I wrote this post about Oliver a few short days before his first birthday. It is still so pertinent today.
My little Oliver is about to turn one in just twelve short days. I have really been reflecting on this lately because, as I look back, I can’t believe how far we’ve come and what we’ve overcome together.
Max has always been considered and probably always will be considered my little miracle baby. Born after 2 losses, arriving almost six weeks early, it was hard not to love him at first sight. This was something I had worked so hard to obtain, not just for for nine months, but for the three years before he was born as well. He looked exactly like me and we were inseparable since our first day together. And, in all honesty, we still are. We are two peas in a pod, cut from the same cloth. Our personalities are so in sync that at times it is hard to figure out where I end and he begins. There is, of course, a bond between father and son, but not quite like the one we share.
In opposition, being pregnant with Oliver felt like a chore. I know it had a lot to do with having a toddler already, having to keep it a secret because we lived with my in laws at the time, and spending all my time worrying about where we were going to live, how we were going to pay for things, etc, but still I wanted it to be over. I was ready for him to be born and ready to get the “parenting two under two” show going.
When he was born, he was absolutely perfect in every way a baby could be, but I was still worried. Not about him because he was everyone’s favorite, but about Max and how we would take it. I know I should have been more worried about Oliver, trying to spend more time with him, but I felt like, for some reason, he didn’t need me as much. He had daddy, and the grandparents, everyone fawning all over him and all I could think about was how to make sure Max was included in all of the newness and excitement.
I know moms that will sugar coat things and say that bringing a new baby into the fold was easy and natural, but I’m not going to lie. From the minute we walked in that door and we were all left alone it was hard. Taking care of two in a tiny house was insane. Having no income at all while on maternity leave was a nightmare. Oliver was sick a lot and in turn we were all sick. My sleep suffered. My marriage suffered, everything seemed to be changing and I really wasn’t ready for it to.
My siblings and I are completely different, so I don’t know why I thought that Oliver would be easy just like his brother. There were/are so many differences, even from the beginning. Oliver wanted a lot of attention. He loved to be held and be around people, especially his brother. He was noisy and cried a lot and ate a lot, and was a terrible sleeper (still is!)
But with all of that came his smile, his huge blue eyes, and his ability to find joy and laugh at everything. My day doesn’t feel complete if Oliver isn’t up to say goodbye to me in the morning. No matter what kind of day I am having, seeing him run to greet me when I come home with that huge smile on his face is all I need to change my day around completely. He is definitely daddy’s boy, through and through, but I know we have something too, a connection that only a mom and son could have. It may have taken a little while, but now I realize that I would not be able to function if he were not here with us. He is the puzzle piece in the middle…the one without which you have no idea what the picture actually is, the one that keeps everyone together.
At first I felt guilty about these feelings I had, like I wasn’t a good enough mother for some reason because my heart did not burst full of love the minute he came into this world, but I know that I shouldn’t. My love for Oliver grew a little bit each day and I know that even now it is not done growing. Today I can say I love him to the moon and back, but I know we still have the rest of the universe to conquer together.