• RebeccaF

    Yes. It IS the hormones! Been there, done that. I have five (count ‘em – 5).

    My oldest is 18 and a half – starting college this August. My youngest turns 18 months on July 10th.
    My 16 (almost 17) and 15 year olds still say “I want you to love me” at least five times a day!

    Eventually, it stops making you cry.

    Get some sleep (co-sleeping saved me) and crying releases hormones. Jon is forewarned!

    Best wishes!

  • Sarah

    I just had my second and felt the same way until someone pointed out to me that my first born had 2 years alone with me and the second will never have that….ok, so now go ahead and feel the guilt for the other one!

  • http://www.mishmishstudio.com Susie

    My mom told me this to tell my son when my daughter was born. That my love for him was like a candle flame. Burns bright. And when I use it to light another candle, it continues to burn just as bright. ONly now there are two bright candles burning brilliantly. He especially liked the demonstration. YOu can keep that one in your arsenal if you need it…xo

  • Lisa

    I feel another book coming on for you….”How I Betrayed my Daughter”. I laughed, I cried, I could relate!!!

    Like Leta, my son Ben, changed how I view the world. Six years later his sister was born and the world as he knew it drastically changed. His sister was our fourth child. First girl. Two days after she came home from the hospital, he took some scissors to his hair and the acting out continued in little ways for years.

    It’s funny, but to this day, my daughter thinks I love her brother more than her. I love them entirely differently. The guilt I feel, was I wasn’t prepared to be a step mom and his mother all at once. I made a lot of mistakes. By the time his sister came along I had learned a lot about myself and was a far better parent. My son is away at college now and my daughter gets a far better parent from me. So maybe it all evens out……regardless all of our children adore each other and that is a reward in itself.

    Guilt can be a many splendored emotion. Just don’t compensate by compromising your values as a parent.

  • http://bea.typepad.com Bea

    I can not imagine how hard it must be; balancing the oldest, the newest, and all the hormones. Sounds like you are doing a GREAT job of it all!

  • Anonymous

    This post brought tears to my eyes.

  • Layne

    Heather, I love your writing. Truly! You’ve kept me coming back for more since circa 2002, even though I’m not at the marriage and baby-making phase of my life yet and yours has become a “mommy” blog.

    As I read this post, I had to suppress tremendous giggles and then try my hardest to not cry, since, you know, I’m at work and don’t need to give my coworkers more reasons to think I’m crazy.

    Thank you for sharing so openly with the internets, and for keeping us so very entertained all these years. You’re fucking fabulous and HILARIOUS and I’m always looking forward to more!


  • AndyLeigh

    Blessings to you and your babies. Enjoy this time, they grow up so quickly…..

  • Anonymous

    When my mother called me, I was three, from the hospital after having my sister i screamed at her to stay there until she had a boy and then i wouldn’t talk to her for the first few days she came home.

    I eventually got over it and i wouldn’t trade her for any brother in the world.

    They will love each other more deeply then u can imagine.

  • http://willthink4wine.com barb – WillThink4Wine

    I am the eldest of 8 kids, currently ranging in ages 54-39. I watched my mother bring home many a new baby over 16 years. I can assure you, my mother did not have time for such emotional indulgences… so she does it now.

  • Jen

    My daughter was only a year old when our son was born and although she handled the transition very well, I didn’t. I felt the same way as you and every night for a good 2-3 weeks when putting her to bed, as I held her in the rocking chair, I would silently cry while whispering apologies and I love you’s.

    I will pass.

  • Rebecca

    So, as an only child, I have to say I’ve made a promise to myself that we’ll either have none or more than one. Have you ever tried to play a multi-player game by YOURSELF? Thrown a tennis ball at the wall, since it could at least bounce BACK? Welcome to my childhood!

  • Heather E

    Oh, more tears. I feel this way every day, and my baby is already 3 months old. My 5 year old is getting used to what she calls, “neglect.” It does get better, or at least different. The sleep at night is what will really change your outlook…keep looking forward and know that it doesn’t last forever.

  • Anonymous

    I totally know how you feel. My first was 2 when my second came home, and it did not take more than 24 hours for him to feel complete betrayal. Especially when she was breast feeding . . . he looked at me like a jilted lover. Here the replacement was . . . right in his own home for God’s sake! Suckling right before his very eyes! Had his mother no shame! I cried and cried. Why, why did I upset the perfect balance? We had been so happy before!

