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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
Okay, we clearly have some time to do this, but I have NO clue how to even approach the topic.<br><br>
We really don't know how much ds understands of what we say, when it comes to just normal conversation. He understands instructions for the most part, being told yes or no, etc., but when it comes to abstract concepts, well, we just don't know. It's not like he ever comes up to us to share his deepest thoughts, kwim? He's d.d., about 12-18 mos., so I guess that puts him at the level of around a 2 year old. We don't *think* he's cognitively delayed, at least the flurry of therapists and people who've evaluated him don't think so, but hell...again...he doesn't talk to make conversation, so we really have no clue.<br><br>
Wtf do we even do or say to prepare him for a sibling? I don't think the whole "there's a baby in mommy's belly" thing will even register with him. I could just as easily tell him the space shuttle is lifting off in the back yard, and it would mean the same thing, kwim?<br><br>
What do we DO? Where do we even START? Never mind the intense, crippling GUILT I feel over bringing a sibling into his life...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">: ...ugh.<br><br>
Just please tell me what to do.
 

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I wish I knew the answer! I'm about 28 weeks now and have been trying to let my DS know about the baby coming this whole time. He seems to understand most directions and things, but as you said, I don't know how complex his understanding is since he doesn't say much.<br><br>
What I've been doing so far is talking about babies here and there. Show him real-life babies when we are out, that we will have a baby at home soon and he will be a big brother. I think what (maybe?) helps conceptualize it is going to online sites or picking up those OB pamphlets that shows the cross-section of a momma's tummy with a baby inside. I've gone online and had up one of those pictures, a picture of a baby, and a picture of a baby nursing. Then we talk about how mommy has a baby in her tummy just like the lady on the computer, a baby will come out, and the baby will share 'bubbas' (nurse) with him.<br><br>
I'm not sure if DS is getting it, though. I think he knows *what* a baby is now as he will sign baby and actually speak the word very well (it's his most understandable word now!). But when I ask where the baby is or point to my tummy and ask if there is a baby in there, he just gives me a puzzled look. He nurses still and I often talk about how the baby will need bubbas too and they will share- not sure if he gets that either.<br><br>
He will be 3 when the baby arrives. I'm pretty sure he will be good with the baby as he is pretty gentle with animals and other kids. But I have a feeling he will be quite surprised to the new addition despite me trying to prepare him.
 

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Max was 9 mos when we got preg w/ Rachel and 18 mos when she was born. We just talked about the baby all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Justthatgirl</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8155639"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Max was 9 mos when we got preg w/ Rachel and 18 mos when she was born. We just talked about the baby all the time.</div>
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I was wondering to myself last night what parents with really really young kiddos did in this situation. I was born when my sister was 21 mos. old. She remembers crawling up the stairs and seeing my mom nursing me and being mad about it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:
 

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Catherine was born when Anna was 17 months old. I don't think I even said anything to her until close to the last trimester. I mean, we talked about it in her presence and such, but she was an infant and speech delayed at that, so I'm sure it didn't register. I told her many times there was a baby in my tummy and we talked about babies, but mostly I just accepted the fact that she wasn't really going to "get" it until the baby came home. I was most worried about the disruption of both parents being gone for the birth. I also accepted all possible help after the baby was born and except for nursing, I had the other people hold the new baby the most. I figured the new baby wouldn't care as long as she was being cuddled (and nursing was pretty significant in terms of time and such), and I spent as much time with Anna as possible. In the end, it wasn't that big a deal. She was so young it was like, "Oh, yeah, a baby. Okay." And after a week, it was like she had always had a sister. We got the I'm a Big Sister Book, which she really liked.
 

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Congratulations on your pregnancy <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Someone once said to me that siblings are good for kids like ours... who better to learn social skills and communication from than someone who loves you unconditionally. I think siblings are good <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
That said, if he's developmentally around 2 yo, then I think there's not a whole heck of a lot you can really do to prepare him. Talk about it all the time, show him pictures in books, read books. I don't really think neurotypical kids really "get it" at 2 yo.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> It will be ok. Will he be involved in the birth at all?
 

