The feeling wells in the back of my throat, making me feel like I’m either going to scream or cry. I fight it down, concentrating hard. Think of something else. Think of something else. What do I have to do today? Wash the car. Go to Target. Buy diapers for C. Lunch. Manicure. The feeling abates.
I take a deep breath and feel the tension slowly ease. For now the panic is under control. I glance in the mirror and steal a look at C. She smiles at me around her pacifier. I smile back. It’s all going to be OK. I just have to get through today.
C grabs the rubber ring and races across the My Gym floor. She places it carefully on the traffic cone and proudly runs back to me. She throws herself into my lap and hugs me tight. I hug her back and steal a kiss on the top of her head. Her scent fills me, making the panic bubble back up in the back of my throat. She’s my baby, my first sweet baby. Tomorrow everything will be different. I’ll be a mother of two. Two children to share my heart.
I hug C harder as she struggles to get free. She wins and hops away. I watch my golden haired angel bounce away towards more fun and games. My love for her fills my heart. How will I ever be able to love another child half as much as I love her? What if the baby isn’t as sweet and loving? What if she’s more difficult and demanding? What if?
“You are going to play with grandma and then she’s going to put you in your pjs and read you some books. Then you’re going to have a great big dodo right here at grandma’s house. Tomorrow she’s going to take you to Kathleen’s. OK baby?”
“Dodo with the great big doll?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“And my doggy and blankie?”
For a moment C’s eyes fill with tears. Her little lip wobbles, but she doesn’t succumb to her emotions, instead she focuses on a toy. I kneel next to her and give her a quick kiss and a hug. She hugs me back and turns away to play.
As I walk away tomorrow I think to myself that tomorrow she’s finally going to get the baby sister she’s so excited to meet. I sure hope she’ll be happy when she has the real thing to kiss and not just a non responsive belly.