    Twelve years later, they could not be closer. They got two more siblings, too. As for me, I love all my children immensely, but my bond with the first one is the most intense. I can still feel how incredibly unhappy he was to find out that Mommy would not be his alone forever. He’s way past that, though, and does not give it a second thought.

  • myslate

    Leta is so lucky to have a mother like you.

  • Camilla

    It’s strange to read your description of what I felt after giving birth to my twins. When my firstborn came visiting, I too thought he had HUGE hands and feet and everything! It was like he grew 3 years while I had my c-section! I just thought I had gotten too used to the tiny babylimbs.

    The betrayal too… I had that feeling before the twins were born. How COULD I bring 2 strangers into our family? How could he not feel forgotten and pushed out when we would be spending so much time with the babies?

    It went well, turns out they weren’t strangers, we skipped all formalities and I presented them with my boobs. Success. Big brother was a bit jealous, but of the “ignoring they exist” kind. Not the “I will hide them under a big pillow” kind.

  • Jean

    Please kept in mind, nothing is as bad as being an only child

  • http://www.xanga.com/yourfavoritecynic Ray

    I absolutely loved this entry. Your writing is awesome. I love how you describe things. Especially this part, “…and buried my head into her hair so that I could smell the back of her ears, a scent very different than the one emanating from a newborn’s head, a bit rough, sweaty and full of life.” I imagine that only a mother could appreciate and love something like that. I am not a mother but that must be beautiful, beautiful to love your child so fully (and be in total awe of them); in body, spirit and mind. <3 <3 <3

    Leta & Marlo are lucky to have you as their mama. ;o)

  • Bonnie

    I betrayed my first born as well by having a 2nd. I hope that one day he will forgive me for my selfishness.

  • Julie

    your description of moments like these take my breath away.
    Thank you.

  • Brea


    I was so moved by this post – I’ve been frequently checking your site since Marlo’s birth announcement for this first post to see how things were going. My heart goes out to you during this time. I found transitioning from one to two children a harder adjustment than being childless and becoming a parent. Maybe it’s the guilt, or the hormones and the sleeplessness combined with having to be ‘on’ for your older child, but your post gets me where I live. Your vulnerability is so touching.

    When our son was born almost 4 years after our daughter, we had a birthday party for the baby. We don’t have any family close by, so our daughter’s first night away while I labored at the hospital was with a close friend. In her overnight bag, I packed a bake-it-in-one-tray microwave cake for her to make and bring to the ‘party’. Our daughter had a gift for the baby, something we had shopped for together before he was born, and was suprised to find a present from him when she came to the hospital.

    And my experience was the same when I saw her for the first time after the baby was born. In a day and a half, our daughter had become HUGE! The thing I was struck by most, however, was the noise level. It was like living with horses and elephants. I never thought of my daughter as being particularly loud until I tried to put the baby to sleep at home for the first time.

    Enormous love notwithstanding, I am just so fond of our daughter; of who she is and the hilarious things she does. I worried that another child would change all that. It didn’t. It was crazy hard at first, but now our daughter is 12 and our son is 8-years old. I absolutely love the age difference. The difference in age affords lots of opportunities – each child getting to be the ‘baby’ as well as having their own set of friends.

    I am thinking good thoughts for your family. Family truly is the bomb – and finding your way through it all is the good stuff. Sometimes it doesn’t feel that way at the time – but looking back, it has made my life so rich. Thank you for opening up your lives to us. I look forward to the stories as the girls get older together.



  • Vale

    I have a sister and two brothers, and having them is the best. Of course we fought as we grew up, of course my mom’s attention couldn’t be completely centered on just one child, but I’ll always be grateful I have my siblings. You’ve given Leta something really great, so yeah, help her adjust but try not to feel guilty. The adventures those two will have!

  • JL

    She’s taking her emotional cues from you all. Love is not divided between children, it’s multiplied and shared. The postpartum period is rough but don’t make it harder than necessary, either. If you think you’re robbing her of something, then she will too. You’re not robbing her of anything. You’re giving her gifts greater than any of you are imagining.

  • http://timetogolightly.blogspot.com C Golightly

    I too felt bad that I was breaking my eldest daughters heart by blowing her world apart with the addition of her younger sister. But she will be thankful one day when she is not the only one taking care of us when we are old.

    Siblings play such a huge role in our lives from day one, whether we like it or not. The competitiveness that begins with fighting for our parents love in the very beginning, lingers on throughout our lives. (I’m having some therapy about my family of origin right now, can you tell???!!!)

