“I love you Mummy” he says, pressing his flushed cheek to my enormous belly. “And I love baby brother, too”. My sweet son kisses my belly, his (almost) four-year-old frame wrapped around my leg. I bend slowly to lift him up, settle him on top of where his baby brother is kicking furiously at my ribs, and he puts his head on my shoulder. “SEE Mummy! You CAN lift me up!” he whispers, and my heart breaks open into a million tiny pieces.
They say that your love grows deeper. That your heart expands. That there will always be room in your arms for more children, room at your table for more plastic firetruck dinner plates. The mothers who have walked this road before me tell me that new babies find more curves of your body to snuggle into, everyone fitting perfectly, nestled together like a set of measuring spoons that were always meant to accompany each other.
So I suppose that it must be true. But what if it isn’t?
Our baby, the baby that we have longed for, the baby that I prayed for every month when the screen on the pregnancy test glared back at me with a blank stare….that baby is due to arrive in our arms in just five short weeks. I know that he is meant to be my son, this sweet boy who wiggles and kicks inside of me, letting us know that he is excited to join the world and our adventures. I reach for him every morning, willing him to make himself known as I lie half awake in bed, praying that he is still with us. I rest my hand on my belly every night, feeling him stretch and move, while I listen to his big brother take soft breaths over the baby monitor. One hand on our future, one ear listening to our present.