Making room

Dear Neala, 

I am 37 weeks pregnant. It’s is 5:30 a.m. and I am wide awake. I have a feeling your brother will be here soon. There are a few things I want to tell you before I become a sleep deprived, emotional zombie. 

I’m nervous. Nervous about having two very young children instead of one.  You will be 17 months old when your brother is born.

Nervous about how I will balance taking care of two young children with housework, schoolwork, being a wife, etc…
I know, I know, mothers around the world do this all the time.  In fact, any mother of multiple children is smirking right now. One of my best friends has five children.  FIVE.
If she can do it, surely I can with two!
In a few months, I will read back over this letter and probably (hopefully) smirk too.
But today, in this moment, I’m not smirking.  I’m wondering.

Wondering how I can possibly love someone more than I love you.  My mommy friends tell me “your heart just makes room”.  How can my heart make room when it’s overwhelmingly full?

It’s funny because when you were born I didn’t immediately feel warm and fuzzy.  I would love to say intense feelings of love came over me the moment I held you in my arms.  The truth is, all I can remember is feeling relief.  And hunger. 

 I said something along the lines of, “Thank God that is over.  Can I eat some warm bread now?” (Don’t judge me.  Until you’ve had a baby, you have NO idea…)

The pressure to take care of a newborn shouted so loudly in my head, all I felt was responsibility.  And leaving the hospital?  Whoa.  Wasn’t ready for that at all.
I kept thinking, “Oh my goodness, oh my goodness. They are letting us take her out of the hospital. The place with all the professionals who know what they are doing. We are now in charge of another human being. What have we gotten ourselves into?”

A few weeks later is when the warm fuzzies came.  It was the middle of the night and I was rocking you in your room. The house was quiet and you had fallen asleep in my arms. My body ached for sleep, yet I couldn’t put you in your crib.  I wanted our sweet moment to last forever.
The tears started falling. And falling. And falling.
I’m not sure when they stopped.  And I don’t remember laying you in your crib and going back to bed.
I just remember that night. 

That moment. 

That is when I finally felt like a mama.

I also remember wondering that night how in the world could I ever drop you off at Kindergarten? Take you to get a driver’s license? Say goodbye when you left for college?
I realize now these overwhelming questions were probably the “I just had a baby” hormones talking.

Every month you grew and did something new. At times I felt my heart would burst with all the love and joy you brought to me. Your daddy and I loved reading to you and watching your eyes grow wide with wonder.  We giggled when you first started to “ooh” and “ahh”.  Like most new parents, we thought (and still think) everything you do is amazing and intelligent.

How will I feel when your brother arrives?  I have no idea.  I’m trusting my mommy friends are right and my heart will make room.

I’m hoping to find the balance between cuddling a newborn and playing with a toddler.
I’m praying for strength to stay up all hours of the night with him, then chase you around all day.
I’m asking God for grace ahead of time.  I’m no fool.  The next few months will be challenging to say the least. Several mothers who had children close together have told me how great it is…when they are older. All of them warned me the first 3-4 months will push me to my limits physically and emotionally. 

The next next few months aren’t just going to rock my world. Things will change for you too. Here are a few things I want to make sure you know and remember:

Being your mother is the best thing I have ever done.  When we first got married your dad and I didn’t even think we wanted children.  Now I can’t imagine our life without you.

You are going to be a fabulous big sister. I can already see a leader emerging in you. There’s no telling what sort of trouble you will talk Lincoln into!

You make me the best version of myself. (At times you also make me the worst version of myself, but I’ll save that for another letter.) Having you has made me a more loving wife, a more compassionate teacher, and definitely a more appreciative daughter. I think I owe my mother a thank you card every week for the rest of my life. 

You won’t be my only child anymore, but you will always be the first. The first to split my heart wide open and fill it with joy and excitement and wonder and energy and all the other great things I could list but if I did this would turn into a run-on sentence. Oh wait…

You were the first to show me what being a mother feels like. 

The first to show me what a great team your daddy and I make as parents. 

And the first to shoot poo across the couch and ottoman onto our living room floor. 

It’s easy to see why you are, and will always be my favorite girl. 


One thought on “Making room

  1. Loved reading this. So happy for you and James. So thrilled that you will be guiding two precious children as they grow to become wonderful, caring adults.


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