• http://littlestfinch.com Littlest Finch

    When my sister came home from the hospital, I wouldn’t let anyone hold her for too long. She was MY baby sister, not anybody elses – I’d say to relatives “OK, that’s enough, you’re done now.”

    Just remember that by giving Leta a baby sister, you’re giving her someone to share the rest of her life with – friends will come and go, but sisters are for keeps.

  • Stacey

    Awww…i just cried at my desk. I’m so scared about this very topic…as we discuss having another. My tatertot is so wonderful, i’m scared.

    All the best. :)

  • http://breathethenexhale.wordpress.com Sigh (formerly NerdGirl)

    This made me smile. I already know what your post will say when she turns 20. My beautiful hardheaded princess is turning 20 this week and this post drew me back in a sweet flash.

    thank you.

    and blessings to all four (six actually) of you!

  • Cathy

    Oh my, this made me cry! I felt the same way when they brought my son in the room after my daughter was born. He was HUGE!! He was only 3, but looked like he was now some 10yr old! Huge. Enjoy these first few crazy months of welcoming this wonderful addition to your family. Take it easy, take deep breaths and just live in these moments. They are soooo fleeting.

  • Molly

    I am pregnant with my firstborn, and this post made me all teary in a coffee shop. Beautiful. Congrats to you and your family.

  • Kim

    Completely heart wrenching.

    Thank you so much for sharing your life with us. My “children” are now 19 and 21…but reading this brought me instantly to tears remembering those feelings exactly.

    Again, thank you.


  • Anonymous

    My mom always told my sister and I that our relationship with each other was the most important relationship in the family. Friends would come and go, our Mom and Dad would, someday, be gone and all we would have left of where it all started for us would be each other. The day I met my sister in the hospital, I remember thinking that she wouldnt be important to me, as someone who had lived a whole 5 years without her, i didnt think I needed her like my mom thought I did. 22 years later, I dont think I could survive without my sister, we have learned to depend on each other, our weaknesses, fears, and strengths can get us both through anything, together. One day Leta will remember a time before she had a sister but think that the time she has had a sister is way better! Congratulations to you all!!

  • Sharon

    Oh, I remember those feelings. I spent the entire 9 months of my second pregnancy feeling like I had betrayed my first-born, and felt exactly as you describe when the new baby came. My dear firstborn, in the first week, at age TWO, said to me as I nursed the baby “Want mom to hug me with both hands, put your breasts away.”

    Well, the joke was on me, because the two boys (7 & 9 now) are so close sometimes I have to tell them “When we get over to Billy’s house, remember to play with the other kids and not just each other.” Those painful feelings will fade in time, it’s just part of the transition – as someone? said “The only way out is through.”

  • http://www.tunheimfamily.blogspot.com Anonymous

    The best gift you could ever give Leta is a sibling–you will see that over and over again as you watch them grow. My husband and I look at each other and smile when we see our boys playing imaginative games together and hear them whispering adventures at night.

  • Jelena M

    O, dam you, Hearther…
    Just when I thought I’ve passed that faze of feeling bad for my older daugther (she’s 7 years old, little one is 5 months…), and told myself it’s all silly and that I worry way toooo much….
    You made me cry again, you terrible woman…

  • http://www.worldwiderolves.blogspot.com Nancy R

    Isn’t that crazy how the older sibling is suddenly ginormous? I bet even your dogs look a little bigger.

    I agree with Sasha, err on the side of Leta for a while. You’ll all figure it out in due time.

    Just got your book from the library – you’ll be pleased to know there are Dorito-looking fingerprints on page 35.

  • http://www.jodimichelle.com jodimichelle

    I felt this too after bringing Oliver home – he’s 14 months now and Jessica, our oldest is 4 1/2. She loved him right away but I was so torn and angry with Oliver for taking over, so incredibly, my life. Definitely crying and lots of it. We’re past that stage now and I couldn’t be happier to have 2 kids. Although we still have days where Jessica will look at me and say “Mom, it hard having a baby.” And aside from wanting to scream BIRTH CONTROL, KEEP YOUR LEGS SHUT!, SEE!!?? THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS!!!, I just look at her and agree and then hug her a little longer.

    All the best to you, Jon and Leta.

    The first couple months are tough, really tough. But they go so very fast.

  • Anonymous

    awww, that would break my heart too. I hope the adjustment goes smoothly for all of you! marlo is just beautiful BTW, I can’t wait to see more of her!

  • http://www.fabbrunette.com Margarita

    Things get easier, as all things do. You will eventually see all the positive in bring your little girl a sibling, a playmate, someone to confide in, giggle with and play hide and seek with. Soon enough ;)

  • Shasta

    Wonderful story…got me right in the gut. Thanks for sharing it, and congratulations to you and Jon and Leta on Marlo’s safe and secure arrival.

  • Anonymous

    Beautifully written. Your post made me both terrified and excited to have another. And it made me cry. Sooo very happy for you and all your success!

