My sister is expecting her first baby and I can’t wait for the New Year when I will become an auntie for the first time. Despite having two children of my own, the excitement I feel at the thought of another baby joining my extended family is incredible.
Since finding out about the baby I have held my breath during my sister’s ultrasound appointments, and been relieved each time the text has come through to say that everything is okay with the baby. I have watched in anticipation as they have started to make decisions about the nursery, test driven prams around shops with them and melted at the cute newborn outfits they’ve chosen.
With her growing bump, my sister found a really special way to tell my daughters about the baby and now they too are filled with excitement at the thought of their cousin’s arrival. They chose to buy the baby a soft toy bunny just like the ones they have both had from birth, and I can’t wait to see my niece or nephew cuddling their own bunny. I know that my sister and her husband will be wonderful parents; the relationship they have with my girls is very natural, and they all adore each other. I am so happy that they are now about to start raising a family of their own.
It feels like a long time ago that I enjoyed newborn cuddles with my daughters, and due to the sleep deprivation around that time my memories of their tiny, curled up bodies are fairly blurry. When my niece of nephew arrives, I will be making the most of holding them close without feeling like I’ve been run over by the postnatal truck.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have slightly selfish reasons for being excited. I’ve held onto clothes and furniture, toys and games; all carefully stored in the loft in the hope that one day I could pass the boxes on to my sister and brother in law. Their baby might wear some of the clothes that my children wore, and sleep in the cot that was once in the nursery I set up. They ‘kindly’ gave my eldest the Leapfrog singing picnic basket, and its batteries still haven’t run out, so I’m sure my sister will be delighted when I pass that monstrosity back to her.
Putting aside my excitement about being able to pass on the plastic tat filling my loft, the feelings I have as I anticipate the baby’s arrival are stronger than I realised they would be. This baby will bring a new element to my family; my first niece or nephew, my children’s first cousin, and my sister and I will both know what it feels like to be both a mother and an auntie. My children will have a forever friend, someone younger to look after and teach, and someone to play with at family gatherings. I already love this baby just as I loved my own children before they were born, and the thought of getting to know a tiny new person from the day they arrive fills me with happiness.