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I would make a book about his birth using photographs of yourself while prepreggo, during pregnancy, at his birth, then with a quick photo timeline of himself. Then I would add a photo of yourself now and then perhaps some drawings of yourself getting bigger again and then a new baby. I would put them into one of those small photo albums and add some simple text that you read to him.<br><br>
I would also look for some books about young children having new siblings - there are several with nice, clear pictures and simple text that you can adapt further.<br><br>
If he at least gets a visual picture of what the house will be like with a new baby, and that mama and he will be spending time with the new baby, it will help.<br><br>
I would also involve him in whatever preparations you are making that will change the household. I know there aren't as many in AP households but setting up the nursery (?), buying baby clothes, diapers, etc.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Finch</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8155312"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br>
Never mind the intense, crippling GUILT I feel over bringing a sibling into his life...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">: ...ugh.<br><br>
Just please tell me what to do.</div>
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Ok, well you asked...take all that Mommy guilt and throw it out the darn window<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:<br>
I honestly mean it<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I wish someone had just told me that when I struggled with this with both my nt and sn little guy. Imo Its counter productive to start readying your ds for the big change if there is this huge inconguancy between your words and that mama-guilt vibe hanging around lol.<br><br>
We werent really sure how much our youngest ds really understood about the babe coming (he was 25months) so we kept it pretty simple and even then only when it was directly related to him. I think it was more meaningful for him that way, and we werent going to bombard him with more info than he needed either (when he was not fitting as well on my lap anymore I would say, "Mommy's big baby tummy" and pat it. When he came in to see me setting up the crib, I would tell him "baby's bed")<br><br>
What I did do that I felt really, really helped was I slowly set up everything thing up for the baby MONTHS before I needed it. I didnt want him to associate the baby coming home with all the changes to his physical environment. I put the swing in the family room one week and we would practice NOT playing with the buttons for a few days<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> Next week I moved the book case out of the playroom to set up the change table etc.<br><br>
We also stocked the house full of all the boys favorite foods (not always healthy)and bought a TON of new books and dvds. For the first couple weeks I just let go of some of our parenting standards...and subscribed to the whatever works philosophy. For us it was more important that the boys ARE eating as opposed to what. That I had a new shiny book (or movie) to keep them entertained while I was nursing.<br><br>
I really agree with pb and j that having a sibling can really be a blessing for our little ones. I love that my ds has a big bro/little sis who love him, someone to play with and look out for him. Not to mention he learns new skills 10x faster from this brother than a therapist. It was an adjustment period but I really believe having another babe really has been wonderful for all of us.
 

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Forget the guilt. It's sooo not necessary. I was wracked with anxiety the entire 9 months about what this would mean to Ezra and how I was going to devastate his world. Add to this that because we knew he wasn't going to understand much of anything about it (he too was about a year behind in speech comp), we did NOTHING. I mean it. We did absolutely nothing to prepare him. I mean, every so often I'd say something about a baby in my belly once I was round enough to do so and about how he was coming to join us soon. But that's it. No books. No explaining. No role playing. I felt so guilty about this too.<br><br>
The day Griffin arrived (he came quickly and while Ezra was sleeping, so basically Ez went to sleep and when he woke up there was a baby there), he briefly acknowledged the baby - like, "Oh, yeah, that's kind of cool" and then went about his business. Days went by, then weeks and months. Not once did he EVER express any jealousy. Never. The only thing that ever annoyed him was when I couldn't do something with him with two arms because one of my arms had Griffin. But that wasn't even a big deal. It was the easiest transition in the world, and now he loves him very much. Griffin's been a great boon to his social and speech skills. He expects him to be around, and sometimes when he's not he'll say "Where baby?" When he comes too close to the TV controls when Ezra's watching something he says "No, Woofin." When he's pushed Griffin (more than once, unfortunately) and made Griffin cry, he's interested in the fact that Griffin's upset. Once he even said "sorry"! He has to accept having a kid around all the time, now that Griffin's walking, who wants to do whatever he's doing - it's kind of like built in floortime because he can't really get away, though he tries plenty.<br><br>
You'll see. It's been the best thing we could have done, and not one of my worries has come to pass. I know it will be the same for you.
 

