1.14.2007

Excuse Me While I Gush

I'm staring at Thalia in her crib, just watching her sleep.

I don't even know how many minutes pass, although I could probably count the time in her slow, steady breaths . I worry that it's too hot for her, too cold for her, that her pjs have ridden up above her belly, that the there is war and anger and people who might make her feel pain in this world. I wonder what she's thinking in this nocturnal state, what she's dreaming.

I want her to be happy, even now.



I am so deeply in love that I can't even imagine that there was a time before I loved her, a time where I questioned the depth of my affection, where I compared our connection with those described by other moms, hoping against all hope that I would one day feel for her what they already seemed to. I can't imagine that there was a time that I considered her a stranger, someone I cared for and protected more by maternal imperative than love. It doesn't seem possible. This is a love so strong, it seems to erase any feelings, any life at all that I had before it.

And so every time I wonder about this second little girl, every time the now tired, cliche fear about having enough love in my heart pops into my head, I try to remind myself of how far Thalia and I have come in 18 months.

And I must believe that lightning can indeed strike twice.


63 Comments:

Anonymous Chase said...

Reading words like these makes me long for a child of my own. And not too many things can do that. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

1/14/07, 9:52 PM  
Anonymous Much More Than A Mom said...

Beautiful. Your words, and mother love.

1/14/07, 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I'm positive that you will love your second little girl as much as you love your first. This is a beautiful post.

1/14/07, 10:42 PM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

It can. I know the doubt...it plagued me my entire pregnancy. And I still worry about being equitable. But I never worry about loving them both. I love them differently, because they are very different people. But I would give my life for either of them without hesitation. They are my life, my heart, my soul...times two. So whatever part of me that loves them so completely simply grew. I am not dividing love for one child between two, I am giving them each the love and devotion that they have created in me when they became mine. It's an amazing thing. You'll see.

1/14/07, 10:47 PM  
Blogger Kyran said...

oh, i remember the sadness with which i would think, there is just no way I will be able to love this next baby as much...there just couldn't be anything leftover.

you and yours are about to win the love jackpot. all the words I could use up describing it to you couldn't even come close.

:)

1/14/07, 10:54 PM  
Blogger Lady M said...

I was going to say something like "love makes more love," in the way that doing good things brings more good things. It sounds like you could interpret it in non-G-rated ways though. ;)

Thanks for stopping by my place! And for the excellent sealife utensils on Cool Mom Picks.

1/14/07, 11:16 PM  
Blogger something blue said...

Your words, as always strike a chord deep in my heart and ahhhh... your beautiful daughter! If I didn't know better I'd think she was wearing lip gloss. Wait do they make that for toddlers now?

1/14/07, 11:21 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

It's a funny thing about love, how you can have so much of it to give, to your husband, to your children, a seemingly endless supply. It's like a glass that just keeps refilling. Thalia is beautiful!

1/14/07, 11:46 PM  
Blogger SUEB0B said...

Aw...mom

1/14/07, 11:46 PM  
Blogger pixie sticks said...

lovely. oh! & be careful - it's starting to sound a whole lot like you know what you're doing!

1/15/07, 12:32 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicken said...

I'll be watching and reading as you go on this journey ... I've been questioning my own ability to love another as much as I love the girl sleeping upstairs.

And I have to say this ... your baby. What a lovely, lovely young girl you have.

1/15/07, 12:50 AM  
Anonymous Asha said...

You can, you can. They will both be so different from each other, and your love will be too.

1/15/07, 3:00 AM  
Anonymous k said...

the heart grows bigger.

and lightning will strike again.

1/15/07, 8:59 AM  
Anonymous TB said...

I'm still waiting for that first connection - waiting and wondering what it will really be like and I truly can't imagine it yet. It's such an exciting time for both of us, the sweet anticipation.

1/15/07, 9:41 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

The heart grows, I've got to believe that.

And with two faces like the one in that picture (OMG! She's cute.) how could it not grow? And grow and grow and grow.

1/15/07, 10:45 AM  
Blogger T. said...

