I became pregnant with each of my babies in very different ways, at very different times in my life. As a result, I felt differently when each one arrived. They fulfilled different roles in our lives as a growing family. They are also a boy and a girl, so my relationships have evolved as a result of gender.
My son, T, came along early on in our marriage. He wasn't a surprise, we were trying, but we weren't in a hurry, either. It was an exciting and nerve-wracking process. At that time, I didn't realized I had fertility issues. I was unaware how lucky I really was to become pregnant with our son. Everything about that experience was exciting and new. It was pure and I was very naive. When he was born, and for almost four years after, he was the prince. He was our one and only, and the only grandchild on both sides. He was the center-of-attention for a long time. He's still my baby, but only when he's hurt, angry at his true "buddy" (Daddy) or wanting to be held. He's independent and strong-willed. He's me. Because of this, we butt heads on occasion. But, when we lay in bed together cuddling, he's my baby again. He looks to me for warmth, stability, comfort, reassurance, and positive reinforcement. T is always trying to please me and is always concerned if I am proud of him. I am, and I tell him so often. I may not be his preferred playmate, but I am confident I'm his first choice when he falls (literally or figuratively). It warms my heart that he freely says "I love you mommy" without prompting. I tell him I love him more times that is normal in a day. He's my little man. My boy.
My daughter, B, came about in a completely different way. I wanted her SO BADLY but nature was preventing me from having another child. We did everything in our power to have our second. It was a roller coaster ride of ups and downs for 16 months. It was painful, scary, unnerving, frustrating, and quite an adventure. When I became pregnant with B, in my opinion, she was a miracle. A marvel of modern science and a complete extra gift in our lives. When I found out she was a girl, it was the cherry on top of an already stellar sundae. With B I wasn't so naive. I had experienced loss, I knew the trials and tribulations of pregnancy, I remembered the hardships of labor and the recovery process, I was aware of the sleepless nights. I worried I didn't have enough love left for her. I was afraid T would resent me for splitting my time and energy. I was afraid a large part of my pregnancy. I struggled to connect with the fetus early on. I was afraid to get too attached. This is such a stark contrast from our current relationship. She is my shadow. We are so connected that I don't feel whole without her now that I'm back to work. She needs me, all the time. I'm her one-and-only source of comfort and her safe place. I'm not naive about how our relationship will change over time. I was a moody, difficult girl growing up. I wasn't so nice to my mom all of the time. But right now, I'm milking these perfect and simple moments, and storing them for those difficult times. So I can get through them with a whole heart. Until then, she's my sweet baby girl.
...and now :)
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