Loving a living child after losing the first

One of the weirdest things I’m experiencing with loving Aiden is a sense of guilt for the way I mothered Kiera. I was really young, ill-prepared and more often than not, overwhelmed. It’s not that I wasn’t a good mom, I think for a 19 year old I was a great mom. I’m just a much better mom now.

With Kiera I felt stupid singing and talking  to her – she was a baby, what did she know? Besides, it must’ve really looked so lame. With Aiden I am a songstress, a diva, a veritable nursery rhyme fiend. I will dance and jiggle and pull funny faces and stick my tongue out in privacy and in public, it doesn’t really matter. With Aiden I talk to him constantly, I change the pitch of my voice, I narrate his facial expressions and make him do different movements with his body parts that make him giggle and coo.

I think my age has something to do with it, definitely – I’m a lot more mature now and far less concerned about what I must look like. But I also think that losing Kiera taught me not to fear love. It taught me that holding back is what’s stupid.

I’m enjoying motherhood so much more this time round and I suppose that that, in essence, is why I feel so guilty. Everything with Kiera was a mission. Because she was on oxygen 24/7 to take her anywhere was a pa-lava. She had pipes and tanks which made people stop and stare and ask what was wrong with her instead of just recognizing what a beautiful child she was. It used to make my mom and I so angry, to the point that we eventually stopped going out. I was constantly on high alert with my little girl and although I’m extremely anxious that Aiden will stop breathing, I’m a lot more relaxed with him.

The comparisons can go on and on. I guess time will heal all things, I just need to be patient and kinder to myself – motherhood is tough enough without putting added pressure on myself. But I do wish that just for a moment I could go back to my 19 year old self and shake her, tell her not to be so afraid, tell her that her daughter would change her life and to just go with it, things turn out ok in the end. Most of all, I would tell her to sing the silly songs, play the funny games, dance the ridiculous dances – if it makes a child smile or giggle or coo, how could it ever possibly be lame?

kiki

 

7 comments

  1. MeeA says:

    I parent my younger two so differently from the way I did the first two, for the very reasons you’ve mentioned. Even without having suffered such immense loss, I feel guilt for having been a highly strung, impatient and immature young mom. x

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