Dear Iris, big sister to be

You’re only 18 months old, still a baby yourself. I started early in the pregnancy talking to you about the baby in my tummy. You seem to understand that much at least, and often kiss my belly and say baby. The way you say ‘no’ when I talk about the baby coming out soon worries me a little, but I’m sure with time to adjust you’ll be an incredible big sister. You have 2 big sisters of your own who adore you, and they will make good role models. 

Being a big sister can be hard. I am one. When your uncle came along I was a little older than you. I don’t remember being an only child. I don’t think you will either, and that makes me sad. These past 18 months have been the greatest of my life, because of you. I’ll remember them always, even if you remember none of it. 

I hated your uncle when he was born. I often tried to convince my grandparents to keep him. I offered him as a gift to complete strangers in shops. I couldn’t stand him. I don’t remember if I just hated sharing my parents. Perhaps. I hope you don’t feel like that. When your auntie and then other uncle came along I coped much better. I actually kind of liked them both. 
You’ll always be my baby. You’ll always be the girl that made me a mother. You changed me so completely in a way I don’t think your baby sister can. I’m scared I’ll never love another baby how I love you. How will the love stretch between two? Your daddy says he felt much like that when he was waiting for the arrival of your second big sister. His fears were silly though, he says. The love didn’t get shared, it multiplied. He just made more of it. Then when you came along he made even more. It hardly seems possible to me right now. The love I have for you is so overwhelmingly huge. I can’t believe I will soon make double! 

Your baby sister is due tomorrow. I never reached this date with you. You were keen to make an appearance and rock my world! Your arrival was a scary experience, and it’s left me feeling rather frightened for what is to come this time around. I’m really nervous. Not just for the birth, but for leaving you during it. I think you’ll be with Nanny, if she makes it across the bridge in time, and I hope it’s not too traumatic for you. You’ve never been without me or Daddy, and I’m worried you’ll find it difficult. It’s my fault, perhaps. Maybe I should have left you with Nanny for some practise. I just can’t bear to be away from you though. I’ve never really felt the need to leave. Never really felt that I need a break. You are my break. You exhaust me, but you fill me with joy like nothing else ever has. Why would I need to be away from you? 

I’ve made a huge effort this week to just BE with you. To notice every smile and every word. You’ve learnt to request a ‘cuggle’ this week and the timing couldn’t be better. Cuggle with you is exactly what I want to do. 

I hope you never think you’re less important now. I hope when your baby sister decides to cluster feed and I’m pinned down for a long time you don’t take it personally. You’ll always be more than welcome to join us on the sofa. The three of us, all cuddled together. Daddy too, when he’s at home. 

You may find you do more with Daddy now. He’s been trying to take over bedtimes as much as possible so that you don’t mind him cuddling you to sleep when I can’t. I hope I still can quite regularly. I have missed the way you fall asleep in my arms, all warm and sweaty and snoring quietly. 

I love you so much, Little Worm. I feel so guilty already for making this huge change to your little world. I’m so sorry.  

It’s partly for you though. You cry when your big sisters leave and I hate to watch you play alone looking a little bit lost after they’ve gone. Soon you’ll have a sister that stays, always. It’ll be a while before she can help you cook in your kitchen or you can paint together on the kitchen floor. Babies grow fast though. You’ll be best friends before you know it. At least I hope so. 

My biggest girl, I love you so very much.  

 

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6 thoughts on “Dear Iris, big sister to be

  1. Awww what absolutely beautiful words. I’m a mummy to two girls now aged 14 and 11 and completely get how you are feeling but Iris’ daddy is right, your love multiplies. Cherish every moment, you are doing great and I love reading your blog – my two girls have a fantastic bond and get on amazingly well and watching them grow into beautiful young ladies has been wonderful – good luck with the birth and can’t wait to read all about it xx

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    • I can see now how right he was. While falling madly in love with my new girl, I’ve also fallen in love with Iris even more. I’m so proud of how she’s handled everything, from her first night away from me to suddenly being a big sister. I can already see the bond forming between the two of them and it’s magical. ❤️

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  2. I must admit reading this brought tears to my eyes – a beautiful post. You are doing just great and Iris is a very lucky little girl. Iris and her sister will get on just fine and adore each other I am sure. Good luck with the birth of your new daughter, I look forward to hearing all about it.
    P.S. I have just read ‘Girl on the Tain’ and it is brilliant – I hope you get chance to finish it xxx

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    • Aw, thank you. I cried a fair bit writing this too. Iris is doing wonderfully so far, and is an amazing big sister! I’m so proud of her! I did manage to finish the book. It’s really really good! I could barely put it down and even read a bit in labour! x

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