Life with two

When Belle was first born I went through a period of pretty intense grief. I loved that little baby since the moment she was conceived, but I just felt so sad for Nathan. The day Belle was born she was already stronger, more agile than Nathan. Everything was so easy for her. And so hard for Nathan.

I also grieved that I wasn’t the person back then that I am today. I suffered so much when Nathan was little. I spent at least a full year deeply grieving. But Nathan changed me. He has made me a much stronger, more accepting, more compassionate person. So because of Nathan I am a better mother to Belle. And in the beginning I was sad about that.

It also took some time for me to adjust to juggling the needs of 2 little people. I was so used to focusing 1000% of my energy on Nathan that I really had to check myself. In the early days, I’d be feeding or bathing Belle, and I’d catch myself going through my “Nathanlogue” in my head (I have to call that therapist, I have to make sure I stretch his left hip, I have to order those supplements, how can I get him to say more words, why are his legs shaking etc etc etc etc etc). Although I was with Belle in body, in spirit I was focusing on Nathan.

Fast forward 5 months to today.

I’m loving life with two. The grieving that I went through I believe was stored in my heart, and once it found a voice, it was completely released. I haven’t felt that way again. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Knowing how hard everything is for Nathan, I relish and rejoice so deeply in everything Belle can do. I do not take ANYTHING Belle does for granted. I love observing her and watching her move and watching her explore the world through movement. I feel such gratitude that it brings me great joy.

Watching them together is my greatest joy. I love how they gravitate towards each other. I can put them apart in a space, and after a few minutes I will find Belle all over Nathan (sitting on him, or with her mouth in his mouth, or sucking on his toe), and Nathan caressing Belle and playing with her.

I feel that Belle completed us.

Before Belle’s birth our life was all about Nathan’s rehabilitation. Having Belle in my belly changed that, and we started making different kinds of decisions. Once Belle was born, we became a family unit. It’s hard to describe, as we were already a family…..it’s just that our emphasis changed from Nathan’s rehabilitation and we focused on what was best for all 4 of us, which brought us greater unity and strength.

Belle brought us balance. And so much joy.

As much as Nathan has taught us, the journey with him has been difficult. There have been so many challenges. Often it felt we were constantly on an uphill trekking, never reaching a destination.

Now that Belle is here, life is much more relaxed, we are at a gorgeous plateau. We want Nathan to be a part of our family for a long time so we therapize him, but the priority is his interaction with us and his sister, and enjoying each other.

Belle has been a trooper and she’s already spent a lot of time going back and forth to Nathan’s appointments. But I always try to make time for her so she also experiences things that she enjoys…it’s almost like she’s our “checks and balances” system. I don’t go too far with Nathan’s stuff any more because I don’t want to jeopardize her stability and happiness. Many of our decisions are very different because of Belle.

Now we get to experience many of the things we didn’t get to experience with Nathan….like swim classes and other sports classes, watching her move and play with other kids, and all those other things.

But in the same way that we celebrate when Belle learns to do something new, we celebrate just as much every little thing Nathan does…oh look, Belle crawled 4 steps…oh look, Nathan lifted his arm! The actions are different, the joy and celebration and gratitude the same.

Little things that could’ve bothered us if we hadn’t had Nathan first, don’t bother us. For example, trying to change Belle is like trying to put clothes on a bucking bronco. For one moment I found myself wanting to say, BELLE, stop moving! And then I caught myself and thought, WOW, how amazing that she can move this way! And my irritation went away. There are so many ways that having 2 has enriched our lives.

Life with two is just…exquisite…stressful…busy…tiring….fun…and deeply enjoyable.

Comments

  1. http://Annie says

    Marcela,

    That is a beautiful post and it is almost like you took the words right out of my mouth on how I felt after having my second child Mikayla. She is two years old now and I can’t imagine going back to life without her. She really did balance things like you say about Belle. As Belle gets older, the joy will increase. It is so amazing to have this little person forming their own personality and just bringing so much life into our home. Matthew can’t get enough of her and just like your kids, mine always end up together as well. If you look at my pics in facebook, you can see them both admiring each other so much in them. It is almost like Mikayla was a little angel sent to Matthew to watch over him and bring as much joy as possible into his life. It is truly amazing. Keep on doing the great work you are doing with your kids. God bless you guys! 🙂

  2. Marcela ,
    Wonderful post! I ditto Annie about taking the words right out of my mouth! Having two did balance our family. Watching Ryan grow up and love Cj has been amazing! They love each other so much I feel blessed! Ryan loves to help Cj and he also helps me out all the time. He is very loving and kind towards other children as well. Ryan is very aware of other children with needs and goes right up to them and says hello and holds their hand. He loves to go to Cj’s school and give high fives to each child he meets! Enjoy this phase as they grow up so fast. Belle is the best thing for Nathan! Better than any therapy! She brings Nathan and your family so much joy! I am so happy for you!

  3. http://Eugenia says

    Beautiful video. Belle brings so much joy to your beautiful family. I am very happy for you!
    Hugs.

  4. http://karym says

    Estoy muy contenta por tí, pero en especial por los 4, han ido creando una familia hermosa, no ha sido un camino fàcil, pero todo lo pasado y vivido se resume en este post, eres una persona plena en felicidad, tus hijos son adorables y el aprender de Nathan ha contribuido en tu !!!, solo por celebrar cada acción de Belle y Nathan es gracias a tus apoyos, ser constante, perseverante y por sobre todo, creer en tus hijos y darle mucho amor, ademas de criarlos y educarlos como niños felices y perfectos. Gracias por compartir tus sentimientos, les mando un beso a cada uno de ustedes y mucha luz del universo para ustedes. Te extraño amiga y te quiero mucho

  5. http://sally says

    His hands are open!!
    go nathan!!

  6. http://Cybell says

    Que post mas lindo!!!
    Es emocionante ver este video,ver a Nathan acariciando a su hermanita con tanta dulzura y ver a Belle tán ansiosa por estar con Nathan!!que maravillosa imagen.
    Es tán cierto lo que dices creo que nuestros niños especiales nos han enseñado tanto y gracias a ellos hoy podemos ver las cosas simples de la vida y disfrutar tanto las cosas pequeñas,estoy muy contenta por tí,ya que sé cuánto amas a estos dos pequeñitos y lo mucho que ellos te aman a tí.
    Un abrazo grande y besitos a Nathan y Belle de Catalina!!

  7. So beautiful. I love seeing the relationship between brother and sister unfold. Gives me inspiration for our future.

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