  • http://mlbornstein.blogspot.com Meredith

    Oh this brought back memories. Three and half years ago I felt so incredibly guilty for giving my eleven-month-old a sibling before we’d gotten enough time together. At least Leta isn’t trying to climb into the baby’s bassinet or accidentally poking her in the eyes. Enjoy every precious tear-inducing moment. And spooning for those extra minutes is always a good idea.

  • http://hobobabyblog.blogspot.com/ Jennifer W.

    Totally cried (stealthily) reading this in the middle of my new job orientation today. Now I’m just pissed at this “SB” asshole above. What a moron. Beautifully written, honest post, Heather. Hang in there. Hormones are a bitch but your girls are breathtaking.

  • http://sogetthis.wordpress.com Kim

    The guilt doesn’t go away, but it does get much easier.

    As for getting by today, ice cream for breakfast fixes everything.

  • Rebecca

    When Marlo looks up at her big sister with utter worship and grins like she’s never grinned at you and you realize…never will Leta ever do anything to earn the worship of her younger sibling and it’ll all be worth it.

  • Kelly

    I felt the very same way, although I couldn’t have expressed myself so eloquently. It won’t be long before you will start to see your new normal. Big hugs to you.

  • Kelly

    Yep I felt like a total traitor when I had my 2nd daughter. My oldest came to visit us in the hospital and she wouldn’t even talk to me – I cried and cried after she left. Now my girls are 8 ad 6 and best friends.
    Honestly though, I didn’t feel “bonded” with my youngest for quite awhile. Now I love them both (depends on the day…or minute for that matter) whom I am in love with more….I would also say that the first 3 weeks of bringing home the 2nd baby is tough, I think I cried everyday at the drop of a hat and stayed in my pajamas until the afternoon…it does get better. You have beautiful daughters!

  • Mia

    What a sweet moment for you and Leta

  • Still life

    It is a remarkable moment when you see your first born for the first time after the second born shows up on the scene. I remember my daughter so small when I dropped her off at Grandmas and SO HUGE when she came to meet her brother at the hospital.

    Two days later sitting on the stairs she told me, “Its hard to share your mommy.” My heart broke into a million pieces right there on the entryway floor.

    One week later she had craftily figured out that whenever her brother was latched on to my boobs I was utterly helpless and unable to stop her from getting into anything and everything.

    Believe me – Leta too will discover the up side of having distracted parents and will love Marlo so much in time.

    Congratulations and hang in there. It is easier and it is harder with the second in entirely new and facinating ways.

  • http://www.shrinkx.com Janiene

    Boy that hits home…
    I think that is the hardest part of the second child process. As beautiful as it is and such a gift…a sibling!
    But somehow with it, for a moment…or two, comes this bit of sadness. Feeling like somehow you have placed this precious first born on the “winter” shelf and your now bringing out the “summer” clothes! But I really feel like we place that on ourselves and that isn’t at all what our child is thinking or feeling. I remember when I had my second, my kids are just over four years apart, and I’m sitting and nursing…again…and my son is sitting watching a program and I’m feeling horrible that he’s sitting watching a program so I apologize to him. I said I was so sorry that we weren’t at the park or playing a game together and he looked at me so sincerely and at 4 1/2 said “You have two kids now Mom…It’s ok…I’m ok.”
    Of course I cried….
    You have given Leta the greatest gift…a sister!

  • Anonymous

    Oh wow, how your story reminds me of my childhood.

    When my younger sister was born I was really upset I had to share my room with her. So, every night I’d pull her (I was 5) through her crib bars and put her in the bassinet next to my parents’ bed. I guess I thought she’d never grow or something because she got stuck in the bars one night. In the end, the crib was destroyed because the bars were sawed off to get her out. I was such a BRAT.

    We slept together in the same full-size bed after that night. I’m sure my parents thought that not only sharing my room, but my bed as well would force me out of my bratty only child phase, but I actually loved it. We’d laugh and laugh, stay up way late, and play games under the covers with flashlights.

    I don’t know what I would do without my sister!

  • Jessie

    enjoy this sweet time with your two little ones. blessings to you all!

  • Anonymous

    I remember feeling the same way after bringing home my second. But I remember all the fun times I had with my sister and how much I learned from having to share my parents’ attention (and everything else). Which, ya know, is just a necessary thing in life. You also just gave her a new best friend.

