To My Second Baby Who Didn’t Make Me a Mother — But Did Make Me a Better One

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You were second. Not in my heart, but one did come before you in time.

Yes, with you, it was different.

There was no gender reveal party. No elaborate showers.

We didn’t read all the books or check the apps every week to see what vegetable you measured up against.

I didn’t take as many photos, didn’t spend every waking moment thinking about the way your hair might curl up on the ends one muggy summer day.

My mind was busier; my body more tired.

The worries of a first-time-mom had faded, and now my thoughts drifted to fears that I wouldn’t be enough for you. I wondered how on earth my heart could ever be big enough, how I could manage to divide my time and energy and love equally enough.

And then, before I knew what happened (because, you see, time passes so much quicker the second time around), you were here.

And in an instant, every fear faded.

That magical feeling when you finally see the person you’ve loved for so long, face to face? It’s not a one-time deal.

The world stopped for what seemed like hours as I introduced myself and sang you “Happy Birthday.”

And that was it. I was yours.

A mom of two. A family of four.

And oh, sweet baby, the lessons you’ve helped me learn.

You’ve taught me how to juggle 1,000 balls without completely melting down.

You’ve taught me that kids truly are resilient, and that my love covers so many gaps.

You’ve taught me to slow down. To savor firsts and lasts, and to focus on what’s really important, like drinking in the smell of your hair after a bath, and memorizing your tiny fingers and your perfect baby lips.

You’ve taught me to chill. To roll with the punches, and to laugh when everything falls apart.

You’ve taught me how absolutely strong I can be, and you’ve given me a confidence I lacked the first time around.

But more than anything, my love, you taught me that a heart is absolutely limitless in size, and that love is the antidote to fear.

So, it’s true. You didn’t make me a mother.

But you sure made me a better one.

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