I’m not ready for this baby. I’m not ready to give up any more space in my body to accommodate you. I’m not ready to gain more stretch marks, to watch my ankles swell and to take my rings off when they feel too tight. I’m not ready to find it harder than the day before to turn over in the night due to the excruciating pelvic pain.
I’m not ready for this baby. I’m not ready to move your big brother out of his cot, a cot he’s spent 28 months in, a cot that he can now easily climb out of if he wants. I’m not ready for him to make the transition to the new bed we bought him months ago.
I’m not ready for this baby. I’m not ready for my waters to break, for contractions to start. I’m not ready to go through the pain of my cervix dilating and the possibility something could go wrong.
I’m not ready for this baby. I’m not ready to see if breastfeeding works this time. I’m not ready to put myself through the guilt when it doesn’t, I’m not ready to cope with the judgmental looks feeding in public brings if it does.
I’m not ready for this baby. I’m not ready to give up half of my heart to love you when all I want to do is use my whole heart to love Dexter. I’m not ready to give up my one on one time with your big brother and split it between the two of you.
I’m not ready for this baby. I’m not ready for the sleepless nights and the bewildered feeling of not knowing what I’m doing. I’m not ready for my husband to go back to work and leave me alone for the whole day with two children.
I’m not ready for this baby. I’m not ready for the strain on mine and my husband’s relationship. I’m not ready for the bickering about who is more tired, who is parenting better and who has changed the most nappies.
I’m not ready for this baby. I’m not ready to give up a job a love for twelve months, to give up being me and not Mum for eight hours a day. I’m not ready for my career to be set back, probably by another five years, just because I had another baby. I’m not ready to lose an important sense of my identity.
I’m not ready for this baby. But even though I’m not ready now, and probably will feel this way up until the moment you are born, just as I did with your big brother, know that I will be ready for anything once you are here.
My body will go back to normal. There will be a few stray stretch marks left over, but that’s okay.
Dexter will transition like all toddlers do, from his cot to his new bed, after all he is resilient, he amazes me how adaptable he is, every single day.
Labour will be done and dusted in a matter of hours. Each contraction will bring me closer to you. I have done this before, and I can do it again.
Breast or bottle, you will be fed and you will be loved. I will try to rise above any judgmental looks and be confident in my parenting decisions.
I will love you as much as I do your brother, and although I will have to split my time, I will always try to do it equally. My heart will grow bigger to accommodate the love I will have for you both.
The sleepless nights will pass and we will quickly establish a routine led by you. They are a small price to pay for bringing such joy into the world.
I will try not to bicker with my husband quite so much this time, but when we inevitably do, I will remember that we are both so, so tired, and we are both trying our hardest to do our very best.
I will go back to work after a year off, the same as I did after having Dexter and I will cherish every single day we have off together before then. I have another thirty years to shine in my career, we only have one year of maternity leave together.
I am not ready for this baby, but I will be. I promise you, I will be.