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My twins sons were four when their little brother was born. Our twins are d.d. (12-24 month scatter of skills), non-verbal, probably autistic, and I had NO CLUE how to prepare them.<br><br>
Turns out, it all worked out fine. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
The biggest challenge, honestly, was that my lap kept shrinking. I used to be a jungle gym for my boys, and they didn't like it very much that I had to put limits on their climbing on me. I found some new ways to hold them, but after about 8 mo. pregnant, I didn't hold them much anymore. They started getting almost all their cuddles from Daddy, and that seemed to make them very happy. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> The positive from that is now, rather than being mama's boys, they're pretty lovey with both of us.<br><br>
To "prepare" them, we read a lot of books. Lots of books with baby faces, and even some photographer's books with pictures of babies and moms and babies (Not Geddes-type photos, but ones that were very straightforward). I wanted them to be comfortable with the image of me always having a baby in my arms, and I wanted them to hear words like "gentle, sweet, nice baby, little baby, sleepy baby, quiet baby, etc." So we'd look through books and talk about babies.<br><br>
We also invited their cousin, who was about 12 months, over quite a bit. I wanted to see how they treated her. They seemed REALLY interested, but a little cautious. I was relieved to see that they somehow knew to be gentle (not without a few mishaps, but nothing lethal.)<br><br>
What everybody else said about the guilt is so true--it's needless. My boys hardly noticed their new little brother (when we brought him home in his carseat, the boys came over and took a look at him, then went on with their business....the <span style="text-decoration:underline;">cats</span> were the ones that really sniffed him out and seemed to make a fuss <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> ) I'm not saying it's easy parenting a baby while you have a SN kiddo that takes up a lot of time and attention--it's not. But it's not bad, by any means, and whatever is stressful about it takes its toll on you, not your SN little one. As soon as our little one started smiling and interacting, my boys were so charmed with him. They think he's pretty special, and he's been such a gift to our family. He's another little one for our SN boys to interact with, love, and learn from...and watching the three of them together is such joy.<br><br>
Congratulations on your pregnancy! Other than the incredible shrinking lap <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> , you needn't worry!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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My first advice - wait a while before telling him. Nine months is a VERY LONG TIME to little kids. My oldest was 7 when I was pregnant with Maura and he barely made it through the pregnancy...and we told them when I was 3 months along.<br><br>
Second - don't give him an exact due date - ds was positive Maura would be born ON her due date, then nearly had a mental breakdown when she was late. Of course, we all almost did - I was not a happy pregnant woman.<br><br>
My oldest got a LOT of things, but even at 2 he wasn't sure about getting a new sibling. I think if he had a choice, he would have rather a puppy. But he ended up liking his brother anyway. For us, what worked out was that the McCaughy's had their septuplets while I was pregnant, and so we were watchign Dateline specials about their homecoming near the time I was due so I brought up babies that way, how we were going to get a new baby, etc.<br><br>
And flush that guilt down the toilet! I am SO thankful Maura's got three siblings - it really does do a world of wonders I think, having siblings. Just think - conveniant social interaction that you don't have to get out of your pj's for. Plus, Maura just HAS to keep up with the sibs so it forces her to do things that I probably wouldn't have thought to let her do.
 

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Oh wow! I don't have any answers for you. I know you feel bad (which I don't think you should, but I understand), but congratulations anyway.
 

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Thanks y'all. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/grouphug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="grouphug"><br><br>
My stomach still lurches with horrible guilt when I hold him or rock him or carry him in the sling. All I can think is that in only a few short weeks, I won't be able to do that anymore, and it breaks my damn heart. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bawling.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bawl"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/guilty.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="guilty"> I rock him to sleep every night, as I have almost every night he has been on this earth (dh has rocked him down a handful of times). I love to hear him suck his thumb drowsily as he goes to sleep, to sniff his head as he lays against my chest, to kiss his nose before I lay him down. He's my BABY. I have always said I was glad in a way he was d.d. because his babyhood has been prolonged. Letting go of him in any way has been a major struggle for ME. I mean, y'all, I cried when he started solids....<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">...you can imagine the mess I will be when he goes to kindergarden. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bawling.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bawl"> I am just so attached to him, and he to me, and it feels so much like betrayal and abandonment. He's so fragile to me, I'm so protective of him, and I'm sitting here crying typing this because it just hurts to think of not having that special closeness with him anymore. I love him to pieces and the thought of hurting him or disrupting his life in any way makes my stomach just lurch. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
I feel so conflicted. I feel so guilty. I feel so sad.<br><br>
ETA: he won't be involved in the birth at all, I'm having an ERCS.
 

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Our story is extremely similar to Kerry's actually. I tried to tell him about the baby coming, he just showed no sign of caring. He was a toddler learning how to walk and was talking up a storm, etc, when I was pregnant with Sophie.<br><br>
I agree that Sophie has been a huge blessing. Sometimes I think she was put on earth to challenge him and make him learn to play with someone near his age. They are exactly 2 years apart..(same birthdays!). Sophie was born at home in the middle of the night when he was sleeping. He slept then in our bed with us, so we went and got him from the couch when we were all ready for bed. We got up in the morning and Eli looked over and said, "that's a baby" and then proceeded to not speak anymore. (This is why I thought it was jealousy, not autism!)<br><br>
Today she makes him play with her, he pushes her around some, but he also plays march around the room with her, and chase, etc. I'm glad she's here..she is such a blessing!!<br><br>
Honestly, unless he asks why your tummy is growing, I don't think I'd explain anything, either. And really, don't feel guilty!!
 

