My husband and I planned on having one child. I didn't want ANY, but married a man who wanted a family of his own.
I thought, "Why not?"
The pregnancy and delivery were filled with health issues and topped off with a 1-week stay in the hospital for me and our daughter's 2 1/2 week stay in the NICU for a viral infection it turns out she really didn't have! I can't even get started on that. Anyway, daughter number one eventually came home healthy and happy. No issues. She rocks.
Fast-forward 19 months and I'm in labor with baby number two. From the time I found out I was pregnant again to the time daughter #2 was three months old, my feelings on having another baby were like being given a housewarming gift of a cool blender. But then you get more from out of nowhere, and you're like "I DON'T NEED ANOTHER BLENDER! THE ONE I HAVE WORKS JUST FINE!" Oh well. You have it. Deal with it.
I didn't know how to feel about our second daughter. I didn't like her at first.
As awful as it sounds, I just didn't. I didn't want her. I felt guilty about having another one so close to our first, even though folks would say "Oh that's nice! She'll have a playmate!" I felt like I had something I didn't need more of. She was louder. She was more fussy. She was a different experience. I didn't enjoy it. I looked forward to going to work once that time came. I looked forward to going to childcare and picking daughter #1 up and felt so obligated to bring daughter #2 home. It was a task. I felt like I was carrying around an anchor. Thinking about that now breaks my heart, but it's how I felt.
One insane hour of the night as she rooting around to nurse, something changed. I found the action of her rooting to be very funny. It was also pretty cute, because she'd make these smacking noises and her mouth would literally water. Something in my mind finally flipped on and I realized that she needed ME. Not daddy. Not her big sister. She needed ME. She relied on ME for food. I distinctly remember kissing her forehead as she ate and finally checking out this second little girl my husband and I made and smiling at her for the first time.
Two years and 1 tubal ligation later, I have 2 toddlers and they find ways to test their limits and ours every. single. day! They're fun. They're funny. They're emotional. They're demanding. They're impatient. They're kind. They love me. I love them. I'm proud to be their mama.