When I was pregnant with my second child, I didn’t have a babysitter and would often take my not-even-two-year-old daughter with me to my midwife’s appointments.
She’d perch up on my belly while I strived frantically to distract her from any going-ons “down there” and she soon became a favorite at the office.
“Hi, Ada!” the nurses would call to her when she’d toddle in, happily anticipating the suckers they would, without a doubt, shower her with.
It was fun to have my little buddy with me during our visits, and we’d also make them into a little mommy-daughter time, hitting up Target after the appointment to browse the candy aisle or going out to lunch, where, really, Ada just wanted to say hi to everyone in the place.
When I was pregnant with my third child, both of my girls loved the baby in my belly. We went to a family-friendly doctor who let all four of us pile into the ultrasound room for the big reveal and they felt so special to be there–and I loved having them there. When the tech cheerfully announced, “It’s a boy!” my four-year-old shouted, “I told you so!” because really, she had. She knew it was a boy before I did.
For the rest of the pregnancy, the girls would take their play computer and give me “ultrasounds,” running the mouse along my belly and announcing things like “I see his arm!” Talk about adorable.
I am definitely a believer in involving the whole family in my pregnancy.
Image via the author/photo by j&j brusie photography
Now that I am pregnant with my fourth child, I have found that it’s so much fun to see their excitement about the baby. Every Saturday, they race downstairs to my phone to check my pregnancy app to see what size the baby is this week.
In some ways, when I’m feeling tired of the morning sickness and wondering if I will ever be able to lose the baby weight again, their enthusiasm is catching.
When they kiss my belly, I am reminded of the gift that we have all been given.
When they bring me a blanket when I’m laying on the couch, too tired to move, I know that they will make the best big sisters.
When they talk about how much they will love their new baby brother or sister, I am blown away by the love that can be found in the family we have created.
So, in a way, I make an effort to involve my daughters in my pregnancy for them–so that they can have an example of womanhood that they might choose some day and that they can learn from me and be a part of it with me, but I’ve also realized, that in another way…
It’s for all of us.