I bought you a book called You Were the First, and as I read it to you, a heavy stream of tears fell from my eyes. You didn’t seem to understand the message of this book, that you were—are—my first baby, the one who transformed from just a person to parent, and that soon, you will no longer be my only. At the tender age of three, this doesn’t seem to leave an imprint. But I have no doubt that when your teeny tiny twin sisters arrive, you will feel the pangs of going from my only, to one of my three.
“Why are you sad, Mommy?” You asked, with sweet, genuine concern.
“These are happy and sad tears, Sweetie,” I replied. “Because I am so excited for your baby sisters to be born, but I am also sad that it will no longer be just us.”
And truly, I was crying because of how much I FEEL, for her, for me, for the sisters that are entering our family system. Will my baby feel neglected? Will she still feel as loved by me, her dad, her other caregivers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, as much as she does now? Will being the older sister of twins make her feel left out? After all, we wanted more than one child so she had a playmate – a soul companion to share life’s ups and downs with. We unintentionally gave her two – twins! But twins come with their own unique characteristics, such as being eternally bonded together, starting from the day of their conception. Will they allow her in to their special world? Will she feel included?
For the longest time I could not imagine loving anyone else—any other baby—as much as I love her. After all, I love her so much that truly, sometimes it aches. My love for her pours through every inch of me, running heavy, like a torrent, through my veins. Sometimes, oftentimes, it consumes me; steals my breath and leaves me gasping for air. Because of this, for some time I worried that even if I had the love to give, I may not physically survive loving any other human being this much.
But I know now that I have an endless supply of forever, unabashed, unconditional love to give, and even when it overwhelms my emotions and senses, it is what keeps me happy, hopeful, connected and alive. The love I have for my child and unborn children is unlike any other love I have ever felt. It is raw and real and beautiful and true. And this is how I knew I could handle—make that, NEEDED—more. I had intended on one more child, not two. But my two are a wonderful blessing; they are a gift, and I feel honored the Universe deems my husband and I able enough to handle two at a time, plus our toddler.
But here I sit, still with tears as I think about my first. My sweet, sassy, smart, silly Lovebug, who, until this point in her short life has had us all to herself. I cry for her, because as much as we tell her about what is ahead, she truly cannot know or understand until the day is here that we bring home our baby girls. I cry for me, because it will never be just us again. I want so badly to bottle these moments, save them and give them to both of us as gifts to relive later, when our house and worlds are chaotic; when time spent just the two of us is a rare and special gem.
I cannot do that, but I can do this: share my words, my thoughts and feelings, with her. And so to you, my firstborn, I say:
You will always be my special Lovebug. The sweet child who taught me love as I’ve never known it, and what it means to be a parent. The child who, as a baby, I stared at, day in and day out, making sure you were still breathing. The child who I became neurotic about, wondering if you were sleeping enough, warm enough, gaining enough weight, hydrated enough, and so on and so forth, from the day you were born until…well…this very day. My mother always tells me that no matter how old I am I will always be her baby, and that she will worry about me until I am old and gray; the same goes for you, sweet child. I will worry about you endlessly, until YOU are old and gray. I want for you in a way I never wanted or want for myself. I yearn for you to feel happiness and love, yet know at the same time that you must endure struggle and challenges in order to grow resilient, flexible, capable and strong. So I suppose, though it pains me so, I want those things for you too. Please know I am going to love your twin sisters too—wildly and deeply. But you – you my sweet girl – will ALWAYS be my first. The one who made made me a parent. The one whose smile makes my heart sing. The one whose giggle makes my heart melt. I love you, Lovebug. To the moon and back.