Sad and worried about older sibling

Are you pregnant again after having preeclampsia once already in a previous pregnancy? Post your thoughts/concerns here - there are others who share your feelings. This is also the home of our Bedrest Buddies Support group.
mandy0913
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Re : Sad and worried about older sibling

Postby mandy0913 » Fri Apr 10, 2009 02:38 pm

I am so sorry to hear this, the concern and worry are so obvious in your post that my heart goes out to you. I am dealing with very similar circumstances right now, as well. My son who is 6 1/2, was at a close age to your daughter when we lost our son, Payton. I was terribly ill and spent a total of 2 weeks in the hospital and then the following 3 months I was a walking zombie as I dealt with overwhelming grief. He watched all that happen, as well as dealt with the loss of a brother he never met. He has asked me numerous times throughout this pregnancy if the baby is going to die. He will also be upset over something (losing a game, not getting his way, etc.) and when I talk to him about it his real feelings come out as he says he is worried about the baby and me dying. I have done as much to reassure him as I can, while at the same time having to be reserved because there is a risk involved. I realized that those feelings are precious and I had to acknowledge them. I actually got him into therapy to help him work through some of those feelings. Now that I am further along and things are looking well, it seems to be better. I work with him on things that he can do to help, and being a big brother. He is thrilled about that. I can tell when his jealousy takes over and I try to comfort his little soul as best I can. It is always difficult for an older sibling to welcome a new baby, it is even more difficult when there are circumstances involving risks, health concerns, and even death. I know one thing, kids bounce back well. I know in time that these things will pass. Good luck to you.

karoliina
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Re : Sad and worried about older sibling

Postby karoliina » Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:15 am

((((Sush))))

I'm so happy to hear you're feeling better and that at least for now Aurelia seems to have calmed down, too. <3 <3 <3

Love & Light,

Karoliina

susheli
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Re : Sad and worried about older sibling

Postby susheli » Fri Apr 10, 2009 08:29 am

Thank you so much for your kind and caring responses. As always, I felt much better simply for being able to share here. :) And me feeling better had a positive effect on Aurelia too - we had a much calmer evening. Thanks to everyone for reminding me that these phases come and go.... when you're in the middle of it, it's sometimes so hard to keep that perspective!

Karoliina, I loved your suggestion to talk to Aurelia in her sleep - such a sensitive thought. I did last night and I'm certain it made a difference! It felt very healing to me to be able to tell her how much I love her and will always, that the baby coming won't change that etc. I also told she that she didn't have to worry about me, that her Papa and I and the doctors would take care of Mama and babypie. Well, Aurelia always comes to our bed in the early morning for a cuddle and for the past week or so she's cuddled me in a very rough way, trying to get to my bump with her feet to kick it. This morning she was so sweet and gentle and even said good morning to "babypie" (our name for the baby).

Of course not everything has turned peachy, but I feel so much better than yesterday and hopeful that we'll all get through this time.
Hugs to you all,
xox Sush

wrennie
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Re : Sad and worried about older sibling

Postby wrennie » Thu Apr 09, 2009 03:22 pm

Sush, hope it gets better, hang in there!

karoliina
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Re : Sad and worried about older sibling

Postby karoliina » Thu Apr 09, 2009 03:21 pm

Oh, Sush! ((((((((Hugs))))))))) to both you and Aurelia!

That must be so difficult. It sounds like Aurelia is very intuitive and sensitive. Our Stella acts much the same way, but for her it's just her usual terrible two's and her temperament. I have to say I'm so happy I didn't have to go to hospital bedrest in this pregnancy because of her, but like other have said -- if you have to, Aurelia will get through it! You're lucky in that she's old enough to understand some of it, even though you obviously shouldn't talk about the risks etc. with her, like you already know.

I know you're such an incredible mother (and woman), and even though it's difficult, you know your daughter best and will know what's the best way of dealing with her anxiety. Just trust your instincts and go with them. She needs a lot of attention now, but you also need to take care of yourself and the new baby, so just keep on resting as much as you can, even if it's making Aurelia a little uncomfortable.

You could try reassuring her when she's asleep. I know this might sound funny, but if she refuses to listen when she's awake (although she probably is listening then, too), you could try talking to her when she's sleeping, just telling her gently that everything will be okay, you will always love her and other kind, reassuring things. You never know, it might work, as I know it has worked for many people when they're chidren are in distress for some reason.

Hang in there, and we can talk about this more also on email!

