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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mom heart-spill.

(This post is way, way hard for me to write. Be kind.)

The second that I had Lucy--I was a million percent in love. There was no question of whether my heart could handle loving another baby, it just did. Did I question it at points in my pregnancy? Absolutely. But just like everyone told me----your heart will expand. It will just love. You are the momma. Your babies are your babies.

And it was true.

So true.

But I have to be honest and say the hardest, above all things I've struggled with since adding to our family? Is dealing with this looming guilt I have about Emeline. My head knows it's silly. Trust me. I can rationalize these thoughts.

But my heart. Oh my heart. It hurt the second I saw Emeline after having Lucy, even though she was so excited to see her baby sister. Because in that moment is when I realized it wasn't just us anymore. How could I have these feelings when I was so much in love with this tiny baby, too?

I had spent so much time with Emeline, just us. So much quality time, trips on a whim, special outings---every single day of my life (practically) for the last 27 months was all about her, all the time. I was, and am, 100% devoted to being her momma.

And while I know in my heart she won't actually remember that time just us...I will. And it will forever be so special to me.

Days after birth, other than being smitten by my perfect, squishy little Lucy, all I could think about was how much I hope Emeline doesn't feel this transition. That she'll just slide right into it. That she won't get upset that we spend every.single.morning inside rather than out at the park or gardens like we used to. That she won't start sensing that she's less important or something.

And every time I would think about it, or one of my mom friends or my sister or my husband would ask about it? I literally, burst into the ugly cry---every time. It's the #1 thing that has sent me into intense water works from about....day 2, I'd say. Even at our anniversary dinner, I'm sitting in the booth, sobbing to my husband, and I'm sure people were all Dear God is that man breaking up with this wife with a newborn? Scumbag. But no. Just a postpartum mom dealing with emotions.

In fact, I had to just bury my face in my robe to wipe away my face of hot tears right now. I can't even type about it without feeling so much emotion, it's unreal.

The thing I want to be clear on is this---it really doesn't have anything to do with Lucy. I couldn't be more in love, more obsessed with, or feel more heart-bursting-mom-love for the girl, honestly.

I just realized through talking to people, that truly this is just a process. A process of, in a way, mourning what I am losing as far as one on one time ALL the time with Emeline, and a process of adjusting to what new life looks like with my two daughters.

The first week was the worst. Since Declan was home, I could feel Emeline attaching more to him. I felt like she didn't want much to do with me. In reality, that's not quite what happened--but it felt so much heightened to my hormonal-self.

Each day my feelings on it have gotten better.

Emeline is in love with her sister. In love. I think that if she was showing signs of resentment that would make this even harder. But she's so sweet, has the most precious little way with her 'sissy', and she tells her all day long unprompted, "Aww I love you baby Luce!"


But my heart just wants Emeline to know and feel that she's still loved so much. I don't want her to skip a beat. And I don't want her to feel a huge void of time spent with just me.

So far I'm grateful that I get to have breakfast alone every morning with my big girl. While I would love the sleep, it's actually really nice to get that time to connect first thing, alone with Emeline.

Last night, we went out to the pharmacy just us, while Declan stayed home with Lucy. I let her carry the basket around the store, and pick out her own nail polish so I could do her toes. She knows she can do big girl things, special things with mommy.

Spending one on one time with Eme isn't just for her, my heart needs it, too.

Soon, I know that life will feel normal with another daughter in my life. But right now I'm just adjusting.

***

52 comments:

  1. This post has echoed everything I have felt the past almost 3 weeks since my daughter was born. My son has definitely latched more on to his dad and it has made me sad to see the transition away from him being a mama's boy. I know we'll figure out a balance soon :) I can't wait to read more about your transition to parenting two!

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  2. It's definitely a process. But I have no doubt it will work out for the best--your heart is in the right place. Hang in there :)

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  3. Mama guilt was by far the hardest adjustment going from 1 to 2. Hang in there! It'll get better.

