Baby #2 meant life as we knew it was about to change forever—again

I said goodbye to life with an only child that night, but I said hello to a whole new chapter of motherhood.

Baby #2 meant life as we knew it was about to change forever—again

I remember the moment I said goodbye to my (at the time) only child like it was yesterday. The moment I went off to the hospital to make her a big sister.

I remember it clearly even though it was two years ago.

I remember it vividly even though I didn't properly document it with a photo.

I assume I'll remember it forever because it's etched onto my heart.

That night, at forty weeks, six days I went to bed at 10:00 p.m. with some cramping and woke up at midnight with real-life, this-is-happening contractions. In a semi-panic I shook my husband awake to tell him it was baby time.

I wanted to labor at home for as long as I could, so I took a shower then sat in the bath for a bit. I tried to relax, I tried to practice the breathing techniques I learned in class. I tried to be quiet so I wouldn't wake my sleeping toddler.

I tried not to let my brain wander to where it had been most of the past few weeks—wondering and worrying about life with another child. A child who was not this one and only child I had been getting to know for the past two years. A child who I hadn't memorized every inch of yet, who's face I didn't know, smile I've never seen.

I woke my mother up—who was staying with us, awaiting her granddaughter's arrival—before I showered to let her know we were going to go to the hospital soon. There was a nervous, but excited, energy throughout the house.

All while my soon-to-be-formerly-only-child lay sleeping.

Unaware that her world was about to change forever.

Unfazed by the conflicting nervous-excited energies in the house.

Unafraid of the shift our family was about to go through. The change in dynamics, the attempt at juggling two children, a marriage, a career and a home. Instead, she had been focused almost entirely on how she'll get to hold our baby and play with our baby—the one we'd been non-stop talking about.

I got out of the bath, dried off and with the help of my husband, stepped into my clothes I so carefully laid out weeks before—preparing for this very moment.

My contractions picked up speed and we were about thirty minutes away from the hospital, so we decided it was go time. And I wanted to go—I couldn't wait to meet my baby girl.

But I also felt like I kind of wanted to stay. I kind of didn't want things to change. I kind of wanted to go into my daughter's room and pick her up and hug her and cry and hug her more and cry more.

Because I didn't want to leave my baby. The only baby I had ever known up until this point.

For two years it was just us—me and her. Best buds. Partners in crime.

But now, we were going to add to our crew. And I was truly ecstatic. But so very nervous. Nervous about the unknown. Nervous about whether I could handle it all. Nervous about sharing my heart with two children, not just one. Nervous if I could ever be enough for everyone.

It was the middle of the night, but I knew I had to go into my daughter's room to say goodbye before I left the house.

I tiptoed into her room and stood next to her crib. I watched her chest rise and fall with each breath, admiring her perfect little nose and pursed lips. I couldn't help but cry as I leaned over the side of the crib (partially because my belly was so big, and I was having some pretty intense contractions…) to kiss her softly on her head.

I whispered in her ear, “I'm going to meet your little sister now. I love you, my baby."

She stirred a little but didn't wake, and I tiptoed back to the door, gently closing it behind me.

We got to the hospital without much time to spare. My second child was ready to make her debut. I was in a hospital bed at 4:00 a.m. and my Lucy was born by 6:00 a.m.

The second I held her, my worries disappeared. She was amazing. A true miracle made just for our family. As I looked at her, I thought—Oh Maggie is going to just love you, little one.

And she did. Right away.

Two years later, she still does. They're the best of friends. Playmates, teammates, housemates. They argue over silly toys and they aren't always so nice to each other—but their love is strong and their loyalty is fierce. That's the definition of a sibling, isn't it?

When I was scared of how I could ever love someone the way I loved my (at the time) only child, my first born—I wish I could have told myself two things.

1. Throughout motherhood, you are going to learn—over and over—that you need to trust yourself.

And 2. Part of the magic of motherhood is this hidden love we have within us—deep, powerful, unconditional, endless love. We have love to give in every inch of our bodies. Every nook and cranny. So there has always been enough love for both babies—I just had to trust myself.

