Explosions and the Subsequent Pieces of Heart in My Eyelashes

Boom!

Towards the end of my pregnancy I had a permanent feeling of nervousness. Excitement, sure, but mainly nervous anticipation and a sort of fear that by giving birth to a new child I would be sacrificing my first born. That by bringing a new child into our family I would be shutting Archer out. That he would resent me and us, be hurt, sad, jealous, frustrated, alone. I feared a second child might come between us - our bond broken, our love weakened.

When my doctor told me I was in labor and should probably get my ass over to the hospital pronto, I broke down. Archer was with me in the doctor's office, crumpling the paper on the examining table, sucking on a lollipop and I looked at him, back at my doctor and then burst into tears. It was time to go to the hospital which meant it was time for me to drop Archer off at a friend's house which meant it was time for me to leave my son to tend to our daughter, shiny new.

I was crushed by the thought of looking in my rear view mirror and not seeing him in the middle seat anymore. From now on, there would be two, Fable on the passenger side and Archer behind me kicking my seat.

I'm pretty sure my feelings were completely natural, even commonplace for mothers soon to deliver their second born as evidenced, here:



Of course, no parent is ever certain how a second child will be received by their first. I spent months preparing for the worst, coaching Archer with stuffed animals, asking for his help in song.

"Will you sing a song to baby Fable in my tummy?" I would ask.

Archer would look at me, head cocked, bewildered but eventually...

"Fable, Fable, give me an answer do/ I'm half crazy over the love of you/ It won't be a stylish marriage/ I can't afford a carriage..." he would sing into my belly button like a microphone.

Still. We had no idea how Archer would react to his baby sister. No clue that our only child would take to big-brotherdom like a seasoned professional, like it was the most obvious and natural thing in the world.

Hal and I were blown away.

Minus the little running away incident, Archer has gone beyond brotherhood, his instincts to nurture not unlike a new mother, his ability to be patient, kind. His need to protect her, hug her, hold her hand in the backseat of the car, no matter how hard he must lean to his right to reach her.

The day I dressed Fable up in her fancy sailor dress Archer gasped, ran to her and said, "Look at you, Fable! You're the most beautiful girl I've ever seen in my whole life!"

Indeed, I agreed.

For the tenth time that day, I had to hide my tears from him. Because who says that? Who holds their sister's bottle for minutes at a time, dabs her mouth, kisses her cheek, reads her stories before bed every night, tucks her in?

I should have known that Archer would, and yet? Truly, I had no idea. No idea how much Fable's arrival would make me love Archer more. As a brother and caretaker and kind, doting, heartbreakingly generous soul. No idea that having two children would be like this.

Boom! Boom!

People say that when you have two children your love expands, your heart gets bigger to make room for a new human to love. For me, expansion was just the beginning. It was like someone dropped a piano of adoration on my head and left me tending to the pieces of my obliterated everything. I was a goner the first moment Archer rushed the hospital room to kiss his baby sister on her forehead...

I've been a goner ever since.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

BoombooomboomEXPLOSIONboominfinityboom!

GGC

64 comments:

Ashley | 12:10 PM

A perfect post and a perfect description of that love and what it does to you as a mother.

I had those fears when my second child was born and again when my third (my only girl) arrived. I'm gleefully happy to say that I am so in love with all my children I think my heart has almost blown up.

Ameya | 12:12 PM

That is wayyyy to cute. How lucky is Fable to have a big brother like that?!

Ashley | 12:20 PM

Fable is soooo lucky to have such a wonderful big brother!!

Ty will be 4 this year with no potential husband, let alone potential siblings in sight which has continually had me bouncing around in my head this question of "Do I even want another child?" I mean, sure, children are about the best thing EVER that you can do with your life, but I just worry about the balance in mine and Ty's life and how upset and wobbly it would be just to add a man into the mix, let alone any other siblings.

I'm glad your story has such a wonderful and sweet ending to it!

Erin, Nick and Merrick | 12:21 PM

I am TERRIFIED of #2 for what it may do to Merrick and our bond.
Thanks for easing my fraidy-cat-ness.