  • Penney

    I COMPLETELY, and TOTALLY understand the feeling of betrayal. I had it with my son and thought for a split second “What the hell did I DO?!” And I cried. Big, fat guilt-ridden tears. Call it hormones, call it PPD, whatever. I can tell you, it goes away. Mine are 11 and 9 now and the only thing I ever think is “Why won’t they stop arguing?” Or something like that on a daily basis. Good luck and know that it is all normal (at least for those who will admit to the former).

  • http://callingonthetelephone.blogspot.com Meeka

    This is just a lovely, touching, laugh out loud funny post. I mean, they’re all lovely, touching and laugh out loud funny but this one, specifically, is high quality. Thanks again, over and over, for letting your readers in!

  • http://lifewithbriar.blogspot.com Amanda

    Your tears have sparked a million, I’d guess. I’ll never forget the guilt before our second daughter was born and the weeks that followed her delivery. I felt selfish and foolish for moving so fast. Angry at upsetting the balance and then frustrated that i couldn’t move past it. Then it all shifted and I saw the place I’d occupied, the place that I’d let no light in as I consumed our first daughter, being changed. I moved ever so slightly to the side and allowed room for a sister. They adore each other and (enter the maudlin) I know that after I die, she’ll have someone else in the world. It isn’t ever the same, but that doesn’t make it less.

  • http://brightoncottage.blogspot.com Brighton

    I remember thinking that my older children looked huge each time I had another baby. I have four children, and I remember vividly feeling like I had somehow not taken advantage of the time I had with the older child before the baby came. Or appreciated it, or something like that. In the end they all melded together into our family- each an important piece that I couldn’t imagine not being there.

    It’ll come together for you too.

  • Liz

    I don’t know you Heather, and I only know what I read on your blog, however, I truly enjoy laughing, crying, and learning about you and your family.

  • http://quyenhuynh.tumblr.com/ quyenhuynh

    Okay, now I want to cry. Reading this made me tear up because I felt the exact way when I brought my daughter home and my son felt so unwanted. Heartbreaking for them.

  • Andrea V.

    Beautiful post. I felt the emotion of it. Thank you.

  • http://blog.knit-n-spin.com bipolarbear

    No kids here, but I cried for the little girl that was me when my own sister was brought home over thirty-seven years ago.

    I know you’ll do a better job than my own (admittedly clumsy) parents did. I *still* resent the hell out of her.

  • Devon


  • Maria

    We still have ice cream for dinner every once in a while and my kids are 20, 16 and 11. Enjoy these first “family of four” days together making chocolate ice cream memories. YUM!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been moved to tears of laughter before by your blog, H, but never of emotional crying tears. Oops. This one broke my drought.

    Beautifully captured. Thank you for giving me something to think about (yet again) – hubby and I have been doing the do we/don’t we go for another discussions lately….

  • mdonarlz

    I’ve got two kids, 13 years apart in age. I didn’t have any of this when my son was born. Instead I got a whole mess of other issues…..one teen and a toddler….yikes. Sometimes I think I was crazy…:-)

  • Bianca

    Thanks so much for sharing Heather. I imagine that you are going through a wonderful yet sad time. change is difficult, especially with the hormone levels of 25 pimple faced teenagers. . .

  • Anonymous

    thank you

  • Rachel

    I was not prepared for that feeling either, but, oh, how I cherish it. I remember, after surrounding myself with the new baby for the first week, how familiar, and how absolutely lovely it was to put my four year old to sleep. It was like he was my old friend, and he and I were in this new adventure together…as we had been for four years. And, I knew what he wanted, because he could tell me!

    All the best, to all of you.

  • MSR

    Heather, we have a very similar situation going down at our house. Our 5 year old son just became a big brother in April. When I held him in my lap for the first time in at least 6 months, he felt huge! His hands were so much bigger than I swear they were the day before his sister was born! And his whole body just seemed so grown up, it kind of felt like someone hit the fastforward button and I missed about a year of his life even though I was with him. As for the guilt, I cried the first night home, and the second-fifth too. I was feeling like he would never be the same and that we had abandoned him some how. It’s been two months and I can’t believe how much he has changed. He’s found a new sense of independence because we’ve asked and let him do more for himself. And he is so proud to be a big brother, very protective and helpful. But most wonderful of all is the time that he and I spend together, just the two of us, knowing how special it is when the baby is with daddy or grammy and that the world can still revolve around him every once in a while :)

  • Amy

    Apparently when my mother went to the hospital to have my baby sister, she called to check on my at grandma’s and I told her that if she had a new baby not to come home at all. I was 4 and I made her cry. Don’t worry, 35 years later we are the best of friends. Leta will be fine.

  • Tammy Mellish

    I felt so much like that when Samuel, was born. Mikaela, who was a tiny 22 month old, seemed so HUGE when she arrived to take a peek at her brand new baby brother. And how you are feeling now.. worried that maybe you might have betrayed her for having dared to break up your happy trio? I had these feelings not so much after my son arrived, but just before he arrived.. a ‘OMG WOMAN! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!’ feeling. And then he came and everything was fine. And Leta will love her, and she will love Leta and everything will be fine. It’s like I wrote on a scrapbook page once.. ‘you Mikaela, are the reason I had more children. I never knew the love of a child before you, and it was that good.’

