When I fell pregnant with Holly, I’ll admit that I felt nothing but guilt when I finally told Alfie, although he was delighted, I felt like I was pushing him out. For years it has only been me and Alfie, each other to fall back on and he always slept in my bed. A lot changed when I fell pregnant, I was no longer able to share a bed with him (I was too fat – my hips didn’t lie), I couldn’t run or bounce on the trampoline although I was tempted when I was seven days overdue. In a way, he lost me, as well as an array of other things too.
Christmas 2014, we lost our lovely dog Keri, followed by the loss of our second dog Tess in the following year, Alfie had known them his whole life; so as you can imagine, he was heartbroken. October 2015, the same month I told Alfie the news that I was pregnant, my mum announced she was selling the house and moving to Ireland with my step-dad. Great timing Laura.
Alfie had experienced so much loss in one year I was preparing myself for some sort of child depression. I would ask him over and over again “are you excited to be a big brother?” “are you happy?” that I drove myself insane with the conclusion that he was depressed, when really, he dealt with it all in his own way and in his own time. Whilst dealing with all of that loss, I was getting fatter by the day and I struggled, a lot. Playing at the park was a huge effort and I tried to soldier through it, but the pain became unbearable. (irritable uterus & sciatica)
I felt guilty. I felt guilty for having another baby, focusing on my pregnancy so much that it shadowed Alfie and the loss he was experiencing. I was terrified things were going to change, that our inseparable bond we share would vanish once Holly arrived. When she did (eventually) arrive, I slept all the time (sleep when baby sleeps is possibly the most annoying, yet best pieces of advice I’ve had), Rob looked after him the majority of his paternity leave and I was looking after a new born baby. I’m not saying we didn’t speak for those first few weeks, but we were distant, he understood that mummy was so tired that I could hardly hold a conversation.
Since I have become a mum to a second child; I am more irritable, more tired and definitely more snappy. It’s hard, and I can’t see it becoming any easier. Holly will drift off to sleep after grizzling for half an hour, Alfie will then at that second ask to go to the park! When we lived at my parents house, he had a private driveway at the front of the house where he was able to play with friends who lived next door. Our new home is an open road and he’s not able to play out the front of the house, plus not having any friends in the area, he gets bored easily.
Moral of this is, me and Alfie do still have the inseparable bond we’ve always had, but I feel guilty for the ‘quality time’ we no longer have, the time which he adored spending with me laughing, snuggling in bed and having ‘romantic’ cake dates where we would head off and grab a slice of cake at our favourite cafe after school. Now, we don’t laugh as much, snuggling in bed has turned into quick goodnight kisses and we rarely go anywhere on our own, and when we do, it’s a quick 5 minute drive from school to home.
I love Alfie with all my heart, and I hope he understands why change happens, it’s life, and I try to do the best I can every day.