A letter to our first born…

Hey Everyone!

Having children is such a joy, but it can also come with fears and anxieties – mostly due to the unknown. Have any other mom’s who have had more than one child experienced the fear of how your first born will handle having new baby in the house?

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Elle is always excellent to share her things, but before her baby sister Ivy arrived, I was feeling some anxiety about how she would handle having to share her mom and dad with a new baby.  She is only two, after all. Although, we felt we did our best to prepare over the course of 9 months, one really can never be sure how things will roll out.

I am so pleased to say, Elle welcomed Ivy with open arms. She is always kissing her on the head and talking to her in the sweetest voice. She asks where she is as soon as she wakes. The very few times I have left Ivy home to have quality time with Elle – Elle asks for Ivy and says she wants her to come. She is exactly what I imagined she would be like as a big sister; nurturing, thoughtful, caring and so, so sweet and helpful.

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That said, months ago, I wrote a letter to Elle, titled “to our first born.” It helped me express all my feelings that were rushing through my mind, being pregnant and hormonal.  About a week before we welcomed Ivy into the world, I stayed up very late, putting together a scrap book for Elle. It’s something that I have never done, but I had found it when I was cleaning out Elle’s closet (thanks to whoever gave it to me – haha). I pulled out pictures and created a story of memories and firsts from Elle’s first two years of life. In the back there was a slot to put something special, so I edited this letter and printed a copy to put in that special slot.

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Lots of tears were cried writing this, but it was so cathartic to sit down and remember all our special moments, while pairing them with pictures for the scrap book.  It was a beautiful trip down memory lane and I hope Elle enjoys it someday, as much as I enjoyed making it for her (although when I showed it to her, she mostly enjoyed the little stickers throughout the book! lol).

That said, I highly recommend mom’s awaiting their second child and facing similar emotions and anxieties, to try this! You don’t need to be crafty (trust me). You just need to express your heart. Xx

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“October 26, 2019

To our first born….

Isabella Rose, things in our home are about to change for the better, but it will be different and I want you to know just how very special you are to mommy & daddy. Soon, we will go from a party of four to a party of five. This is very, very exciting, but since you are still too small to understand everything, mommy worries about how you may react those first few months of transition.

Since becoming a mom, I truly have never stopped worrying from the time I found out I was pregnant, through every stage thereafter. I have no doubt the worrying will continue, as long as I am alive. I think it’s in a mother’s blood – it’s how we were designed. So, that being said, I want you to know a few things….

From the moment I saw “yes” on my pregnancy test, you and I started forming the most amazing bond. You were with me every single moment, of every day, for the entire 9 months I carried you proudly in my belly. It was such an amazing pregnancy. I was full of energy and never felt healthier. I was the first heartbeat you ever heard and I will never forget the first time I heard yours. There is a quote that says: “Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide to forever have your heart walking around outside your body.” This couldn’t be truer!

From the moment you were born, both your father’s life and mine were forever changed for the best. You have truly made me a better person (I think your dad would say the same about himself too). You have taught me to be less selfish. You have helped me become more present and you brightened our home and lives in ways you can’t even comprehend right now. You continue to challenge me every day. You taught me to be a mom and watching you grow and develop has been such an incredible gift.

We have so many firsts together. You are my first child. The first baby I wore maternity clothes for. The first baby I rocked to sleep (which I did almost every night for the first year of your life). The first baby I nursed. The first baby I pureed food for and fed. The first baby I travelled with on an airplane. The first baby I bathed. The first baby I sang lullabies to. The first baby I planned a first birthday party for! These are just a few firsts – I could actually go on and on. Every moment was special in it’s own way. Some more scary or challenging than others, but each were so special and I will never forget any of them.

I can still remember the first time we took you outside after leaving the hospital, you were soaking it all in and so was I. That first smile; the first time you slept through the night; the first time you rolled over (you were in your bassinet, wearing a little red outfit). I was there the first time you cried and the first time you laughed and can remember so vividly the first time you muttered mama. Also, we can’t forget when you started crawling around, with one foot on the ground dragging your other. JThen there is the first time you stood up on your own (and fell back down) and your very first steps! You were so proud of yourself and so were mommy and daddy. You actually make us proud every single day.

Watching you grow through every season and witnessing your deep appreciation for nature has been an amazing adventure and mommy loves adventures! On that note, let me add that you, my dear, have been our biggest adventure yet! We love seeing things though your big, beautiful, blue eyes. It’s the absolute best!

There is nothing better than watching you experience things for the first time. Moments like the first time you played in the snow. The first time you went swimming in a pool (we were in Georgia!). The first time you played in the sand. The first time you dipped your toes in the ocean (just last summer in the Hamptons – you were afraid of it until then and after you decided to do it, you couldn’t get enough!). The first time you went to potty and so much more. The amazing thing is we still have SO many firsts to share!

