I get asked pretty often by moms who are pregnant for the second time what it was like to transition from one baby to two. I get it- I was grasping at straws when I was pregnant with Logan, seeking reassuring words from those who had been there, too. It was scary! But let me back up.
The day after Grayson’s first birthday party, I was on the phone with my best friend telling her that I felt so tapped out energy-wise lately. I was saying how I would have thought that now that Grayson was less demanding physically and sleeping through the night, I’d have the energy to spend time with my husband in the evenings and watch a show or drink some wine. But every night, after Gray went to sleep, I found myself yawning and rubbing my eyes. “Linsey. You’re pregnant.” she stated. I laughed. “Nooo way!” I told her. “I’m not pregnant. I’m just tired.” “Take a test,” she said, “just take a test.”
So I did. And I was. Holy shit. Mike and I had always planned on a second child “one day” but we were not planning on getting pregnant again right now- actually, every time we talked about it, neither one of us were even able to pinpoint a good time to try for a second. Not because we didn’t love being parents, but honestly because being pregnant means extra stress on our relationship, and so does having a newborn, and Gray had just gotten easy. We often remarked during that time, “He’s so easy now!”. We were content with our life. We had no plans for another baby anytime soon. But what do they say- make plans and God laughs, right?
The craziest thing was, we had no idea how pregnant I was. I could have been 6 weeks, could have been 12- we just had no idea! We couldn’t pinpoint the time when we may have conceived and I’m terrible at tracking periods. As we waited for our doctor’s visit to determine that detail, we literally had this conversation:
Mike: “I searched the word “period” through our texts to see if I could determine the date of your last one. You usually text me that you got it.”
Me: “I did the same. Nothing.”
Mike: “Do you even remember the last time you bought tampons?”
Mike: “But it’s pretty much a thing, right, like every time you have your period, you have to buy tampons, right?”
Me: “Yeah, I always run out during and have to run out to Rite Aid for more.”
Mike: “We have to try to contact Rite Aid corporate. You always use your Plenti card, so there’s a record somewhere of your purchases. If we could just determine when you last bought tampons, we could nail down the date of your last period.”
I think of this conversation every time I remember how we found out about Logan! It’s so funny to me that we were living in this state of just having no idea when our baby was due. Anyway, we found out at the doctor’s appointment that we were 11 weeks already and we just couldn’t believe it.
Of course, the first feeling, the constant feeling, was concern for Gray. Because in my mind, Gray was just a baby. He was my baby. During the daytime, it was just he and I against the world. Our own little crew of two, going on adventures and never leaving each others’ side. I even held him for hours in my arms during his naps. Then when Mike was around at nights and on weekends, the dynamic worked seamlessly. One of us would be on baby duty, while the other could get stuff done, one could get the baby out of the car and the other would grab the diaper bag and pullout the stroller. We had it down.
How was another baby, two babies in diapers, going to rock our world? How would it disrupt Gray’s life? And how was I going to muster up the love for another person? Lets not forget the scariest question of all: what if I didn’t love him as much as I loved Gray?
Everyone with experience would tell me “you just do”. But that didn’t quell my fears. “How?” I’d ask in disbelief. This kid is the center of my universe. He’s the exact blend of all the elements I never knew I would adore and need in a child. Unless this new baby is an exact carbon copy of Gray, looks and personality and soul, I just don’t see how I could possibly love him the same.
All my concerns were in regards to Gray. I worried that he’d need me when I was in the hospital and I wouldn’t be able to be there for him. That he’d be confused as to why this person who gave him all of herself was all of a sudden giving half of that. That he’d be resentful of his brother. It terrified me. And it saddened me. It was the end of our era. The era of just us. I knew the next era would be good still, but different.
I said all along through my pregnancy with Logan that he was coming early. I just knew it. Sure, I didn’t know I was pregnant for 11 weeks, but this I knew. And I was right. He arrived three weeks early and I could hardly get out of the car into a wheelchair because my contractions were just rolling right into one another. Logan plunged into the universe in a dramatic way (literally he was born in the shower at the hospital). Because he’d been born in the shower, I carried him in my own arms over to the hospital bed. They allowed the umbilical cord to stay attached for a longer time than they usually allow for in hospitals such as the one I’d delivered at. So I laid on a hospital bed, naked and soaked, nursing my newborn baby as we were still attached by the cord. He hadn’t been weighed and they hadn’t put that goop in his eyes or anything. It felt like a home birth, only at the hospital. It was the sweetest beginning. Logan had bright blue eyes and light blonde hair. He looked nothing at all like Grayson. And he was perfect.
That first night in the hospital, Mike went home to be with Grayson and I stayed in the hospital (duh) with Logan. He’d had some congestion in his nose that the nurses were concerned with, so they told me to keep a close eye on him. For that reason, I couldn’t sleep a wink. I’d been up for like, 40 something hours at that point. The nurses encouraged me to put him in the nursery and I kept asking them how many babies were in there already, and what were they going to do if another baby needed attention- how were they going to watch MY baby as closely as he needed to be watched? I begged each nurse to please just watch him for 30 minutes in the room with me so I could sleep. They couldn’t. I didn’t want him to leave my side. They thought I was insane. But I wasn’t insane. I was in love. I laid him on my chest and just gave in to the idea that it would be awhile before I’d get sleep. I traced my fingers over his body and I kissed him on his beautiful face as I told him “You’re going to be just fine, baby. Mommy’s here.”
Long story short- you just do. You love the baby with the same ferocity and newness as you did with your first. You learn to love them both because of their differences. I love Grayson’s caution and Logan’s bravery. I love Grayson’s inquisitive nature and Logan’s sense of humor. And seeing their love for each other, hearing them laugh together, knowing they’re going to be each other’s best friends….there aren’t even words for that feeling. The important distinction here is this: Your heart doesn’t split in half. It grows double in size. And that’s how you just do.