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  4. I love your Momma heart Katie.... Your girls are so so blessed to have you!!!!! xoxo

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  5. This is one of my biggest fears about having another one. You are such an amazing momma, both your girls are so lucky to have you!

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  6. Oh the guilt of a mom never stops. But for what it is worth, I think all mom's have those feelings. I still feel guilty at times that my first born is not getting the attention that he was used to before his sister came along and she is 16 months old.

    Mom's wiser than me say that once miss becomes even more independent and the two play together more that this feeling will begin to fade completely.

    Just continue to love on your girls. Emeline make not remember the activities but she will always know what she feels for you.

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  7. I could have written this exact post after Piper was born. I felt soooo much guilt that my attention was suddenlly split. I just cried all the time about it. (Hormonal, much?) I don't have any good advice but I can promise it does get easier. Good for you for taking time with just you and E! If you need to chat, I'm here and have been though the new mommy of two transition (and it was so not easy on me, but I did survive) Hope today is a good day with your cute little ladies!

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  8. You really are just the sweetest thing. I hope that doesn't sound condescending. It's so nice to hear a "real" mom talk about these emotions. I know me saying that Emeline knows how much mommy loves her doesn't mean anything but it's so true.

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  9. <3 feels like you could have torn the words from my chest. Even though we don't have a second yet, it's my biggest worry. I don't have any helpful advice but I can say a prayer for your heart and send you some virtual hugs.

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  10. I think your feelings are totally normal. If you think about this it happens all throughout our lives in other ways. We can't wait to graduate high school and go to college but look back and mourn that part of our lives too, or when we get married we are so excited to have made that commitment and are over the moon happy but can't help looking back longingly at the good times pre-marriage or even when I got pregnant I was the happiest I had ever been but couldn't help think of all the wonderful times when it was just me and the hubby or I can imagine it probably feels the same transitioning from working to stay at home mom. I think it has to do with transitioning to different phases and finding the new normal. While one isn't better than the other it is only normal to look back at all the "good old times" pre-whatever with nostalgia. Soon this will be your new normal and you will look at that time, when it was just you and Eme as a beautiful memory. Everything in life is a compromise, you give up one thing for another, Eme may have "given up" alone time with momma but gained sister time with Lucy. You guys are doing great and I have no doubt everyone will adjust just fine. Congrats again on your new precious baby girl!

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  11. These are my fears WORD FOR WORD. I'm glad to hear it's 'normal'. Thank you for your openness and honesty and sometimes writing what I feel, but I can't always put my finger on it. You nailed this one. And this...I'd say THIS...is the primary reason I don't have #2 yet. Beacause I get that big lump in my throat just thinking about how it wouldn't be me and Easton anymore. That's sweet that you made one on one time for her last night. I"m certain it was good for you both. You're doing a great job momma! xoxoxox

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  12. omg - you got me all teared up. And again spoke the words I have been looking for when I am going back and forth about having another. The working mom guilt is hardly bearable as it is...
    I have to believe your girls will never question your love for them.
    You are doing a great job!
    xoxo

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  13. I felt the exact same way. Don't worry, it will get easier.

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  14. I love the honesty in this post. Thank you so much for sharing it.

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  15. I really do fear that "adjustment" time. But it is just that...soon enough you guys will have a new normal and everything will be doubly special and fun.

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  16. Wow! You echo the feelings that I have had twice. My first two children are only 18 months apart-and teenagers now. I felt terrible guilt for having another baby so soon after my first. My second and third child are 10 YEARS apart. :) The guilt was still there after adding another baby to the mix when our groove was so good as a family of four. It does get easier. Hang in there momma. Your girls are presh. Love your blog.

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  17. My mom has always told me that after my younger sister was born, I instantly went from wanting mommy all the time to wanting daddy all the time. I think in retrospect, it was a much harder transition on THEM than it was on me, ha! I have no doubt that it's different, it's a change, and I have no doubt that it's HARD right now sometimes. But I think it's also a GIFT that Eme and Declan are able to deepen their relationship too!

    And most of all, keep remembering that it's just a season of life...not forever (I say this now, having not gone through it yet, knowing full well I'll be a blubbering mess about it in November)!

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  18. This post is one of the reasons I started following your blog. We have so much in common when it comes to our babies. When you were at the end of your pregnancy, so was I & I could relate to you. Now, with this issue, I can SO relate to you. My new son is almost 9 weeks old now & I still feel guilty some days. Especially when it's just me & my boys and their daddy is working (because when daddy is home, he can help keep it normal). You want to make things as normal as possible for your first angel, but the responsibilities of your new angel kind of take away from the "norm". I completely understand this post and I'm so glad I'm not the only new mommy of two that feels this way.

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  19. Aww Katie, it will get better.

    I am my mom's second daughter (and then my little brother) and she always mentioned that she felt guilty during the first month after giving birth to me regarding my sister.

    She said it got better because she took some time with just my sister every week. A short walk at the park. A quick trip to the supermarket. But what made it better was that my sister LOVED me (she was about Emeline's age when I was born) and wanted to help with everything! So my mom let her help. Burp the baby (me!); help change the baby; help dress the baby; etc. And my mom said that then, her heart was content with spending time with both of us (together) and watching our bond grow.

    I am praying that soon you don't feel that guilt. Because honestly, I am sure that Emeline knows that you love her. Because when my brother was born, not once did I feel less loved. The excitement of a little person in a child's life is too much to even notice that it's not just them anymore :)

    Praying :) and love to you and your beautiful family :) :)

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  20. I could not have said it better! I'm going through the same thing right now. I just keep thinking what a blessing a sibling is for Ethan. Once Gavin can start playing with him he'll love it (at least I hope he will anyway).

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  21. I went through this a lot- I think especially because because Manning was still a baby when I had Deacon. I finally came to the conclusion that I was doing Manning a favor by giving him a brother- if for no other reason than I was teaching him early on that the world didn't revolve around him. Hang in there.

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  22. It's okay. You've just had a big change in your life and it's okay.

    Hugs

    P.S. I'm over here trying to catch up on all your baby posts since I was out of town when you had her!! :)

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  23. You are echoing my fears of getting pregnant with number 2, but your girls are so so lucky to have a momma who loves them so hard. I think as long as you make those little trips with just her, she'll be just fine. My mom always found a way to spend individual time with my 2 brothers and me everyday. You're a great momma and you'll find that balance soon. In the meantime, hugs to you.

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  24. I love how heartfelt and honest this post was. Our first little one isn't even here yet and when people ask if she will have a sibling (really people, already???) it hurts my heart to imagine anything taking away from her. It sounds like you are doing a great job of being true to your emotions and your little girls!

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  25. I cannot even begin to imagine the over-pouring of love your heart is trying to handle right now. Hang in there!

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  26. This post hit home with me...I had (and still have) the exact same feelings as we welcomed our now 2 month old son (Jackson) into our lives. I also remember spendng my anniversary dinner with my husband sobbing over the exact same feelings. I have coped by setting aside alone time with just my daughter (Madeline)...it makes me feel less guilty, plus I get that one on one with her that I miss so-so much! And you are spot on - it has absolutely nothing to do with baby #2...that bond with your first born and it just being you and them is so-so special...and different, but I know that in time a different kind of bond, but one as equally special with develop with my youngest as well. Thanks for posting on the subject...I feel normal now.

