I haven't written about it much recently, but we are expecting baby girl #2 to arrive in early/mid February. There are a lot of fears that go through my mind with regards to this...
They started out with being about the health of the new baby. Would we have another "special" child? I know that the odds aren't good for another "special" child, but heck, the odds weren't good that we would have a first "special" child either. We did the CVS early so we could stop worrying and just enjoy the pregnancy. The test results came back all good and that we were to have another little girl join our family. Then around 16 weeks we did some other random tests that are pretty standard and again everything came back fine. At 20 weeks I had the full ultrasound where they thoroughly check the baby out and make sure things are developing normally and again, everything looks good. So you would think that I would be content and happy, but I'm not.
Now my fears are about how I'm going to be able to give Sweet Pea the time that she needs and be able to give a new baby the time that she needs to. I understand from other typical families that it is hard enough when a new baby enters the equation. I'm also aware that Sweet Pea requires a fair amount of extra attention and time than a typical 18 month old would so I'm afraid that we are really in for it. According to the latest evaluations, Sweet Pea is at a 9 month level developmentally so by the time the new baby arrives she will be maybe at 11 months. Having two kids under the age of one is something that I never imagined I would be doing! I'm insane, but not that insane! However, I am also aware of just how good a sibling will be for Sweet Pea (and for the sibling) and that things will work out. We have wonderful family and friends and I know that when times get really tough and I'm at the edge of the cliff they will save my sanity.
Then there are the fears about how are we going to ensure that baby girl #2 feels special, equally loved, etc. How do we ensure that we aren't putting too much pressure on baby girl #2 to be the child that we had always dreamed of and that we let her be who she wants to be? How do we discuss Sweet Pea's diagnosis and make her aware that she is more alike than different, but that it will take her longer to learn new things? How do we make her not feel or act like her sister's keeper when they will be so close in age and attending the same schools? I don't want her to resent being Sweet Pea's sister either.
I know that some of these issues exist with typical children as well, but it seems to be yet another area that is magnified when you have a special needs child also. In a way these fears are healthy because they are making me think about issues and if I'm aware of the potential issue I have a better chance of avoiding it. However, there is a part of me that would just like to enjoy this pregnancy and the idea of our new baby without all this worry. I didn't worry much at all while I was pregnant with Sweet Pea so I guess I'm making up for lost time.
There is one thought that gives me a great deal of peace and hope...the siblings of special needs kids tend to be extra caring and thoughtful as they grow older. From reading many other blogs I have learned that the siblings can be absolutely amazing! They advocate for and love their special needs sibling with all their heart. The fact that Sweet Pea has helped me to become a better person gives me faith that she will do the same for her sister. That isn't to say that they don't have their sibling moments...but that is just part of being a sibling!
Hopefully by the time this new baby makes her arrival I will feel more confident and at least be ready (maybe I should say more ready) to love and adore a new baby girl, but still give Sweet Pea the love and attention that she needs and rightfully deserves. Any advice and words of wisdom from other mothers out there?
I love you Sweet Pea & Baby Girl #2!