The blissful feeling that encompasses a home from the arrival of a newborn baby is truly magical. I’ve been blessed to experience this feeling twice in the last two years. My babies are 17 months apart. This is not a decision that I had made, but a lovely blessing for me because I always wanted to have children close together…just wasn’t brave enough.
In those early days when I brought my second daughter home from the hospital, I went through a range of emotions. It wasn’t like the first time, when we brought our baby home, we were completely consumed by this one infant. Now there were two, and we were careful not to let Ridha (Child #1) feel neglected or ignored by the arrival of Rabab (Child #2).
The initial months were probably the most difficult time I have ever faced. I was treading new territory where I wasn’t sure how much attention to give each child, and was it enough? How could I possibly know?
Ridha had changed for me overnight from when I left her to go to the hospital, and the next day when I saw her meet her new sister. She was distant, she was quiet and not focused on the baby and worse, she wasn’t dying to come to me. The heartbreak of leaving Ridha for those nights in order to deliver and care for Rabab is something that I still bear the burden of. Mom guilt never goes away.
“Surprisingly, though I was home with two other humans, I had never felt lonelier.”
When it was time for my husband to start work again after the first week of having two babies, I faced incredible anxiety and insecurity. I was afraid to be alone with two children, both dependent on me. Surprisingly, though I was home with two other humans, I had never felt lonelier. Those hours between 8:00 am till he reached home around 6:00 pm felt like an era. I’d catch myself eyeing the clock starting at 5:00 pm, praying the hands would move swiftly. I needed him. I needed someone to come and save me. It wasn’t that I needed him to do anything, rather his presence was comforting enough.
I’m told that all of these emotions are normal for a new mom of two. Ridha’s aloof behavior in those first couple months is just how she is expressing herself over this new being in her life, who has taken away some of her mummy. Gradually, her behavior changed and she grew to accept this new person. She even named her “Babzy”, short for Rabab.
I’ll never forget those brief moments of uncertainty because they taught me so much. I went from being apprehensive to facing each day with passion and accepting that I will make mistakes, as well as have triumphs. I became increasingly comfortable caring for two, and bringing them closer to each other. I recognized the sweet, tiny gestures of love between two sisters and encouraged them. I grew to love this great blessing that I have.
Is it difficult to raise two under two? Absolutely. But I wouldn’t change a thing. I get to witness a bond, stronger than any, between my daughters, and I pray that it grows everyday.