This is the Queen. She’s a Daddy’s girl.
When I was pregnant with the Queen, I was thrilled at the prospect of becoming a mom. When she arrived, I realized the frugality in my pre-baby preparations. I was not prepared.
I was not ready for the constant feedings.
I was not ready for changing diapers every couple of hours.
I was not ready for jaundice and the bili lights.
I was not ready for breastfeeding and the severe pain associated with it.
I was not ready for the Baby Blues.
I was not ready for colic.
I was not ready to release my independence and selfishness.
Despite the gnawing pain of motherhood anxiety, I grew into the role. I gained experience.
I learned to listen for my baby’s hungry cues.
I learned to change a diaper in a second.
I learned to breastfeed while lying down.
I learned to use painkillers and nipple shields while breastfeeding. (Saved my life, those painkillers. Oh, and the nipple shields.)
I learned to ask for help.
I learned to forego my wants to better focus on my daughter’s needs.
The Queen? She grew with me. We trail-blazed our way through those first 6 months. We grew accustomed to each other.
I grew to love that little girl. More than words can express.
This is Manly. He is a Momma’s boy.
When I found out I was pregnant with Manly, I was at peace. While the timing was off, it would be okay. We, I, would make it work.
This time around, things were different. I had experience. When Manly arrived, I was calm.
I expected the bili lights.
I expected the sleepless nights.
I expected the Baby Blues.
I expected the colic.
I expected to feel pain while breastfeeding.
Miraculously, this transition was much more smooth. Of course, Post Partum depression hit me with full force. This time, though, I had received medication prior to the onslaught. Thus, when it did hit, I may have been knocked down but I quickly recovered.
My motherhood anxiety hasn’t necessarily eased, it is merely less overpowering.
This is not the best part.
No, the best part is: I love my Manly. I love him as much as I love the Queen. My love is different for him, as it will be different for the next child. It is unique. In a way, you could call it “made to their individual specifications.”
I will always remember my time with the Queen, she was my first. The constant turmoil, pain, and sadness. The sheer happiness, joy, and fun. All the emotions mixed into a blender and poured into a glass that made me drunk with its overwhelming feelings.
I will always remember my time with Manly. I am not as anxious. I am not as emotional. I am more at ease with letting him sleep on his own, cry for a few minutes, and play by himself. I also have a little “helper” who willingly brings me what I need.
How can I express the powerful love I feel for both of my children? I can’t. I can tell you this: it is possible to love so much that you place your children’s lives over your own. It is possible to feel a small inkling of what God feels for each and everyone of us. It is possible to serve without expecting reciprocation.
It is possible, because I am living it.
This is my happy family.