Starting Over

When The Baby's Not The Baby Anymore

"Wow! You started all over, didn't you?!" That's something I hear often when people ask me how old my kids are. My daughters are 15, 13, two-and-a-half, and one. I really did space them out, didn't I? I was a very young mom when I had my first two babies. It was tough but I wouldn't trade them for anything. Things didn't work out with their father and years later I found myself with the man of my dreams, the man I deserved.

As time went on in this perfect relationship I developed the famous baby fever. I was older and more mature. Past my party days and with my daughters older and not wanting my attention as much, I wanted so badly a little one to need me. My husband was for it and a little over a year later it happened. We were pregnant!

I was a little nervous about telling the kids, unsure how they would take it. My at the time 12-year-old took the news great and was happy and excited! What a relief! The 10-year-old, on the other hand, took it much worse than I expected. It broke my heart how against it she was.

"That's not gonna be my sister!" She said. "I'll run away!" With only a few months left, I found myself wondering if I had made the wrong decision. Her being so against it made me feel like a bad mom. I was also scared; she started lashing out at me. I was worried, was she going to hurt the new baby?

I tried involving her in helping pick out baby names and picking out clothing hoping it would get her excited and nothing seemed to help. I felt like a failure. Two days past my due date at 2 AM my water broke; it was time. On to the hospital, I went. I had a beautiful healthy girl, 8 pounds 6 ounces. She was perfect.

After the older girls got home from school that day my husband brought them to the hospital to meet their new baby sister. My ten-year-old walked up to her new sister in silence with a different look on her face. It wasn't the look of hate that I'd been seeing the last few months. It was a look of awe and wonder. She tried to put on a show and pretend she didn't like her, but I could tell a bond had already formed.

Suddenly the new baby started to cry. "Play 'What does the fox say," my ten-year-old said (her favorite song at the time). Wouldn't you know, we put the song on and instantly she stopped crying. 

"Mama, she likes it! She really likes it!" It's funny, she really did seem to like it.

The first few weeks were an adjustment, but my ten-year-old, the one I had been so worried about, wound up being my biggest helper. She'd run to grab diapers without asking, ask to make bottles, suggest what to do when the little one cried. She had become her protector. I'll never forget one morning, the first week in, I was burping the baby and she let out a big burp and fart at the same time. My ten-year-old was walking by and said, "Yup, she's my sister!"

I've since had one more baby. Another little girl. There was no jealousy this time, just a little disappointment on the ten-year-old's end when it was another girl. My family is complete now. My large and happy family. I'm so glad I started over.

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Starting Over