Expansion of the Human Heart

May 12, 2012

One of my biggest fears when I fell pregnant for the second time was whether or not I would have enough love for more the one child. When you feel as though you love somebody more than life itself, how can you possibly multiply that? What if there physically wasn’t enough space in my chest (that’s where love lives, isn’t it? Not to be confused with ON my chest either which is in crazy E cup, fit to bust, glory right now) to fit more love? I was scared that perhaps I would have to share the existing love, as if measuring out ingredients to make two equal loaves, but how could you ever measure such massive quantities, or what kind of implement could ever properly measure such an intangible thing?

I had heard of women who loved their toddlers, of course, but when their new baby arrived they shunned their older child as they suddenly felt detached from them. They felt that, although the older child was previously their ‘baby’, they were now a big, cumbersome, boisterous creature that was getting in the way of bonding with the tiny newborn. Would this happen to me? COULD this ever happen to me? I’m crazy about my little buddy, D Man. We hang out and we do stuff together. Of course I get frustrated sometimes about the ‘Groundhog Day’ it can seem like I’m living, and sometimes D Man is not the most intellectually stimulating cat on the block, but surely, I would never shun him, my first born heart?

Or the other possible scenario is that I didn’t bond with my newborn, for whatever reason. Perhaps breastfeeding was difficult or I felt differently about the labour and I didn’t feel the same love that I felt with my first baby. When D Man was born I felt that my heart had suddenly been opened in a way that I would never have thought imaginable. My capacity for love, not just for my child, but for the entire world had grown exponentially with the placing of that little person in my arms. I suddenly saw a bigger picture that was not about me, or my personal happiness and I knew that from that day forward I would do whatever it took to protect and love this creature that was of my flesh. Would I be able to feel that again?

The answer, thankfully, is yes.

It’s not the same. The intensity of that first realisation of motherhood is lessened slightly the second time around, but it is because I cannot relive first moments, not because I feel less for my baby. It is sure to me now that your love does not halve, it doubles… some. A considerable sum of some, it appears. We, as humans, have the ability to keep growing love infinitely and people with 10+ children must need a wheelbarrow with which to carry their hearts.

Just as I was thinking these thoughts I came across this quote from Yasmin Le Bon in a magazine – ‘Discovering that with every child, your heart grows bigger and stronger – that there is no limit to how much or how many people you can love , even though at times you feel as though you could burst – you just love even more’.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Happy Mother’s Day, peeps.

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  • Reply Nicole May 14, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Great blog. Ive often thought of this too. Will I have enough love for more than one child? Or how does someone with 4+ distribute their love around? I’m sure they just do and each child is an individual with different traits to love.. I’m TTC with my second child and im pretty sure (hoping) ill love both kids.

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys May 14, 2012 at 10:37 pm

      Get ready for a heart explosion, Nicole! I’m presently hyper aware of making D Man feel super loved even though he’s no longer our only babe, and the love for my newborn is just pouring out of me……it’s actually a bit of a high! Thanks for the comment.

  • Reply Uncle Morkel and Aunty Reeta May 16, 2012 at 5:36 am

    Congrats…………….she’s beautiful.

  • Reply Michelle June 27, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    B e a u t i f u l and i n s p i r i n g Danielle, this is just 1 line i copied straight from emails i sent to my female friends/mothers. i just HAVE to let you know, that i am your number one fan… there are simply no superlatives.

    “reading her blog makes me happy, gives me hope, keeps me sane and makes me laugh”..

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys June 27, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      You just brought a damn tear to my eye, Michelle!! Thanks for sharing how you feel about my blog. Having a place to express all my thoughts, and opening communication with people about things has the same effect on me…..I really, really love having a number one fan. xxx

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee September 5, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Nice expression of that fear – I had it strongly when I was about to move from one to two. I have a book, where the husband said to his wife ‘you’re heart is like a pie, and with every child, they get an equal slice, but my slice gets smaller’. His intent wasn’t selfish, it was just as a fact. I try to remember that too.

  • Reply Leanne Winter September 5, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Beautiful children and a beautiful post. I agree with you. The love for the second one isn’t in any way lesser, just slightly different.

  • Reply freezecheese September 5, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Absolutely. It’s exhausting how much I love both my kids. It’s almost a relief not to have a third child to be completely enamoured by too. Oh, and there’s hubby of course 😉

  • Reply robomum September 5, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    I had a similar issue – how would there be enough love to go around? It just happens. Great post X

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys September 5, 2013 at 9:29 pm

      it does just happen….. until they get older and have days where you love one way more than the other 😉

  • Reply FreshHomeCook September 5, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    What a perfect expression of the fear so many parents have! I remember feeling the same way before my 2nd, then being blown away by the heart swell I felt when I saw both together for the first time. Incredible sensation.

  • Reply Tegan Churchill September 7, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Beautiful post. It really is amazing the love we feel for our children.

    Thanks for linking up with us at The Lounge.

  • Reply mamagrace71 September 10, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Wow, not only is she married to a total spunk, she’s an insightful lady is Yasmin Le Bon! I didn’t know how I was going to split my heart in two when I knew I was having twins…turns out – totes easy 🙂 x

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