The day I told you you were going to be a big brother, I cried more tears than I cried on your first birthday. I knew you were too little to understand what it meant for me to be having another baby, but I needed you to hear it from your momma first, because, well, you are my baby.
Since that day, we’ve had many conversations, you and I, about the changes that are coming. I tell myself I’m preparing you for a big transition. But I know by the ache in my heart and your eagerness to quit with all the chit-chat so you can get back to playing, these talks are mostly for me. I know it seems odd because I’m the adult, the one who made this decision and the one growing this new life. Why should I feel anything but joy? But sweet love, you must know that you were my baby.
As my stomach swells with the pride and joy of your little brother or sister, it’s getting harder and harder to pull you up against me. We’ve had to adjust, you and me, shift the way you fit across my chest. Change the way I carry you and play with you. Maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be. This slow adjustment is happening in obvious ways in my body and in quiet, tender ways in my heart. I am excited for this little one we’ll be holding in a few months, so much more excited than it may seem. Yet, there’s an unfamiliar heaviness in my heart. A feeling that seems requisite when carrying a baby in your arms and another in your womb. Because, well, you were my first baby.
And yet, here you are! My sweet boy, toddling around my feet, throwing balls, and playing with trucks. Those quiet newborn coos have turned into belly laughs and loud protests when you want your food right now! As you grow, your curiosity and energy often take you out of my arms and into whatever new fun you have discovered—yet you always find your way back. Even in the midst of the changes that are happening, I can see you still need me, so very much indeed. But it’s different now. Though that reality is exciting, it’s also hard, because you were my baby.
I dream about the ways you will love, protect, and (let’s face it) get into trouble with your new little sibling. Thinking of you as a big brother brings an added thrill to this pregnancy, which has been such a gift. Although logic tells me this baby will be different in so many ways, I can’t help but picture you when I think about delivery rooms and tiny onesies and that newborn baby smell. When I think of my baby, I think of you.
They keep telling me my heart will grow times two when this baby joins our family, and there’s more than enough love to go around. Today, in this moment, as I’m watching you sleep, I’m banking on that profound mystery. I have surrounded you with every bit of love I have ever known because you were my first baby.
The thing is, Momma knows just how much time and attention goes into loving a newborn. This little one will need me in all the ways you once needed me. I worry you’ll feel less valued, less loved. Ok, I’ll be honest. I’m worried I’m going to miss you because you were my baby.
Yes, it will be an adjustment with this new baby around. It will be an adjustment for you, big brother, and it will be an adjustment for your momma. Life is full of changes. Some will be easier and more joyful than others. But through all the changes life may bring, of this you can be sure: You will always have a place.
My lap will never be too full for you. My lips will never tire of kissing you. My eyes will never be done adoring you. Our home will always have room for you. Whether you become a big brother to one or to many, many more. Whether you are a year old, eighteen years old, or eighty years old. No matter the distance or the differences that may lie between us, you will always belong here.
You are and will always be my first baby.
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Jessica Schatzle is a new, old mom. At the age of 37, she found herself knee-deep in diapers, baby giggles, and the whole new world of motherhood. As a physical therapist turned working mom, she takes great joy in helping both her patients and fellow moms find hope in their unforeseen stories. Forever seeking the Author of Hope in her own surprising journey, she writes about everyday life with an eternal perspective. Next time you’re vacationing in the Black Hills, give her a shout! She and her husband have a seat open for you at their table right between the high chairs and cheerios. Come for the insider tips to local outdoor adventures, stay for a cup of coffee, and a little hope for your journey. Until then, you can keep up with her tales on her blog or follow her on Instagram.