It’s hard to believe that my pregnancy with your sister is entering the last month. It feels like yesterday that I got that positive test. I picked you up from daycare and whispered “you’re going to be a big sister” and you whispered “baby”. All those rough first-trimester afternoons where I held you close on the couch and snuck in a nap while you watched Nick Jr, they don’t feel so long ago. You were patient, I was learning how to be pregnant and be mommy at the same time.

In fact, you’ve always been patient with me, with us . . . me and your dad. I honestly thank you for tolerating all the trial-and-error that comes with first time parenting. On top of the normal, I was first-time momming with an extra layer of guilt that flared up every time I remembered my first firstborn.

Those nights early-on, I felt a little extra afraid at that you’d leave, too. I worried I’d have empty arms again. That monumental drive home from the hospital, I sat right next to you and watched infant CPR videos until I fell asleep at the foot on your car seat.

I used to lean over your bassinet and feel the warm air coming from your tiny nostrils and pray you wouldn’t leave. I know so many moms do this, and I’m not sure if my fear was necessarily more, but it was all-consuming at times.

Thank you for hanging in there when my body wasn’t quite ready to feed you, waiting for things to click. Thank you enduring 10 long weeks of that darn nipple shield, and working through thrush, and being OK to wean at 17 months so I could get pregnant with your sister.

Thank you for showing me it was OK if you fell down or bumped your head. Your positive spirit showed me I didn’t need to always call the doctor when you had a fever. Thank you for the confidence in my boo-boo kissing abilities.

Thank you for being patient and accommodating the time I brought literally everything to the beach except sand toys. Thanks for being cool with playing with the Dunkin’ Donuts cup instead of a shovel and bucket like the other kids had. You always are so cool to just roll with stuff.

Thank you for healing my heart and making me a mommy again. Thank you for nursing extra long sometimes when I did a much-needed devotional as I worked to grow in motherhood with His word. Thank you for holding my face when I cried then because I was so fearfully in love with you, and now when I cry because I’m nervous and excited for you all at once.

I wish I could tell you what’s coming, and yet, I know this change is going to be so amazing for all of us. Your life is about to change drastically. Just like you were so patient with me then, I vow to be patient with you now. I promise to still spend time with JUST you. I will understand when you need a little cuddles and reassurance when baby sister is here, and be fine with letting the dishes and laundry pile up. I may not like it, but I’ll understand if there are nights when I don’t sleep because after she goes down, you wake up.

Like everything else, like every first, we will figure it out together. I can’t wait to see your face in the delivery room, after labor, after she’s here. I can’t wait to give you a big hug and kiss and tell you what we always say: “I missed you! I love you.”

Originally published on the author’s blog

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Kristine Western

Five years ago, my world was completely rocked at the passing of our first baby daughter. Since her passing, I have found strength and community through writing about motherhood, marriage, and my journey in faith.  I live with my husband, Jon, outside of Boston.  We are currently raising two daughters: Gracie Kate (3) and Avery Joy (1). I hope is to share my own journey as I learn to parent from a place of loss.