I want you to know, Mommy and Daddy love everything about you. We wouldn’t change one thing. You are everything and more than your dad and I ever could have imagined. You’re smart, beautiful, funny, sweet, thoughtful, compassionate and so friendly. You have such a cute, fun and colorful personality! You really do know how to keep us entertained, whether you’re pretending to read to us, making up stories to the pages in your books or we are just listening to you play with your dolls. You really do have such an awesome imagination. You actually surprise us all the time with how much you know.

Spending time with you is the best part of our day. I love how much you enjoy singing. You must have inherited this from your Papa Joe, whom you never got to meet (along with his big blue eyes). I often joke that your life is a musical! Also, it makes me so proud to see how sweet you are to animals. Waking up to see you have placed two milk bones in Sadie’s bowl actually melts my heart. Also, hearing you try to console her when she is whining is quite possibly the sweetest. It’s funny, because I can remember going for walks with Sadie when you were in my belly. I would try brainstorm names to call you and imagine what you would be like. I actually envisioned you loving music and horses when you were in my womb and you adore both – which sincerely amazes me.

You are only two, but you know exactly how to get your way. You are a better negotiator than a Philadelphia lawyer (I am sure you get this from your dad 🙂) You melt my heart when you say “pretty please.” You’re so quick to say sorry. You love to help mommy and daddy and I can tell already, by the way you tidy up shoes and how particular you are about your routines, you will be a very organized individual – a planner like mommy.🙃 You are also stubborn at times, which you get honestly from both sides. I personally think that is a positive trait when channeled correctly. Also, you know exactly what you want – you are like a little director at times.🥰 I think all this, combined with all your other amazing traits above, will serve you so well in life.

I have absolutely no doubt you are going to be the most amazing big sister. I can see how sweetly you care for your dolls and others and how helpful you are already. You care so much about people’s feelings and hate seeing anyone sad. It puts me at ease knowing Ivy will have such an incredibly positive influence and amazing role model to look up to in you. Giving you a sibling will be one of our greatest gifts to you. I know you will be the best of friends as my sisters and brother are mine. Blood is thicker than water. 💞

Elle, we want you to know, that although we are expanding our family and you will have to share mommy and daddy, (and possibly some toys and other things), with your sister – our bond with you is totally unique, however, we will love you both the same. As our firstborn, becoming a mommy and daddy was new to us. You will never know the nights we laid awake, trying to stop you from crying or watching you when you slept, worried because you weren’t crying. There wasn’t much shut-eye in our house those first few months of your life, but I knew those moments would be fleeting and I did my best to soak up every moment. I am so glad I did, because here we are – I blinked and you are now a toddler.

You probably don’t realize, but mommy didn’t spend one night away from you for the entire first year of your life. It wasn’t’ until you were 14 months old that your dad and I took a trip together alone. Although it’s healthy for mommy and daddy get away alone sometimes, it was my first time and I was so sad to leave you and missed you every single day. It gave me comfort knowing you were being looked after by my mommy, whom I trust more than anyone in the world. I hope you feel that way about me now and always.

I can actually still remember the first night I put you in your crib in the nursery. I cried that entire night. I was so glad my mommy was here to offer support; because it was one of the most difficult tasks I had to do during those early days of your life. I think it was harder on me than you. I missed having you in our bedroom so much, but I knew it was time and healthy for everyone, especially you, to have a good sleep.

Breastfeeding was also one the most challenging things I have ever done, but mommy didn’t give up and it eventually got easier and I pushed through until you were 14 months old, because I wanted you to have the best start in life.  That is always our goal, as parents, baby girl; to do whatever we can to ensure we are creating a strong and healthy foundation for you to flourish and succeed happily in life. That said, please know, when mommy or daddy say “no” to you, it’s because we want the very best for you. We are not perfect parents, but we love you more than we could ever express.

So as we all enter this unchartered territory, as a family, please know I am forever grateful for you. I am grateful for your patience, allowing me to learn and make mistakes as I grow as a mother. I am grateful for your ability to make the world a brighter and better place for everyone you meet. I am grateful for our special bond and most importantly I am grateful that God chose your dad and I to be your parents.

Baby girl, always remember, you are SO very special – there is only ONE Elle Belle. Mommy and Daddy love you to the moon and back, times infinity and as long as we are alive on this earth, we will ALWAYS be here for you. Most importantly, whether mommy and daddy are here or not, please remember that the God of heaven and earth, whom breathed life into you, has done so for a reason. He has created you for a very unique and beautiful purpose. He has an amazing plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11-13) Stay close to him and he will ALWAYS direct your path (Proverbs 3-6). He is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we can ask think or imagine (Ephesians 2: 20-21).

I hope you enjoy this book of memories, from the first two years of your life. The first two years you were our only child (human child that is, as we can’t forget sweet Sadie J). I love our little rituals, like going to the Country Pumpkin, playing eye spy on the drive there and feeding the animals, getting your “cupcakes” (which are actually shortbread cookies J) and seeing how much joy it brings you to fly in the sky on the swing, singing all your favorite songs. Mommy and daddy look forward to making many more memories with you, Sadie and Ivy. We have so much to look forward to and are truly blessed beyond measure.

Yours forever,

Your Mommy”

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