As Mrs. Chicky said, the heart grows. It just expands until you feel it will burst. It is the best feeling, ever.

Thank you for this post.

I can't imagine that there was a time that I considered her a stranger, someone I cared for and protected more by maternal imperative than love. It doesn't seem possible. This is a love so strong, it seems to erase any feelings, any life at all that I had before it.

Just yesterday I was telling my husband this about my children and how I wasn't worried about loving our adopted child.

Because I know my heart will grow.

Thanks Liz.

1/15/07, 11:05 AM  
Anonymous laura said...

What a beautiful post, and I also have to ditto Mrs. Chicky. I'm crossing my fingers that her assurance applies to all families :)

1/15/07, 11:07 AM  
Anonymous chelle said...

I have the same fears with the little boy growing inside me. How can I love another as much as I love Becs?!?!?! They say your heart grows ... that will be a cool experience!

1/15/07, 11:15 AM  
Blogger J said...

I heard it described this way...when you fall in love, it is like lighting a candle in a room of darkness...the light shines out, and illuminates everything. Each new candle only makes it brighter. So if the room is your capacity to love, you're just going to get another candle. :)

1/15/07, 11:22 AM  
Blogger me said...

I had that fear when I was pregnant for #2. The first second I heard his little cry I knew I had enough room in my heart for all the children I would ever have. I couldn't imagine being able to love someone as much as I loved the oldest, I can assure you...the room is in your heart as well.

1/15/07, 12:05 PM  
Blogger Karyn said...

You just have no idea.

Been there.
Done that.
Played that game.

And truly. You have. No. Idea.

It's amazing.

1/15/07, 12:07 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

IT CAN IT CAN IT CAN.

It does.

I've only been hit by lightning once, but I know that if I set that lightning rod back up, it WILL hit again.

1/15/07, 12:24 PM  
Blogger MommyWithAttitude said...

Lightening does strike twice! I still don't get how that happens, but it does.

People rarely acknowledge that even YOUR newborn is someone you just met. Love grows and bonds deepen. I love my kids more and more as they grow into who they are. As they get older they have more opportunities to surprise me with their humor or intelligence or abilities and those moments are so endearing.

Oh and a VERY cute picture of Thalia!

1/15/07, 12:36 PM  
Blogger Jess Riley said...

I don't have experience in this department, but it sounds like everyone has great insights for you! :-)

Thalia is so damn adorable. *melting*

1/15/07, 12:55 PM  
Blogger Kyla said...

Everyone worries about this, but it just happens. You sprout a second heart, totally filled with love for your second, just as your first heart is full of love for your first.

1/15/07, 1:35 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Trust me, my friend. The day that second baby girl is born it will hit you. It being the most incredable surge of love for this new little being you just brought into the world.

And than you'll be me, two and a half years from now, looking in the room at night of your two little girls. Listening to them breath, just loving them....and possibly wondering if you might want to temp fate and see if you can love three little babies as much as that first one.

1/15/07, 1:40 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Trust me, my friend. The day that second baby girl is born it will hit you. It being the most incredable surge of love for this new little being you just brought into the world.

And than you'll be me, two and a half years from now, looking in the room at night of your two little girls. Listening to them breath, just loving them....and possibly wondering if you might want to temp fate and see if you can love three little babies as much as that first one.

1/15/07, 1:40 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Beautiful! And a beautiful girl too.

So when did you say that next electrical storm was coming? May sometime, right?

1/15/07, 2:06 PM  
Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

Absolutely positively, it does. And even when you know it will happen, it still astounds you.

1/15/07, 2:26 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

Thanks for this post. I have 3 week old twins and have been feeling guilty for not feeling more madly in love with them. I know it will come, but this post was reassuring.

What I've heard from other moms re. second (and third, etc.) babies is that your heart simply expands and expands so there's always enough love for them.

1/15/07, 2:31 PM  
Anonymous madge said...

I was so worried about loving Number Two as I did my glorious Number One. But, I found it was actually easier.

The first time around I had to learn this love. It took time to blossom into the fierce love I eventually felt. Not this time. It took me by complete surprise how fast and how furious I could love someone I just met.

1/15/07, 3:18 PM  
Blogger penelopeto said...

my own mother has 4, and when asked, she says, you don't divide love. you multiply it.

it won't be a thunderstorm; it will be a tsunami.

1/15/07, 3:41 PM  
Blogger ECR said...

Sometimes lately I watch my daughter do something completely unexceptional and am overcome by the same feelings you just described. It's significant because I am also familiar with the other feelings you wrote about here--those of the comparatively slow-growing attachment. When I have those lovey, maternal pangs, I'm so happy to finally be getting there. 18 months later.

1/15/07, 3:50 PM  
Blogger Sandra said...

This took my breath away. Thalia ... and her little sister ... are two very lucky little girls to be so cherished.

I haven't been around blogland in a while so this was my favourite post I read while getting caught up today.

1/15/07, 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Tobi said...

OK, not to throw cold water on the tsunami, or [fill in the mixed metaphor blank], but I have to (sort of) disagree a little with the previous shards of brilliance.

I love #2 a huge amount, fiercely and proudly. But it IS different. After all, they are different human beings, they came along at different times and under different circumstances. They push different buttons on me, they smell different, they make me laugh in different ways. One wants to cuddle all the time, one is much more content with the occasional raspberry on the belly. I was in exhausted, self-conscious, gooey awe of #1; much more practical, efficient and confident about my mothering with #2.

I just want to reassure you, and others reading, that if you don't feel the storm surge [or, again, fill in the mixed metaphor blank] the moment #2 arrives, don't feel guilty. If you're anything like me, you will one day be sitting around wondering (and feeling guilty about) why you don't have a huge crush on #2 like you do on #1, and then BAM . . .

#2 will do something that makes #1 laugh, and then the two of them will start cracking each other up, and then you will realize that you can't get enough of #2, just like you can't get enough of #1 . . . and how could you ever have considered the family complete without #2, and where has s/he been all your life. . . .

1/15/07, 4:12 PM  
Blogger Julie Pippert said...

Lightening does strike twice (or more).

Just never in the same place.

You love this much? It will be fine.

Lovely post.

1/15/07, 4:15 PM  
Anonymous rachel said...

lightning has struck here 3 times.

it is magical, isn't it?

1/15/07, 4:25 PM  
Blogger Meena said...

I know. I know. I was riddled with anxiety about it for most of my second pregnancy.

Lightening will strike. Maybe not right at first, but it will.

And the other thing I never "got" until I had my 2nd was when everyone told "oh, you will not believe how big your first child seems!" I never quite understood that while pg. Like what, your first child is suddenly huge??? Well, it is another one of those things that just. is. true.

1/15/07, 5:24 PM  
Blogger MrsFortune said...

Ooohhh ... but can the next one ever be as cute as Thalia? Yeah, I guess ... lightning (or nate's seed) will strike twice. Hahaha ...

1/15/07, 5:27 PM  
Blogger Occasionally Lost said...

Oh, I didn't know there was another one pending! Congrats.

I was the same with Child No. 1. I had no conscious emotions about him. He just was. I was. We were. I didn't fear him or hate him, but I didn't feel any love for him either. I had thought that the moment of birth would be one of pure joy and overwhelming love. It wasn't. It was bewilderment in its purest form. I had no idea what I thought, what I felt, what the hell was happening. I just kept staring at everyone and shouting, "BUT I DON'T UNDERSTAND!"

I think he was about three months old when I started to really feel it. Deeply, I mean. Properly. Something I could attach the word Love to.

And now, of course... he is the being that peels itself into all the forgotten chinks in my heart, that snuggles around me so completely, that makes me whole.

1/15/07, 5:48 PM  
Anonymous wordigirl said...

Sweet Lord, that baby is gorgeous! Who could resist that face? Or that hat?

1/15/07, 6:06 PM  
Anonymous sweatpantsmom said...

What a beautiful photo and a beautiful post.

I've missed reading you. I'm desperately trying to catch up with everyone. Only fifteen thousand posts to go.

1/15/07, 6:56 PM  
Anonymous sweatpantsmom said...

What a beautiful photo and a beautiful post.

I've missed reading you. I'm desperately trying to catch up with everyone. Only fifteen thousand posts to go.

1/15/07, 6:56 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

She's so beautiful.

1/15/07, 10:30 PM  
Anonymous Karly said...

It most definitely will strike twice. It seemed to take awhile to really LOVE my first...I mean, I loved him...but not like I love him now that I know him. With my second it just happened right away...I think because I knew what a mom's love was by that time. I was able to embrace it.

And, what Meena said about your first being SO MUCH BIGGER...I cried the minute I saw my son in the hospital room after having Emma. He looked years older and completely different and I was sooo confused thinking when did this happen? When did he grow up? Be prepared. Its awful.

1/15/07, 10:55 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

The same thoughts have been in my head, too. Cordy and I got off to a very rocky start, and it wasn't until well after she was born (like, around a year old) that I started to feel that passionate, protective, crazy love for her that I now feel.

Being pregnant with #2 has been tough, because I've felt guilty at not feeling connected to this one, even though I wasn't that connected with Cordy at this point. And I worry that Cordy will feel neglected, too.

But like you, I have to believe lightening will strike twice, and it will all work out.

1/15/07, 10:57 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

No worries. I'm sure you already know this, based on the logic you displayed in your post, but here's 2 more cents' worth from a mother of two daughters: yes. It will strike twice. Just as strongly.

1/16/07, 12:19 AM  
Blogger movin'mom said...

Okay,
I know that when I say this ...you may not accept it until your kids are much older.
Have you read The birth Order Book by Dr. Kevin Leman?
I find myself in the middle... in the middle of raising kids. I find that when you have but one child there are things you say or do that
create the child before you. I say this (from experience...and from speaking to people who now have 20 -25 year olds who' s first borns have the some of the same negative traits that my first born has.
Along with my oldest sibling.....I see these traits in him....my hubby's older brother. It is so ironic how they can be soo different and soo much younger or older that you dont see it until later on.

I see it because my second born was different....(he didn't have those same "issues" )
Most are ineveitable.
NOW:

I have decided that for so long my oldest was such a "high acheiver" that he was always on a pedestal.( we put hom there) the older he got (at times) he would teeter off of the top of that pedestal. My hub and I were right there (hands on parent) to SHOVE him right back up there. Now I realize that at age 15...to back off....to let him screw up... he is finally climbing back up the pedestal himself.

It took me 15 years! To figure this out.

I feel like I have taken away from the glory of Thalia.....
The question I was asked by a dad who has a 23 year old daughter and a 20 year old daugher was how can I raise 2 girls EXACTLY the same and they be soo different. His first born has sooo many
relationship issues...2nd born.....has it all figured out.

I just have to end this now because my comment is rambling.......

1/16/07, 12:38 AM  
Blogger jen said...

oh, so entirely lovely. so, so, lovely.

and so true.

1/16/07, 2:07 AM  
Blogger GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

Thalia is perfection. And little tummy-ista will be too.

1/16/07, 3:49 AM  
Blogger Occasionally Lost said...

Oh, I didn't know there was another one pending! Congrats.

I was the same with Child No. 1. I had no conscious emotions about him. He just was. I was. We were. I didn't fear him or hate him, but I didn't feel any love for him either. I had thought that the moment of birth would be one of pure joy and overwhelming love. It wasn't. It was bewilderment in its
purest form. I had no idea what I thought, what I felt, what the hell was happening. I just kept staring at everyone and shouting, "BUT I DON'T UNDERSTAND!"

I think he was about three months old when I started to really feel it. Deeply, I mean. Properly. Something I could attach the word Love to.

And now, of course... he is the being that peels itself into all the forgotten chinks in my heart, that snuggles around me so completely, that makes me whole.

1/16/07, 7:54 AM  
Blogger Stephanie T. said...

Just don't make the mistake I did and expect that #2 will be a little carbon copy of #1 and that everything you felt at the birth of #1 will be the same with #2. With #1, I was instantly in love with her from the minute she arrived. I cried when she was born and thought she was the most beautiful, amazing thing in the world. With #2, I expected the same birth experience, but when he was born I felt rather numb, he looked nothing like his sister and I didn't think he was particularly beautiful. I felt guilty that I didn't feel the same overwhelming emotion at his birth. But my love for him has grown day by day and now of course I'm completely in love with my little 3 year old man.

Also, be prepared to have some sad moments after the new baby comes, because it's an adjustment having to divide your time and attention between two. You may miss your one-on-one time with Thalia. But you can still have that while the baby is sleeping or when Daddy is tending to the baby. Also, when they are older and you see them laughing and playing together, the times you felt sad or guilty that you couldn't spend as much time with Thalia because you were caring for the new baby will be a distant memory.

1/16/07, 9:48 AM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

So beautiful! And, yes, lightening can strike, two, three, even more times to the same heart. BTW, Thalia is so flipping adorable. Can't wait to meet her sister.

1/16/07, 10:28 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Beautiful. You will be amazed at just how much you can love two as much as you love one. There will always be a little something special with Thalia (pretty name, by the way) because she will always be your firstborn, but you will love them both equally.

1/16/07, 2:13 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

What is equally amazing is that as much love as you feel inside you at that time can't imagine loving anything more...until you have another child. It truly is an amazing thing how much love you find you have for each individual child. Then you wonder how you ever got by in life before.

A great blog - hope you don't mind if I add you to my blogroll.

1/16/07, 3:14 PM  
Anonymous RookieMom Heather said...

Ooooooooooh, I feel you. I'm brewing a second boy and I wonder the same dang thing.

1/16/07, 5:14 PM  
Blogger carrie said...

Yes, it can. And again and again too! I know it's hard to imagine right now, but you'll be there. I promise.

Carrie

1/16/07, 7:56 PM  
Blogger crazymumma said...

Oh she is beautiful. Lightening can strike so many times in the same place. The pie just gets bigger....

1/16/07, 10:00 PM  
Anonymous andi said...

Stop it! My pregnancy-hormone-drunken self is being reduced to tears by your words. Here's hoping that lightning does strike twice - for both of us.

1/16/07, 10:08 PM  
Blogger gingajoy said...

I meant to comment on this yesterday--I had exactly the same feelings, and the same clichéd concerns. Like you, my early relationship with my first was not all "love at first sight"--I fell in love with him as time wore on (although had the same primordial protective urges).

But here's what I am learning—and this also might sound clichéd. Loving my first son and seeing him become his awesome self has made loving the second easier. He’s taught me how to love (prize for cheesiness goes to me. So bite me;-)) I look at Sam, and I see Jack and remember and I think about how brief this time is, when they are so small. I try and soak it up more, and I see all this potential—this was something I could understand but only theoretically with number one. We were much more parents coping in the moment, adjusting to Life With Baby. When I look at Sam, his Dad and I know how much joy he will bring to us, because we’re experiencing it. And so I enjoy him at this early stage more than I did with Jack. (Does that make any sense?) At first this made me feel guilty, but then I realized that it was because Jack has made me a better parent—and I’ve told him this too

1/17/07, 12:34 PM  
Anonymous Liz said...

Beautiful post, Momma - I am proof positive that - not only can it hit twice - lightning can indeed zap you...as much as four times...even more...some times ;o)

1/17/07, 6:20 PM  
Anonymous Kymba said...

Gracious, she is a beautiful child.

1/24/07, 1:38 AM  
Anonymous neva said...

beautiful friend (yeah -- i know -- where the hell have i been lately?) trust me, not only does lightning strike twice, you will fall for your new precious one so freaking hard your ass will hurt, even as your heart swells. it's painful, in a way that's remarkable and wonderful and uttterly exhilarating.

that said, your little Thalia is about as cute as a sweet baby girl has a right to be. xoxo

(hey, i may be outta site, but that doesn't mean you're not on my mind)

1/25/07, 4:51 PM  

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