mommy lessons

Dear Eddie,

I know it seems like on the day your baby brother turns 10 days old, I should be writing to him.  But it’s YOU, sweet boy, who has been on my mind and heart.

Your brother?  He is doing great.

And I feel like I owe a lot of it to you.

You see, Eddie, when you were born, it was traumatic.  For both of us.

I labored all night and day with you.  Had everything been ok, you should have come into the word by noon on your due date.  But things were not ok.  My body wasn’t shaped right.  You weren’t coming out right.  And so many other variables.

Things went downhill and I had an emergency rush C-section.

You know the story.

Anyway, people were with us in the hospital nonstop.  They loved to love on you.

Daddy stayed until late at night to watch the Tigers play and to cuddle you.

Those three days in the hospital didn’t really involve you and me being together.  I think I fed you once.

Our bonding was difficult.

I was stressed out, anxiety-ridden, and depressed.

You were colicky, gassy, and all around a mess.

WE were a mess, Eddie.

I was learning to be a mommy and you were learning just to BE.

As time marched on, I got better and so did you.  We figured each other out…mostly because we are just so much the same person.  And now our bond is something so strong and unique.  We are a powerful pair, you and I, my Eddie Bear.

And that is why I am writing you today.

You taught me everything I know.

My days in the hospital with Charlie were so easy.  Our bond came quickly.  I don’t cringe when he cries.

I am more patient with everything.

We have bonded instantly.

But instead of celebrating this, I spent days after coming home from the hospital re-living yours and my experience.  The guilt of how hard it was with you crashed down on me so hard, I could hardly breathe.

You suddenly seemed to be so grown up…and I had missed these precious first few months of your life.

What kind of mother was I?

As I cried and mourned and grieved and worked through it, you came to me.  You told me, “don’t cry, mommy.”

You dried my tears with your little knuckles.

You asked me every day when you came home from daycare if I was “feeling bettah, mommy?  How your owie?”

You crawled on the couch and leaned close to me in the evenings for a good cuddle before bed.

And you made me realize…

It is easy with Charlie because you taught me how to be a mommy.

You made me a mommy and you guided me in the ways of being a good mommy.

Yes, I made mistakes.  Yes, you definitely let me know about them.  And yes, that is a big downfall of being the oldest (boy, do your dad and I relate to that).

But because of YOU, my sweet Eddie Bear, I can be calmer, better with Charlie.

Your brother is 10 days old today.

And he has YOU to thank for a mommy who knows what she is doing.

Thank you, my Eddie.

Thank you for helping me every single time I am sad.

Thank you for being the light in the all-consuming darkness.

Thank you for needing me.

Thank you for making me a mommy.

I love you.

 

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Tears. Gorgeous post, Katie.

  2. Oh Katie. . .

    And now here I am all teary.

    What a beautiful letter to your oldest little man.

    And what a lovely picture of the brothers two.

    <3

  3. Fricken blubbering mess.
    Thank you for your beautiful post. I’m so happy that you’re having a better experience this time round. It’s still bloody hard, but so much better. For the life of me I cannot remember where I read this but I have been telling everyone about it & wanted to share it with you because of what your wrote. (Disclaimer: I didn’t come up with this). When you think back about your time with Eddie, instead of using the word ‘guilt’, use the term ‘regret’. Try it. I found it helps make the memories less painful & I feel less shame about them.
    Love you lots & am so happy things are going well for you. You have a beautiful family & you’re a great mum. Not because of Eddie or Charlie, but because of you.
    Yxo

  4. So very sweet, Katie — I know you had a rough go of it, the first time round your trip into parenthood . . . but, you know, you’re a pretty kickass momma (just thought you should know)

  5. Good grief, pass the tissues, please. This is utterly beautiful.

    I love reading your blog for many reasons, but at the top of the list is your honesty. You write about tough issues and emotions that many people don’t want to talk about. Thank you for sharing your perspective!

    Those boys are just perfect.

    Congrats again!

  6. This letter is perfection. That photo though…two boys, head to head with binkies? Love Love Love

  7. This is beautiful! Eddie is an amazing boy with a huge heart. I’m so glad you are having an easier time this go around.

  8. This just made me cry.
    Thank you Eddie for being such an amazing little boy.
    Your mama loves you so so SO much.
    xoxo

  9. So absolutely beautiful.

  10. Oh my! These words… your words… Eddie’s words… I think I need to go and hug my eldest right now and never let go.

  11. ::tears::

    It’s so true. Your first baby teaches you how to be a mommy and you’re more relaxed the second time around. So glad it’s going better and easier for you, Katie!

  12. This post has left a lump in my throat. Your oldest sounds amazing and bonding with your youngest must feel like such an amazingly foreign and precious experience. Best wishes and hugs to you all.

  13. Read this one at work… bad idea… Tearing up over here! What a beautiful post! Eddie will grow up and be thankful for the amazing parent you are!

  14. This made me cry. Gorgeous post.

  15. making me remember all those feelings with my first– such a horrendous time and the memories don’t feel good to be honest. you are clearly blessed with your light, as I am…

  16. *sniff sniff* where are those damn tissues??

    just beautiful Katie. thank you for sharing.

    XOXO

  17. My heart just exploded with love.
    That is beautiful.
    So so beautiful.
    You made me feel a little bit more secure about the possibility of another baby.

  18. Oh goodness, lots of tears. Sweet post, Katie.

    It’s so true how big they seem when a new baby comes along. I look back at pictures of my oldest and I can barely believe it.

    I’m glad you guys are doing well and I’m glad you have such a cute little nurse.

  19. You summed up perfectly the relationship I have with my eldest. Like, to the letter.

    There was the traumatic birth, the lack of bonding, the extremely awful hospital experience and then….the guilt, the tears, the awfulness. She just turned 5. Her sister just turned two. All is well.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience! *sniffle*

  20. Amazing. You put into words the feelings I experienced with my two. The first was so stressful, scary, overwhelming, etc. But with my daughter, it was so much easier. I just knew what to do.

    Beautiful post. Your boys have one special mama.

  21. how freaking adorable is that picture???????

  22. That was beautiful Katie. I’m a big ole blubbering, crying mess now. I worked through that guilt too when my youngest was born. That was such a wonderful letter to your little cutie pie Eddie.

  23. Boom!! I’m all teary-eyed on a Saturday morning. Sweet perfection, Katie.

  24. WOW, I have 7 children and I had never thought of it that way. What a wonderful letter to your son. So very sweet!!!