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Monday, 19 November 2012

the second baby

 

Before I was even pregnant with the beautiful girl 
I was really paranoid about 'second child syndrome'.
I didn't ever want my second baby to feel
like they were less exciting or less special somehow
just because they happened to be born second.


Now that my lovely little lady is here,
it goes without saying
that she is every bit as exciting and special as her older brother.
She is just as fascinating and adorable.
She is just as new and different.
And we love her to pieces.

But things are different the second time around.
I hold her close while she falls asleep in my arms
but I also have my eyes on a toddler
who will get into all sorts of trouble at a moments notice.


I remember last time
the three of us lying in our bed;
my husband and I
just staring at the beautiful boy
in complete awe of the fact that we had made him.
It pains me to say
that she was six weeks old before I realised
that we had never done this with our baby girl.

Oh, the guilt.
I had never spent time self indulgently enjoying my daughter,
basking in the beauty of her eyes
and the wonder of newborn life.
I was squandering her earliest days
and missing opportunities to enjoy her.


We have remedied that now
and she comes into bed for cuddles with us in the morning
while we wait the half hour or so for her brother to wake up.
We stare at her,
we work our socks off to get more and more smiles
and more and more giggles.
We examine the finer details of her baby soft skin,
her brand new, downy hair
and her extraordinary navy-grey eyes.

But it is different.
Because our time as a three
- as mummy, daddy and daughter -
doesn't last long.
We inevitably have a little man who joins us.
Who shatters the piece when he comes for cuddles.
Who simply can't wait to see HIS baby
and to join in with the morning snuggles under the blanket.


We didn't have that last time.
We could totally indulge in baby time last time.
And I can't help but feel a little sad
and more than a little guilty
that I'm somehow not enjoying her enough.

But last time
we didn't have the pleasure of hanging out with our children
(saying "children" still makes me smile)
and seeing them get to know each other.
So while we may not be staring at her face as much as we did with her brother,
she doesn't want for any more attention,
because while he came into the world with two people ready to dote on him.
She was born into a world with three adoring family members.

18 comments:

  1. Ahhh that's lovely. The last bit is so true. With BB he had two people that loved him the most in the entire world and BG is lucky enough to have one extra, a big brother who obviously dotes on her. She will have all sorts of advantages that balance out the times she has slightly less longer cuddles. Like her big brother mentor who will teach her to follow her, to talk, to play, to get up to lots of mischief :). And she will flourish and love him to bits in return. She is gorgeous in that first pic!

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    1. Thank-you. I think its quite easy to focus on what that second born baby misses out on rather than what they gain. I just love that she will always have had him around. x

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  2. That was beautiful, makes me realise how lucky I am that there is such a big age gap between my children. Your little girl is lucky to have all 3 of you, such a beautiful little family x

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    1. Thank-you. It is so lovely for her to have that extra person looking out for her. I would have loved a big brother looking after me. x

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  3. Beautiful, just as special if not more so with the beautiful boy to share all the memories x

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    1. There are definitely more of those "pinch me" moments with the two. I love that they have each other as well as us now. x

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  4. Such beautiful words! My hubby says he does not think I can have a second child because I could not love it as much as I love my wee man :) Where does all this love come from??? The joys of motherhood!

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    1. I genuinely did think I wouldn't love my second baby as much. But I do. I love them both completely differently but exactly the same amount. x

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  5. This is a lovely post and it makes me feel excited about what we will experience soon. I can understand that you want to just stare at her, but I guess it is made all the more special having the beautiful boy there to experience it too. And I can see why it makes you excited saying children!
    x

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    1. I think parenthood is a mixture of guilt and pleasure, you just have to not let the guilt eat away at you too much. I may not get that special indulgent time alone with her, but I do get to watch her falling in love with her big brother. x

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  6. I think second children end up having a different kind attention don't they - perhaps not as intense (which can be a really good thing!), but still just as special all the same. And they get so much stimulation from their siblings, which the first born never has. Just wait till she's a little older and they start really interacting - it's just amazing. x

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    1. That's exactly right. Couldn't agree more.
      And I cannot wait until they are really communicating and playing together, so excited to watch that. x

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  7. Beautifully said :) I only have 1 child at the moment and I often wonder what it will be like when it comes time to have another in terms of being able to give attention to the new baby & how my son would cope with no longer always being the centre of our attention. Your kids are very lucky to have such a loving Mum :)

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    1. Awww thank-you. I think its natural to worry about the changes a second child brings, I know I did. But all the changes have been really positive for us and I feel so lucky for that. x

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  8. soooo true and i still feel like this now about so many things. it doesnt stop as they grow older too. BUT as you rightly point out we do get to enjoy our children developing their special bond and relationship.
    very poignant post x

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    1. Thanks Jenny. I can fully imagine that the slightly guilty feeling doesn't ever really go away. But a playmate and friend for life has to be worth it. x

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  9. Thanks for posting this. I'm 24 weeks pregnant with my second, a girl. I'm so worried about having a second and not having enough love or attention to go around.
    Knowing that you felt the same gives me comfort. Thank you.
    Jessie

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    1. Aww, thank-you. And how exciting for you.
      I was so worried about how things would change when they already felt so perfect, but rest assured it all just gets even better. x

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I absolutely love reading all your comments, so thanks for taking the time to leave them.

xx