My partner and I have been talking about having children for a long time and now we’re half way through this pregnancy things are getting very real. I think changing from three to four can be quite intimidating especially when you’ve been a three for such a long time. This baby and my eldest daughter will have an age gap of at least eight years. Five and a half of those years we have been a family of three, myself, my partner who is a wonderful step-father and my daughter.
I’m trying to put together a birth plan for myself and what happens during labor and how I can have a positive birth but that isn’t the be all and end all of becoming a family and four. In fact, that’s the smallest part. I feel I’m spending a lot of time thinking about birth which is completely natural but there’s a lot more to it.
I would have liked her to be closer than her siblings in age however things often work out differently to how you expect. I think we are ready to be a family of four and we will all open our hearts to this new beautiful baby. I wanted to write down a few ways in which we can try and prepare to grow from a three to a four.
- Include your older child in pregnancy discussions and planning for when the baby is here. I have told my daughter about breastfeeding as that is our personal choice and each week she reads our pregnancy update app with me so she can also learn how the baby is growing. She particularly loves to hear the fruit or vegetable of the week in comparison to baby’s size.
- Reassure the older child. I have had a few conversations with my daughter where she is concerned that this baby will get more attention than she does. I have always given her lots of cuddles at this point and told her how proud I am that she is so independent and how the baby needs to learn these things but I will love them both equally.
- Make the most of time together before baby is born. In July we are spending a week away together on a little holiday. We are returning to one of our favourite holiday parks that has a lot of special memories for us and thankfully I won’t be too pregnant that I can’t actually do anything yet. It will be a lovely transition and a great way to have quality time together. My daughters birthday will also be a couple of weeks before the birth so she will have a chance to have some special time dedicated just to her which I am looking forward to planning.
- If you need to move, try and do it in your second trimester. I know that doesn’t always work out but during those weeks most of the difficult symptoms will be gone and bump won’t be too big that you’ll still feel a little useful – but that doesn’t mean over do it.
- If you can’t move, focus on things in the home you can get rid of to make a little extra space. We are changing our living room around so that we can make a bit of extra space for us all with an expanding family.
- Talk to friends and family about how you plan to introduce your baby to them and be clear on visitors in those first few weeks. Dads, sadly, don’t get a lot of time off work with their new baby and it’s important to really make the most of those first few weeks. I would prefer to spend them in peace as a family of four rather than constant visitors.
- Don’t stress, you will find a routine that eventually works for you. Those first few weeks, sometimes months, will be hectic and chaotic. Take each day as it comes.
- If you’re feeling anxious or worried talk to someone, your partner, your family, GP or Midwife.
I know that things will be a little tough at first but I think together as a three we can give this new baby so much love. We’re excited to be expanding our family. If you would like to read more on our latest scan and 21 week pregnancy update.
If you missed it, her is our gender reveal video were we told my daughter. Take a look at her reaction: