To my first born,
These last few days have been tough. Not only for you but for me also. This week we welcomed your new sibling into the world and although there is much joy, there is also sadness. You see, I hadn’t anticipated this sadness. I had prepared myself for sleep deprivation and late night feedings and tender breasts. But this sadness was not something I was prepped for.
When you first walked into the hospital room in your custom made ‘big sister’ dress I thought I’d feel an overwhelming sense of pride. Instead I felt a longing. A longing to reach out and hold you, and only you. A longing that I knew I would have to cope with for some time. That you were no longer my only purpose in life. That from now on my heart would have to make tough decisions. Who do I comfort first? Who needs me the most? Who needs to be changed and fed and laid down for their nap? Who gets mommy and who gets daddy?
And although you may never remember these moments, I will. Every time you reach for me but my arms are full with a new baby. Every time I have to turn the tv on to occupy you for ten more minutes. Every time you throw a fit about going down for a nap because you want more time with your mama. Every time you cry out for attention but I’m busy nursing. Every time you’re on the floor playing but I’m juggling laundry and dishes. Every time I miss the opportunity to be the first one to pick you up in the morning and the last one to rock you to sleep.
The truth is I wish I could do all those things, and maybe a time will come when I can do those things again. But right now is when my heart has to make tough calls and I want you to know, I still choose you. Although it’s not always on your terms, I’m choosing you. I choose to lay the baby down when I could be doing skin to skin. I choose to pump at 4 am so daddy can give her a bottle every now and then. I choose to forgo a nap of my own when the baby is sleeping. I choose to take you with me to the grocery store when I could enjoy an hour to myself.
And I choose all these things because, I miss you. I miss us. Being able to spend an extra hour with you every day may seem small in comparison to all the time we spent together before, but I want you to know I’m trying. I want you to know how my heart breaks when I can’t give you what you need. The tears I shed when you’re not looking because I feel an overwhelming sense of guilt that I’m not giving you enough of me. I want you to know these arms that once held you all day, they long for you to be wrapped up in them again.
But most of all I want you to know you are loved. Beyond measure. You gave me this role, this title of ‘mom.’ You gave me the ability to be selfless. You taught me to be kind and patient and thoughtful. You have given me more than you will ever know just by being you. I want you to know that this will get better. This will get easier. That our time together now may seem limited, but our time will come again.
I want you to know that I see your eyes light up with curiosity when your sister is around. That you so badly want to play with the new toy in mommy’s arms. Your time will come baby, and when it does I want you to know I have no doubt you will be the best big sister anyone could ever ask for.
But for now I want you to know, mommy misses you too.