Letter to my daughter in expectation of her little brother

MokicaMy dear Molly,

Waiting for your brother to arrive and change our lives completely once again, leaves me with all sorts of mixed emotions.

The concept of mixed emotions might be a little bit difficult for you to grasp because I’m struggling with explaining it as well. So far you can only name three emotions: happy, sad and “asleep” (“spawa”), which I know isn’t an emotion, but you don’t. You also feel anger and frustration a lot and I’ve been trying to encourage you to name that as well, but you’re too angry to listen to me at those moments.

I don’t feel sad or happy or “asleep” but I do feel lots of different emotions which I find difficult to pin down and name. For your sake, I’ll keep it basic.

Waiting for your brother makes me a little bit sad.

I’m fully aware of the fact that the time when there were just the three of us (I’m leaving Klara out of this emotional mess, she’s literally asleep, by the way) existed in our special little world, is about to end. I have to admit something: after you were born, I cried a lot. I felt lost and confused. It felt like waking up in a parallel universe, where most of the things looked the same but functioned in a different way. And no one told me the rules of the new world. All I had were some contradictory guidelines which I wasn’t sure if and how to follow. So I cried, wishing your dad and me had our old life back, in which we were allowed to be as irresponsible as we wanted. I was looking at you and thought you were cute, but I had no idea what to do with you. 

That slowly started changing, though. Your Dad and I started spending our evenings looking at your photos and talking about how adorable you were in every way and how much we missed you after you fall asleep even though we were grateful you weren’t awake anymore. Soon we couldn’t remember what our lives were like before and what it was that we actually missed. At the moment the three of us exist and enjoy our little bubble, with our intern jokes, and you are definitely our equal. We went from being a couple to being a family of three.

It makes me a bit sad to think that this phase will come to an end. That we will never again be a family of three and you will never again be the only baby we focus on. It makes me sad to think that your brother won’t just be changing your Dad and me, this time your little world will be rocked and turned upside down as well and you’re so tiny and confused as is already.

At the same time, I’m happy. You changed our lives for better, and I know that your brother will do the same. And it will be lovely to experience all of the first smiles, laughs, rolling over, attempts at sitting up, attempts to walk, to speak, to trick us into staying up just a bit longer once again… We learned from you how amazing all of that is and this time you’ll be with us to experience it all and comment on it. The three of us, the “older” ones, can sit together and comment on how silly the baby’s being. I’m excited about your brother learning to say your name more than I’m excited about him calling me “Mama”.

I’m happy that you’ll get to be someone’s big sister because you’re amazing and you have so much to teach him. You thought us so much when we thought we knew everything already! You showed us how not to rush places but instead to stop every now and then and collect some rocks and sticks (maybe smell the flowers while we’re at it), how to put Lego blocks together to make a garage which fits nothing at all but has some animals on the roof and how to resist the urge to build that said garage “properly”, how to demand more of what we enjoy because there’s no reason we should stop kissing just because it’s bath time. And your brother will know nothing to start with. What a great tiny blank canvas for you to paint on with your cute little dirty fingers.

I’m also happy because I can tell that you’re growing into a great little girl which means that your Dad and I are doing a good job, even though we were so confused and scared at the start. It makes me braver when I think about your little baby brother and our future lives together.

In addition to all of this, I’m starting to understand what to feel “asleep” (“spawa”) might mean. We can consider it an emotion because I could now describe it as a feeling of complete calm that resurfaces when you’re lying in bed, thinking about your baby girl who’s growing into a proper girl and her baby brother who’ll we’ll get to meet soon. “Asleep” means enjoying your present life, feeling happy and fulfilled reflecting on the past and excitedly looking forward to the future. That is how your mama feels. A little bit sad, but mostly happy and definitely “spawa”.

Volim te.
Mama

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is how it all started…

newbornNo birth goes unannounced these days.

Jay posted on Facebook, for all of our friends (and people we randomly added as friends on Facebook) to read:

Our daughter Molly was born at 03:55 this morning (3,190 g / 52 cm). Iva and Molly are both doing well and are currently catching up on some much-needed sleep after an exciting night. Iva and I are extremely proud and happy, and of course still a little bit confused. 
Thanks to you all for your love and best wishes.

What he didn’t post on Facebook were the following interesting facts:
-Molly’s expected date of birth was on the 20th of September and we both expected me to give birth exactly then. After that uneventful day passed, we basically just sat around and waited for something (anything!) to happen. We did that for full 7 days.
-at 9 a.m. on the 27th I was woken up by a strong urge to poo.  I repeatedly went to the toilet in vain every half an hour until Jay suggested that a need to poo doesn’t usually come at regular intervals and most of the time it actually results in pooing. He cleverly suggested that I might be feeling contractions which was a lot more exciting thought (and way scarier!) than just common pooing.
-I had weak contractions every half an hour until about 6 p.m. We had a wonderful day: went on a long walk, installed a contractions app (or four, on each phone) and cuddled in bed, feeling very relaxed and calm and happy and excited and relieved that something was finally happening.
– around 6 p.m. we went for another walk with Klara and that’s when the contractions started getting so strong that I had to hold on to Jay every time I felt one and breathe through them. That didn’t stop us from going to the supermarket to stock up on snacks and drinks for the hospital. While Jay was getting everything we needed (and more), I held onto a shelf and was breathing through my contractions, very aware of the shocked looks other shoppers were giving me.
-we dropped Klara off at the neighbours’, got into the car and drove to the hospital where they were about to send us home because my contractions stopped and nothing was happening. After I begged them to stay and almost started crying with frustration, they told us to return two hours later but not to leave the hospital. Which we interpreted as: “Leave the hospital and go out to dinner”. So we chose a nice Italian nearby.
– I couldn’t finish my pumpkin soup because my contractions were too painful. So Jay had to eat both of our meals.

The rest is either a blur or too graphic to be described publicly. A lot of… pain / drugs / shouting / cuddles with the best husband in the world / directions in German from the nurses which my drugged up brain couldn’t understand… later and I was holding a strange looking, soft little baby in my arms. Jay cried and smiled and laughed, Molly was falling in and out of sleep and I believe I was in a state of shock and complete confusion. She was inside me for nine months and I was already used to her being a part of me and all of a sudden she was on my chest – a tiny human, capable of surviving outside me, but completely incapable of living without me.

So complicated to comprehend and yet so simple, all at once.

I had just given birth to the most precious creature in the world.