Baby J is here! She’s beautiful, healthy (aside from a little weight gain issue), and the sweetest, calmest little baby I’ve ever seen. I felt a very raw, natural connection to her as soon as I had her. Maybe it was because I had her naturally (not my choice, and a story for another time), or maybe it was because I have been so impatient about her getting here. But my heart literally was bursting with love for her the moment I saw her.
And yet I’ve been feeling a little sad.
I should preface this whole thing by letting y’all know that I am 5 days postpartum. If you’ve had a baby, you know what this looks like…a roller coaster of emotions. I was mentally prepared for it this time, but I was also hopeful that maybe it wouldn’t hit me as hard the 2nd time around.
I had a little bit of anxiety about Isaiah as we got closer to Josephine’s arrival. I really wanted to go ahead and have her, because pregnancy just isn’t my favorite thing, and I was getting anxious to meet her. But as the Braxton-Hicks started coming, and the aches and pains were kicking in…I would get all pensive after every moment with my boy. Was that the last story I’ll read to him as an only child? Is today the last breakfast I’ll feed him without a sister hanging around? Does he know how much I love him? Will he feel secure in that love when I can’t give him all of the attention? Did we make a poor choice by choosing to have another right now?
My fears about Isaiah feeling neglected by me have not been realized. He is one spoiled little guy, and he does not really miss mama right now….we are blessed to live with family at the moment, and we’re very close to my in-laws, so he has attention around every corner.
Somehow that’s making it worse for me. I used to be the only person who could put him to bed. The only one who could make his food the right way. The only hug he wanted when he was hurt. I have been seamlessly replaced by my husband and all kinds of family. This is such a blessing, and honestly what I wanted. I am able to bond with Josie and nurse her to her heart’s content without any guilt that Isaiah needs me. But I literally ache for my baby boy.
On top of that, he flat out doesn’t look like a baby anymore. Josie is very small, and I mentioned that she hasn’t maintained her weight well. Isaiah seems so gigantic next to her. And he’s capable of so many things! He’s 14 months, so he’s definitely still a baby, but the little thing that Josie is now seems so far away from where he’s at. I have caught myself missing the days when Isaiah was this tiny. And then snapping out of it and remembering that I currently have a baby that small…and I should start paying attention.
Maybe it’s hard because your first is the one who makes you a mom. Every part of being Josie’s mom has been more natural for me, because it’s my identity. I am a mom in my blood. Learning to be a mom with Isaiah took all of my mental energy. It was so draining, and so consuming that I feel emotionally attached to the idea of him being a baby. Changing his title to “big brother” is hard on my Mama heart.
But this is obviously not a sad story. When my hormones are level for a few minutes, the clouds part and I see that Chris and I have two healthy babies. Praise the Lord. And I absolutely adore this little girl in our lives. She’s the presence of calm that our family needed. I feel such a sense of balance watching her peacefully look around the room (something her brother NEVER did) while Isaiah crashes around like a maniac. God knew that our family needed this dose of sweetness to round it out, and I am so thankful she’s here.
I also have wisened up in my motherhood years, and I know that no hormone-induced sadness lasts forever. We will get in our rhythm as a family, and as Josie gets older Isaiah will notice her and appreciate her more than his little baby self can right now. I am anxiously anticipating seeing their little relationship grow. I know it will be a sweet one.
Here’s to savoring all of the parts of motherhood. Even the ones that make us cry.