Karoliina xoxoxoxoxo

annes
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Re : Sad and worried about older sibling

Postby annes » Thu Apr 09, 2009 02:38 pm

Parker was really excited about being a big brother, but I did notice and still do notice that he has ocasional tantrums that he had not had in a while. I agree with Quincy, that he was really excited and still gets excited over the idea that there are many things he can do, things he can eat, shows he can watch that the baby cannot. I am sure your daughter will be fine, children are incredibly resilient. Hugs.

ambersjourney
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Re : Sad and worried about older sibling

Postby ambersjourney » Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:58 am

*hugs* to you! I understand how upsetting this can be. Give your little lady as much reassurance as you can that you will be alright.

You have gotten some great advice from the ladies above. The only thing I have to add is to be thinking of a gift that you can give your daughter when the baby is born. If you have a baby shower the new baby will getting lots of gifts... and there will be lots of new stuff for the baby coming into the house. So a special gift or two for her would be nice.

quincyf
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Re : Sad and worried about older sibling

Postby quincyf » Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:28 am

My DD had a rough time too...she was more tuned into my fears than I was willing or even able to admit...

One thing she LOVED were books about being the big sister...you can find a ton of them at any bookstore maybe the library as well...she still takes comfort in some of the lessons she learned from them, even though we don't read them anymore (i.e. even though the baby is special, there are things he can't do that big sister CAN do...like helping Mom and eating ice cream, etc...). Gave her some tools to feel important and special even though she was losing some attention from us...

Good luck...she sounds like an incredibly sensitive and sweet little girl...even though it is tough to see her upset, maybe you can take comfort that she shows such an advanced sense of compassion and concern for her family...

sonja
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Re : Sad and worried about older sibling

Postby sonja » Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:08 am

One thing that we have noticed about our kids is that they seem to go through so many stages - they will leave us tearing our hair out for a time and then a few weeks later we are amazed at how long it has been since we have seen a tantrum.

I think that just showing your dd how much you love her but also be firm that her behavior (hitting) is not okay. If you are hospitalized she may get worse - it is hard to say - but, she will get over it, and she will be okay. As long as she knows that her parents love her and gets lots of reassurance that the doctors will take care of her mama (I think that the bare minimum of info is probably called for - at 4 1/2 she isn't able to process all of what is going on).

Maybe you can find something really special that you can share together each day - a book that you can read (you could tape it if you have to be away) - a special video or game - or date nights with your dh - something that makes her feel special.

Best of luck - remember - this too shall pass.

susheli
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Sad and worried about older sibling

Postby susheli » Thu Apr 09, 2009 08:47 am

Hi everyone,

I wasn't sure where to post this, but as I'm sure my DD's feelings/behavior at the moment have to do with my pregnancy, I thought I'd go ahead and post here. I hope that's okay!

I'm almost 20 weeks and my bump really started to show about 2-3 weeks ago. Around this time my daughter, Aurelia, who is 4 1/2 now, started to show very difficult behavior. I feel so sad for her, and overwhelmed as to what to do. She hadn't had a tantrum in such a long time, and now has 2-3 per day, it seems as if everything we try to do disintegrates into a crisis, from mealtimes to bedtimes to play times. She cries over anything, won't eat well (she's usually a great eater) and tries to hit and kick me and especially my baby bump. She's never tried to hurt me before!

I know that this pregnancy has already been a strain for her - I've felt awful with nausea and tiredness and have spent part of most days resting since the beginning of the pregnancy (I'm not on official bed rest yet, but my bps respond very well to rest and I've been encouraged to lie on my left side as much as I easily can since we found out that I have a uterine notch - and also because Aurelia had severe IUGR). I'm usually a very active person/mom, so of course Aurelia must feel the difference.

My husband and I have tried to speak to her about the pregnancy and her feelings in a child-friendly way, but she seems to switch off We realized though that she understands/feels more than she shows when I came home late from a hospital appointment recently and my DH was worried (thinking I may have been kept in). He didn't mention his worries to Aurelia, of course, but she asked: "Has Mama died?" She's also been asking since the beginning of the pregnancy whether the baby will die. It's as if she is reading my worst fears and upsets me so - for her and us. Her pet fish died last year and she's been a bit obsessed about death since, but it is uncanny how she seems to tune into my worries. I'm terrified that she may have heard something in the evening when we thought she was asleep (we live in a small apartment), and that she's now traumatized.

I'm so worried that this will all only get worse, especially if I have to be hospitalized for weeks as the last time, and don't know how to help her.

Thanks so much for reading this far, if you have.
a worried and sad Sush


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