An open letter to my daughter on becoming a big sister

Dear daughter,

You’re going to be a big sister. I know you don’t know what that really means yet, and to be honest, neither do I.

I know what it feels like to look down at a tiny face that looks a little bit like me and a little bit like Daddy and wonder how in the world we existed without you.

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But I don’t know how you will feel when you look down at a tiny face that looks a little bit like you, too. Will you wonder how you existed without him? Or will you want us to send him back to mommy’s belly?

I know what it feels like in the middle of the night when you won’t stop crying and I think I might never sleep again.

But I don’t know what you will feel like when the sound of his screaming jolts you awake like an ambulance siren in the middle of the night.

I know what it feels like to look in the mirror and cry at the dark circles under my eyes, stretch marks that criss-cross my body and loose skin that just doesn’t seem like it belongs anywhere (even with NASA-grade spandex doing its best to hold it in place).

But I don’t know if you will see me hating my post-second-baby body and think you should hate yours too, because you’re a woman and that’s what we do.

I know what the waves of overwhelming love feel like when I see you lay your head on Daddy’s shoulder and wrap your hand around his finger.

But I don’t know how you will feel when you seen him holding someone else instead of you.

So you see, sweet child, we’re in this together.

All I can promise you is that I’ll still think of you as my baby, too. I’ll still come when you cry out at night with a bad dream. I’ll still sweep you up and tickle you until you laugh like a hyena. I’ll still hold your hand when you walk down the stairs and help you put on your socks. I’ll still ask about your day at school when I pick you up after work. I’ll still put the 5,678 pictures you draw on the fridge. I’ll still stare at you when you sleep and wonder how in the world I existed without you.