I look at my little girl sleeping peacefully here on the couch next to me and I can’t help but smile. She’s a noisy little thing and is always making noises of one kind or another… in my mind, I have nicknamed her “Squeaker”.
I can admit now that I had my doubts before she was born. While I knew that I loved this little person growing in me, I didn’t feel as connected to her as I had felt with her brother. I tried to figure out why that was… was it because unlike my first pregnancy, I now had another child that I had to pay attention to? Was it because when we first found out about the pregnancy I was so sure that she was going to be a boy, that I was a little disappointed when we found out she was actually a girl? Or worse… did I not have it in me to love another child?
I tried to connect with her by doing the things that I did when I was pregnant with her brother… I would rub the ever growing bump and talk to her. Ray and I would grab the stethoscope and try to find her heartbeat (which we never did find). I would push back a little when she kicked and moved to get her to move a little more and maybe kick me back. Despite doing the things I did with Noah, I still couldn’t help but feel like I wasn’t connecting with her… like there was something missing.
Her birth was a whirlwind of activity and it took Ray saying “Listen to your daughter crying” after she was born for it to really sink in… she was here with us now. Abby and I had time alone to connect with each other while at the hospital. She wasn’t in her little plastic hospital bed very much… I even held her as we slept at night. She was so small and fragile, I just couldn’t stand seeing her alone in that cold plastic crib… plus it gave us the chance to get to know each other better.
She’s been home with us for a few weeks now. I try to give her as much attention as I did Noah when he was this age, but it’s hard. I have to divide my attention between the two of them… sometimes Abby wins because I have to nurse her… and sometimes Noah wins because he needs me. She doesn’t get the attention that he got though and he doesn’t get the attention that he is used to either… and it sucks. I feel guilty… like I’m depriving them of the time individual time with me that they deserve. If I could split myself in two… or three or four for that matter… I would, if it meant that I wouldn’t feel the nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Although I’m not able to concentrate as much on her as I was with Noah, I have been able to bond with her and thus get rid of my fear that we wouldn’t connect. She is her own little person and although in many ways they are very alike, so is soooo different from her brother.
These first few weeks have been a combination of exciting, easy, trying, tiring, nerve-wracking, heart warming and just plain great. It may not be the same as the first time around, but I have no doubt in my mind that Abby and I will have a relationship with each other that is just as close as the one her brother and I have.