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  27. my daughters are almost 4 yrs apart. my youngest is now 4 months old...it does get better. as far as the feelings go. its still hard for me since my night time with my oldest is still cut short due to baby bedtime routine. i also feel like my patience is short with my oldest because i'm so exhausted from taking care of the little one. i'm hoping in about 4 yrs when Ali is self sufficient like Emma these feelings will go away. but till then its normal guilt, and i have faith they will turn out just fine...but mommy will have a few night time glasses of wine to her self to get to that point ;)

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  28. This is interesting to me because I had a similar feeling but in reverse. When I had my second son I felt guilty, not for my older son but for the baby because I knew he would never get to have the special alone time I had for 2 years with my first. It somehow made me feel bad/sad that he would always have to share. But now my little baby is almost 2, my older son is almost 4 and while it is still a struggle to give them special attention, they absolutely love each other. My older son always says his best friend is his brother and it makes my heart swell.

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  29. I could have written this WORD FOR WORD when I had my second child. WORD FOR EXACT WORD. I remember crying to my husband because of the guilt I felt, and I remember so vividly how it felt. Now? Two years later? It is the best thing in the whole wide world and trust me, those feeling WILL eventually vanish into thin air :)

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  30. When Tristan was born we just did our best to make Shiloh feel included as much as possible. Both with Tristan and even in adult things like cleaning or making dinner. They don't fully comprehend "I love you" but your actions of taking her out and including her in your errand says it loud and clear. She has no doubt you love her. Her heart is probably just as full but also torn for where she's able to put her attention :) she knows she is safe and loved. Shiloh still goes back and forth over whose attention he wants more. Right now he's on mommy phase but for a while it was only daddy. It always makes the odd man out feel a little guilty? Like maybe he doesn't know how much we love him bc we failed to show him enough. But we know it's not true. It's just his phases of growing. Eme

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  31. You just wrote about one of my biggest fears. I am so in love with my little man it scares me to think about life with another baby. Thank you for writing this. You are amazing and Emeline and Lucy are such lucky little girls! Hang in there Katie. Hugs!!!

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  32. Totally NORMAL! When the baby was born I don't think I left the house for two weeks and Hadley and I use to go somewhere every single day. I started to make a point for just her and I to go to the store or the park or whatever.

    It does get easier...I'd say around the 6 week mark you can start regaining some normalcy again and resume the normal activities like the park, library etc. and remember out Re super hormonal right now and that gets better too. Give it a few more weeks, although now I feel guilty sometimes for not spending enough time with the baby.

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  33. Ohmigosh! I totally fear this. I feel guilty if I leave Xander (at his favorite place on earth) with my parents for the night to have some one on one time with B, I cannot imagine what it will be like when this little bundle arrives! You are not alone friend!

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  34. You have such a big heart. Your girls are so lucky to have a mama like you. :)

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  35. Considering that I like to run and hide from my children on a regular basis, I'm really far past how you feel right now.
    HOWEVER.

    GOOD LORD do I remember those feelings. Cass was only 13 months old when Gabe was born, and his first month of life I cried every single day about how much I had ruined Cass' life. I adored him, but I felt SO GUILTY. So very guilty. I feel bad for the fact that I couldn't give Cass undivided attention anymore, I felt bad about not taking her to Chick Fil A alone for our lunch dates. I missed going to Target with just her and enjoying chatting with my baby.

    I honestly believed I'd feel like that forever. And I honestly believed that I'd ruined Cassidy's life.

    But. Looking back? Gabe was awesome for her. Same with Liv and Mads. Cass learned to play alone, and to do more for herself. She became so nurturing. It was adorable. By the time Gabe was six months old and sitting up, I LOVED it.

    And Cass and I still have a very, very special connection. I don't love her more, but she'll always be my first born. Nothing will ever take that way from Eme.

    I get your heart. Been there. Hugs, my friend.

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  36. Seriously, yesterday you had me laughing with tears ad today sobbing with tears. I think because it is EXACTLY what I've been feeling since I got pregnant. In fact I've already blogged about this guilt I feel. I bought a book called "There is no one like you, my firstborn" it's a kid book to make each child (first,middle,last) to feel special. You should def get it and read it to E. I has made me feel somewhat better. Hope this feeling passes so so soon, and again, please remind me of this come January when I'm having a melt down!