    The hormones can be really bad, but remember this too shall pass.

  • http://www.millermanormoments.blogspot.com Trisha

    I think that is, by far, the most beautiful, heartfelt (and still strikingly-dooce-funny) post I have ever read. Your candor is appreciated. Thank you.

    I cried… And it’s more than me celebrating my baby’s first birthday today, but I’m sure that helped. ;)

  • http://www.professionalsahm.com Maureen

    Just hang in there for a couple more days and you’ll probably feel loads better, hormonally-speaking. I had bad postpartum depression after the birth of my son and had to check myself into a psychiatric ward also. I was very scared after about having another baby and waited ten years to have her! Day 3 postpartum, the hormones hit full force and I didn’t know if I would make it. Day 4 was some better and by Day 10, I was feeling good again. Hopefully it will go as well or better for you! Good luck and be sure to take care of yourself. And let go of the guilt! Sisters are awesome! You’re giving Leta someone who will be the best support system she could ask for as she gets older.

  • Jeni Reno

    It’s definitely a balancing act. I’m sure you will all find your way together.

  • Jamie

    Beautiful post. I am adding a new little person to our mix in the next month and I feel the exact same way with my soon to be seven-year-old.

  • bohica

    The joy of this blog is that Heather and her family welcome all comments, whether the writer is in agreement with her parenting style or not. Having said that, I certainly hope that she doesn’t take the misanthropic ramblings of a miserable mother to heart; and I certainly hope that SB’s children manage to find the love and devotion they find somewhere else.

  • Nomie

    I don’t have many memories of life before my brother; I wasn’t even three yet when he was born. I was seven, though, when my mom had my baby sister. And I remember asking her once why she wanted another one; weren’t me and my brother enough?

    And she said “You are SO AMAZING. How could I not want MORE of you?”

    It always stuck with me.

  • Megan

    Oh I feel for you! I know the heartbreak that you feel. But please know that it gets better and that you are giving her an amazing gift by giving her a sibling!

  • Rebkas

    It WILL get better. A good thing to say to Leta is something I have said to my kids when they say I love one of them more than the other:
    “I love YOU the most because you are the only Sydney/Samantha/Christopher (pick a name)I will EVER have.”

    It seems to work at making them feel better.

    Good luck to you and yours–Thank you for letting us into your lives.


  • Anonymous

    when i found out i was pregnant with my 2nd the first thought that crossed my mine was how could i cheat on my first one like that. but now that they are 3 and 5 and ask every night to have sleep overs and can spend hours laughing and playing with each other i realize there was nothing better i could have done that to bring that 2nd baby home.

  • Anonymous

    I can relate! You put it so perfectly. I felt guilty about bringing home the new one because the oldest one got so much less attention. Of course, the new guy gets much less attention than his brother did at that age. (Sigh) Anyway, lots of of love. She is beautiful!

  • marisa

    oh… isn’t it wonderfully painful?

  • Chelsie

    Yeah, we’ve been trying to decide whether or not to have another (we’ve got one two year old). I really feel like the timing is good for another but I also feel horrible at the thought that all my time won’t be devoted to my little Daphne. She is the sweetest little thing and I love her so much.

    The idea of a baby isn’t well formed enough in my mind for me to envision the possible sibling as anything other than something to take my attention away from Daphne.

    I know that if we had another he/she would be a fully formed little individual to love and cherish and come to know, but for now he/she is this empty place-holder. Maybe the fact that I think of this unconceived child as an EMPTY placeholder instead of something that is FULL of possibility and potential for something wonderful means I’m not ready yet.

    I know it will be hard either way and look forward to living vicariously through you. I think it is wonderful that you care so much for Leta that you feel the emotions you described so strongly. If bringing a beautiful sister/confidante/frienemy into her life can bring you to want to protect and shelter her, imagine what a real threat will bring out! Those teenage boys better watch out!

    Hang in there.

  • http://www.st-olaf.blogspot.com erin

    Just remember that you’ve given her a sister…A SISTER. And, one day, she’ll realize what an awesome gift that is. Oh, and I totally remember, after bringing Grace home from the hospital, repeatedly wondering when Sam’s head got so big! I tell him about that all the time :)

  • Angela

    Congratulations to you and your family. You are such a wonderful bunch to follow!

    I just have to say that, although normally you are quite a good read, this last post is exquisitly expressed.

    Is this the hormone thing, kuz if it is, where can I get me some?