Hours leading up to the delivery of my second baby girl, I still questioned my ability to love and connect with another child as much as I had with my first born. Months ago, I wrote that my second pregnancy hadn’t been a connected love-fest of diary entries and soft sung lullabies. It was filled with exhaustion, nausea and complex thoughts that routinely made me doubt my ability to equally love and mother two children simultaneously.
As my pregnancy continued, my worry expanded as my focus was consumed by the child that was physically present and required (okay, fine, demanded) all of my attention as she moved further toward becoming a toddler. I had little time or energy to think or even wonder what baby number 2 would look like or how she would behave. My days were filled with work; my evenings filled with play and my post-bath and bedtime hours were spent reading toddler behavioral books. How far along was I in my pregnancy? What size was my baby – a baseball, a banana, an apple? All these small memorable milestones I had once relished in seemed of little importance and forced me to question my ability to give of myself any more than I had already given to one.
On March 1st at 7:17 p.m, after just a handful of pushes, Zoey Alexa was born. She was quickly passed from my OB to the NICU staff that was on hand to determine if meconium aspiration occurred. I did not get to see her immediately, she did not get to lie on my chest and her daddy didn’t get to cut her umbilical cord. Instead, the physician’s worked quickly to ensure her first breath was a clean breath. I heard a doctor say “Come on little girl, come on” and I yelled to my husband. The response to my worry was her first cry. At that very moment, I became a mom for the second time and fell madly, deeply in love with another child just as I had once before.
Hours after her birth my husband stepped away and Zoey and I lay in the hospital bed gazing into each others eyes, exploring the features of each others' face and enjoying the warmth our bodies passed from one another. Tears quietly rolled down my cheeks as guilt washed over me. I whispered in her ear, "I love you more than I ever knew I would."
Were you worried you wouldn't love your second as much as your first?