BananaGoat | 12:24 PM

Archer's love for Fable is a testament to your ability as a parent, and the love you've created in your family. I find such joy in this post, these photos, and your beautiful children. You guys rock!

Chantelle | 12:26 PM

That is very, very sweet.

As a Nanny (am now a Mumma) I used to get many parents asking how they would have enough love for subsequent children.

I remember telling them: Love isn't limited. You will love a new baby like you love your child now. It's already within you.

I guess that's a little similar. Or not?

Anyways - beautiful post.

I love the first shot of Fable sititng up. She's giving you a sneaky rude finger. As if to say - Mom - I always new it would be okay. But just wait until we're in our teens. ;)

Chantelle | 12:26 PM

Argh. Knew not new.

Nobody's Girl | 12:27 PM

Well of COURSE he's a loving, wunnerful, doting big brother! Just reading your posts, listening to your gentle coos to your beloved Fable while you videotape her...it's clear he's learning from the Master in loving her. :)

samantha jo campen | 12:28 PM

Well, I'm now here crying at my desk.

Your children are amazing. And your love for them is so beautifully written. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

mom2nji | 12:31 PM

Rebecca,
As always I got a little weepy reading your blog. The love you convey with your words is awe inspiring. Fable is lucky to have such a wonderful big brother and both of them are lucky to have parents like you.
*Just remember this love when they are tackling each other over a toys in about 2 years.

marlene | 12:38 PM

great post. i've been worrying a bit on how my first will react to #2 on the way. how i will manage it all. but you give me hope. and now i feel gitty.

Zora | 12:40 PM

What a luscious post of fraternal love. They do look quite smitten with one another. You have really beautiful children and the words you use to describe them and your pregnancy fears...are so real to me. I have not experienced motherhood yet; however, I am quite convinced that the gushy-mommy-is-love type of thing fed through the media is not always realistic. I've appreciated for a while the way you cast a wide net of emotions over the bumby road of motherhood. It helps us "one-day" mom's to feel a little more balanced in the land of pre-parenting.

Anonymous | 12:41 PM

If only I could get my husband to read your blogs, his heart would be melted like mine is, and he wouldn't doubt the decision to have two.

Thank you for another very touching and beautiful story/blog/thoughtprovokingthing.

Maternal Mirth | 12:41 PM

Your kids are just. plain. precious.

Also, you put into words what most moms feel once they know their love will multiply (never divide).

britton | 12:42 PM

You better watch out. Archer looks to be practicing his chin-lock in one of those pics. Great post.

Charlotte | 12:49 PM

Fine. Now you've really got me thinking about number 2. As in, hello Mr. Husband, how about a romp in the hay RIGHT NOW???

GingerB | 12:58 PM

Oh, I feel just the same! My love for Claire grew infinitely after Hannah was born. I was so worried that she would be resentful, or jealous or not love me back after the little sister showed up. My fears were groundless and my daughter didn't disappoint me at all.

I better go post about this and link back, now I am all full of emotion and a write alot faster when i am all full of the love . . . Thanks, again!!

Aims | 1:03 PM

OMG - the pics of Archer and Fable on the rug are PRICELESS. What sweetness. How wonderful for her to see when she's grown up.

I have 2 older brothers and don't have pics like this to remind me of how protective and loving they were from the get-go, but I wouldn't trade the bond we have for anything. They are awesome. When I was pregnant, I wished for a boy first, so that my daughter would experience what I did... it didn't work that way, we have a girl, but nonetheless, I hope those that come will be as close and as in love with each other as I am with my sibs.

LouEffie | 1:10 PM

The pictures of the two of them are just beautiful. What a great big brother. I can only hope that my little man will be as loving with our next child.