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  37. I seriously just finished up a post scheduled for tomorrow that is about guilt. It is the one thing I was totally not prepared for with the birth of baby boy #2! I have come across a few things that have helped me that bottom line say where we can't do it, God can. For me, I thrive on being able to take care of my big boy. Of being able to soothe a scraped knee. Of being the one that can calm his little heart when he is upset about something. I SOBBED in the hospital because he would have nothing to do with me. In fact, at one point he told me that he did not want me to go get food with him. Just daddy. Talk about heartbreak. Anyway, I have completely rambled. Bottom line is we all have feelings like this, hormones or no hormones, and they do get better. I will always hold a special place in my heart for that one on one time with my big boy. He made me a momma and bless his heart, I figured out how to be one with him!!! Do I love cade any less? Heck, no!!! It's just all a part of this amazing thing called parenthood!!! I hope writing about it has made you feel better. You are an amazing momma and I know emeline knows it, too!

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  38. I could have written this post myself. I feel exactly the same way about my little boy and his new little brother. My firstborn has definitely attached to his daddy in the past 2 weeks. And when he gets the chance to climb up in my lap and he lays his head on my shoulder and just sits still, I know he is missing the time with just us. But, I know he is only 2 and he won't remember the time before baby brother arrived. I love both my boys with all my heart and I hope that soon the hormones subside and I figure out how to make both of them feel equally special. Until then, I'll take those special times with my big boy when he asks me to "stay rocking" before I put him to bed so we end up rocking for 30 minutes. I know he needs that time as much as I do, even though he quite obviously loves his little brother. I think feeling this way is normal. It makes me feel better to hear it from a momma in the same position as me, with kids almost the exact same ages. Thank you for putting yourself out there.

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  39. so i have never commented before and im only a stranger but im SO glad to know that im normal! I absolutely LOVE your blog and your honesty! So at the moment I only have one child. She just turned 5! We have done nothing to prevent having another child but it just hasnt happened. Ive dealt with some health issues and though theyre not serious we have chosen to leave it all up to God as far as a baby goes. At times its so hard because I feel so judged by the world and when I tell people her age its always so when are u having another and the worst one is that she'll never be close to a sibling because theyre too far apart in age. My point in saying all of this is because I was shocked when I found out I was pregnant in May. I have since had a miscarriage. However during that time even though the excitement was so high I was also sad for how my daughters life was gonna change as well! She was so excited when we told her but like you I spend SO much time with her and in a sense shes my best friend! I know its different because my daughter is old enough to understand but i just had to comment and let you know that I worry and feel these feelings often. Its so bittersweet in a way. Anyhow sorry for being so wordy but it helped me to hear this today! Keep up the good work! You have a BEAUTIFUL family! God bless!

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  40. Mommy guilt is something I feel I was definitely not prepared for as a parent. I can't tell you it ever fully goes away, but it gets easier to handle as you get more used to it. Being a Mother of two is COMPLETELY different. Be patient with yourself. Cry it out if needed. xx

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  41. Trust me- when you see the two of them playing together and making up some fairy story, or helping each other in the park or building cubby houses together you will 100% know that you have given Eme the greatest gift. And the guilt will be gone. There is bound to be adjustments, but i think us mums find it harder than our resilient little kids! Yes, there are things that have to wait whilst you tend to Lucy, or outings missed for now, but its just that- the now. It's a speck of time, and Eme will remember nothing of it. Chin up- you are an AMAZING mother to your gorgeous girls. xxx

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  42. Oh girl! I cried reading this. I feel the same way about Macey and I'm not even pregnant. Glad to know its normal. You are a lucky mommy and seem to be doing great! Hang in there!

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  43. You're girls are so lucky to have you as their Mama!! You are great in every way and, I know it's easier said then done, but really....don't worry! Eme loves her baby sister and she will only have more and more love for her every day, and then when Lucy gets bigger, the love between them will grow stronger, and in turn make your Mommy heart burst even more every day! Keep up the great work Mama!!! You rock!

