"You will always be my first born and precious to me like no other. Because you alone my darling first born, you made me a mother."
My darling first born. I feel the new life growing inside of me. The soft butterfly flutters moving around inside my slowly expanding belly. The familiar sensations from when I was pregnant with you, all comes flooding back to me. While I am filled with joy at the prospect of bringing another child into the world, my darling first born, I miss you already.
"You changed me completely"
From the day you came into the world, you changed me completely. I have become a more patient, kind and giving person. While I have known love throughout my life, it cannot compare to the love I have for you. You have filled my heart with a love so fierce, it is almost overwhelming. I now understand what it means to love someone so much, you would do absolutely anything for them.
My darling first born. You are my constant companion. We spend each and every day together exploring the world and learning about each other. I have watched you grow from a tiny squalling newborn, into a vivacious, smart and wonderfully funny toddler. I have read you endless books and watched as the words and pictures take meaning in your mind. I have been there to watch every milestone you have reached, the amazement of what you can do lighting up your eyes. I have never been far to scoop you into my arms when you are scared or upset, when only the comfort of Mummy will do.
Don't pay your kids to clean their rooms. "If you give them a buck to make their beds, then when you ask them to help you carry in the groceries, they'll say, 'How much? Why would I do that for free when you pay me to make my bed?'" says author and parenting expert Alyson Schafer. You can give your child an allowance as an introduction to money management and possibly for overall good behavior. But don't tie it dollar-for-dollar to everyday chores.
Sally and her first baby. Image: Renee Joanne Photography .
"Your little world has now changed forever"
While I know that a mother’s heart will expand to love all her children, the thought of being away from you, fills me with an aching feeling of longing. The thought of not always putting you first, of telling you that I need to take care of another, it is difficult to even fathom at this time how I will be able to do this. To turn your little face away in favour of another, if only for a few moments. To watch your confusion as you realise your little world has now changed forever.
'I didn't bond with my baby right away'
I have heard that it is a remarkable time in a father’s life, where he can step into the role of primary caregiver of his first born. He will have the chance to form a closer bond, while the mother is busy caring for her newborn. But I must admit, this is hard for me to think of. I grow envious of the adventures you will have with him, as I know how much fun you and I have together. I worry that you will resent me, and I you. I worry about what will happen to the close bond that we share.
But most of all, my darling first born, I just miss you already.
Salma Hayek (mom to Valentina): “When Valentina was not even 1 month old, my aunt [gave me the best advice]: ‘Put her to sleep yourself every night. Sing to her and cradle her in your arms and sit by her side - every night. Because one day you won’t be able to, and it’s going to happen really fast.”
Sally and her 'precious first born'. Image: Renee Joanne Photography .
"I will be tired"
I know that once this baby comes into the world, I will be tired. Even now I cannot give you my all as I once did. I am weary, I feel sick. My body is not as active as it once was. You cannot understand while I cannot scoop you up so easily. I am sorry that I grow impatient of how active you are as I struggle to keep up with you.
My darling first born, I will miss those quiet moments in the dark while I breastfeed you and nourish your body. I know that our breastfeeding journey will need to end, once this new baby enters the world. The newborn will need to come first, they will need my breast milk to thrive and to grow. You only now breastfeed for comfort. This incredible bond will soon draw to a close.
My darling first born, I will miss you waking me in the mornings and being able to lay snuggling in bed with you. The minutes, hours and days not being so hurried. Life is soon going to get more chaotic and overwhelming. Quiet moments such as these with just us two, will be fewer and farther in between.
"I will miss our long walks"
My darling first born, I will miss our long walks through the sunshine as the day slowly starts to awaken. Each of us taking our time to point out small wonders, chatting with ease. Soon there will be someone else accompanying us on our walks. The time may change, there may be less chance for these walks or they may be shorter. I may need you to quieten as a newborn slumbers.
"Recommend virtue to your children; it alone, not money, can make them happy. I speak from experience." - Ludwig van Beethoven
But my darling first born, I hope you love and appreciate the gift that I am growing you. A companion and a friend who is closer to your age than I. A lifelong bond of sibling, you always being the older and wiser, able to share what you have learnt and have incredible adventures with.
So while I miss you my darling first born, our family will grow by one, and with that, the strength of family bonds will grow with it. And you will always be my first born and precious to me like no other. Because you alone my darling first born, you made me a mother.