Leslie

mames | 1:11 PM

those pictures of your two are amazing. i love the one where his head is leaned into hers. it is funny, i have the twins so i never knew just one. and the nervousness of having two, well, it was there just like yours. i worried whether i could do it, whether they would like each other. and though they are experts at knock downs they are also amazing to watch when they laugh hysterically to each other, or pat each other gently when the other hurts. or sleep entwined when we have them together in bed. there is no limit to the love a mother's heart can create...it was the first lesson i learned on this journey. thanks for sharing. i like the image of love like a piano to the head. appropo

Mommy Melee | 1:11 PM

Archer is the most beautiful little guy I've ever seen. And I rarely say that since I have two little guys.

Mine are 2.5 years apart. My little guy is jsut a few months younger than Fable. I'm starting to see that adorable tentative sibling love and yes, yes yes. That's why we had another.

Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com | 1:12 PM

I hadn't seen the picture of Archer holding Fable's hand before. I know that I'm pregnant and therefore a big pathetic sobbing mess ANYWAY, but that picture made me well up.

What a blessing for both of them to have a sibling they so adore. I hope they never lose that.

Sarah | 1:23 PM

Although I'm not a mother, and can't possibly in a million years empathize with you, I simply love the way to write about the experience of watching your kids.

It's a gift to be able to read this...thanks.

Best,
Sarah

Ray | 1:34 PM

Beautiful post as always; I almost cried.

“… hold her hand in the backseat of the car, no matter how hard he must lean to his right to reach her.” That is the sweetest thing ever. Archer is an amazing big brother and Fable is so lucky to have him.

“I’ve been a goner ever sense.”

I love that line. And of course your children are so VERY LUCKY to have you for their mother. To have not only an awesome mother but; one who has such a way with words that one day, “Pieces of their own hearts will be found on their eyelashes."

katie d | 1:39 PM

Such wonderful timing! thank you, thank you, thankyouthankyou!! I had such an awful Saturday with my son - everyone was melting down left and right. And I'm thinking OMFuckingG how am I going to have another one (I'm 5 months pregnant) and was near tears most of the day. This helps so much. Thank you! And keep up the great momversations!

Anonymous | 1:53 PM

"Look at you, Fable! You're the most beautiful girl I've ever seen in my whole life!"


He's gonna make some girl very happy someday. :-)

-Janet

The Girl | 2:21 PM

All of this = exactly why The Boy is hoping we have a little fella, 'steada a little lady. Big brotherdom is awesome.

Elly | 2:21 PM

Oh <3, Archer is brilliant :)

Tracey | 2:41 PM

Love them!

I totally get that. I am still in shock at how much kit seems to love Sebby. Maybe its a boy girl thing. They don't see the other as any competition?

Loving the blog.

T x

Leslie D | 2:57 PM

Fable is so lucky to have Archer as her big brother!

Issas Crazy World | 2:58 PM

She is the luckiest little baby in the world to have a brother who adores her that much. Truly.

With my kids, it's my oldest with my son. She thinks he is god's greatest gift to the world. It's awesome to see.

Gah, am melting at those photos. Adore that dress on Fable.

Rock It | 2:59 PM

i have so many feeling toward this post... but mainly i just love it..Archer and Fable are so beautiful together.

3star | 3:50 PM

Archer is such a loving brother Fable is very lucky. I can't wait to have another child and I think you left just the right gap between them. I was 2 1/2 when my parents brought my sister home and I was absolutley horrified at this invader into my happy safe home. I got over it but it was definitely not love at first sight or even secodn sight for that matter. I love her to bitd though. With my second sister there was 9 years between us and I fell head over heels in love with her and that didn't change. I used to cry I loved her so much when she was a baby and told my mum I couldn't hold all the love inside me. I used to help look after her and that continued long into my teens. I still watch out for her but she's a grown married woman now and our parents would've been very proud of her, off us all.

mrs.notouching | 4:48 PM

That's it. Condoms be gone!

meredyth | 5:27 PM

Wow, I've noticed in the past few posts with photos of Archer how much he's grown! He's turning into such a big boy and so adorable. This description is great, he sounds like such a cool and sweet kid. Fable is really lucky. Congratulations on two great kids.

mrs. q. | 6:16 PM

Lovely. I'll never forget the feeling when my two-year-old son walked in the hospital room to see me and his new sister. Holding two pink roses. I burst into tears.

sigh. Enjoy it. Pretty soon they'll be screaming "MINE!" over a toy and knocking each other over.

