The moment I came to know I had conceived (the second time), there was a strange feeling in my stomach. No butterflies but jitters. I was not jumping in joy like the first time. I was happy but my heart had a sense of guilt. A guilt of bringing another child in our lives and dividing my love into two parts. A guilt of dividing my attention, my time, my affection, everything. The thought -“why did I do this to my firstborn” also crossed my mind once. After dwelling upon it for a long time, I finally came to the conclusion that I can never love my second child as much as my first. My heart and soul belonged to my firstborn. There is no one who could even come close to where she is in my life.
Pregnancy progressed and I felt more strongly about what I had concluded. I had told everyone around me- my mom, my sister, my husband- just about everyone, to take care of the younger one post-delivery, because I would be busy taking care of the elder one. I was all set, all geared up. Then came the day of delivery. Having gone through all of it before, it seemed much easier. I knew everything that had to happen. The IV wasn’t as painful. The shame that I felt in the OT the first time, no more existed. I wasn’t scared when I saw the reflection of my cut open abdomen in the steel part of the OT lights. I was more like- been there done that.
So it wasn’t as unpleasant as the experience of my first delivery. And then another pleasant thing happened. She cried, my second daughter, and I cried too. The first time it had taken me a while to become a mother. It had gradually sunken in, in about a month. But this time, I was already a mother. That was the moment I realized that a mother’s love never gets divided with a second child, it doubles up. And of course, I love them both equally!