Sunday, January 17, 2010

For my sister

In a few weeks, my sister will give birth to her second baby.

I spoke with her on the phone the other day and we talked a bit about how strange it is when you have one child to even imagine your life with another child in it.

I remember the night that I left for the hospital to give birth to Evan. I remember wondering how I could leave Spencer, my baby, to go and give birth to another baby. Spencer was my baby. He needed me. How in the world could anyone compete in my heart with him? I kissed my baby goodbye through painful contractions and when I got into the garage I cried. I knew that things were never going to be the same. The next time I stepped back into our house - things would be completely different.

And they were. But different in a wonderful way.

A couple of months after Evan was born, I found this excerpt on the Internet. I didn't write it, but it was like the person that did could read my thoughts.

I walk along holding your two year old hand, basking in the glow of our magical relationship.
Suddenly, I feel a kick from within, as if to remind me that our time alone is limited.
And I wonder - How could I love another child as I love you?
Then he is born and I watch you.
I watch the pain you feel at having to share me as your have never shared me before. I hear you telling me in your own way, "please love only me", and I hear myself telling you in mine "I can't."
Knowing, in fact, that I never can again.
You cry, I cry with you.
I almost see our baby as an intruder on the precious relationship we once shared.
A relationship we can never have again.
But then, barely noticing, I find myself attached to that new being and feeling
almost guilty.
I am afraid to let you see me enjoying him - as though I am betraying you.
But then I notice your resentment change, first to curiosity...then to protectiveness, finally to genuine affection.
More days pass and we are settling into a new routine.
The memory of days with just the two of us is fading fast.
But something is replacing those wonderful times we shared, just us two.
There are new times - only now we are three.
I watch the love between you grow.
The way you look at each other, touch each other.
I watch how he adores you, as I have for so long.
I see how excited you are by each of his new accomplishments.
I begin to realize that I haven't taken something from you; I have given something to you.
I notice that I am no longer afraid to share my love openly with both of you.
I find that my love for each of you is as different as you are, but equally strong.
And my question is finally answered to my amazement.
Yes, I can love another child as much as I love you, only differently.
And although I realize that you both have to share my time, I know you will never have to share my love.
There is enough of that for both of you - you each have your own supply.
I love and thank you both for blessing my life.

-Author unknown

When I went into the hospital for the third time, to give birth to my third baby, I had no worries. I knew what to expect. I knew that my heart would expand and fill with love for that little one instantly. Though that wasn't a problem the second time either. Unlike the verse, I didn't have to "grow" attached to any of my kids. They had me the minute I first looked into their tiny scrunched up faces. From the moment they all took their first breaths, I would have done anything for them.

I am so excited for my sister to have her baby. I can't wait to be an aunt again! I just wish so badly I could be there when he/she is born. I will keep searching for a way!

Oh and one more thing...The first time Mira walks into the room after you have the baby, she is going to seem so HUGE! Just to warn you....


jensenbo said...

Oh, what a beautiful note to your sister, Jen. Thank you for sharing that heartwarming excerpt that says so much to a mother who is waiting for her second child to be born.

dr said...

Thanks, Jen. This certainly captures a lot of what I am feeling now. I look forward to seeing the two children grow to love each other too, as I cannot imagine life without my wonderful sister. In the meantime, I am a bit emotional. As I was moving some of Mira's things out of her room into her "new" room the reality of it really hit me.