In the weeks before I had my second child, I started to get really sad. Psycho sad. Hormonally raging pregnant sad. I would burst into tears when people innocently said, “How are you?”
“How do you think I’m doing?” I’d rage in an estrogen-induced fit. “I’m terrible, of course! Life as I know it is about to change forever!”
I was traumatized by the thought of bringing another child into my life. I was worried about what would happen to my relationship with my 3-year-old daughter. We were so tight. We did everything together. How on earth would a screaming, pooping baby fit into the picture? I would spend hours crying about how my daughter and I would never be able to go to Target alone together Ever. Again. Of all the things I could have fixated on, I picked that. Go figure.
I also worried that I could never love another child as much as I loved my daughter. It seemed impossible that I could love this poor baby I was about to have. My daughter had stolen my heart—all of my heart—and I had a hard time sharing it, even with my husband.
And then my son was born. And my relationship with my daughter did change forever. And it did break my heart. We stopped going to Target alone together. Our duo was forever altered. In the first months after my son was born, I cried about it a lot. But then some wise friend said, “There will be a new normal, Deva, just wait. The three of you will be just as perfect and happy as the two of you were.”
She was right. There is a new normal.
While things changed, my fears were put to rest. Now the three of us go to Target and the kids kick each other in the oversized shopping cart as I yell at them to behave. Awwww…
And it turns out I did fall in love with my son. I love him in that bone-crushing, insane “I will kill anyone who hurts you” way only a mother can love. And yet somehow, miraculously, my love for my daughter has not diminished in the slightest. It’s like my heart said, “scootch over” and the two of them snuggled in tight, filling my chest.