It is true that you can never recreate or re-experience the magic of a first time. A first kiss, a first international flight. The first time you find out you are pregnant, hear the heart beat, buy a newborn onesie, check in to the hospital, deliver a human (I'll skip those gory details), meet your baby and then looking into your partners eyes and fully grasp the reality of what you have done together. There is an incredible mix of peace, fear, love, anxiety, joy and jitters.
That's not to say that there isn't an absolute beauty all onto itself when welcoming a second baby into your family. For me, at least, I felt much more at ease going into delivery. My first was an unplanned c-section after 40 hours of labour, so needless to say it was a haze of pain, excitement, longing for it to be over but also angst for it to be over. It is a complete rollercoaster and something very difficult to put into words in retrospection. This time, I was given a date and a time. I knew the exact moment I would be meeting the little life I had been carrying in me all those months (those months of course went by much faster with another baby to raise). I knew I was bringing home a stubborn, dependable & independent little Taurus (another female earth sign - poor Jakob!).
Unfortunately, even planned, the delivery of my second baby is as, if not more than, painful and the recovery was long. At least I had some semblance of what to expect. After healing, you find yourself into a new comfortable routine and adjust to the new normal. I found that I walked with more confidence and purpose around the house. My day was already filled with mental checklists and working around someone else's sleeping, eating and pooping patterns. Everything felt slightly more natural.
Though I feed Sabine on-demand (and she's got the rolls to prove it), everything else is on my watch. She is already in an amazing sleep routine, whereas her big sister took 6 months to sleep longer than 2 hours at a time. Her naps are long and restful and her waking hours she is doted on by all 3 of us. I think it must be exhausting being her, being hugged and kissed and cooed at all day.
So, although I am without the awe-inspiring fear of bringing home and then raising Sabine while I stumble through an entire new territory, I have complete comprehension that each phase of her first year is so delicate and temporary. Never again will I hold her alone in the dark of 3am while I breastfeed her. Her tiny body will not limply fall into my chest in such a secure, dependent way. I take much longer looks at her; spend much more time smelling her forehead; and holding her tiny feet in the palm of my hand every day.
Photos by Trina Cary Photography.