A Letter to My Second Born
Dear sweet baby of mine,
I thought I owed you this explanation to help shed some light on those first few weeks home with you. Perhaps it will explain some of the tears on my part and the silent woes that went unnoticed.
I loved you infinitely from the moment you was a tiny speck on that ultrasound and I loved you even more the second I laid my eyes on you. Another beautiful baby born healthy and whole can make a mama feel on top of the world. You were perfect in every way. However, sometimes I don't think that I was nearly as perfect for you in those moments after your birth...
You were my second baby, the baby that I felt more prepared for and yet somehow I still was so unprepared for.
While I may have known about the basics of how to take care of you, like how to change a diaper in the dark or how to latch you on perfectly, I was still so unprepared to take care of you at the same time.
No one can truly prepare themselves for the adjustment that motherhood brings each and every time you bring new life into this world.
There were so many things that I was unprepared for; like the attention seeking things your sister would do or the moments that I'd have two crying babies with tears in my own eyes. Or the moments of having one who wants to nurse and one who just spilled her juice all over her new dress. Or the frequent moments of one who clings to my leg for cuddles while I try and wash the dishes, with a toddler in the background who consistently begs to have a book read to her. No one can prepare you for how to handle these situations or how to navigate through them with a dry eye sometimes.
But most of all, no one told me about the feelings that would flood over me after your arrival: feelings of anxiety, guilt and fear all mixed somehow with abundant elation and love. There were feelings of betraying your sister because now my heart was full for more than just her. And there were feelings of fear and anxiety over how I'd manage to divide my attention, my love and my care for the two of you all day long by myself. I suddenly felt like the most unprepared mother.
I suddenly felt like no blog post or book prepared me for this.
Could I not love you equally as much? Could I not make you my whole world just as I did with the first? Couldn't you be my baby girl just like your big sister was and still is? Can't I have two baby girls that fill my heart up? Was I cheating on your sister for staring at you and thinking that you were the most beautiful baby ever?
Was I a bad mother for feeling these things?
These thoughts rambled in my head as I stared at you minutes after your beautiful arrival. And while it was likely just a few minutes, hour tops, those feelings still haunt me; simply because no one prepared me for them. I had no warning that the growing baby in my belly would arrive and wreak havoc on my emotions and make me doubt everything I thought I knew. I thought I was ready for this. I thought I was ready for a toddler and a baby and that I'd just automatically transition into it with ease.
No one tells you about the guilt that you feel after you feel all of these emotions either. Guilt for thinking that maybe I couldn't love you as much as the first. Even if it was just for a second, that guilt eats me up when I think back to that beautiful day that you entered my life and how for a brief time here and there, that day was haunted by these emotions that no one prepared me for.
And now here we are almost a year later and somehow, I managed to do a pretty good job at dividing all of me and being a mother to you and your sister. I've given all that I can to you and your sister and while I know sometimes I've been weak and defeated, I know that I've done the best that I can.
Just so you know, a baby and a two year old is no easy feat.
It's amazing just how perfectly you fit into our family. All of the fears and guilt I felt were so unnecessary because it turns out that you were made for us, you were made for me. Your smile, your laugh, your cuddles and your quiet soul are things that I can't live without. My heart has expanded to depths that I didn't even know was possible and it's all because of you. I may not always be able to take as many pictures or write as many journal entries to you because well, #momlife, but I love you deeper than you can ever imagine.
So little one of mine, I'm sorry if I wasn't perfect in the beginning and if you felt my tears and my fears. As time goes on and as our family grows and becomes even busier and more chaotic, I know there will be more fears and tears ahead of me. But just know, that I couldn't love you any more if I tried. Your love is something that I need daily. Your love is a constant reminder of how a mother's heart loves infinitely.
I may not be perfect every day, but together I know that you and me, and your sister and daddy, are intertwined perfectly together. You are my little ray of sunshine that I knew I wanted, but didn't know just how much I needed. And learning more about you and your sister every day as you grow and become your own little people, is the best gift of all.
You are my beautiful and perfect second baby and I am your perfectly imperfect mother.
And we were made for each other since day one.