  • Rebecca

    We had 3 boys in 3.5 years. I will never forget the day I brought home my second baby… I sat on the floor and wept uncontrolably because I couldn’t move fast enough or pick up my sweet oldest son to put him to bed. I totally felt, at the time, like I betrayed him byt taking myself from him and forcing him against his will to share his life. However…. my boys are now 12, 10, and 9 and I know now that I gave them an irreplacable gift!

    My sister, on the other hand, chose to only have one child. He is 11 and is a self involved, spoiled, selfish, self seeking, young man. I feel sorry for who ever he marries because he thinks the world revolves around him (as most only children do). Belive it or not, despite the picture I have painted of my only child nephew, I do love him… most of the time.

    Leta will learn how to share her stuff, her heart, her dreams, her everything with her little sister… she will learn what she probably has not yet had to learn, that life does not revolve around her every whim. Marlo is the best gift you ever could have given your sweet Leta. You will know that, with no doubt, soon!

    Xo to the whole Armstrong family…

  • Alejandra

    I just cried like a little girl…. My baby boy is 6 months old and I am not even pregnant but we are thinking about having another baby and I am already crying like a little girl… Motherhood is such a trip…

  • Anonymous

    Crying at this very moment, as a mother of four, I know exactly what you are feeling. It gets easier, for everyone, promise.

  • Anonymous

    You’re a great mom! I tell you from experience… this too, shall pass. You have a wonderful ability to live in the moment and savor each one…

  • Anonymous

    Every mom feels that way! Just you wait for the first time Marlo laughs at something Leta does… or the first time she tracks her big sister around a room. That’s when your irrational second-guessing becomes a “what did we do without a family of four before?”

    Answer is quite simple actually. You can’t ever fathom it again.

  • http://www.lifehappins.com Andrea Frazer

    First off, that is one beautiful baby. Congrats! Love the name! And hang in there. Easier said than done, but you’re going to be okay. And if not, there’s drugs, and you’ll get them quicker than last time! But seriously, it is going to be fine. We’re all rooting for you and have so enjoyed the ride. CONGRATS

  • http://miloeliot.blogspot.com/ Lynsey Eason

    Beautiful! I’ve got my own tears now…

  • http://www.executivemomscoach.com/blog Nicola Ries Taggart

    Oh, Heather…you made me start to cry just reading this post. I gave birth to my second (my husband’s third) on June 12. I have been so surprised by the intense emotions I have had around my first born (who is 4.5 years old). I have experienced such sadness for her being bumped from her place as the baby in the family and sadness for me as I mourn the loss of our time together as just us. Although I have been atempting to find/make pockets of time to just focus on her without the baby in my arms, I feel even greater sadness and guilt when I realize that I feel like I SHOULD be doing this, rather then WANTING to be doing this.

    I think I am having a harder time with the transition then she is…

    Here I go again…those emotions, mixed with the lack of sleep and hormones, is sending me into weepy land again. You are not alone!

  • http://minnesotalady.blogspot.com Bobbi

    I think this is my favorite post that you’ve written. So beautiful… I understand this completely.

  • ChrisMoose

    How is Chuck??????

  • Jen

    Yikes. We’re going to be introducing two newborns into our first daughter’s life in about 5 months. I totally understand what you mean about feeling guilty for changing their world without their consent. I think she deserves the extra cuddle. :)

  • Briana

    Oh my, you aren’t the only one bawling. I wonder if my parents ever felt like that after they brought my little sister home. I don’t remember life without her, I was only 16 months old, but I do remember when I was very young, 2 or 3 years old, feeling like my parents and her were in a secret club. But I think I was just too young to understand what having a sibling was about, so I became suspicious instead, and anyways I had no attachment to her at that age, you know. 30 years later, my sister is my best friend now. We live 2,000 miles apart but she’s the only person in the world I can’t wait to call again right after getting off the phone with her.

  • http://www.manicmommy.blogspot.com Manic Mommy

    I remember feeling so guilty to discover I was pregnant with my second child when my first was only nine months old. But a sibling is the best gift ever, and yours are so lucky to be sisters!

  • robyn

    Wow. I’m so thrilled I’m not one of SB’s children. In times of insecurity and adjustment, my mom always had compassion and kind words. My emotions weren’t treated as unacceptable.

    It sounds as if SB’s kids are treated as farm animals who are basically shoved aside when there’s a new mouth to feed. Nice.

  • http://www.kickyboots.com Amanda Brown

    Oh, that’s heart shattering! When my 2 year-old daughter met her baby sister for the first time she sobbed until she was gagging. Quite the introduction. But no more than 24 hours later she was doting on her, helping me and becoming a wonderful big sister. I suppose it’s easier for a 2 year-old to just adapt and go with the flow since she’ll never remember a time without her baby sister. But I am sure Leta will find her way in no time.

  • http://www.pleasurenotes.com emma

    Oh my goodness, this made me cry, and I don’t even have post-partum hormones zipping around my inards. It also made me grateful that I don’t remember how I felt, at 6, when my little brother was brought home. I probably reacted just like Leta. Thank you for sharing such special moments.