Journal Motherhood

To My Firstborn as We Become a Family of Five

Written by Candace Alnaji

It’s been almost three years since we brought you home from the hospital, a tiny bundle of need wrapped in hope and muslin. I still remember your jet-black hair, and your dark, sleepy eyes that looked at me in a way no set of eyes ever had.

When you were born, you made us a family of three. But beyond that, you made us a family, creating roles for your dad and I we had never before held.

Since that day nearly three years ago, you’ve been our buddy, our constant companion, and our one and only child. You’ve been the center of our universe, the sun by which our days rise and set.

While our love for you will never falter, our lives will soon be changing.

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It still sounds strange to say, and even stranger to write, but soon we will begin life as a family of five.

We always knew we wanted to give you a sibling. We even knew we wanted to give you more than one sibling, eventually. Still, when we learned last summer that we had two babies on the way, it came as a bit of a shock.

You don’t remember, of course, but you were there.

While your dad and I stared intently at the grainy ultrasound screen in the doctor’s office, you danced and played, completely oblivious to the changes that were unfolding that very moment.

The news of your twin siblings momentarily shocked me into another galaxy, but I was quickly brought back to earth by the thoughts and sounds of you.

You, in your tiny beige sweater and brown curls.

You, laughing and playing with such glee.

You, who I had doted on so devotedly.

You, my sweet boy who relied on us for everything.

How would this huge change affect you?

Of course, I celebrated our news with the joy and cautious hope every mother knows.

I’ve prayed and hoped and wished for your unborn siblings the same way I’ve done for you since before you existed.

I look forward to welcoming our new babies into our lives and giving you the gift of a brother and sister.

Still, as I think of the changes ahead, I also reflect on the time we’ve had together the last three years just the three of us.

Everywhere I look, I see reminders of the joy and fun we’ve had. I scroll through old photos and see a mama with eyes only for you, smiles and laughter frozen in time forever.

I was the quintessential new mom, taking you to museums and art galleries starting when you were just a couple of months old.

You’ve had our full attention your entire life. You became our third musketeer, joining your dad and me for outlet shopping, blueberry picking, house hunting, road trips, sightseeing, sushi restaurants, plus, of course, the endless activities—story time, soccer, kids gym, zoo classes, fun runs. We did it all.

I know the pace of our lives will change when your siblings arrive. As your mama, I know I will handle the changes the way all mamas handle them, molding and crafting new versions of ourselves as if from clay.

I know your dad will adjust as well, and that together we will work to find a new normal for ourselves and our not-so-little family.

I don’t know how you will take to our new lives though, and, of course, I feel the mom guilt creep in sometimes as I think about the ways your life may be impacted.

Already we’ve had to slow down quite a bit the last several months. From dealing with hyperemesis early on to the sheer pain and exhaustion that seems to never go away with a twin pregnancy, I haven’t been the totally fun mama I always had been.

I’ve given you my love and attention, and I’ve tried to keep things as normal as possible, but in my head and heart, I recognize the changes that have already crept in during the past seven months.

Still, my love for you hasn’t changed, and, from what I can tell, you are just as happy as ever.

You are my firstborn. You are and will always be my first baby, the little boy who made me a mama.  

While I don’t know exactly what our new lives will look like, because of you I know what it’s like to bravely enter a new world and discover unbridled joy.

Because of you, I know the strength and potential I have as a mother, and as a person.

And because of you, I know the beauty and the potential of the love that grows from hidden places. I’m so happy to take you on this journey with us.

Love always,
Mom

Originally published on the author’s blog  

About the author

Candace Alnaji

Candace is a practicing attorney, working parents advocate, freelance writer, and proud mom. Her legal practice focuses on workers’ rights. She is a contributing writer for Fairygodboss, and her musings on motherhood have been featured on Scary Mommy and Literary Mama. She can be found writing about law, motherhood, and more on her blog as The Mom at Law. She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.