Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Enough Love?

Q already loves to hug and kiss his
baby brother. When we snuggle before
bed, he asks, "I lay down here next to
the baby?" and he cozies up
against my belly.
When I was pregnant for Quinn, I was nothing but pregnant. I loved him long before I met him, before I knew he was a him, before I ever saw his face. He made a place in our hearts before he was born. I wrote numerous “To LBK” blog posts to him while I was pregnant. I talked to him while we drove in the car, and I imagined all flutters and kicks were his way of holding up his end of the conversation. I devoted myself to him before he was even here. I never knew such a love.

Until he was born.

Just when I thought my heart couldn’t hold any more, there he was. I held him in my arms and breathed him in, and my cup runneth over.  The emotions, to which I could never put into words, brought inexplicable tears to eyes and meaning to my entire life. This was motherhood.

Now here we are again. I’m 39 weeks pregnant for Quinn’s brother, whom we lovingly nicknamed Baby Dragon, and he will be here any minute. This pregnancy has been very different physically, which was easy to complain talk about. But it’s also been very different emotionally, too, which isn’t so easy to talk about.

I’ve been putting off writing this post because it sounds too awful, but maybe there are other second-time moms out there who feel/felt the same way.

I just don’t feel the same connection with Baby Dragon that I felt with Q when I was pregnant the first time. I’ve written zero “To Baby Dragon” blog posts, we’ve had zero conversations in the car or anywhere, and I don't I just sit and stare lovingly at my belly.

I’ve spent my whole pregnancy being busy, to the point where being pregnant was almost an afterthought. I didn’t spend months getting Dragon’s nursery ready – instead I spent months getting Q’s Big Boy Bedroom ready, and Dragon will just get Q’s old gender-neutral nursery. Instead of talking to Dragon about what it will be like when he gets here, I’ve been talking to Q and preparing him for the change he’s about to experience. Even pregnant with another child, my first child is still my focus.  

Several of my friends have had their second child already, and they assure me that I will love Dragon just as much, but at this moment, I just can’t imagine loving another child the way I love Q. Logically, I know my friends are right, but I can’t help but think I should already feel more than I do. Here are my theories that make me feel better.

First, maybe I actually do feel the same way about Dragon that I did about Q when I was pregnant the first time, but now that I know a mother’s love for a child, it just doesn’t compare. And when I finally hold Dragon in my arms and breathe him in, I will feel for him the same love I feel for Q and the intensity won’t catch me so off guard.

Second, my first child made me a mommy and changed my entire life. I know life will change again once Dragon is here, but I won’t go through the same identity crisis and life altering experience that I did the first time. I’m already a mommy, and having a second child doesn’t make me more a mommy. Knowing what to expect makes a huge difference.

I like the way my friend, Robin, described it. She said her heart belonged to her husband, and she couldn’t imagine making room in there to love a baby. But then she “grew a second heart” when her son was born, and she thinks you just grow a new one for each child, so there is always enough love. I like that.


Just writing this out, I already feel better, like I can feel that third heart forming and filling up as we speak, ready to overflow as soon as Dragon gets here. 


3 comments:

  1. This post brought back a lot of feelings I had between babies... I think most parents of multiple kids can completely relate. So much of it is about loving your first child so very much that you just can't bear the thought of them feeling misplaced or less important when the new baby comes along. A lot of it is a protective mechanism... kind of like you're trying to protect Quinn from feeling hurt or rejected in advance, because that's what mom's do. Like you said, all if it will balance out once you lay your eyes on that sweet baby, those same intense feelings of love will encompass both boys before you know it. It'll be hard to imagine what it was like without two! It's going to be ok...

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  2. As you know I have been through this a few times, I promise it is a growing experience. Think about it this way, Quinn already has enough love for Matt, "Baby Dragon", and you, you too will find the same.There are many people in your life right now that you love and care about but I'm sure you don't' love you parents or siblings the same way you love your husband or Quinn. The reason being they are each individuals with different roles in your life. The same goes for our children. The motherly protection and nurture is the same but as they grow and mature they become an individual which will bring difficult parenting challenges while loving, teaching, and training them for who they are. I often see people overlook my second child because he's not the "oldest". I find myself being compassionate and having empathy for him more because he is such a neat person that people often don't get to know. The oldest child is special because many new experiences come from them and we learn so much from our oldest that prepare us for another. I know you've been told everything will be fine and the love will come and it will, but honestly it's not the exact same love and truly can't be. But that's okay because it will still be an overwhelming love to protect and nurture a new individual person. Mommy mode kicks in on you and soon you won't be able to imagine your life without little "Baby Dragon".

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  3. Hi Melissa - I only have one, but my hubs has 2 (my step-daughter and daughter are 21 years apart) He said that he loves them both just as much, yet he loves them differently, because they are so different, and came along at different times in his life. Good luck with Baby Dragon, I can't wait to find out his real name!

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