"During the pregnancy with my second baby I felt like it took me a lot longer to ‘connect’ with my unborn baby. I was so busy being a Mum and enjoying life with my toddler and felt bad at times for not having those same mushy feelings I had first time round of pregnancy. I was also worried I wouldn’t have my ‘baby bubble’ after she was born because my toddler would be so demanding.
But the second she was born it was love! I think this was a much faster connection from the shock of the being a parent first time. We were still able to have our baby bubble at home with minimal visitors and Daddy enjoyed extra time with our son in those first 2 weeks while my daughter and I nestled in at home. They are so different and I love both them immensely." - Philippa, 2015
“How Can I Possibly Love Another Child As Much as my Toddler?”
This is something I hear so often. Yet, it is often after much hesitation, maybe with tears in the eyes and only after we’ve spent enough time together that they feel comfortable enough with me to vocalise their deep feelings.
It’s not wrong to feel this way or wonder how it’s possible! It’s very, very normal. It’s just not discussed. Or if someone is brave enough to bring it up, it's often dismissed as trivial.
When you think about it, your first child is all encompassing. The depth of love we feel for our first child is something that we’ve never experienced before. It is different from any bonds we’ve had with parents, partner or close friends. There can be an element of fear when you think about how strongly you feel about one little human being. While we often say we’d give up our life for a loved one, there is absolutely no hesitation with our baby. And the thought of anyone doing harm to them drives us crazy. It can be a fierce, protective love that we’ve never felt before. And it never goes away, no matter what their age.
So how the heck do we have anything left over for another? We know in theory they deserve just the same, but how can we possibly have the capacity to give just as much to another?
All I can say is, You Will. Love doesn’t halve with two children, it doubles. It may not be instantaneous, but you will get there. You will love each child equally, fiercely – but each will have their own personality too. There will be certain behaviours in each child you will not love quite as much. And in fact, they can be downright annoying. Colic is horrible and it’s hard to connect with a baby that’s screaming and arching away from you all the time. Parenting is just hard work at the moment. This will pass. Your toddler decides to gain attention by sticking his finger up the dogs bum, whenever your back is turned. ** That’s annoying too. And it will pass. But you still love them. Just at the moment, that fierce love may have to wait until they’re asleep.
One of the things I love to do with my clients is to spend an extra session with Birth Art. We get to explore all these deep, emotional concerns in a way that goes beyond “talk therapy”. I’ve found it’s an amazing way of letting parents find the answer within themselves. This is why I love Birthing from Within so much. If you'd like to book a "Meet Your Baby and Birth Art" session, feel free to Contact Us.
If you are are still unsure about the transition with a newborn, feel free to download this poem I found a long time ago on the internet. *** Perhaps stick it on your fridge or somewhere close by.
Feel free to share with us in the comments about your experience with the transition. Did you worry about this? What did you find happened?
** Unfortunately, this is a true story. It was such a difficult time for the mum. And the poor dog.
*** If you know who the author is, please let me know. I'd love to give them credit.