I may have said goodbye to life with an only child that night, but I said hello to a whole new chapter of motherhood. A chapter where I have watched my oldest daughter flourish as a big sister and where my second daughter has truly made her place known in our family.

Goodbyes can be hard. But hellos are so beautiful, aren't they?

We're so glad to live in a time when modern baby gear exists. Sure, no one is going to argue that having a baby is easy—but it can be easier with support from some gadgets designed to help your baby and put your mind at ease.

As you build your baby registry, look for products that go the extra mile to make your life a whole lot easier. For example, what's better than a bassinet? A bassinet that can rock by itself. And what's better than a traditional baby monitor? One that allows you to actually take a peek at your baby. Believe us when we say these upgrades can make all the difference.

Here are 10 baby gadgets that will make your life so much easier… relatively speaking, of course!

A bassinet to promote safe + sound sleep

HALO Innovations Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Essenta Series Nautical Net

The safest place for your newborn to sleep is in your room, but not in your bed. Thanks to the swivel function of the Halo Bassinest, you can easily tend to your baby during the night—which means more sleep for you, too. Trust us when we say that is the best gift you can give a new parent.


A smart swing for your baby

4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

Believe it or not, many babies are born with strong opinions about how they want to be rocked, swung or shushed to calm down. With the mamaRoo's various motions and reclining positions, you'll be able to find a setting your baby loves when you need to free up your hands for a bit.


A complete travel system for car + sidewalk

Chicco Bravo Travel System - Indigo

No matter where the day takes you—or what mode of transportation you need to get there—getting a complete travel system for your baby will equip you for anything.


A swaddle you don’t have to wrestle

Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original

What do babies and Harry Houdini have in common? A knack for breaking out of tight constraints—which can be a headache when swaddling is the best way to help promote good sleep. Thanks to a breakout-proof swaddle that allows your baby to sleep with their hands up, you don't have to work up a sweat just to get your baby comfortably swaddled.


A nursery wherever you need it

Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

During the early days of parenting (when you are feeding and changing your baby around the clock), having convenient access to everything you need with a go-anywhere nursery station can save you serious time and energy.


A little help for stuffy noses

Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator

Up until the point years down the road when your child is able to blow their own nose, the sniffles can be a real struggle—but not with a nasal aspirator that makes it easy for you to get that snot out of their nose.


A way to keep an eye on your baby

VTech 5" Digital Video Baby Monitor - VM5251

Trust us when we say you'll sleep better when you know your baby is also sleeping soundly. That's why we're so thankful for modern-day video monitors, which allow you to check in on your sleeping baby without running the risk of waking them up when you sneak in for a peek.


A bassinet for hands-free rocking

Simmons Kids Silent Auto Gliding Elite Bassinet - Odyssey

Babies are soothed by rocking motions. But what does that mean for you if you can't rock them throughout the night? With an auto-gliding bassinet, they can comfortably drift off to sleep... and continue snoozing.


An easy way to contain diaper smells

Diaper Genie Expressions Pail

Sometimes it's the little conveniences that make a big difference in the quality of your day-to-day life. That's why a great diaper pail should not be undervalued: By containing the smell, you will save yourself dozens upon dozens of trips to the garbage can.


A white noise machine that pulls double duty

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

A phone-controlled sound machine may be something you never considered until now, but it will be a major lifesaver for years to come, especially as it can also function as a time-to-rise clock that promotes good sleep habits for your child.


And as for securing all these awesome products? Well, a Target baby registry is the way to do it. By creating your baby registry with Target, you will also enjoy their Year of Benefits registry program, which includes perks like a welcome kit with more than $100 in savings and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. The benefits are better than ever right now: Target just launched the Year of Exclusive Deals perk as one of its registry benefits, and this includes a year's worth of discounts on baby essentials (think diapers and formula) and comes complementary when you sign up for Target Circle.

Because while parenting may not be "easy," deciding to register with Target definitely is an easy decision. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with a Year of Benefits featuring a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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