Despite the arrival of my daughter and the illness affecting my husband, it was my first born that took most of my energy.
I can completely understand. For six years and six days Nathan was the sole focus of our attention. Yes there were work events and our relatively recent move from Spain to England was a big event for the family but the majority of the time our little man was our number one concern.
Suddenly he not only has to understand that his Daddy has an illness that Calpol can not fix he also has a baby sister to deal with. Nathan was so excited when he found out he was to be a big brother and was overcome with excitment when he finally met her. However, fast forward a couple of weeks and in his eyes the whole world as he knew it had changed.
Firstly, why was he (a just turned 6yr old) the only person in the family who had to leave the house in the morning? Before Darcey, all 3 of us left the house for a busy day at work or school. Now, it was just Nathan.
Next point- why did this new baby get to stay up late when Nathan had to go to be at 7pm? ..and whilst we are on this point, why was Darcey allowed to snack in the middle of the night?
Most importantly, why was Nathan suddenly 3rd on the list to get attention? Darcey was always seen to first and Daddy got his way because he was "ill". Nathan was told to "wait" or "be quiet so you don't wake up Darcey or Daddy".
Finally, why was Mummy shouting all the time or crying? Having a new baby was supposed to be fun, or so Nathan was told. So why then, was nobody in the family happy and why was everyone ignoring him?
I wish I could go back and soothe those worries. Once again I am hit with guilt. Why didn't I understand what Nathan was going through? I knew the pain that I was going through and unashamedly I know that I did not deal with it in quite the calm way that I wished I had. I hold my hands up and admit to shouting and saying things I shouldn't to a frightened six year old who didn't understand what life had just thrown at him. Even now despite everthing I have since been through, I still can not put myself into Nathan's six year old shoes and understand how it was for him.
I guess Nathan coped as best he could. Unfortunately this coping manifested it's way out of him as anger. For the first 4 months after Darcey's birth, Nathan was a very angry and violent little boy and unfortunately I was the target. I was shouted at, hit at and on a couple of occasions was bitten on the arm. I tried to keep calm but with the baby blues and my own grief I was experiencing over Gary's illness, keeping calm and not reacting was difficult. It was particularly hard to accept that I was the main target when in my eyes, I was the one holding the family together.
I really don't know how I got through those early days. However I do know that despite everything Nathan and I are now as strong as ever. It is said the bond between Mother and Son will never be broken. That is definitely true for us.