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  44. Thanks for writing this because this is something I think about NOW and I'm not even pregnant {that I know of}. I can't imagine sharing the love but I know it's not even sharing, it's just growing, but it's hard for me to even wrap my head around! Sounds like it's totally normal. You know these girls are beyond blessed! Blessed to have you as their mama and to have each other as sisters!

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  45. Oh Katie this is exactly how I feel!! I just found out we will have baby #2 in April. And right after I saw the positive test I thought oh no how will P handle this? Will she know that she is just as loved? Will she resent the baby? But thank you for sharing they these feelings are normal and that it is a process. It gives me comfort that I'm not the only one to have these feelings and thoughts. But I should've known I would be this way bc I acted like this when we got another dog! Yea literally cried crocodile tears beige my husband brought home the puppy cuddling my big lab telling her momma still loved her. Lol! I can only imagine how these feelings will escalate. ;)

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  46. This is my biggest fear with bringing another child into our family. Mia is the center of it all as the youngest in our entire family, both sides and I feel she will be upset with me and us for bringing someone else into the mix.

    She's my entire world and my sidekick.

    I know she won't be upset (all the time). I know she'll adjust. But it doesn't mean I don't worry about it.

    Thanks for sharing this. So real and so true.

    You have a big heart Momma!

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  47. Thank you for writing such an honest post and dont feel bad AT ALL! I went through the same exact thing with my kids. My son Ethan was 3 when I had my daughter Emma, and I remember this was the one thing I was MOST nervous/scared about more than anything, even labor! ha I had just started my blog towards the end of my pregnancy and I think I even wrote a similar post about my fears of Ethan feeling "neglected" or us losing time together. It was all I could think about my last few weeks of pregnancy and I cried A LOT!! My feelings about it didnt last as long AFTER having Emma just because we had Ethan's older half brother to keep him busy so that helped. But I remember struggling with breastfeeding and getting upset because I felt like I was taking so much time with that, I barely got to see him, and our whole bedtime routine was totally changed. It IS so hard! Those feelings are totally normal, it is the hardest to go from 1 to 2 I've heard more than anything. I can totally relate to the part about Emeline seeming to attach more to her dad too. I still have moments like this with Ethan if I feel like he wants to be with his dad instead of me, I don't want to lose my mommas boy! ha Hang in there, it WILL get better!

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  48. This post is word for word every single one of my fears and hesitations about number 2. so I have no advice. i do think though, that you're going to do an amazing job sliding eme into this role and she's never going to have anything but positive feelings about her new little sister. you'll figure all this out.

    and when you do, remember how it happened so you can tell me all about it when the time comes :)

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  49. Oh girl- I'm right there with you! My big boy is 22 months and I have a 2 month old. Mom guilt is no joke! Bennett has watched way more tv than I would like to admit, and our outings are pretty non existent right now. But, like you, I make a point to do outings with just him when I can. You are doing a great job and have such a beautiful family! I follow you on instagram, so I forget to check in on your blog. I'm glad I did today ;) Chin up- you are an awesome Mom!

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  50. I could have written this exact post 10 months ago when we became a family of 4. Postpartum emotions are NO JOKE and are some of the strongest I have ever experienced. Just know that you will adjust, you will love, and you will be surprised at how much they will bond through this.

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  51. I think you are doing amazing and I TOTALLY understand (I just have my daughter right now but I think about this a lot bc we are ready for another baby) as much as I can anyway. Just reading this made me cry! I know I'll be the same way an with those postpartum hormones...woah!!

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  52. I am so glad you write as it is. Many people, myself included, shy away from writing about the hard parts of being a Mom, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Especially with two babies! Thankyou, for making me realise that what I'm feeling is totally normal, and I'm not the only one going through this! Xxx

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