Saturday, November 24, 2012

connection or the lack thereof

My sister was pregnant with her second child at the same time I was expecting Vicki Jo.  It was a lot of fun to compare our experiences, and it was reassuring to be able to call her anytime and ask if things were "normal" or not.  Doesn't hurt that she's also a nurse! 

One of the things Nelle frequently commented on was how much she knew that her relationship with her son would change when her daughter was born.  Elliott was three when Sloane was born, and Nelle had pretty much stayed home with him since he had arrived.  They are extremely tight.  She said that she mourned the loss of their unique relationship, since she knew that it would have to adapt to a new baby that would consume all of her attention for a period of time - and would change the dynamic of their family forever.

I couldn't really identify with her feeling at that time, as I was still in the daze of brand-new-mother expectancy.  But now, I know exactly what she meant.  It's part of what makes this "new" baby still feel very theoretical.

Obviously there is a baby growing inside me.  I can feel it move sometimes, I can hear its heartbeat when we go to the midwife, and my body is changing in undeniable ways.  But I don't feel that I have really made a strong connection with that baby yet.  Because when I look at Vicki and think about what we have lived through together in the last 19 1/2 months, the new baby feels kind of like an interloper.  Not that I'm not excited about having another child.  That's not my point.  I just don't know him yet.  (We don't know boy or girl.  I just think boy.)

Do these eyes not just see your entire soul?

The days and nights since Vicki came have been some of the most difficult, painstaking, self-doubting, effervescent, joyful, giddy, satisfying, distressing times of my life.  Applying myself totally to this task of parenting has already been the longest endurance race of my life, and it's nowhere near done! 

I will build a relationship with the new baby that is just like and totally different from my connection with Vicki.  I know that.  I can't wait to see what it's like.  But I don't feel like I can do it yet. 

One of the bloggers I read frequently (Erin at Growing a Foosa) wrote a post about this very topic last week!  It was so crazy because I had already drafted this post.  Glad to know that a lot of moms go through this.


mama foosa said...

SO good to see I'm not alone. Thanks for writing this :)

Emily said...

Amen! First children are just something different, I think.