When you find out you’re expecting many fears and “what if” scenarios can run through your mind. These fears and worries continue on even after your little one has arrived safely. You worry if your doing things right, if your baby is meeting their developmental milestones and if that sneeze was due to dust in the air or the first sign of illness.
For many, the second time around things are a little more relaxed. You’re “experienced” or “seasoned.” Although many worries remain, overall you learned a lot the first time around.
As the end of my second pregnancy approached I was pretty confident that I was ready to take on the baby phase again. I was a veteran after all. But soon after my second daughter arrived I quickly realized that while I wasn’t a first-time mom this was my first time being a mom to two humans at once and boy were things different. Mostly I was able to roll with the punches and figure it out but there was something that caught me off guard and added anxiety to my momma heart: bonding with baby number 2 took a while.
I remembered that instant connection I had with my firstborn, such big feelings of love, protection, and closeness.
But this time things felt different.
I knew I loved her and I was so glad to hold her in my arms, but I wrestled with the feelings of just going through the motions. Changing the diapers, feeding, burping, bathing, and being in survivor mode. Why didn’t it feel like it did with my older daughter? Was something wrong with me? I felt guilty that maybe I didn’t love her enough or wasn’t trying hard enough.
One afternoon I shared these feelings with a mom friend. I am so glad I did. She spoke some truth for me that helped me see things from a new perspective and ultimately eased my anxieties. This friend reminded me that now I have twice as many tiny humans demanding my attention and energy as I did when my first was born. She helped me realize that now, instead of being able to give all of myself to one, I have to divide my time between two. Not to mention, this was a different baby who has a different personality and temperament!
My friend reassured me that the simple fact I felt guilty and worried about this is proof that I care and love my baby deeply. Meeting my baby’s basic needs of being fed, cleaned, soothed, and comforted is an incredible expression of love and care in those newborn stages.
When my friend helped me see things through this lens it eased my worries about bonding with baby number 2. Now almost 7 months into it, I can now say I confidently feel bonded to my second baby. It took time, and it was different but it happened. Once again, I was humbled by motherhood. If you are feeling the same way let me be your friend today who speaks truth to you.
You love your baby, your baby loves you. And you are enough.