Becoming Four

I wrote this story just 6 weeks after giving birth to my second baby. It has sat unpublished for this entire time. And now as my beautiful baby boy has just turned 1 I'm finally sharing it.

Being born again as a mama of two has catapulted me through a new porthole of the exquisite rite of passage that is parenthood. The transition in those first few weeks was unlike anything I could have expected, and my entire family has undergone the metamorphosis with me.

In anticipating the arrival of my second son all I knew is that it would be hard; a juggling act of immense proportions! I was ready for chaos, I was ready for exhaustion, I was ready for the hardest time of my life.  What I wasn’t prepared for was the divine, immersive love that would wrap our family in those first weeks.

I brought Yagan home just forty-eight hours after his emergency caesarean birth. Many people encouraged me to stay in hospital longer because I had another child- Bodhi, to care for at home. But Bodhi was exactly the reason I was eager to get back to the nest. Even though I was still tender and weak, I desperately wanted to settle back home and establish my presence as the mama-rock for our little family during this huge time of change.

When I first stepped through our front door with my tiny newborn in my arms, Bodhi fell apart in tears, a huge release of emotion from having me away. I held him tight as he sobbed, heaving, whole body sobs, grieving for his exclusive mummy days. And I felt guilty, no doubt about it, like I had somehow cheated on him by having spent 2 days away, snuggling and loving my squishy sweet newborn. But in the days and weeks that followed, the guilt evaporated and a deeply profound love bloomed, unlike anything I’ve ever felt before.

The oxytocin explosion from birth spiraled out from Yagan and I at the centre, wrapping our whole family up more tightly and lighting us all up with love. We were high as high on family life! My partner and I feel more deeply in love- I was far from ready for sex but we frequently shared sensual passionate kisses; the growing bond between Bodhi and his Dad was electric, boisterous and filled with laughter; and the tenderness between Bodhi and I was deepening with new forms of affection from him; gentling stroking my face, asking if my scar was alright and offering to help me in many ways. I now realize that while time may be somewhat divided with two children, the depth of love enriches our bond and weaves our little tribe together more tightly. And when we are working as a team, in many ways it’s less chaotic and dare I say… easier than I expected.

Though, even with the love explosion I still feel divided at times; I have such different roles parenting each of the boys! My 6 week old needs to hear me, feel me, smell me, to know that he's home and so he spends most of his time strapped to my chest, while my three year old needs my presence, focused connection and playfulness as he discovers the world and himself. Some days it’s utterly exhausting and overwhelming, as I knew it would be, and the best way for me to get through it is to make sure I nurture myself.

To set the tone for a profound new commitment to self-care I chose to spend forty days at home (and I am very grateful to have had the support to do so). In this time I was blessed with a sacred postpartum ceremony with Lynda Anne Taylor from YoniYogaBirth to honour my journey back from birth; friends and family came with food, gifts and a willingness to take on domestic duties and I prioritized my healing, with long days of rest, reflection and feeling into this new role of mothering two.

Just six weeks postpartum and my body is a familiar stranger, my heart is ever expanding, there are crumbles and cracks everywhere but that’s ok, because this is where the light shines through making way for love to continue to her divine dance weaving my little tribe more tighter together as we tread our path as a family of four.