I promise. You will.

Kilikina is expecting her second child and wrote about her fears that she will not love her second child as much as her first.

I remember feeling just this way when I was pregnant with my second child. My first was a delightful adorable chub. Smart. Cute. Boatloads of gorgeous hair. I thought she was the most wonderful child in the universe.

Then my second child came. I watched her rush from my body, red-faced and gorgeous. And almost entirely bald. And just like that, I was utterly obsessed with every look that crossed her face, every move she made. I who had been so proud of my first daughter’s head full of black hair, realized abruptly that bald babies are every bit as adorable.

I who had felt such inordinate pride at the thriving chubbiness of my firstborn was just as delighted with the leaner contours of my second daughter.

I who had so proudly listened to every word from my chatty, content-to-sit firstborn decided that the more reserved and much more physically active style of my second-born was equally intriguing.

And so it has gone for eight children. I am awed by my 3rd-born’s innate sociability. My fourth has a love for babies that reminds me of my father. When my fifth smiles, the twinkle in his eyes warms my soul. My sixth amazes me with his flashes of humor. My seventh has an uncanny knack for saying just what people need to hear. My eighth strokes my face when she is going to sleep as if I am her moon and stars.

Precious. Each one precious, unique, a gift from God. Somehow, improbably, illogically, each child holds the entirety of my heart, the deepest part of me- all of it, all to themselves.

And so I say to my friend: Rest easy. You will love your second child just as passionately as your first.

You will.

I promise.

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  1. Wonderful post, Mary.

    At my first doctor visit for my pregnancy with #2, the nurse practitioner looked at me and said, “Don’t worry. Love multiplies, not divides.” So very true, with each and every one of them.

  2. Nicki – what a good nurse you had!

    Mary – thanks for this post. It was good to hear, as I’ve been doing the required reading for our homestudy, and though I’ve read about all of the stuff before, it’s been a bit overwhelming to read all the things that can go wrong after an adoption! In the back of my mind I’ve been wondering . . .


  3. One thing that always astonishes me is how my previously-youngest child goes from being a delicate, needing-to-be-protected baby to this enourmous, lulking CHILD as soon as the current baby is brought home. But yes, there’s always more than enough love for everyone!

  4. Mary, I am almost in tears. Thank you for your post. How very encouraging. I know once this is over I will understand, but coming from the new end of it, you just don’t understand…

    Nicki- I love taht!

    Rebecca- I’m sure my “little one” will be a big boy too when his new brother or sister comes home. I wonder if part of it is because then we treat them like the big boy or girl?!

  5. Amen, amen, and amen! As an only child myself, I was fearful during my pg with Viking #2 that it would hinder me someway from knowing how to cope with more than one child. But, I had faith that God (and DaHubby who is one of SIX! LOL) would help me through. So, I was right, you are right but, of course, ultimately God was “right” for knowing I could handle another! *wink*

    Like a 1 + 1 = 3 type of equation in marriage and in a faith walk, 1 + 1 ( + any that follow) always add up to more than its parts! It’s God’s miracle of love!

    Blessings on your friend! And, God’s peace on her…

  6. Excellent post and sooooo true!

    I felt the same way with my second, third, and fourth pregnancies. It seems impossible to love someone as much as you love that first baby. But it is not impossible. I have the same intense love for each of my children, every single day of their lives.

  7. Thanks Mary! I needed to hear this too. As I wait for #2, I wonder how will I ever love a second as much as my first? In my head, I know I will but how can any child be as perfect for our family as my little angel?

  8. We adopted before we had biological children, so I had the reverse of most people’s worries – I wondered how in the world I could love this new biological child as much as I loved my two adopted children! Really, I did! And now I hug him so so close and worry about adopting #4! I guess maybe we always worry about that whenever/however we add another child, but from experience I know once the new one comes home we will wonder why we ever worried about it.

    And Kilikina, I think part of the “big boy/girl” thing is because of the stark comparison. Right now my 1yo is still my baby, still nursing and cuddling in between his play. But when we visited a friend and her newborn, I held that teeeeeeny baby and realized how capable and busy and HUGE my guy was. When you’re so occupied meeting the needs of a newborn, you’re more likely to “let” your older child be more grown up and encourage it. At least, that’s how it was for me when mine was born and I had three under age two!

  9. I just wanted to tell you that I loved the I Am prompt and just used it on my blog, http://awalkthroughthevalley.blogspot.com
    Thank you!

  10. Another lovely post…glad I found you


  11. I wonder the same thing. I am not currently pregnant, but we are “trying.” I look at The Boy and have such doubts that I could ever feel this way about another human being. But I don’t think my parents love my younger brother any less than they love me… and my grandma had 6 kids…. so I know it’s possible. I guess I’ll just have to wait til it’s my turn to find out for myself.

  12. Wonderful – really spoke to me too….thanks!!!

  13. I went through the very same thing while I was carrying my daughter – wrote about it here,


    But didn’t fully appreciate the capacity to love that God grants mothers until she was in my arms. (Though, she came out looking like a carbon copy of her brother…I had a very deja vu experience when they laid her on my chest)

  14. Amen…amen 🙂

  15. And I think of those things too when I imagine our lives when #2 comes along one day. It is such a joyous time, laced with so much anxiety, all at once, that I sense that our waiting to add another little one to the mix is partially due to these fears. Thanks for the reassurance. It is so good to hear a friendly voice share in her wisdom. Bless you.

  16. Loved this post, Mary as the oldest of seven, each of whom felt very special to our parents, and the mother of three very different little people.

  17. Yep, I had those feelings too. And then I bawled like a baby after I brought our second baby home I just loved him so much and I didn’t think I could possibly have enough time or love for my first born….oh those wonderful post pregnancy hormones. Turns out I have enough love to spread to all four of mine, it is a wonderful gift that mother’s are given.

  18. I think you shared the love of a parent so beautifully here. I only have two but I love them fiercely, yet differently. They are treasures indeed!

  19. What a beautiful post!

  20. I worried about this same thing too… Our flesh just doesn’t understand the capacity to love unconditionally and for your heart to grow and expand – until it does!

    It’s amazing!


  21. What a great post!

  22. KellyM- Good point, thanks for that.

    Mella- Thanks, I read your post.

  23. Mary, I think this post may deserve a spot in the archive favorites. 🙂