I knew I was in love with my first daughter as soon as they put her on my chest. She was crying, and I just held her, covered in baby goop, and I was in love. It was just like everyone says; I fell in love at first sight. The hours of labor, the pain, it was all worth it. While she was not an easy baby by any means, I loved her more than I ever thought possible. Every day, every milestone, my heart grew and grew and grew. Our little family of three was perfect, but not yet complete.
We always knew we wanted a second baby, and I knew I was pregnant before the test even showed two pink lines. But I didn't have the same elation as I did when I found out I was pregnant the first time. The first time, my husband and I set the timer and were in happy shock when we got the positive result. We bought two more tests, just to be sure. The second time, I took the test alone and kept my secret all day. I was scared.
I was scared of disrupting our seemingly perfect family. I was scared of changing our routine. I was scared that we had to move because we would no longer fit in our two-bedroom condo. I was scared of being able to be a good mom to my 2-year-old while dealing with a newborn. I was scared of the stress that comes along with being up every three hours to feed a newborn. I was scared that Baby #2 would be as difficult as my first. I was scared of going back to the newborn stage now that my toddler could walk, talk and sleep through the night.
I was scared I wouldn't love my second child as much as I loved my first. I was scared of how my first child would react to having a sibling. I was scared of so, so much that it took away the excitement and happiness of finding out I was pregnant.
I became nervous and overprotective of the baby growing inside me. At the faintest sign of what could possibly be a problem, I called the doctor. I wasn't like that with my first. I worried all the time. I didn't enjoy the pregnancy at all. As my belly grew, I became conflicted. I wouldn't pick up my toddler; yet, I wanted to savor our last days with her as my only child. I wanted to nurture her and tell her that I loved her more than anything in the world. I wanted her to understand that someday, she would be thankful she had a little sister.
But she was too little to understand that, and I was so concerned with how she would react. Would she think we didn't love her as much? Would she be upset that she had to share our attention? Would she act out at the baby? Would she be okay to spend two or three days with my parents while I was at the hospital?
The anxiety grew and grew. Then, at just over 37 weeks pregnant, in the wee hours of the morning of Father's Day, my water broke. I went into labor, and early that afternoon, my second daughter was born. They put her on my chest, just like they did with my first, and she peed all over me.
And I fell in love.
My fears left. My heart grew, and I knew immediately that I could love the second baby as much as the first. I knew that our family was, now, complete. I knew that, even though I worried for months, everything would be fine. We'd get through the newborn stage. We did end up moving, and we now had a house with plenty of room for two little girls to play together, to run around together, and to love each other. Because they do.