shilo spent half of the first year of her life in and out of the hospital, and has had other short stays off and on since then. our longest stay was three months straight. i had lots of things i had to work through as a result. Jason and i have talked through our emotions a million times. as new layers come up, even now, i know i can go to him and talk it out. i've also seen a professional counselor to work through some of the issues.
when you're three, the words to describe how you feel are limited. no matter how much we talked with big during all of this, and how much freedom we give her to share her thoughts and fears, even now, almost three years later, her ability to completely and adequately share her emotions regarding all of this, are limited. even seeing a counselor who is amazing, she still isn't able to put all of her fears into words. they come out, just in other more subtle, and generally annoying ways.
so the last few weeks with big have been atrocious at times. she goes from yelling and telling me no to being unwilling to do anything other than stand or sit right up against me, and tell me she loves me over and over again. and then, doing the same thing with Jason.
turns out, that the idea of her mama going to the hospital, and her little brother being born in the hospital might just be causing her a bit of anxiety. it took us a little bit to figure it out. but, it makes sense. her reference for hospital stays is half of her family being an hour and a half away, her parents stress levels being through the roof, and spending lots of time at other people's houses.
today, i sat down and had a conversation with her about what she thought was going to happen. it's a tough road to navigate because while i can give her run down of what usually happens when someone has a baby, i cannot tell her that everything will be okay. i cannot tell her we will be home in a couple of days. i can't make any guarantees to her. so i can just give her the basics of what to expect.
i have a call in to the hospital to see if we can walk through with her to show her where we will be, and what it's usually like. but, to be honest, this is super hard. there are no children books on how to help your kid navigate a 'routine hospital visit' when she has some ptsd from hospital stays.
at this point, i'll spend the next eight weeks telling her over and over what it will likely be like when i go into labor. i'll reassure her about who will be taking care of her and little. and, even then, she will continue to tell me things throughout the day like, 'i don't want tiny to be in the hospital' and 'i hope tiny doesn't have seizures.' all i can say is, 'me too.'