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You won't lose your closeness with him--not at all. And mama muscles are strong, especially during subsequent pregnancies. I was 7, 8 months pregnant and I was still lugging my 40 lb d. d. son up and down stairs, sometimes at a clip to reach the phone, and it hardly phased me. You have to pay attention to your body more when you're pregnant and lugging around a toddler, but you can still lug around a toddler. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
You won't lose your closeness to him. A lot of what you're fearing is so normal for having a second child, and amplified no doubt by hormones, fears of going through another infancy, and your tried and true attachment to your current son's needs. Try to place those fears to the side and listen to what the BTDT mamas have said...it'll be okay, this child will be a blessing for your family and your son, and you won't lose your closeness with your son. I've had lots of friends stress out to the max about having a second child, and when the second child was born none of their fears came to be. It'll be okay.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Finch</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8159688"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thanks y'all. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/grouphug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="grouphug"><br><br>
My stomach still lurches with horrible guilt when I hold him or rock him or carry him in the sling. All I can think is that in only a few short weeks, I won't be able to do that anymore, and it breaks my damn heart. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bawling.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bawl"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/guilty.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="guilty"> I rock him to sleep every night, as I have almost every night he has been on this earth (dh has rocked him down a handful of times). I love to hear him suck his thumb drowsily as he goes to sleep, to sniff his head as he lays against my chest, to kiss his nose before I lay him down. He's my BABY. I have always said I was glad in a way he was d.d. because his babyhood has been prolonged. Letting go of him in any way has been a major struggle for ME. I mean, y'all, I cried when he started solids....<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">...you can imagine the mess I will be when he goes to kindergarden. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bawling.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bawl"> I am just so attached to him, and he to me, and it feels so much like betrayal and abandonment. He's so fragile to me, I'm so protective of him, and I'm sitting here crying typing this because it just hurts to think of not having that special closeness with him anymore. I love him to pieces and the thought of hurting him or disrupting his life in any way makes my stomach just lurch. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
I feel so conflicted. I feel so guilty. I feel so sad.<br><br>
ETA: he won't be involved in the birth at all, I'm having an ERCS.</div>
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Those feelings are just so darn natural. When you go through the actual process of the change it's gradual enough that it doesn't feel heartbreaking, but to anticipate it is indeed sad and you're entitled to your grief. I remember feeling so much like you do, and then someone saying to me that Ezra would no longer be my baby. Now he'd be my big boy. I angrily argued that would not happen, no way. But in some ways it did. He IS still my baby. I still want to eat him up. We still spend lots of time cuddling. But there is a way our relationship changed, it's true. All of it is good though. All of it.<br><br>
So go ahead and feel sad. It's a normal part of a very big life change coming up. But those feelings don't mean you've done anything wrong. I promise.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Finch</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8159688"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thanks y'all. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/grouphug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="grouphug"><br><br>
My stomach still lurches with horrible guilt when I hold him or rock him or carry him in the sling. All I can think is that in only a few short weeks, I won't be able to do that anymore, and it breaks my damn heart. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bawling.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bawl"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/guilty.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="guilty"> I rock him to sleep every night, as I have almost every night he has been on this earth (dh has rocked him down a handful of times). I love to hear him suck his thumb drowsily as he goes to sleep, to sniff his head as he lays against my chest, to kiss his nose before I lay him down. He's my BABY. I have always said I was glad in a way he was d.d. because his babyhood has been prolonged. Letting go of him in any way has been a major struggle for ME. I mean, y'all, I cried when he started solids....<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">...you can imagine the mess I will be when he goes to kindergarden. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bawling.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bawl"> I am just so attached to him, and he to me, and it feels so much like betrayal and abandonment. He's so fragile to me, I'm so protective of him, and I'm sitting here crying typing this because it just hurts to think of not having that special closeness with him anymore. I love him to pieces and the thought of hurting him or disrupting his life in any way makes my stomach just lurch. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
I feel so conflicted. I feel so guilty. I feel so sad.<br><br>
ETA: he won't be involved in the birth at all, I'm having an ERCS.</div>
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Oh finch, that post had me in tears...He is ALWAYS going to be your baby. Your ds knows his mama loves him and he loves you! A new sibling is not going to change that<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Finch, I totally know where you're coming from, I've also experienced many of the same thoughts/feelings over the past year. First of all, the baby brother has turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to my DS1, the sibling bond that they have formed has been magical -- they're almost 6 years apart. The sad part is that DS2 is not even 4 months old yet, and he's already surpassed his older brother in certain areas of development; our sweet baby is teaching his older brother. I just commented to my DH the other day that DS1 had a very, very long infancy, and only now at age 6 seems to be entering childhood. I cried tears of joy when he zipped up his jacket by himself for the first time.<br><br>
Giving up DS1's bedtime snuggle routine has been brutal for us. Fortunately, we already had a backup Daddy routine in place which we now depend on; but DS1 still asks for me at bedtime and if the baby is asleep, DH and I will trade boys so that I can help DS1 at bedtime. Thus DS1 has become more flexible about breaking routine.<br><br>
My baby is colicky and has a lot of feeding & sleep issues, so I am crippled with mother guilt every single day as I have to choose which crying boy to help first, or whenever I have to delay DS1's needs to attend to baby. DH is terrified of having to make these choices himself, and does not want to be left alone with the boys longer than 15 minutes. We've been watching a lot of Caillou DVDs in recent months as a crutch to keep DS1 entertained at these times, something I swore I would never ever do as a parent. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">: At least Caillou deals with sibling issues and anxiety nicely. And it is absolutely delightful to watch Caillou with a nursing baby in one arm and a big boy snuggled up in the other arm. I also lie down on the sofa with a nursing sleepy baby and have big brother lie down on my legs with his head on my tummy. You will quickly learn how to use all available body parts to soothe your children simultaneously.<br><br>
As for prenatal prep, I checked out the Dr. Sears book for kids, "Baby on the Way" and something titled "Mommy is going to the hospital to have a baby." The profile pictues of the baby growing inside Mommy made a big impression on DS1 (who is cognitively delayed and diagnosed mentally retarded in addition to the ASD dx). We also gave DS1 a life-size, anatomically correct newborn boy doll (the kind used for childbirth ed), dressed in baby clothes. That doll is the best toy DS1 has ever had.<br><br>
I respect your plan for a ERCS. My own personal choice was for a VBAC for the quick recovery time. I know how difficult that decision can be. I couldn't figure out how I would even be able to get near my hyperactive DS1 with a fresh surgery scar. When baby was 4 days old, I was able to get up and make breakfast with DS1 (while my in-laws held the baby), which helped with the transition. But I also understand the advantages of a CS. I suggest you try some prenatal hypnosis/relaxation CDs during your pregnancy...it may help with your recovery from surgery and will definitely help with the anxiety. PM me whenever you need to talk to a mom who's been there. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Finch, I felt that wrenching feeling of "What am I doing to my DC?!?" when I found myself pregnent with DS when DD was only 5 months old. That's completely normal, especially when you're still nursing.<br><br>
But adding a sibling for an SN child?? I think that's wonderful! DD is DS' biggest champion. DS would not allow anyone but DD or I touch him for most of his life. He would cry if anyone made eye contact with him besides us. But he always actively sought her out. He knew he was safe with her. Every specialist who has met him has remarked that DD makes whatever he has BETTER. She can comfort him almost as well as I can.<br><br>
In the middle of our Waldorf preschool last week, DS' face started to crumple. He was getting tired and he doesn't deal well the moment he's weary. DD was playing with two very active boys but noticed DS alone. I was washing the dishes and drying off fast because I saw what was coming. Before I could get there, DD ran to DS and gave hime a full body hug and several kisses. She told him everyone was "awwight" and gave him his favorite wooden car. He was completely fine for the rest of the class following his sister around. Now, I could have helped DS by doing that but if one of the teachers had done it, DS would have totally melted. Only DD or I can get away with that much contact.<br><br>
Also, I haven't found the secret to immortality yet. I'm still looking but odds are, someday I won't be here for DS. I've always wanted to try to help foster strong relationships between my kids so that they all each always have someone looking out for them but for DS, that relationship has been a soulsaver.<br><br>
You're not harming your DS. You are helping him.<br><br>
It will be hard in the beginning until you get your bearings as a family but that would be true even if you were adding a sibling to a family of 14 NT children!!
 

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DS1 was 20 months old when his brother came. At that point we knew he had issues and autism was suspected but we were 2 years from diagnosis. He does have some cognitive delays also so he was clueless when it came to the pregnancy. We didn't tell him until I was further along. We also bought him a doll about a month before he was born and that kind of helped.<br><br>
The hardest thing for me is that they don't have a typical sibling relationship. That and Parker has surpassed William in a lot of areas of development. I never realised how delayed William was until I had a typically developing child. They have just started playing together in the tub and that is the place they only really interact. It does help William though. Our biggest issue is that Parker is receiver of most of William's aggression and for a long time had many bite marks on his body. There was a good amount of time we couldn't leave then alone together to even go to the bathroom. That has now resolved itself for the most part.<br><br>
Congrats again. Everything will work out anmd you will still have your baby. DS1 is still my baby and my little one is almost 3.
 
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