I am experiencing this pregnancy so differently from my first. When I was first pregnant with Cameron, everything was new. The hope contained within my body was the promise of a family. Mommy. Daddy. Child. Every moment was spent dreaming about this little life that would bless us with his presence within a few months. Every ounce of me was trying to prepare for this one person who would make us fully family, who would make me a mother and my husband a father. As pregnancy consumed me, I was consumed with my pregnancy.
This time, things are different. The hope contained in this pregnancy is more than just the promise of a baby or the beginning of a family. It is watching love multiply as a family grows. This time, we already have a rooted family. This time we are already a mother and a father. This time, the promise of pregnancy is absorbed into the vibrancy of family.
This time, I have another child to consider. This time, I have another child to consume my time.
My mother explained to me recently why her second pregnancy was rigorously planned. After having one child, they were very concerned about having the second child in perfect succession. My Mom and her friends read books and articles on how best to space out children to make sure that the eldest child would adjust as easily as possible. The literature at the time said three years was ideal, so my sister arrived nearly three years after I had.
Bringing a second child into a family is never only about that one child. It is about the whole family. It is about the bigger picture.
For a while, I felt guilty about this. Cameron turned me into a Mom. He rocked my entire world so that everything was turned upside down. Cameron made my perspective change. This new life that Cameron helped create – this new family – this new motherhood role – is the best thing that has ever happened to me. There is absolutely no possible way that a new baby could do all these things again.
But this baby will be a completely different person than Cameron. This baby will also redefine our family. This new baby might not create my motherhood but (s)he will certainly change my mothering perspective. And this baby will give our family something that Cameron hasn’t been able to yet.
This baby will give our family the blessing of siblings. Cameron and this little baby will be able to form a relationship that will be so unique to every other relationship in their lives. I am so excited to watch this blossom.
Recently, I have been privileged to see a glimpse of what this new life might look like. My sister had her new baby back in January and Cameron is absolutely in love with his new cousin Ella. My life is currently filled with requests to see pictures of “Baby Ella”. Every baby we pass on the street or baby doll that we see on a store shelf is called “Baby Ella”. But the most beautiful thing about this relationship is how Cameron just knows how to treat this new little life. Cameron’s little boy rambunctiousness immediately changes to gentleness when he approaches his cousin. His caring nature bursts through as he anxiously tries to calm cries by sharing toys that make him happy. And all this love bottled up inside his two-year-old little frame pours out through gentle little kisses.
Just like watching my husband turn into a father made me love him even more, watching my son turn into a cousin (and soon a brother) just introduces me to him in completely new ways. My little boy is gentle. My little boy is caring. My little boy is nurturing. My little boy is loving.
My little boy has made his Mama fiercely proud.
I absolutely cannot wait to meet my new little baby. Just like it was with Cameron, I am eagerly anticipating holding this new little baby for the first time. I am so excited to see this new little face and get to know this unique little personality. I cannot wait to become a new mother with this new baby, reacting to a completely new set of joys and challenges. But one thing that is completely new, one thing that I could never anticipate with Cameron, is that I am unbelievably excited to watch a relationship form between my two children.
Having a second child automatically has implications on the first. There is absolutely no way that I could feel exactly the same way in preparation for this second child that I did about Cameron. But the way I feel about this baby is in no way less than I feel about Cameron. And just like with Cameron, the thing I am looking forward to most is how this one little child will cause our family to grow and flourish. Love multiplied. My heart is bursting already.