When our family learned I was pregnant with our second child, our first son was about 13 months old. While we hoped to eventually grow our family from three to four someday, the news of baby #2 came a bit earlier than we anticipated. Nevertheless we were all very excited to welcome another baby although my son was definitely not old enough to comprehend what was about to happen to his world.
Up to that point in my first son’s life, we had spent every waking second together. I knew his every want and need and we had a very special bond. So as the weeks and months continued to tick by in my second pregnancy, I started to get a little emotional about how much my son’s world was about to change with the arrival of another baby. Have you ever heard someone ask if you can love the second one as much as your first? I knew the answer was absolutely but in my pregnant, hormonal state, I would wonder how I could feel that same way for another baby as I did for my first son. He was my everything, my entire world. Where would a second rank up? What if I favored one over the other? Of course these thoughts were completely crazy and insane but I did start to seriously mourn the loss of our special time together. As each trimester ticked past and the due date approached, I would cherish even more each trip to the store we took, every park visit, etc.
And then baby #2 arrived when my son was 22 months old. And much as I had anticipated, my heart had no problem expanding to make room for baby#2. Sure it was hard at first. Any big change is. Especially with a slightly difficult (and colicky) baby. In fact, to be completely honest I cried for two days straight after my second son’s birth. It was just so overhwelming and emotional to deal with all of the changes that were taking place. I remember well arriving home from the hospital and feeling like my first son was giving me the cold shoulder a bit. I knew it was completely normal and understandable but it was nevertheless so extremely hard. And yes my relationship with my first changed significantly on that day. For the first time in his life he had someone else vying for my time and attention and that was hard for a two year old to grasp. But as the months continued to pass and baby #2 (and my first son) grew, we all adapted to our changing relationship and a new one developed. A very special one that consisted of myself and two sons (and husband, of course). And I slowly started to watch this special little bond and relationship developing between my sons.
Sure they fight and argue and it is extremely challenging at times. But they know no other world but one with each other and I am so grateful for the little pact they already have. My sons ask for each other first thing in the morning, love racing cars together, reading books together, and fetching the newspaper at the bottom of our driveway each Sunday morning.
Our third child is set to arrive on the scene literally any day now. And over the past few weeks I have found myself exhibiting many of the same emotions I did when I was pregnant with the second child. I am emotional about the changing dynamics that are about to take place again. How will this new baby fit into this relationship? Will I find the same love and joy in my heart for this new baby as I have for my first two? I know this is a completely insane question and the answer is absolutely, but the changing dynamics again force these emotions to the forefront. These are all the same thoughts I had before our second arrived. I will no longer have dedicated time with the two kids as we will have a new baby to care for. I know what a tremendous blessing this baby is (and will be) for our family and I can’t wait to see the new relationship develops between the three children, but I will miss the one that currently exists.
Have you experienced similar feelings and emotions when you found out you were expecting additional children?
Update: Since originally drafting this post, our family welcomed baby boy #3 and once again my heart expanded with ease to make room for this new little blessing that has graced our family. We are all completely in love with him and the boys cannot give him enough hugs and kisses. I am so excited to see what this next chapter in our parenting journey will look like, watching all three boys grow and blossom together.