The following letter was written by Norfolk based mum Lauren for her little boy Dilan. You can read more on Lauren’s parenting and lifestyle blog Dilan and Me.
I’ve dreamt of being pregnant for so long now. Dreamt of giving you the baby brother or sister you ask for so very often. Dreamt of expanding our family, growing the love in our house and being able to watch you all grow up together.
I’ve worried that I’ve left it too long, that you’re childhood won’t be as magical as I wanted, as the potential age gap gets larger and larger. I’ve worried that bringing a new baby into our less than simple situation could be really hard.
But I’ve watched as you have met the new babies that have come into our lives, and I’ve seen how gentle, loving and caring you can be. I’ve watched as you’ve helped them, looked after them and loved them with all of your heart. So I know that having a baby of our own would give you so much joy.
Today we woke up together, you stroked my face and said good morning the way you always do. We went downstairs in our pyjamas and put on some cartoons. I left you playing as I went back upstairs and in the next 5 minutes your whole life changed and you had no idea.
The minute I saw the positive test I was overwhelmed with emotions. So much happiness, so much relief and elation. Excitement, real butterfly inducing stomach flipping excitement. The realisation that this is it, this is the beginning of the next chapter. A little panic and fear, which I think is normal given the circumstances.
But then something I didn’t expect hit me, and a wave of sadness washed over me as I realised that this was the end of something too. The end of ‘us’. I suddenly felt like a timer had started, and that our time of only having each other was limited. A 9 month countdown had already begun, and the time we have left is already ticking away.
I started to feel a more urgent kind of panic, as I wondered how on earth we’d cope with such a huge interruption. How we would learn to meet everyone’s needs, and keep everyone happy. How I would manage to give you every piece of me that you deserve, and still nurture something so small who’s needs are even bigger. How I would manage being all things to all people, getting everything done without splitting myself in half. How to survive night feeds and sleep deprivation, whilst still giving you all the time and patience that you’re used to, without leaving you feeling pushed aside.
The feeling that settled as I thought it through was a familiar one, one that I’ve felt so often already on my journey through motherhood so far. Every milestone, every development, every day is tinged with this same bittersweet feeling. Happiness at the start of something new and exciting, but so much sadness at closing the door on the path we were previously on.
I went back downstairs and you leapt into my arms, nuzzling your face in to mine. Still no idea how much life just changed, no concept of the news I just had, but an intuition that a cuddle and a squeeze was what Mummy needs.
Will you ever forgive me for causing myself to stretch between two of you? Will you be sad that I’m no longer completely yours? Will I feel guilty for the times of compromise coming up, as I try to balance the needs of our growing family and my own?
The truth is I don’t know, there’s no way that I possible could. I have to think back to the times I’ve watched on with joy, tears stinging my eyes, as you’ve kissed and cuddled other babies, loving on them so hard. Hold on to all the times that you’ve begged me for a brother or a sister, and remember all the dreams I’ve had of you and him or her, all the special times ahead.
You will be the most wonderful big brother, I have absolutely no doubts about that. There will be hard times, there always are, but I already know that we can survive it all. It will be tricky as we learn to share each other, as someone fresh and new enters our lives and finds their own little place. It won’t be easy my darling, but I just know it’s going to be incredible, and I’m so glad its a journey we can go on together. Because no matter what, it’ll always be you and me.
Unfortunately before I could post this our happy news ended sadly and I had a silent miscarriage in January, at what I believed to be 12 weeks pregnant. Part of me feels a huge amount of guilt for the sudden panic and doubt I had that morning, but I know that our little baby was desperately loved and wanted from that very moment. For a while I didn’t feel like I could post this, I would sit reading it with tears running down my face, but it is something that I want to share. I hope that’s okay with you all.