Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Heidi talks about dealing with a big age gap between pregnancies

One of the most common questions asked when I was pregnant was is it your first? followed by how old is your first? On answering 12 and half, you can see they want to ask that question - is it the same father? Two ladies replies stood out over the last 9 months. "Second time around?" said one straight off the bat. And "you deserve a medal, your new husband doesn’t know how lucky he is with you having a baby at your age!" said another.

Surprisingly enough it is fairly common these days and on answering the how old is your first question I spoke to a few really lovely ladies about how they integrated a new baby into a family with a first time Dad and existing children from a first marriage.

A lot has changed in the last 12 years, lead maternity care choices, testing available during pregnancy, not staying in hospital but transferring to Birth Care, disposable nappies and sleeping baby on their back to name a few. I am lucky, I feel like I have the composure of a second time Mum with the wonder of a first time Mum (because with nappy brain I had forgotten all about pregnancy). I had the best of both worlds.

This is my second husband's first time around and my son’s first sibling, making this a learning curve for both of them. At 12 Jack is both excited and interested in the whole process, each week he’s back with us he comments on how much my tummy has grown, how hairy my tummy is getting and is always there to feel the baby kick, followed by comments like what if a hand just comes out of your stomach like an alien. My husband is cool calm and collected, you’d swear he’d done it all before, he just goes with the flow and can’t wait for D-Day or maybe that’s B-Day.

We told Jack the news first and let him tell the rest of the family, decorated his room first then the baby’s room, took him to the scans, choose names together as a family and worked out a plan for when D-Day arrived, his involvement throughout has been the key to happy well adjusted Tween.

Now our new Son and Brother has arrived we have settled in to our daily routine, I have Jack always on hand to pick up and cuddle wee Finn while I do a multitude of things and Chris is as he was during the pregnancy, really relaxed and has jumped in boots and all at his new role as Dad.

I am ever mindful that I have done this all before and therefore bite my tongue when advice on holding, burping, dressing and bathing Finn gets ready to blurt out of my mouth at each moment. I don’t want to be the expert, because I’m not and after I gave Chris some pointers on burping the day we came home, to which he replied yeah it’s just like bleeding a carburetor, you start from the bottom and work the air bubbles up, I realised it’s mostly common sense.

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