I don’t do scrapbooks (although I save all the things I deem important – like “welcome to the world” cards – in the hopes that someday I will make a scrapbook), I never got my stuff together enough to do baby books, but I’m good with words so I’ve created this blog. These words and these pictures are my love letter to you and Evan. But sometimes you need something that is all yours so I’m writing this directly to you to let you.
First off Chloe-Bear (this is the name your father gave you to balance Evan’s nickname but as you have grown into a sweet, round, cuddle baby you kind of remind me of a teddy bear so it makes sense) you must now I love you more than you will ever understand (until and if you have a child of your own). But you should also know that this love thing didn’t come as easily as you would think.
I am not a mother who gives birth and feels an overwhelming love for her child. Maybe it’s the drugs from my c-sections or maybe it’s just my personality. But, so far (and that would be 2 times) when I give birth I feel protective but not yet “loving” of the child. With your brother it took a couple of weeks for me to feel that overwhelming love. For you it took a little while longer… and I want to explain this.
When I got pregnant with you, your father and I were surprised… even though I was on drugs to ovulate, even though I was tracking my ovulation through pee sticks, even though we had no protection, and even though we were supposedly intelligent people. It was surprising because it took us 18 months to get pregnant with your brother and one night for you… yes, one night. We honestly didn’t think it would happen so quickly… Evan was just turning 1. And I also think we weren’t quite ready to be pregnant. We were building a house, living in a small apartment, and just getting in the groove with Evan… and then I was pregnant.
But we were very happy and your father practically giggled when the ultrasound technician told us you were a girl. You were definitely wanted.
Once you were born I had my usual protective nature and just assumed it would change to a loving feeling in a few weeks. But it didn’t. And weeks continued to pass and it still didn’t. At first I wasn’t sure what to do with you. I know I already had a child but he pretty much raised himself… all except changing his diaper. He was the easiest baby in the world. And even though you were an easy baby you weren’t the easiest. I didn’t know why you cried so much (turned out you had really bad gas – sorry about that), why you wouldn’t sleep in your bed (turned out you had reflux – sorry about that), and why you had your nights and days mixed up. I felt pretty helpless on how to nurture you, nurture Evan, and recover from my c-section. I had a lot of guilt about not spending as much time with Evan, and a lot of confusion about how to raise a little girl, and a lot of exhaustion from sleeping during the day and not at night.
And, I had a lot of time to do nothing but stare at you. So many people came to help me (which was must appreciated) and there was even a nanny for Evan for some weeks. But, after about 4 weeks with you, I felt really good and really useless. And I began to get annoyed that I couldn’t get back to my life. And some of my annoyance may have rubbed off on you (sorry about that too).
But then you were 3 months old. I had been a mother with two kids doing it by myself (with Daddy’s help) for about 4 weeks at that time. Evan was taking a nap and I was holding you. I looked down at you, you were looking at me and you smiled. And it happened. I immediately felt an overwhelming gush of love for you. At that moment I knew I would not only kill for you but I would die for you as well.
It’s been that way for the last month or so. I love waking you up in the morning, how you stretch for a few minutes before your eyes adjust but once you see me (and Evan) it’s all big smiles. I love how you watch your brother with such adoration in your eyes. I love when you smile and your eyes disappear or the fact that you only giggle when I pretend to eat your ears. I love how I have to pay special attention to wash your neck to make sure I get everything out of the many folds and I love the way your hair sticks straight up in the air. I even love that when you pass gas you can hear it from 3 rooms away. I love everything about you (except the whole not sleeping through the night thing… that I don’t love) and I hope that you will always feel that from me.
I wrote you this letter to let you know that even though I may not have had an immediate connection with you the connection I now have with you is overwhelming. Every day I look forward to spending time with you and I can’t wait to grow with you as you become a woman (egads… you’re going to be a woman). I can only hope that one day you and I can have the same relationship I have with my mother (the relationship I have now, not the one we had when I was in high school… that didn’t go so well) and that you will always know I love you.