When I found out that I was pregnant with my second child, I was excited, but also very terrified. Our daughter was the center of our world for almost two years and I wasn’t sure if I could ever love another child the way that I loved her!
I wanted to write this blog to let expectant moms or new moms know that you aren’t alone if you are feeling this way. To also let everyone know, that YES, yes you can love both of your children the same, in fact, I think my love has even grown.
When I became pregnant with my daughter Nora in 2016, I was excited, nervous, and anxious – all of the emotions a first-time mom feels. It was a very easy pregnancy and I had no complications, so I consider myself extremely lucky.
From the moment I saw her, I was hooked. I loved her more than I thought I could ever love a person. Although I loved Nora and was in awe of what my husband and I had created, I suffered through postpartum depression until Nora was about 9 months old.
It was a horrible, dark part of my life, that I’m glad I never repeated with my son. Looking back on those times, I was afraid to ever have another child because I didn’t want to feel those feelings again.
It was one of the main reasons I was hesitant to have another child. It wasn’t because I didn’t think we could handle it; I was just concerned with suffering through depression again.
Luckily, I have an amazing husband who supported me through the process, and a family that was there for more when I needed it the most.
When Nora was around 1.5, we started talking about having another child. I wanted Nora to have a sibling because I knew all the benefits that having a little brother or sister could provide to her. She’d have someone to grow up with, confide in, and who would support her.
After only a few months, I found myself pregnant again. Once I saw those two little lines, that’s when I started to feel weird. I worried about loving the second baby as I loved Nora. Nora was my little partner. She was my mini-me and was always by my side.
Throughout my pregnancy, we made sure to spend as much time as possible with Nora and include her in decorating his room, got her big sister books, and let her talk to my belly whenever she wanted to.
I feel like that helped her A LOT when it came to preparing for Nicholas being born.
Nicholas was born in 2019 when Nora was almost 2.5 years old. He was perfect, and that fear of not loving him the way I loved Nora? Not possible. It immediately went away when I held him for the first time.
If you’re an expectant momma and you’re worried about the same thing – don’t be! Your love grows with every child you have.
The first time Nora and Nicholas met, is still one of my favorite memories of my life. Nora wanted to hold him right away and I knew that Nicholas felt calm in her arms. That sibling bond existed even when Nicholas was only a day old.
Once I saw the way they were together, I knew everything would be okay. That bond has only strengthened as Nicholas has grown.
In fact, the way Nora was as a big sister made the transition to two kids much easier. She wanted to help change his diaper, would get him toys to look at, would try and comfort him when he was crying, and would try and make him laugh. There are still times that he will only calm down when she is with him!
I’m in no way, shape, or form an expert, but I can tell you what worked for us as we transitioned!
- Spend alone time with your firstborn every now and then. Either I or my husband would take Nora for ice cream, to the park, or anywhere special by herself so she just got individual time. We still do that so she knows we love her just the same.
- Give yourself forgiveness. There are days I lose my crap. After that happens, I feel like a terrible mom. I am not a terrible mom. We all hit breaking points, especially with a newborn. You’re running on little to no sleep and can’t even nap when you want to because you have a toddler running around!
- Take all of the pictures! These moments go way too fast and you’ll want to look back and see how small your babies were! On tough days, I look back at the pictures and remember that every moment passes.
- Go for walks. My kids love going for walks and getting outside. Even with a newborn, you can do that! Strap them to your chest, put your older child in a stroller, and get some fresh air!
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We relied on my in-laws a bunch with both babies. You may have a hard time leaving, but trust me, parents are better when they have time to themselves.
Speech-Language Pathologist , Trenton , New Jersey