Megan | 6:40 PM

this post made me cry - and I never cry

Desiree Fawn | 7:00 PM

Oh here come the tears! I'm a sucker.

And at 15 weeks pp I ALREADY wanted another one and this makes me want another one NOW!

sweetmelissa818 | 7:55 PM

I almost started crying reading that! I see things like that in my older daughter every day and it makes me all teary! It's amazing that someone so small can be so loving!

Anonymous | 8:08 PM

Those feelings are SO VERY COMMON with second pregnancies! I remember feeling the same way. I have raised four kids (I'm old now) but I can recall it like it was yesterday. I had a friend back then and she said "I don't think I can have more than one kid, I can't divide my love down that far" - divide? Mine multiplied! That's what a mother does, and the more you have, you will love all of them, no multiplication necessary.

cmom | 8:10 PM

That is sweet, but don't be disappointed when they get older and fight. They will ya know, but then they will like each other again when they grow up. It will break your heart to watch, but it will pass. Just be prepared for it.

PiggyToes | 8:32 PM

That was absolutely beautiful. I'm sitting here on my sofa holding my two week old son, so tired it is physically painful to hold my eyes open, but I am crying now after reading your post. I am crying because what you wrote is so real, I have my brand new sweet baby in my arms but my heart is hurting to be close to my toddler, who is asleep in his bed. I can only hope my little man warms up to his baby brother and loves him half as much as Archer loves Fable. Just beautiful.

foodiemama | 8:35 PM

that fear you explained is my last string of fear into jumping into the pool of multiple kid-dom. I am scared to sacrifice our time together, scared he will hate me, etc.
it truly is adorable to see archer smooch on her chubby cheek! i hope if i keep reading it will push me over that last vestige of fear.

mommymae | 8:38 PM

he is the best big brother in the world. you, hal & the rest of your family have done such an amazing job helping him become this adorable, innocent, strong, loving little boy of almost 4. too sweet.

mfk | 8:48 PM

omg so cute. seriously, who SAYS that?? the sailor dress does kick ass though, I can't blame him.

Angie | 10:16 PM

This is a great post! I am so glad I read it. My first is 6 m/o now and while we are no where near ready for #2 yet, I have been thinking lately of how I will react, how it will be, how I will divide my love. This post couldn't have come at a better time for me :)

kiezamy | 3:43 AM

that is the exact feelings that i felt when i found out i'm pregnant with #2 a few days ago. Looking at my daughter's face, i'm afraid that she will be resent me for depriving her the love and attention she has been lavished with all this while. Afraid that i will lost the special bonding that i've with her all this while (btw she's 9 months now). But seeing how big your love grew with each child anh how wonderful their relationship is, i believe i can get over this too :)

Anonymous | 7:22 AM

Oh. ....BOOOM!!...those pictures. My heart all over the place..

Jackie | 8:30 AM

Isn't it amazing? I was terrified before my second was born - I'd heard horror stories of older siblings dispising the new baby...pinching, and hitting, and regressing. But when we called to tell the news of her new brother's arrival, I heard a squeal of excitement on the other end of the phone. One of my favourite pictures is from the day Austin was born, of Abigayle (2yrs old) holding his tiny little hand, staring at him with adoration. It was a heartbreakingly beautiful moment - and every day is full of more!

Cave Momma | 9:01 AM

Damn... crying now.

As usual, beautiful words.

Chicago Mom | 9:36 AM

You made me cry too. I have baby #2 on the way and I can really relate to your blog.

Lindy | 10:05 AM

Wow. I'm less than a month away from having my first (a little boy that I desperately wanted to be a little girl). So I'm a long way from the second child, but your words brought tears to my eyes and peace to my heart that I could raise a little boy who just might be kind, gentle, loving... Thank you. I needed to see these pictures and read these words.

Andrea D. | 10:32 AM

beautiful.

