A First Birthday Letter to My Second Baby

To my second baby on your first birthday:

You just turned one. It’s so cliché, but I just cannot get my mind wrapped around the fact that you’ve been with us for a year already. On one hand, it seems like you’ve been with us forever. On the other hand, I swear I just found out we were expecting you. The birthday of a baby is such a bittersweet thing. Of course, I am so happy that you are growing and thriving, but there is a huge part of me that desperately wants to stop time and keep you this way forever.

A First Birthday Letter

As I sit here on your birthday, I close my eyes and try as hard as I can to remember every detail about the day you were born. Your brother showed his impatient streak and made his appearance four weeks ahead of schedule. You, my friend, had to be served an eviction notice after the doctor determined you were too big. I didn’t believe him at first, but then you arrived a week early weighing almost 10 pounds and proved me wrong. I try so hard to remember the feeling when they placed you on my chest. The second time around, the feeling was just as intense – and wonderful.

Photo Credit - Afton Marie Photography
Photo Credit – Afton Marie Photography

I spent more time holding you than I did your older brother when he was a baby. My experience taught me that even though the baby stage is hard, it is fleeting. I would sit with you in our chair and just smell your little, intoxicating baby head. The nighttime feedings were easier this time around as well. Maybe because I now know the true meaning of the saying “the days are long but the years are short.” I also know that, at some point, our last midnight feeding will come – and I won’t even know when it happens. They are already few and far between.

When we found out we were having another boy, I was over the moon. I was so grateful that God had decided to give you and your brother the greatest gift – brothers. You two are about as polar opposite as you could possibly be, but you guys are already buddies. You love each other so much and it is my greatest hope that you two will always be best friends.

Photo Credit - Afton Marie Photography
Photo Credit – Afton Marie Photography

You are my mini-me in almost every way. I’m not going to lie, every time someone says that you look exactly like me, I can’t help but smile.  Our similarities don’t end there.  You and I are alike in almost every way possible. I joke that you came out of the womb talking, but it’s not really that far of a stretch. I remember you babbling when you were two weeks old. At first I thought it was fluke, but you never stopped.

You also have a dramatic streak in you. Although I like to play innocent and say I don’t know where you get it from, we all know it’s from me. You don’t like to be uncomfortable – and you will make sure we all know it if you are. When you were born, you screamed for three straight hours. At the time, I thought you were colicky. I now know you were just making sure everyone knew that you weren’t a fan of the change.

Photo Credit – Afton Marie Photography

We had a big year, you and I.  It wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns. We lost my grandma, your great-grandma, in April. We were able to take you to visit her once before we lost her. You were four months old. You two sat and talked like you were the only two people on earth. It is a memory I will cherish forever.  

Your big firsts also seemed to have been slightly cursed. I spent your first Christmas in bed with my fourth case of mastitis. We have three pictures of you from that holiday – all in the same pose. Then we spent your first Easter in an exhausted haze after your brother developed an ear infection so severe, it ruptured his ear drum. We only got one picture that time.

I’m not going to lie, I cried a little the night before your birthday. I cry a little every time I pack away a box of your clothes that you’ve grown too big for. My heart aches every time we pack away another baby item that you no longer need. 

I’m sad you are not a tiny, helpless baby anymore, but I am so excited for what is next. To watch your little mind develop and for you to be able to join your brother in more activities. For you to learn to talk and develop your own interests.

Your next year will be another big one and I am so excited to be with you for the ride.

Love always,

Mommy


 

Katie Ripke
Katie is a mama of two rambunctious, sweet, cuddly and highly energetic boys. Growing up in Mount Vernon, Iowa, she briefly left the area to attend college at the University of Northern Iowa, had a brief stint living in Chicago before settling down in Lisbon with her husband Bryan. Katie has been in the marketing field for over 10 years and is currently a marketing manager for an area health care organization. When she is not balancing life as a working mom, Katie enjoys binging on Netflix/Hulu, learning about all things boy and squeezing in a workout from time to time. Her current addictions include coffee, LaCroix, and cookies.