Well, it’s taken me six months to get here but I can finally say with absolute honesty:
I don’t hate having two kids! I was going to say I love it but then I would have to change the “absolute honesty” part.
So I have a lot of catching up to do. Six months ago, I had a baby boy.
Actually, let me go back.
A little over a year ago, I found out I was pregnant with our second child. We were in Italy, it was our anniversary, and I had suspected for a few days that I might be pregnant. So I took the test and hooray! It was positive. Well, I was pretty sure it was positive. I had brought the one test with me but not the box or directions. But there were two distinct lines, which according to google.it, meant we had another baby on the way.
Three months later, having survived morning sickness again (this time while taking care of a toddler and adjusting back to Eastern Standard Time), we went in to find out the gender. I was sure it was a girl. I was sure I’d have these two little daughters who would be sisters and best friends and wear perfectly matching outfits. I was sure.
“It’s a boy!”
It felt like I had barely laid down when the ultrasound tech announced our future. Beyond shock, I really didn’t know how to feel. I didn’t know anything about boys. I have five sisters and went to an all girl’s school. I married my first serious boyfriend. And honestly, one of my favorite parts of being a mom is finding the perfect dresses for the different occasions in Ella’s life. What was I going to do with a boy?
It didn’t help that Matthew and I couldn’t agree on a name. It didn’t help that this was another really difficult pregnancy. It didn’t help that I had an energetic two year old and husband who traveled for work. I felt like I didn’t know who this baby was or how I was going to be his mother.
And then, he came. The days leading up to his birth were traumatic for me (another story for another time), but as soon as I saw him, all the things that didn’t help didn’t matter. I knew him, I knew I loved him, I knew his name.
That moment of clarity will forever be one of my most precious memories. Seeing him for the first time, recognizing my daughter’s face in his, hearing the name Jack as if someone had said it aloud– I’ll never forget it.
The day before he was born, I worried that the pain and fear I’d experienced associated with this pregnancy would stick with me and stain me forever. Jack made it like it never happened. His very existence is an act of kindness.
Obviously, there have been the challenging new realities. I mean, it’s taken me half a year to even think the words, “Hey, taking care of two kids isn’t completely impossible.” That’s the thought I had that prompted my writing again. There have been happy moments, several wonderful moments and changes and experiences since Jack was born. But there have also been the dark and quiet ones, the ones where your hands are working but your heart and mind are off somewhere, arguing over whose job it is to make you feel better. The moments when I knew I couldn’t do this and be happy at the same time.
I’m writing because for once, I’m happy to have been wrong. My heart has grown immeasurably to accommodate this pair of souls placed in my keeping, my Ella Belle and little bud.
Belle and Bud.