My sweet girl, who yesterday seemed so big. Today I can’t think of you as a big sister. All I can think of is my daughter: the girl who flipped my world upside down.
I know you’re ready but the truth is a small part of me isn’t. Since I learned my tiny apple seed, my Christmas baby, was coming you’re all I’ve thought of. I planned for you, I wondered about you, but I hoped for us both.
Being a mom wasn’t something I dreamed of. Actually, it terrified me. In some ways it still does. I read books and blogs but was still so afraid; at time those fears are still there. Would I be a good mother? Could my struggles effect you?
I once said I knew I was having a girl because it scared me more. A mother daughter relationship is so important and I knew how much you would be shaped by me. I struggled, and continue to struggle, to see myself as someone you can look up to. Here’s some real talk for you – I haven’t done that mother daughter relationship well. You see why I was scared as hell? I wanted to be your mom more than I ever thought possible but I honestly doubted my capability. Let me pause now and tell you how many amazing women stepped up to build me up and remind me that being scared was actually a good sight; it meant I cared. Next to me, this will be the women that will build you up too.
I cared for you the moment I learned about you. What took me for a real ride was how much I cared about you. Holy crap! Talk about mother’s instinct. Looking back, I can pinpoint the moment I first experienced it. After 26 hours of a natural labour I saw the bed warmer the doctor would lay you in when you were (finally) born. I thought about how tired I was and how much you’d need me in your first moments, and asked for the epidural. It might seem small but for me it was huge. Then wanting to care for and protect you consumed me – in a good but sometimes a bad way.
The bad way was that at any moment I didn’t feel confident I beat myself up. I punished myself relentlessly in my own head. There were so many incredible days with you but there were some dark days. Why do I tell you this? To let you know that loving you challenged me to heal myself. I want you to know that my struggles were rooted in how much I loved you. Mostly, one day I want you to be okay to talk about your struggles too.
I am not ashamed to admit I struggle because I know now I grew so much in facing that. I sometimes wonder who is teaching who in our relationship. You have taught me so much in your short life. I will spend my life making yours the best it can be.
What does this have to do with us becoming a family of four? Well, I’m scared, again. For a whole new set of reasons.
When that teeny tiny blue line showed that baby no. 2 was in fact growing I was flooded with emotions. A natural feeling. Excitement, of course. We’ve always planned to have a big family and we know you’ll make such a great big sister. Excitement for the tiny kicks in my tummy as baby gets stronger. For that feeling of complete awe at the tiniest little person with their whole life before them.
There is also fear. Pregnancy may very well be one of the scariest things a woman will do. There are no guarantees, no way to know at first what’s happening, and a completely open book on the little life growing.
This time around, the fear is not only because of the uncertainty but because I worry about you. Will I have the energy to keep up and enjoy time with you? Even more so, will our bond change with a new baby?
To throw in another emotion I’m content. I am confident in myself as a mother. I’m not scared to screw up this baby. I know I have the capacity to love and nurture my children.
For that, I have you to thank. Thank you, my little girl, for making me the mother I wasn’t sure I could be. Your life has challenged me in so many ways. The love you’ve shown me changed me. I will work everyday to be the role model you need. I’m not ashamed to have struggled as a new mom; my hope for my children is that you’ll always know it’s ok to not be ok. That you’ll know I’m in your corner.
Now we start our adventure as a family of four. I’m scared but so excited.