Dealing with the birth of the second child

Dealing with the birth of the second child

We’re just about six weeks away from our delivery date for our new daughter, Sophia Therese. It’s funny that what worried me last time—labor, delivery, and what to expect being a new dad—is not what worries me this time. In fact, the actual delivery of the baby is hardly on my radar screen (sorry, Melanie).

No, what most fills my thoughts right now is how we’re going to deal with Isabella. More specifically, how am I going to deal with her in mommy’s absence? When the time comes do we take her with us somehow or do we drop her off with my sister? What if it’s the middle of the night? How will she cope with the disruption and not being able to see mommy for some period of time? (She’s never been away from mommy for more than a few hours.)

What do I do with Isabella after Sophia is born? Will I be able to get her to bed and how will I deal with the inevitable calling for mommy? What if Melanie has to have another C-section and is in the hospital for four days? What about after, if she’s not allowed to lift Bella?

It’s not like I’m incapable of doing these things. As it is now, I’m an integral part of her routine. At bedtime, Melanie and I switch off bathing her, but I’m always the one to take her to her bedroom and dry her off and play with her while getting her ready for bed. I brush her hair and her teeth and get her new diaper and her pajamas on her. But it’s Melanie who rocks her to sleep and puts her down.

I wonder what other dads have done, when faced with the dilemma of the birth of their second child. If you didn’t have ready help—your mom or your wife’s mom, for example—how did you cope?

Update: I suppose I should clarify. I’m not worried about Isabella adjusting to having a new sister and mommy having to divide her attention. I know all kids adjust.

I’m specifically thinking about Isabella having to deal with me for those two, three, or four days that mommy’s not there doing all those things that mommy does for her every day.

I know we’ll be okay, but I just wrote it down to voice it for myself.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli