Dear second child,
I blinked, and three weeks have passed since I brought you into our world.
As the second-born, you get the privilege of not being the “guinea pig.” The mistakes I made at the beginning of my journey into life with a newborn I (probably) won’t make with you (though new “mom of two” mistakes will inevitably be made along the way).
This time around, I know that if you have the hiccups 10 times a day, I don’t have to call the doctor to ask if you’ll be okay.
If you spit up a little after every meal, I don’t have to worry that you’re not eating enough.
If you’ve never slept longer than a two-hour stretch in your short little life – and if you’re still not sleeping through the night at one year old – that there’s nothing wrong with you, and that this too shall pass.
But, also as the second babe to join our family, I quickly realized that my attention has been divided from the moment I knew I was pregnant, and even more so the moment you were born.
This time around, I can’t hold you like I did your older brother—as often as I want or whenever I want. I put you down when you’re crying or unsettled more times in a day than I’d like to because your older brother spilled his breakfast all over his clothes and needs help getting changed.
Your nursing sessions are often interrupted because there was a loud crash in the other room and your brother? Well, he was far too quiet for far too long.
You get passed around from person to person, not because I don’t want to be the one who gets to hold you and comfort you, but because this transition has been hard on your older brother and he needs his mama, too.
Before you were born, I wondered how it would be possible to love two little humans as much as I already loved your brother. But, the moment you were born, my heart doubled in size just for you.
So my sweet second-born, despite the fact that you’ll probably always have to fight a little harder to get my attention and be a little louder in order to be heard, I want you to know that I love you, too.
I love your newborn smell and the way you calm down the instant you’re in my arms.
I love the way your arms always seem to find a way to free yourself of a swaddle, and the way the single dimple on your right cheek appears along with a little smile when you’re dozing off to sleep.
I love the way a bath always calms you down and I even love waking up with you all hours of the night because, this time, these are some of the precious only moments we get to spend uninterrupted—just you and me.
In this ever-evolving journey of motherhood, I’ve quickly learned to savor all of the moments – the good and the bad. I look at your brother, a walking, talking, beautifully chaotic mess of a toddler, and wonder how two years passed by so quickly. I look at him and realize that every moment—especially the 3 a.m. feed and fussing that follows—is one to be cherished because it simply won’t last.
So thank you, my sweet second-born, for this new perspective on motherhood. We’ve only just met you, but you fill our home and our hearts in ways that only you can. You add more joy and meaning to our days, and you’ve brought more love into our family in ways that only you, as our second-born, can.
So, my precious second-born: you may not know it yet and it may not always feel like it, but I want you to know that I see you, I hear you, and I love you, too.