And then there were four


So, I'm pregnant! I spent the last week brainstorming clever ways to drop that little number into a random post, and the best I could come up with was this:

"So, Chris has been complaining about how exhausted he is lately. He's worried he's gaining weight. And the other night he had such a craving for Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch that he went to the store for a box and some milk, and ate two bowls of it for dinner.

You know what all of that means: I must be pregnant again."

While all of that is true, and while, just between you and me, I find my husband's phantom pregnancy symptoms to be both endearing and annoying, I decided to just spill it. It didn't seem like announcing the creation of new life needed to come with a side of humor, or be delivered with some witty punchline.

So there it is. We're having a baby.

Holy crap! We're having a baby.

The first person I told was Kostyn. I took the pregnancy test one evening while Chris was getting the boy bathed and ready for bed, so when I went into Kostyn's room to nurse and snuggle him before night-night, I whispered it to him in the dark once we were alone. "You're going to be a big brother," I said as we rocked. "Your daddy doesn't even know yet." I told him what a big job that was, and what a privilege, and how I hoped they'd be best friends and always have each other's backs.

And then I started to cry. Because in that moment I felt like I had dropped the "baby" from my baby boy. He was now a "big" brother. Something between us had silently shifted just the slightest bit, if only in my mind, and I felt horribly guilty for bringing someone else into our little gang of three.

"But you will always, always be my special little guy," I whispered, sniffling. "Mama loves you so much, Kostyn. So, so, so much."

We sat and rocked silently, as his eyelids started to droop. I smelled his skin and tried to imagine holding and nursing and loving another child, but I couldn't. And that was just fine with me, for that moment.

Don't misunderstand: I was thrilled to find out I was pregnant. We had wanted another child; the grand plan was to give Kostyn a sibling, someone to grow up with, and grow old with. For weeks before I found out, all I could think about was the baby. Would God bless us with another child? What would it feel like to be pregnant again? To hold another newborn? Would another little boy look just like Kostyn? Would a little girl look like me?

But since I found out, all I've been able to focus on is Kostyn.

I know it's a common fear that parents of one child (or two or three) have when they are expecting another -- How can I possibly love another child as much as I love this one? Am I going to be short-changing my older son of my time and attention and love? How will I have enough of everything to go around? Will he resent me, and his sibling? How will he understand when I need to care for the baby instead of play with him, that he is no less important to me than he was before?

And everyone says the same thing: You worry about all those things, and then magically, miraculously, your heart just expands to love every child endlessly. Your lap can fit them both, your arms wrap around both. Your prayers and dreams and hopes double, in a beautiful way.

I believe that is true. And I wait anxiously to feel it.

That night I said goodnight to Kostyn using the same words I have every night since he was born: I kissed his face and said, "I love you, more today than yesterday. And even more tomorrow."

I've often thought about saying that to him when he's 12, tucking him in after a day when he's broken something in the house or disobeyed me; and saying it to him over the phone when he's 19 and calls to confess that he's gotten into a fight or failed Algebra 101 or something.

But I'd never imagined it meaning as much as it did that night.

12 comments:

Carol said...

Wow, Robyn! Your writing often touches me deeply, but tonight I'm crying real tears. I think it's beautiful that you told Kostyn first! He is one of the luckiest boys in the world to have such a wonderful momma who can express her love so eloquently.

nicole said...

Congratulations.

And yes, it is true. I experienced it three times myself. Your love just grows magically with every child and even I don't have all the time for each as when I just had one, every one is getting triple attention from their siblings and their love to each other is extra special.

Tara said...

You are so talented. This is beautiful, Robyn. I love the pictures, too. Your foursome is going to wonderful.

Heather said...

I'm so excited for you, Robyn.
Does this mean I get two gift cards the next time I babysit? Ha! Ha!

Kim said...

Yay! We're so happy for you guys! Can't wait to meet the next little peanut...

BTW.. Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch is without question the best cereal ever invented. Cravings or no....

Lauren said...

Congratulations again, Robyn! Your post made me cry. Your bond with Kostyn is beautiful. If I were able (financially) to have another baby, I know I would feel the way you do. I wish you nothing but the best. What a beautiful entry.

Bridget said...

Congratulations!! That was absolutly beautiful!

Robyn said...

Thanks everyone!

Kim - You should try PBCC with Hershey's syrup drizzled over it. Splendid.

That Nora Girl said...

Congratulations! I agree with everyone, your writing and your family are beautiful.

I got really teary eyes when you described telling Kostyn he'll be a big brother. I've had a hard day with Liam today and I think some sourness is gone from my body now.

Paul said...

Congrats Robyn! Shannon and I are happy for the growing Passante fam!

Grammy said...

Grammy and PopPops are soooo excited about the newest little one to be part of our family. What fun for all of us. Already making plans for next March.

Christi said...

You have made me cry. I have never thought about my next pregnancy bringing those kinds of emotions. So sweet that you told him first. And, Congratulations!