Saturday, June 9, 2007

Ana's gift to us....

In her short 12 days here, Maddie has already brought so much more to me than I could have possibly imagined. I've often heard parents say they wondered, after having their first baby, how they could possibly love another. I never wondered that. There was no doubt in my mind that I would have enough love for another baby. What has surprised me though is just how much love I have for her. I am so completely in love with this little girl it makes my heart ache. When I hold her I don't want to let her go. When I kiss her I want to let my lips linger on her tiny head forever. And I get it. I get why I love her so much. I just don't get where all this love was before. Where was I keeping it? I know I loved Ana with my whole heart and everything I had so where was this part of my heart? The only way I can possibly reason this is that this part of my heart grew along with Maddie and exploded the moment she was born.

I think it's only natural to compare the experiences in your life and having children is no exception. I can't help but make comparisons between having Ana and now having Madelyn but it's the differences in me as a mom that are the most striking. When Ana was born I spent a large portion of our first weeks together unsure, uneasy, and insecure about myself as her mother. So much of my time was spent reading up on the "right" way to do everything from bathing her to nursing her to getting her to sleep that, looking back now, I really feel that I missed out on just being her mom at first. It took a little bit for my "maternal instincts" to kick in so I did what I could with what I had. But this time? Oh, this time has been totally different. In her 20 months my sweet little Ana has taught me how to be a mommy in the truest sense of the word. She has molded my heart into something I had no idea was possible. The best way I've found to describe the difference between giving birth to Ana and giving birth to Maddie is this: when Ana was born I was just a girl having a baby but when Maddie was born I was a mommy having a baby and it was completely different.

I fell completely in love with Madelyn the second she was born. I began to love her when I found out I was pregnant but I fell in love at her birth. Because of all that Ana has taught me I have been able to enjoy these first days with Madelyn in a way I wasn't able to with Ana. Instead of worrying about whether I was going to break her or not measure up, I am able to immerse myself in all that is her - her tiny fingers and feet, her sweet face and the precious little noises she makes when she sleeps. Instead of being preoccupied with whether or not she was latching on correctly I am able to more completely feel that bond a mother and her nursing infant share. And instead of obsessively counting her wet diapers I am able to trust my gut and know that my baby is doing just fine.

I have known for a while now that Ana is my little angel from above that God has sent to teach me and help me grow and I treasure that. But for her to have given me this time with her sister that I missed out on with her, that is something for which I will forever be grateful.

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