Heather Maxwell-Hall | 3:14 PM

aww the total and utter sweetness of it all.
ps, you're such a great writer, rebecca.

Emily | 4:14 PM

This post really reflects how things went with us too - Jaden was three when Violet was born and it took three years to be sure I was ready to let someone else into our "little circle." He, like Archer, comes up with those sweet little things all the time too. They are so precious to hear.

Now that she's two and he's five those little moments are still there and I try to savor them, because too often they're drowned out by "GET OUT OF MY STUFF! YOU'RE MESSING IT UP! MOM COME GET VIOLET OUT OF HERE!!!!!!" Oh, I miss the sweetness.

Loukia | 8:40 PM

Beautiful! I was completely depressed the first night I was in the hospital with my second born son. Oh yes, I instantly fell madly in love with him, very much the same way I did with my first born son, but still, it was the first night I was ever away from my first born son. I was totally missing him. Seeing him the next morning again made me feel complete, though. Him looking with love into his brothers eyes... made it just right. Now, though - he's sometimes rough with Dimitry. Sometimes scratches him. Takes away certain toys from him. Sometimes it's very much a challenge. But then sometimes, he too will sing to him, hold his hand, and love him. And then the world is perfect again!

sweetmelissa818 | 9:44 PM

I commented earlier, but had to add that with my second daughter not only was I already feeling all of these things, but I ended up in the hospital for 5 weeks before having her. This took away the last few weeks of me only having one daughter. It broke my heart to pieces being away from my daughter (for the first time ever) and coming home with another baby. It was the hardest thing I've ever done.

Anonymous | 2:39 PM

I have three children and I didn't experience any of the feelings you wrote about. I was beyond thrilled to have our first baby after being married for five years, going to law school and working like a dog along with my husband to build a good life for our future family.
With baby #2 I felt more confident and able to relax. I knew what to expect. From the beginning the kids were a team. They had secrets and games that they invented and they loved making fun of their crazy old parents. With baby #3 things just got better. I was able to cut back to working part-time and I could spend more time fixing up the house, putting i a pool and buying a pony for the kids.
We're a family and my husband and I love all the kids. They all unique individuals and they're very close. It's a pure joy growing our family.

Mamacita | 1:47 PM

Archer's love and affection for Fable reminds me so much of how my brother was with me. My brother is 4 years older than me, but we were so close growing up. There are many pictures of him holding my hand, and I have many memories of him playing dolls and kitchen and all sorts of "uncool" things just to make me happy. It's little wonder that decades later I married his best friend!

m | 2:32 AM

Fable is lucky to have the sweetest brother, and Archer is lucky to have a little sister to nurture. I can't wait to read more stories as they grow. They'll learn so much from having each other.

The unconditional love that radiates from then [In a photo, no less! I can only imagine how it slays you in real life!] is amazing to see.

Liz | 6:07 AM

My favorite post yet, I think....BEAUTIFUL. I, too, felt that when my second came into the world I was betraying my first. Fable is a lucky, lucky girl.

greendoxie | 12:27 PM

Four months ago I had my second child. Both my husband and I were heart broken right after my first daugther (2 yrs old) came to the hospital to meet her baby sister and then left. We were there three days and it seemed like an eternity. I hated that she wasn't there with us, and she looked so sad when she left. I felt like I abandoned her. But now, they are both getting along well. Baby sister LOVES watching her big sister. And big sister has been super sweet with her. My love for them has grown immensely. I LOVE my two girls :) I'm lucky enough to stay at home with them and do all kinds of fun stuff with them.

btw...Your kids are adorable!!! Your son is so sweet.

Lauren | 11:12 AM

Way to pull on a girls pregnancy hormone strings. Lovely post. Lovelier children.

florida web design | 12:06 PM

The picture of fable sitting in the grass with her sailors dress is adorable. Being a photographer myself, I found this image captivating. The horizons appear slightly off but otherwise a great photo displaying her love and joy. I look forward to reading your stories and seeing the pictures often times tell a story of their own.