Monday, 23 March 2009

Only Child to Big Brother in 111 Days Flat!

Monday, 23 March 2009
So I’ve only got 111 days to go.

That’s only just over 3 months!

Or 9,590,400 seconds (roughly) for the pedantic amongst you.

(Not that I’m counting!)

A quick update before I talk about something that has been on my mind this week: we went to the midwife last week, and things are looking a-ok. My blood pressure is textbook normal, there is no more protein in my wees (hurrah!) and the lovely Lynnette says that I have a ‘good sized bump’. The top of my uterus has grown to approximately 3 centimetres above my belly button. I borrowed a Dictaphone from work so when Lynnette got the Doppler out to listen to the baby’s heartbeat, we were able to record it.

Techno-nerd that I am, it wasn’t long before I digitized the heartbeat and attached it to some ultrasound pictures, for your viewing and listening pleasure, you will find it attached.

Lynnette was a bit more ambivalent this week when faced with the usual barrage of questions from me about the baby’s sex. As if my very persistence is somehow a magical key to her psychic ability to see through my skin, my tummy insulation (aka flab) and my uterine wall to radar in on what may or may not be between the baby’s legs!

She humoured me and said, ‘After 34 weeks is a really good time to judge the heartbeat.’ Dammit, Lynnette! That’s like… 2 months away! Or 5,443,200 seconds!

(I’m seriously SO not counting!) Anyway; time will tell I suppose.

So, like I said – this week I have been thinking a lot about Ben and how he will effect the transition from only child to elder brother.

He’s not a baby anymore... far from it; he is 4 and a half going on 44, so we’re lucky I guess in the sense that most things we explain to him, he understands. On the face of it, he really seems to be very excited about the whole thing. He always asks me how big the baby is, and knows he is going to move into the other bedroom to make room for the baby, etc. He is absolutely adorable at times; talking into my belly button, asking the baby questions, e.g. “HELLO BABY! IT’S BEN!” he always shouts, to ensure he has the baby’s full attention, I’m sure! “DO YOU LIKE CHOCOLATE MUFFINS? WOULD YOU LIKE MAMMY TO EAT ONE?” What a useful ally he is! What other new and exciting ways of justifying cravings will I discover in the coming months, I wonder? Ha ha.

Inevitably, reliably... the cynic in me makes herself known now. I confess that I am more than a bit wary – should I be more worried about how he will react when the time comes? He’s not very clingy at all... in fact I would describe him as fiercely independent but I just don’t know how he will adjust to such a big change. Should we be doing more to prepare him?

The other day, I picked up this great book from Amazon, and it tells a story about a kid who is going to be a big brother, and how the new baby is special but the brother is special too, etc. He really likes it, and it’s phrased really well (except for a few Americanisms like ‘Mommy’ and ‘diaper’ which we change when we’re reading it...).

Should I just take things on face value, or is this the calm before the storm? Is there anything else I should be doing to prepare him for the new arrival? It’s a veritable minefield out there; lots of advice on the Internet about how to handle the situation, but then there’s a little part of my brain which gets paranoid about making too much of a fuss about it, and consequently creating an issue where there may not have even been one. Eeesh! It’s enough to drive a woman to chocolate.

At any rate, we’ll have to do a bit of thinking, see if we can gauge the situation a bit more accurately once the countdown hits the more reasonable double digits, I suppose.

We’d be grateful of any advice!
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