A letter to my firstborn before your sibling arrives

To my firstborn,

I’m nervous too. I don’t know what a new baby will bring. I don’t know how it will change our dynamic. I don’t know what it will be like to hold both of you or if my lap will be big enough for your ever-growing body and energy along with your sister’s. I don’t know if you will resent us for adding another little girl to our family—but I hope you don’t.

This is a season of a joy. Of new life. Of birth and growth. But I’m grieving, too.

Related: Dear firstborn—thanks for showing me the way

We’re stepping out of our old life into a new one. We’re leaving behind the days of it just being me and you while Daddy is at work. Or the days of it being me, you and Daddy on the weekends and holidays. We’re taking what we’ve become so comfortable with, what we’ve grown and morphed into, and changing it again.

You see, these past two years with you have been so special. To have so many moments built between just the two of us where you looked up at me like I knew what was going on, and I pretended that I did, and we both stepped into a totally new world—me as a mother, and you as a girl. Those moments are precious to me. I have photographs I flip through in my memory while you sleep. 

There are the days when you nursed what felt like every single minute and snuggled into my skin. There are the endless evenings of colic when you cried and cried until we found the perfect spot to wedge ourselves on the couch with the dog at our feet and watching Grey’s Anatomy until we had nearly seen it all.

I’ve become a woman who realized that she always has more to give, more to be, more to love. And adding your sister is only going to make me bigger.

There is your first Spring when you laid on a blanket in the grass while I hung laundry and studied the individual blades of green before you, like a scientist on the verge of discovering the unknown. And there was watching you run across that same yard this summer, your hair bleached from the sun, your arms wide, feet flying from the ground as you leapt for joy in the freedom of life. 

There are the new moments, too. The ones where your sister is already added into the mix. How you stand and lean against my legs instead of sit on my lap as I read to you before bed in your rocker. How you reach up to touch my belly and plant soft kisses when we mention baby. The sweet, gentle way you point to little babies and to my belly—and the joy that crosses your face.

Related: My firstborn, I know it’s been a hard adjustment

And I’m nervous you might be angry that it’s not just the two of us during the day anymore. That maybe you’ll resent the loss of my lap, my arms, my undivided attention.

I’m nervous not just for you, but for me, too. That I will feel overwhelmed. That I finally just got the hang of being your mom and being me—of giving so much of myself away while still hanging onto little pieces, and now I’m going to lose more.

But the truth is, I don’t lose anything—I gain. Each moment is a gift, and through your life, the parts of me I thought I knew intimately have changed. I’ve changed. I’ve become better. I’ve become a woman who realized that she always has more to give, more to be, more to love. And adding your sister is only going to make me bigger. Bigger for you. Bigger for her. Bigger for your father.

You see, love isn’t finite. It’s infinite. And with each passing second, my love for you grows larger, and it will continue as you step into your new role as big sister.

I’m excited to add another to our family. For you to have a sister to lean on for the rest of your life, to share a history with, to have by your side. But I’ll miss being the only one in that spot. Just like in the beginning, you’ll miss being the only baby on my lap.

Related: To my firstborn: You’ll always be my baby

So, these last few weeks we have with just the two of us and my ever-expanding belly, I’ll love on you hard. I’ll hold you on the couch and let us watch a little extra TV so I can cuddle just you a little longer. I’ll weep watching you run across the yard, my wild beautiful girl. 

And I will love you, just like I love your sister already. Just like I always have, even before I was your mother. 

I can’t promise this transition will be perfect. I can’t guarantee there won’t be tears for both of us. I can’t say we won’t sometimes be overwhelmed. But I can say this: You have taught me how to be a mother, and because of that, you are already the best big sister to our little baby on the way.

xoxo, Mama

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Today’s Parent is Canada’s #1 source for parenting content that informs, inspires and builds a sense of community. We help parents celebrate the happy chaos that comes with having a family and remind them that they are not alone. If you’re trying to conceive, pregnant or have children from newborn to ages 9+, you’ll get insightful information for all ages and stages on discipline, health, behaviour, education, plus easy and nutritious recipes and so much more.

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