Proud father and husband Prince Harry is also positively bursting with joy.
“… to have a boy and then a girl, I mean, what more can you ask for?,” he said during the couple’s sit-down with Oprah Winfrey. “Now we’ve got our family, we got the four of us and our two dogs,” he’s previously declared.
Already parents to son Archie, who turned two in May, Meghan and Harry will certainly have their hands full during the first few weeks now they’ve welcomed baby number two, Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, according to UK-based perinatal psychologist and founder of the Parenthood in Mind Psychology practice Julianne Boutaleb.
“Bringing their second baby home will be so life-changing, particularly because Archie is old enough to know what is going on,” Julianne tells New Idea Royals Monthly.
“It would be very interesting to be a fly on the wall as there is no doubt that Archie is at the centre of Meghan and Harry’s world.”
While welcoming a new baby is a joyous occasion, Julianne says it will also require an adjustment and a big change for any family – including the Sussexes.
She says, “A second baby can make for a some very interesting experiences [in terms of the] older child, so Meghan and Harry would have been thinking ahead as to how to deal with the very expected experience of sibling rivalry, Archie perhaps wondering why this baby is here and why the baby isn’t going back home to wherever she came from!”
Julianne adds that there is certainly every chance Archie might feel slightly put out by the new addition.
“It’s not unusual for the older child to exhibit forms of regression, so wanting to be up on Mum’s lap, wanting to be closer to Mum at bedtime again, and even in some cases wanting to revert to the bottle or boob for extra comfort,” the expert says.
“All of those things Meghan and Harry would have in mind. They would’ve thought about how to include Archie, how to introduce the baby to him. Given Meghan’s love of books I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s been reading books to him and preparing him for the arrival of his little sister.”
However, it’s not just little Archie who will need to learn how to adjust.
“It’s apparent that Meghan wants to be a very hands-on mum and while of course she will want to include Archie, it’s also very important for her to have time to bond with her daughter,” Julianne explains.
“Harry will get to do special things with his son – and it might mean being even more hands-on than previously. They may even encourage Archie to buy a little present for the baby. In the early days it will be a mix of making Archie feel like he is the big brother but also making sure they are there for him, he feels safe and he has access to both Meghan and Harry.”
While there’s been plenty of speculation that it could be some time before other members of the royal family, including Prince Charles and Prince William, get to meet the newest member of the royal family, Julianne says support from extended relatives is actually “very important”, particularly for Archie.
“It’s often very important for the wider extended family to be present as well so that the older child doesn’t feel completely pushed to one side, as can be the case,” Julianne adds. “So it might be the case that further networks will be used by Harry and Meghan such as Meghan’s mum Doria or indeed other people who will be able to entertain and look after Archie.”
Meanwhile, royal experts are hoping the couple’s new daughter Lili may help to bridge the family divide.
“I think there’s always the hope that a new baby will help heal any rift,” respected UK royal watcher Katie Nicholl told Entertainment Tonight. “William and Kate will be incredibly excited to be welcoming a niece into the family.”
Meghan and Harry announced on February 14, 2021 – Valentine’s Day – that they were expecting their second child. The joyous news came less than three months after Meghan penned a heartbreaking essay for The New York Times about her raw struggles with suffering a miscarriage during her second pregnancy.
At the time of the baby announcement, a source close to the Sussexes told People magazine that Harry and Meghan were “nervous, and it took them a while before they could relax and fully enjoy this pregnancy”.
Julianne, also a member of the Birth Trauma Association and specialises in working therapeutically with birth trauma, PTSD and tokophobia (fear of childbirth), says it’s common for women to feel scared or anxious in pregnancy. However, after loss, this can manifest itself in more specific symptoms of anxiety.
“Meghan’s second pregnancy sadly ended in miscarriage,” she says. “No doubt this was a much-longed-for pregnancy and after loss there would have been some anxiety involved.”
She adds that this may have played a part in Meghan’s decision not to attend Prince Philip’s funeral in April. It’s understood Meghan was advised against flying back to the UK by her physician. “Perhaps there was a real need not to undertake any onerous travel or tasks to safeguard from the possibility of it happening with this pregnancy,” Julianne says.
“Whatever the reason for the miscarriage, these may have been addressed [by her team] in the third pregnancy.
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