When the two lines popped up on the third dollar store pregnancy test I took that morning, I prayed that it was wrong, that I was seeing things. Well, technically I was. I was seeing two clear lines that could only mean one thing: I was pregnant.

My mind felt like it was stuffed with cotton and simultaneously like it was about to explode. I wasn’t even a year postpartum after having my first child and here I was, pregnant again.

I knew surprises like these happened but the thing was, my first baby was a miracle and this second baby wasn’t supposed to be possible. On top of my infertility issues, my husband and I decided to be extra careful with condoms and birth control. Despite having one fallopian tube and doing everything in the world trying to prevent a baby, that test wasn’t lying and I was completely and utterly devastated.

I had just lost most of my baby weight. I had just started to get my life back on track. I started to have a semblance of freedom as a mother of a 6-month-old who was eating solids and not breastfeeding around the clock anymore. I was even thinking about going back to work. And in the blink of an eye, it was all gone.

How dare I feel this way when other women yearned for biological children?

How dare I feel this way when other women would literally do anything to see those two lines on a stick?

How dare I consider all of my options when I had a safe home, relationship, finances?

The guilt of those ugly thoughts hit me immediately.

Then the next thing I knew I was in the hospital bleeding with a possible miscarriage and I knew at that moment that I could never let go of my child. Despite not being ready psychologically for another baby I was going to do my best.

But the guilt never stopped, even after he was born.

When you have only one child, you can tend to their every need at the drop of a hat, but when you have two it requires a lot more planning and patience.

I knew that when the baby was born my toddler was going to miss out. That my baby was going to miss out. That my husband was going to miss out. And ultimately that I was going to miss out.

I hated that my second child never got to snuggle alone with me for the first year of his life. That he cried more because I had to feed his brother, change diapers, or put him down for a nap and just couldn’t focus on him 100% of the time.

I hate how he gets his toys stolen from him, that his brother sometimes hits him, and that I didn’t make it to a full year of breastfeeding with him.

But if I look past all those little everyday things and focus on the big picture, I love that he has an older brother to hug him after he falls.

I love that he gets tickled by his bubby and they giggle as they run around the house.

I love that he learned how to climb up and down the stairs in our house and talk faster because he wants to keep up with his older brother.

I love when he hands his brother food and they—finally—share nicely.

I love that my oldest asks for my youngest when he’s taking a nap.

I love that this was possible thanks to a change of plans by fate.

My youngest may not get all the attention his brother got as a newborn but he is still growing up to be a strong, smart, independent little man like his older brother. And most importantly, there is more love to go around for all of us.

I would have never imagined that they would willingly kiss one another, or that they would tackle each other with hugs and try to have tickle fights for fun. Nor did I think it was possible for my husband and me to love another tiny human just as much as our first child, and somehow our hearts fill up with more love every single day.

Now, having more than one child may not be for everyone but after everything we went through, I am glad it happened to me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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