Guilt, Guilt And More Guiltby Michael Johnson-Ellis
To be perfectly clear before I begin, the excitement we feel about the arrival of our son in August is literally off the scale. We can’t wait to have another baby in the house, and whilst we know it’s going to take some serious adjustment, we are over the moon that we’ve been so lucky to be having another baby, where so many struggle particularly with IVF and other fertility challenges. Katie is also growing fast, and becoming a gorgeous independent little lady in her own right, she spends more time in her bedroom or out with her friends than she does with us now, which I know for Wes is particularly hard, but it was always inevitable, so in the main its mainly me, Wes and Talulah. Our very own little ‘wolf pack’.
We can’t help but feel absolutely overcome with sheer guilt at the moment, and also a tinge of sadness that our little trio is coming to a close. It will never be the same again, and that literally makes my eyes fill with tears that our care and attention, which over the last 2 and a half years has for the majority been all on Talulah, will soon be changing, forever in fact. Whilst I believe that as humans and as parents our heart is filled with limitless buckets of love, which just continue to over-spill and love some more as we make our way through life, the physical time that we offer her will very soon be changing, and she’s only had us for just short of 3 years by the time our son arrives, and only around 10 of those recent months she actually remembers and has enjoyed, the good stuff has only just started happening. That feels so sad that our period of exclusivity is drawing in, it’s closing - a quickly too. And she had no say in us taking that away from her.
Our little pack is growing, and so is our little girl. Our strolls down the path both holding her hands, Talulah in the middle, looking up as us both, counting 1,2,3 and swinging her high till she screams laughing. Which we repeat 6/7 times until our arms ache and our belly’s hurt from laughing with her. That’s surely going to change temporarily as one of us pushes the pram, or is too shattered to even want to play, especially in those first tough 6 months.
Wes and I were sat on the sofa and we were talking about how we both felt sad that the days of just us with Talulah was being cut short – which sounds so ungrateful but it’s not meant to be. It’s purely ‘the guilts’ (which my best friend warned me about!) that we’re feeling, and as we both were sharing how we felt, even writing this now on a crowded train to Southampton I have that tears in my eyes. This was real now, we need to start making adjustments surely? Should we have waited another year or two? We’re not getting any younger which was one of the reasons we started trying again for another baby – which sounds so selfish when you say it out loud.
Whatever happens, I know that Talulah is so excited to become a big sister, and she’s going to be amazing having a little brother, seeing her face beam with excitement and her eyes widen when we even mention “a baby” is a joy and a privilege to see. She even knows his name, so hearing her say it makes us want to burst. And that’s what creates a family, this love, and pure joy we’re experiencing right now. Seeing her fall in love will be another parenting experience I’m sure. So, for the next 6 months Talulah get’s some exclusive time, whilst being carefully reminded that the baby is going to need her help too, we’re a team in our family – and we’re fiercely protective over each other, so starting from now Talulah’s role of big sister has begun. She will help us wash and fold his new baby grows, and even donate the odd teddy which she’s been looking after for him, her words. *sobs into coffee.
So, before he arrives, she can help get our little ‘pack’ get ready for its new addition. As soon as she’s done with her “pre-prep big sister duties” she’s going to have our undivided time and have as much of us she can stand – as we’ll never get these next 4 months ever again. More days out and fun ‘firsts’ lots of activities are in order and I’m getting onto booking them in our schedules already, now if you’ll excuse me - I have a play date with a gorgeous, cheeky 2 and a half year old.