I didn’t bond with Thea immediately at birth. I don’t mean to say that I felt disconnected or disliked her by any means. I absolutely loved her, but I didn’t feel that head-over-heels, over-the-moon, she’s-my-everything motherly bond that all (it felt like all) other mothers talked about after giving birth. I mean, if we were all being completely honest, I’d bet more than a few of us would admit it – newborns are boring. They don’t really do much, and what they do do (hehe, “do do”, very relevant to this sentence) isn’t exactly endearing most of the time.
Today, Thea is three years old and I am head-over-heels, over-the-moon, she’s-my-everything in love with her. That bond developed over time. I could feel it growing inside of me every day, and I bet it will continue to grow stronger, even though it is hard to imagine that is possible.
Thea is my first child and my Mum’s first grandchild. When Thea was around a year old, my Mum was cooing over how special she is and always would be, and she made the off-hand comment, “You always love the first one a little bit more.” Now, as her second-born child, I get to hassle her for that comment for the rest of her life but, as a mother – I get it. I know what she meant. The first one will always be special because they were part of all your parenting firsts. Thea was the first baby that I nursed, the first baby that I bathed, the first baby to call me “Mama”. Luke and I got to devote ourselves to her and her alone for three years. She made me a mother. She was – and is – our favourite everything.
That is going to change soon. I understand the notion of, “You don’t know you can love another as much as you love her until you have your second one,” and I’m sure that will be true eventually, but not immediately. When Babe #2 is born, I will absolutely love him. But Thea will still be my favourite for a little while longer. The bond with my son will take time to grow, just as it did with my daughter, and that’s okay.
To my daughter, my angel, my monkey, my Thea – Someday soon, you will have to share me. You might resent that fact at times, but I hope you grow to know it was worth it, for the greatest gift we could ever give you is a sibling. Aside from your daddy, your Uncle Mitchell is my best friend, and I know Daddy would say the same of his sisters and brother. There truly is nothing quite like the bond between siblings, and we want that for you.
I can’t say that I will always love you a little bit more, but remember – You will always be my first. Happy birthday, Thea Marie.