Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Momma's Boy

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.


  1. The love we have for our children- impossible to uderstand until you become a mom.

  2. Wonderful, honest post. Recently, a friend of mine who was pregnant with her second daughter asked me how it was possible to love two kids with all her heart. She apologized for asking, saying she knew it was a silly question. I assured her it wasn't silly, but that once her baby arrived she would see. It is amazing - and miraculous - that we can feel unadulterated and endless love for multiple beings. It is truly incredible. Thanks for sharing this celebration of life and love and family. Love the pic!

  3. And with that picture I realize that I know you. That I've sat beside you in church. All this time I've been reading your blog and has no idea who you were. Do you remember the Thurstons who lived at on the corner of Ash and Birch? :)

    Thanks for the great post. I know exactly what you mean. My love for my little girl is completely different than my love for my big boy. And it WAS easier the second time around. I knew what I liked and hated. I had tools in my toolchest and it made me far more confident.

  4. So beautifully written. I just want to shout out a hearty amen!

  5. What a very sweet post. I understand your loving each of your children differently but just as strongly as each other. They are so different. And by the time you have that third baby you will really relax and just enjoy the ride.
    I am stopping by from Inspired Dreamers blog. I really appreciate all your kind comments on my story.
    And thank you for the little reminder to look at my children and their individual strenghts, oh and to be grateful that we are out of diapers! ;)

  6. I so can relate to this post! Love the picture of the family!

  7. Exactly exactly exactly.

    And the picture is incredible. A happy family. HUGE.

  8. I remember being concerned that I couldn't love two kids (like I had a certain amount of love and would have to split it into two) before I had my second. You learn quickly that love doesn't work that way!

  9. I cried for the last 4 weeks of my pregnancy with Luke. How, How, How would I find the space in my heart for a second child. I was petrified that I'd have to take from Hannah to give to Luke. But I didn't. Somehow, I just added more room in my heart, in my head and in my world. I wouldn't have thought it would be possible, but it was. I now look at my two kids and am totally overwhelmed by the love I feel (on most days). I feel unbelievably fortunate to have the two of them and know that even if I've taken from myself and maybe a LITTLE from my husband, the room for the two of them will just keep growing as they do.

    Beautiful post (and family!)

  10. What an amazing post, Ambrosia! It is so scary becoming a parent for the first time - I was overwhelmed too and I was 35! People couldn't believe I wanted another child after what we went through with our son's prematurity (they didn't even know about my very severe postpartum) but I always knew there was one more baby waiting for me. (I was pretty old; that was it!)

    This is what I learned about love - there wasn't a finite amount of love available that had to be divided up between a certain number of children. The more children I had, the more the available love grew.

  11. As I sit here three boys sit partially on top of one another on the couch. They ask me for food and drink. I think, they are so needy. And then they bat their eyes and I read your post and I think, "I am so lucky for this love in my life." Because it's here. And it's tangible. And if I could have three more kids, I would because it is so strong, and I sometimes feel like I want to just keep keep keep filling my heart with their love.

  12. I love the picture! You all look so happy!

    The first one is SO much harder. I mean, it's hard with #2 because you also have #1 to take care of, but you just have a confidence in yourself with the second. Less panic.

    It's funny--my firstborn has always belonged to daddy. But #2? She's mine. :)

  13. Good job, momma! So true how we grow together. And, boy howdy, once your expectations get more realistic... what a difference that makes, right?


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