And Then There Were Two: The Many Emotions of Growing a Family

Dear New Baby,

Hello there, New Baby. You and I have spent the last thirteen weeks together. Looking back on them, I feel like I owe you an apology. You see, the past few weeks were a blur of emotional outbursts, stressful deadlines and toddler tantrums. Recently, when I shared the news that you’d be joining our family in November with a friend, I felt a pang of guilt deep in my core because her “Congratulations!” contained more excitement about this news than I had felt to that point. I have tried putting into thought why. Why have I felt a sense of sadness/fear/anxiety about growing our family? We were so lucky to have created you – where was my joy?

I suppose, New Baby, that this time around, there has been very little time at the end of the day for you and me and your Daddy to sit down and take in the rich blessing you will bring to our lives. As we each wind down our work day, we have to regain our energy to spend quality time with your big sister, Jane.

She is an amazing little girl who I know you will love and who will love you immensely. Just telling you that fills my eyes with tears. And maybe that’s it. Maybe that’s where the sadness/fear/anxiety comes in. For the last three years, our lives have revolved around her and her needs and wants and hopes and dreams. And the thought of letting go of our time together, with just our little bird, sends a lump to my throat. Because, as she seeks to be independent, I wonder if she knows she will have less choice once when you arrive. Will she and I still find time to rock and read books and sing songs before bed once you’re here? Will I still find a way to carry her on the rare occasion she asks me to if I’m also carrying you? Will she know that my love for her has not been divided in two once you have entered this great big world?

I recently read that it was normal not to feel as connected to your pregnancy the second time around. The article assured its readers that it’s because your life this time is more chaotic and filled with “toddler to dos” you don’t have the same amount of time to reflect and connect as you did the first time. While that provided me comfort, it also made me sad. For me and for you. I don’t want you to be an after thought. I loved being pregnant with your sister because I loved the feeling of having her grow within me. I had never felt so purposeful.

I just needed something to happen to make me feel connected to you. I thought I needed time to stop so your Daddy and I could talk quietly about you, but we ended up talking about Jane. I thought sharing this news with everyone would make this all feel real, but it still left me feeling like something was missing.

And then I heard it. Swish, swish, swish. It was the sounds of your heart beating. It was just you and me at your twelve week appointment. Like it will be for the next twenty eight weeks. You and me – living together. I finally felt the fullness I knew existed during pregnancy. Hearing that sound – your sound – sent tears spilling down my cheeks. While it was a familiar sound, it was special. And it was new and exciting. It felt as amazing to hear it this time as it did the first time I heard Jane’s. It was hearing your heart beating and knowing that if I could feel that much love again, there was no doubt that my love for Jane would not have to be shared with you. My capacity for love would simply grow.

Each and every day since, I have felt my fear slipping away. It has been replaced with gratitude and love and a sense of calm. I know there will be adjustments when you first arrive, but I also know that our home will be filled with more love than it was before you did. Jane will be a big sister and you will be my baby. My baby. My new baby. What a joyful, joyful thing.

With love,

Your Mommy

7 Responses to And Then There Were Two: The Many Emotions of Growing a Family

  1. Myndee May 13, 2014 at 7:27 am #

    So beautiful. That has me all teary-eyed this morning.

  2. Angelina May 13, 2014 at 10:31 am #

    Great article! I will say I had the same feelings, and some of your concerns are unfortunately true. I miss my quality time with Jude very much, and haven’t made the “connection” to the newborn although I’m nursing and with him around the clock. It’s getting better though, and Jude LOVES his little brother. That makes it all worthwhile.

  3. Jen May 13, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

    love this Jen!!!!!! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Jamie May 13, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

    I loved this. I’m working on number 3 right now and I too have had a delay in bonding. I’m sure it’s going to come and I’m so truly blessed to be able to have 3 children, I just haven’t had a moment to accept it yet. For me, this pregnancy has been more about a countdown to feeling better and less about celebrating each monumental development for my growing fetus. WIth so much to be done, there just isn’t the time to appreciate what is actually happening in there. Glad to hear you found your moment! <3

  5. Laurie May 13, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

    Beautiful and so honest! Congratulations on your new blessing!

  6. Meg October 8, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

    So beautiful! I just had my first who is now 4 months and I already have fears similar to this about when we have our next baby. Glad to hear that it gets better 🙂

  7. Amy April 7, 2015 at 11:01 am #

    Thank you for putting into words exactly how I feel right now. I needed to read this today. I have a 2-1/2 year old little girl, and a new one on the way. We tried for 10 months to get pregnant this time, so it shouldn’t have come as such a surprise. But I’m struggling to connect, as well, and so thankful for you normalizing that and making me feel like maybe I’m not the most horrible mama there is.

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