Room in my heart for two

As my husband and I were discussing whether to try for a second child, we wondered about how we could love another child as much as we love our daughter.  Putting that thought out there sounds horrible, I know.  But, it was a valid concern.  When you have a baby, you fall so much, so hard and so staggeringly in love that it’s hard to imagine that feeling being the same again.

I know we’re not alone in this worry.  My own mother shared with me a few years ago that she had worried the same way — and this is saying a lot considering I am her second child.  At the time we had my niece who was just over a year old.  My mom was over-the-moon in love with her first grandchild and I was over-the-moon in love with my first niece.  Within a couple of months of each other, my sister-in-law found out she was pregnant with triplets and then I found out I was pregnant with my daughter.  We were in for a baby influx to say the least!  As it turned out the triplet boys were born three months to the day before my daughter.  My mom shared that she had wondered before having me whether she could love another child as much as she loved my older brother.  And she found her answer was a resounding yes.  She was sure it’d be the case with grandkids as well.

A mother's heart always has room for more love. (Image from http://www.timelesscharms.com/mothers-day/)

She was right.  When the boys were born, I left the NICU in tears over how much I loved them, just like I loved their big sister.  My heart grew.  When my own baby was born, my heart grew even more.  Now I know it will continue to grow.  In fact, it already has.  I had wondered how this pregnancy would compare to the first one.  With my first pregnancy, it was my focus.  I continued to work until a couple of weeks before the baby, but I was able to cut back on my workload when I needed to.  I was able to work in naps when I needed to.   I had time to sit and daydream and plan and think of the little one growing inside me.  Every night my husband and I read aloud from a pregnancy journal about what the baby was doing.  I made notes in it.

This pregnancy I knew would be different.  This time I’m still working and I’m also taking care of a 2-year-old who will turn 3 in a couple of weeks.  My life is busier.  I now have less control over my schedule.  If I’m up early thanks to pregnancy symptoms, I don’t have the luxury of going back to sleep for a while to catch up because by the time I can get back to sleep my daughter is awake and raring to go.  I do still control my workload and it is getting less because I need it to.  Naps sometimes happen if my daughter decides it’s a day she wants to sleep during nap time, but those times are getting fewer and farther between.  I definitely don’t get as much time to sit and daydream and plan.  But, we are still doing the pregnancy journal.  I got a new one.  Every night, we read it together.  I make notes in it.  At least one part of everyday is taken up solely with thoughts of this new life.

What I’m finding is that I can have both.  I love my daughter so completely.  I’m finding that I already love her sibling so completely as well and it doesn’t detract from the love I have for Lexiana.  As I feel little baby thumps more and more these days, I still have that feeling of having a little secret love with me all the time, even when I’m playing with my child and having fun with her.  Somehow my heart really is growing.  I can love both of them.  And right now, I love them in different ways because one is running around chatting with me and making me laugh.  The other is just starting to be strong enough that I can feel his or her movement sometimes.  They both need different things from me right now, as it will be their whole lives.  In the midst of that, I can love them both so much, even though differently.

I know it’s not going to be easy all the time.  I know going from one child to two is going to have struggles and difficulties I don’t even understand, yet.  But, I’m thankful to know that my heart is big enough for both children.  I am blessed in love and couldn’t ever thank God enough.

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