06 March 2010

When Three Became Four

The moment that Eli was placed on my chest (my arms were still strapped down to the table - what a wonderful memory) will forever be etched in my heart as the most emotional, wonderful moment of my life.  The primal instinct in me roared.  Despite the surgical birth we had just gone through, I didn't want anyone else to touch, or even look at my son.  I abruptly told Jared that he was not to worry about me, but that he wasn't to let our baby out of his sight.  I felt that every experience I had ever had culminated to that very instant, and that being a mother was all that I was ever meant to be.

I never felt the huge transition that some people say becoming a parent brings.  I don't know if I was blessed, or if the craziness that was my life when Eli was born didn't allow me to think much about it, but he and I didn't have much problem adjusting to each other. I felt prepared to take on the roll of motherhood, full throttle.  As the months since Eli entered our family have flown by, I have rarely felt overwhelmed or unprepared.  Sure, there have been moments of stress and worry, but in general I think I have handled it all pretty well.

Then came number two.

Who knew that this would be so much bigger of a transition for me, physically and emotionally.

In the first few days of Silas's life, I was dealing with, dare I say, disappointment of his birth, postpartum hormonal changes, and, most affecting, the emotional needs of my sweet two-year-old.  Up until the moment of Silas's birth Eli had been my best friend, my constant companion, and, other than Jared, my number one concern.  But suddenly all the rules changed.  He couldn't jump on the bed, because the baby was sleeping, nurse when he wanted, because the baby was nursing, scream, talk, stomp, or do so many things he had been allowed to do just days before, because of this new little creature we had brought home.  To be honest, I couldn't blame him when he asked us to take the baby "back to the hotel."  I found myself dealing with some of the same growing pains: never mind the surprise that the middle of the night feedings were, I wasn't prepared for the guilt and emotional exhaustion I would experience. I felt torn between the bonding that I wanted to do with my new sweet baby, and spending time letting Eli know that he was still just as important to me as ever.

Yet, here I sit, with my sweet, precious, wonderful baby boy sleeping beside me, and I can't imagine our family without him.  I feel like I have had to learn a whole new set of rules with him: he sleeps differently than Eli, nurses differently, plays differently, but each change is exciting and fun.  Juggling naptimes, bedtimes, nursing, meals and meaningful play has been an adjustment, that's for sure.  But, when Silas gently wakes us all up with his coos and smiles, and then Eli squeezes in between us to make him laugh, I know why we so badly wanted another child.  The joy that Eli's pronouncements to Silas that "if you see any bad guys, you tell your big brother, and I will get them for you" are worth more than I can express.  Silas's giggles when I run my hands across his back, or his squawks (for that's really what they are) of joy when he splashes in the bathtub, or his happy leg kicking every time Jared comes home from work bring so much happiness to our lives.

Sure, I just don't have time to spend hours staring at him, memorizing every feature of his face and recording every thing he does, but I am so grateful for the relationship that we do have, and am eternally happy that we didn't give into Eli and bring him back to the hotel.


  1. jen this is so sweet, and so true. each kid is different, and our situations when we have each child is different.
    silas is so cute, and i love that he is constantly smiling everytime i see him!!

  2. "I felt that every experience I had ever had culminated to that very instant, and that being a mother was all that I was ever meant to be."

    I completly relate to this. The first time I held my child and simultaneously became "Mother" everything made total sense. It is a wonderful feeling to fullfill purpose...

  3. oh that first comment was from me.

  4. What a sweet post about family growing (joys and pains) When you have a second (in my opinion) you feel how will you ever have enough love -- you are giving your entire heart to your only child and husband; there won't possibly be enough of you left... amazingly, with each child you learn your heart grows so it can hold and give more love.

    I enjoyed reading your blog and will be returning. Thank you for joining in my post card exchange.



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