I thought it would be more confusing. I thought I’d feel divided, halved, conflicted. I couldn’t imagine how it would feel loving anyone in the same way I love Mojo.
I thought Mojo would be confused, jealous, even cross. How could a child with a reasonably unquantifiable understanding of what was happening learn to share the limelight she has been bathed in for almost three years. How would she cope with sharing me, sharing her daddy, sharing her home.
When will I learn that Mojo simply hasn’t read the manual about how she is ‘supposed’ to behave or react.
Baby sister’s arrival was lengthy, exhausting and culminated in a short stay for her in special care. The irony of this was not lost on me even in my drug addled exhausted state. They must be mistaken as this was my ‘healthy’ baby, this baby wasn’t destined for special care. It was hours before I got to meet her, to hold her and to feed her. The flood of maternal love, as warming as stepping into a hot bath and as exhilarating as any other human experience, overwhelmed me with its force.
The feeling of meeting my second daughter was to be one of two overwhelming meetings that day. Introducing my daughters to each other was indescribably beautiful.
My girls. Together.
When Mojo was born and throughout her first year every ‘first’ that she achieved was a moment that I captured in my heart, banked and treasured. I knew that no matter what happened nobody could take any of these memories from me. We accepted each first as a potential last and only.
Never did I ever dream that one day we would be able to experience her first meeting her baby sister. Nor could I have imagined the instant love and adoration that I would see between them. And yet. Peering into the cot with an equal measure of excitement and amusement (Mojo found baby’s wriggling hilarious, like she was a moving dolly!) there she was. No longer my baby, my grown up girl. Memory banked firmly in my heart.
Naturally now, I battle my internal pessimist thinking it must all be too good to be true, there must be disaster looming around the corner. So when one week into life with two Imogen became ill, stopped sleeping and drinking and took to heartbreaking whimpering in pain and discomfort, it was almost like I’d willed my fears into reality. As it transpired however we coped. We had to call in the reinforcements (eternal thanks to both Mojo’s grandmothers who took turns staying up all night soothing her) but we coped.
Now we are fully recovered the ever familiar mantra of one day at a time is very much back in play. Not in the same way as it was when life felt precarious but rather the way that I imagine all new parents feel no matter what the needs of their children!
The future, both short and long term feels a bit daunting. We have gastro tube surgery scheduled in a matter of weeks and the ball is rolling for our EHCP (care plan for schooling) meanwhile I am very much aware that babies don’t sleep for 8 hours of each day for long!! Repeat mantra.