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…..plus 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.