I wasn't sure how Bella would react when we brought her baby sister home. She wasn't exactly thrilled about her when she was growing in my belly. There were intentional kicks to my belly, extreme tantrums that only mommy could fix and just overall extra needy behaviour while I was pregnant. "Pick me up" was on repeat when I was 8-9 months pregnant.
So many people have asked how Bella is doing now that she is a big sister. The short answer is, she is adjusting. It's funny how everything becomes a blur so quickly. I think it was the second night home with the baby when we had our worst night ever. I literally did not sleep one wink. My milk had not come in yet so baby Kali was crying incessantly. Every time I finally thought I settled her and climbed back into bed, she started crying again. It was 4am when Bella clearly caught wind of the action and made her way into our room to join the party. The second she saw the baby in my arms, she threw herself on the floor and gave us her best tantrum. Both girls were screaming at the top of their lungs. Brennan and I just looked at each other, shocked, and all we could do was laugh at the mayhem. It wasn't funny but laughing broke the tension and we knew we could handle it together. Things have gotten slightly better each day, but every night I go to bed I still have anxiety that Bella will come into our room and 'catch mommy cheating on her with her baby sister'.
My midwife prepared me for this. With Bella I had a massive breakdown when she was about 5 days old. This is when your pregnancy hormones are leaving your body and being replaced by breastfeeding hormones so there is a hormonal influx. I think I cried for 2 days straight. My midwife told me with my second baby, I’ll likely find myself totally fine with the baby but emotions would surround my older child. She was right. I feel badly Bella is so conflicted with this new adjustment. I feel guilty when she sees me loving and tending to her baby sister, and I feel resentment because she’s causing so much grief for us during what should be a beautiful time for our family. It’s not easy, and none of these feelings are nice, but every day does seem to get a little bit better. "It's not going to last forever" my midwife told me. I kind of shrugged off the advice and sucked back the tears not believing her, but here we are 20 days into our new family life of four and Bellas tantrums are subsiding. I find getting her involved with caring for her sister helps. She loves to help change diapers, push the stroller, and if she's in a good mood, she will even give her little sister a kiss and hug. In parenting, I try to remember that everything is a phase. It will come and it will go. I'm looking forward to the phase where these sisters will be loving and sweet and best of friends.