May 17, 2011

My Baby Girl

A question I often received while pregnant with dr.b was, 'Are you excited?'. One would think my response would be an automatic 'YES!'. But no. Actually, my response was not an automatic anything. I had to really search myself to appreciate or even understand how I felt about the inevitability of this new babe.

I know one reservation I had about a new child was the whole going from one to two thing. But that was too simple a reason to feel unsure.

Another reason, of course, was being on maternity leave again. While I loved being off with e, we all know how tough that year was on me.

In fact, that would be reason number three as to why I wasn't jumping full tilt for joy at the prospect of another baby: what if this baby is just as challenging as e had been???

But, when it really got down to it, there was only one real reason I was not fully excited: the entrance of a new baby meant the exit (ish) of the first one. My little e would not be the baby anymore.

I only fully realized this upsetting thought tonight as I did my nightly visit to her room to watch her as she slept. In this moment I still see my baby girl: my first baby. My favourite girl in the whole world. In her sleep she still moves her body like a baby, lifting her hands up like only a baby does, so gently and innocently. The way she breathes, the way her body relaxes. In these few moments I am reacquainted with my baby e, and it's magical.

But tonight, as I left the room, the longing really hit me. My baby. My first baby girl. That perfect, albeit challenging, little being with whom my whole heart belongs, will never again be my baby.

And this realization took me back to that Sunday nearly nine weeks ago when I dropped her off at her grandparents. I sobbed as I turned and left her because I knew that nothing would ever be the same (for her) after that day. I thought at the time that these tears were truly for her: I was saddened to think that someone would be imposing on the attention she always had received from her parents. I thought it was sad that this wonderful gift would be gone from her life forever: her days as an only child would be no more. And truly, this thought really did make me so heart hurt for her. I hated that we were doing this to her...Though I did know that she needed a sibling, a (God willing) friend for her for life...

But that was not the only reason for my tears. They were not so selfless. No. I was crying for me. Because from the moment I dropped e off, from that very moment, she was no longer my baby; my first baby; the baby with whom I had so many struggles, heart-aches and joys. The girl around whom nearly all my early posts focused. The girl who in any given moment could break my heart, leave me in awe and fill me so full...

Those same tears that I cried when I left e to have dr. b resurfaced on the happy day when we brought dr. b home from the hospital. As e's grandparents lifted her from the SUV Volvo that had brought her home to meet the new addition, I stood watching excitedly at the door. However, while this was an exciting and happy time, all I could do was sob...As I stood there, I saw a stranger: the girl whom had always been my baby girl, looked so big to me now. My heart broke even more.

My first baby would no longer be that - my baby. And I will never get her back.

During the time of dr. b's birth, e grew up. She became my little girl. And while this prospect is exciting, and I should regard it all in a positive light, it still makes me sick in my heart to know that that little baby has gone forever...

And so I will continue to go in every night and catch those little glimpses of my baby e...

Robert Munsch was oh so right. He captured the essence of this need to hold on to my baby so perfectly...

I love e forever,
I love e for always...
As long as I'm living,
My baby she'll be...



  1. Anonymous17.5.11

    I have a tough question to ask. Feel free to ignore it. Just wondering... Do you remember how you felt when you became a big sister?

    I am so happy for you that dr.b's arrival hasn't been an instant replay of the first few months of motherhood with e. Your babies are thriving; you're obviously a pro. Can't wait to see you this weekend.


  2. I don't remember. I was probably excited, actually...But, being adopted and all, I think I am more sensitive to a person's need to have some individual attention...I dunno why having dr. b made me so worried for e. I actually think it's a natural parent reaction: we never think we can love the second as much as the first; or that we have enough love to give's an interesting feeling!

  3. Anonymous18.5.11

    I know what you mean... As you know, I'd planned on having a big family for a long time. Four was always my magic number. Now that I'm pregnant with number one, I can't imagine turning my attention away from this child--or just sharing that attention--with another child. I love this one so much already!


  4. Anonymous18.5.11

    If it makes you feel any better... if you had waited any longer to have another one, e would have started saying things like, "it's not fair to me that there's only one of me! All my friends have brothers and sisters! Mommy, when are you going to have a baby? When? When? When?" Charlie has been giving me this guilt trip for the last 3 years. I guess sometimes being an only child isn't all it's cracked up to be.
    But I do feel your pain and heartache. I look at my almost six year old "baby" and wonder if he's prepared for how drastically his life will change in the next few weeks.
    And I think no matter how many children you have or what their age, you will always get a knot in your stomach, a lump in your throat, an ache in your heart when you realize they are not your babies anymore. :(
    h r-l

  5. thanks for the comment, h! i am sure charlie will have some adjusting but that it will be all good!!!! -- in 6 months or so:-)


Thanks for your thoughts!


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