daughter, referring to "Kitty's baby and our baby". My friend has also heard things from her daughter about what L has been saying and approached me as to what to say in response which was sweet of her but worrying.
Of course I consulted with the children per a year ago then prepared them, they have known about N's broken tummy and the need for an egg and my womb, and they were all excited. This baby is a like a cousin to them which they don't have. They want to help c and n, they love them and we have been honest and yet encouraging. They love nothing more than go to their house and be shown the new nursery or her clothes. They met the babies grandparents and aunties, and they all understood. And we of course always talk about the ultimate reward to the children who supported mummy through this- a long overdue holiday in the sun somewhere, and the thought of beaches, pools and unlimited ice cream which seems to put things into perspective! They are children after all.
But as my friend prepares for her new baby, washing the clothes, sorting cribs and buying new bits for him/her my daughter has been asking more and more questions, becoming excited and patting my stomach making cooing sounds, just like her friend does to her own mummy. She even offered to give the new baby her own bed so she could stay with us when I said it wasn't ours to keep, and besides we didn't have enough room for another baby and she was my baby and always will be. Sigh.
I KNOW this pregnancy would have passed pretty much insignificantly to L had my friend not been pregnant at the same time. My kids were and are so prepared for this, I wouldn't have proceeded had that not been the case. She isn't a big baby/doll type of child, being a tomboy. But she is 4 and this situation came out of the blue so how could I have prepared her. It's just terrible timing for us.
I keep saying the same things, chanting them like a mantra. The usuals- we are helping them have what mummy has, to give laughter and love and C and N would be sad still until they have baby E in their arms. She doesn't seem to be sad yet, but as my friend goes in for her c section today, the next few days will be tough. Please spare a little thought for her, and may be me as I will be the one keeping it together whilst dealing with my own hormones at the exactly same time. I know it will pass and if I am honest, I am hoping that L sees the time and attention a baby takes and that will comfort her that its not our child!!!
This weekend, we will be going shopping for presents and cards for the two babies and two new mummies and hope that this will help. Fingers crossed.