Saturday, 14 April 2012

Life with a subsequent child

All throughout the pregnancy, I had been fretting over what it would be like having another baby in the house. I wrote about the loss of my innocence and confidence. Would I ever be able to go walking with the buggy like I used to, like I saw people do wondering: "How would you ever know if they just slipped away and died on the way?!" What if he looked like Patrick? What if he would not?

So, how has it been?

Eoghan has turned out to be equally placid as his big brother. Very little bother with him at all. There are times and pictures, where the two boys look very alike and I do take comfort in that. I like to think that part of Patrick lives on in his younger sibling.

I just hope that I never give him the feeling that he is growing up in the shadow of his dead older brother...if that makes any sense. I know he is his own little person and I must not ever forget to treat him as such. I cannot imagine I ever would, so why are those thoughts even running through my head? Perhaps it is because there are days when it feels like it never happened. We never had a child, who died. My head seems to temporarily go into a denial mode and pretend as though this is all a first. First baby home, happy families, all is rosy...but which one? Is it Patrick or Eoghan? Sometimes one, sometimes the other; I guess.

Again, this is all on a very subconscious level...split seconds of thoughts. But! I am aware of them and because I am, I think that while part of Patrick might live on in Eoghan, Eoghan will always be his own little person and cannot be compared to his brother beyond the usual way parents will compare siblings.

Surprisingly, for me, I was less anxious about looking after Eoghan than I thought I would be. A lot less, in fact. He sleeps beside us, in an Armsreach Co Sleeper and that probably explains the peaceful nights sleep we have been getting since his arrival. Since the day we brought him home and he moved into the co-sleeper, I have been going to sleep holding his little hand. It has become a comfort thing for me more so than him as he quite happily goes to sleep without either of us having to stay by his side until he drifts off. I like having him close.

I find I regained that confidence. I walk with him. He naps in his buggy and I am not worried every second of every moment that something might happen.

Oddly, while I was not very nervous at the start, I can feel myself becoming more worried and anxious nowadays. Not all the time, but every now and then.

Like...what if it happens again?
What if he does not wake up in the morning?

Not sure what that means. Perhaps the anxiety will naturally peak when he is the same age his brother passed away at and slowly begin to subside afterwards?

One surprising thing I have learned about myself now: I cannot stand looking at him sleeping in a cot. Not entirely sure why but the one night he did sleep in a one recently, I did not sleep well and could not bear looking at him in it. It reminded me too much of the last images I have of Patrick in a cot...at his wake. I actually nearly went cuckoo looking at him. The next night, we changed sleeping arrangements and I felt better.

So...life with a subsequent child is full of surprises. What you fret about before, may not be an issue in the end while other things crop up and knock you sideways completely out of the blue. Overall though, having this little chap here with us, seeing him grow, seeing him smile and develop his personality...this all makes me feel very grateful. We could not imagine life without him and we can just hope that life will not throw us another curve ball...

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