Nine months of waiting –
best part of a year.
Mum’s belly a beachball;
mine swelling with fear.
What if they love me less than before?
When our three becomes a four.
Our house filling up
with mysterious things:
monitors, bottles, baby slings.
Nappies. A pushchair. Some sort of pump.
That’s not for you, it’s for the bump.
Pinned to the fridge, an ultrasound.
Plenty of love to go around.
Fuzzy image, with no proper face.
taking up space.
No longer enough.
I’ll have to share
their love; my stuff.
When she arrives, they put up a banner:
WELCOME HOME BABY HANNAH!
But I don’t cheer, and I can’t clap
as she gurgles pinkly in my lap.
Instead, I’m staring into those eyes:
And, despite myself, I can’t help but linger
at each perfect toe, each miniature finger.
Mum and Dad scoop us into a hug.
The four-person kind:
We’ve only just met, yet – somehow – I’ve missed her.
This freshly made human; my new baby sister.
And just like that, I realise
love doesn’t divide,
Paula Thompson is a children’s writer and former newspaper journalist from Hampshire. She recently graduated with distinction from The University of Winchester’s MA in Writing for Children and her poetry and fiction for young readers have featured in publications such as The Caterpillar and The Dirigible Balloon. She is currently longlisted for the SCBWI Undiscovered Voices competition 2022.