With less than 30 days to go until my due date, I’ve recently found myself scrolling through my phone’s photo album, spending extended amounts of time looking at the photos of Jameson when he was a newborn.
Part of me is trying to remember what caring for a newborn was like. Part of me is amazed thinking about the opportunity to experience all of this again. And my mind is often contemplating what it will be like to go from being a mom of, not one but, two children.
For nearly three years, Jameson has been a complete force of nature in our lives. He’s brought tremendous joy. He’s clarified our values. He’s been the cause of exhaustion. He’s been the cause of pure delight. He’s refined our relationship as partners. He’s expanded our hearts. He’s heightened our vulnerability. He’s made us reimagine the love of a heavenly Father.
Having Jameson didn’t change everything, but it certainly changed a lot of things.
And now, as I count down to the arrival of his little brother, I’m trying to imagine how things will change again.
I’ve heard some expectant parents share the feeling of not knowing how they could possibly love another child as much as their first. While I understand that sentiment, I think my experience of being widowed and finding love again taught me about the heart’s capacity to expand to love more and not needing to ration the love we have for others. So I’m feeling confident about my ability to love this second child as fiercely as I love my first.
But what does make me pause is thinking about how when this second baby arrives, he’ll be a stranger to me. I’ve heard some mothers talk about how the doctors laid their baby on their chest in the delivery room, and they immediately felt their heart burst open and that they just knew their child.
I’m not anticipating that feeling with this baby, frankly, because I didn’t have that feeling with Jameson — I was processing the fact that he was a boy (we didn’t learn the gender during my pregnancy), I was trying to figure out who the heck he looked like, and while I’d prepared for months, I was really trying to come to terms with the fact that a human being had just come out of me, and I’d be responsible for his livelihood.
Fast forward almost three years, and I know Jameson so very well. And it’s hard to imagine that in a few weeks, I will potentially have one child who I know so intimately and another child that I know very little about. A child who will have a distinct personality, quite possibly very different from his older brother’s. A child I will have to get to know.
I’m very interested to see how I will relate to these two children — to the older one who will always be the one who made me a mother and to the younger one who will add a richness to how we experience family.
If you have multiple children, how did you experience the change from one to two kids? Or from two to three? I’d love to hear.