Monday, July 16, 2012

My one mommy heartbreak

I miss Vito. I see him every single day, talk to him, sing to him, play with him, but it's not the same. Our time is very limited because I'm busy with little Iñigo. And I miss Vito as a result.
We just wanted to give him a friend and partner-in-crime.

If I were to confess one regret, it would be this: I wish I had waited till Vito was maybe 3 or even 5 years old before I got pregnant again. Let me clarify that Iñigo really was planned to follow Vito immediately. There were many reasons: I was already 34 years old, I wanted to have a new baby while I was still used to the sleepless nights, I wanted to pack on the preggy pounds then lose the combined baby weight from both pregnancies just once (which would be a year from now), I wanted a Dragon baby even though I don't really buy the astrology hokum.

Lucky for me, life followed my plan. Iñigo was conceived when Vito turned 1. And that's when I realized maybe I should've given this more thought. At 1 year old, that's when Vito started to learn walking and running. Because of my delicate pregnancy, I wasn't able to play with him. His milestones were rapidly developing but instead of me actively participating, I watched and cheered him on from the confines of my bed.

Because I was rendered unavailable by my pregnancy, Vince stepped in. He was the one who taught Vito his alphabet and numbers, played with him, ran and jumped with him. We called it Papa Preschool and Vito enjoyed himself immensely. But when he wanted to wrestle and play with Mama, I had to fend him off. "No, darling, Mama has to stay in bed. No, sweetheart, Mama has a baby in her tummy. You can't kick it. We can't super hug. You can't sit on my lap."

Sleepy Vito and sleeping Iñigo   

When Iñigo did finally arrive, Vito was bewildered. If before I didn't play with him, at least I was in the same room with him, cheering him on. Now, because a toddler can be so noisy and active, I usually leave the room so that Iñigo can sleep in peace. And a newborn baby sleeps all the time. Vito is heartbroken. So am I.

It hurts me to see him ask for a big hug and I can't give it to him because there's a baby in my arms. He's never really satisfied with a one-arm hug. Or he'd ask for a cuddle but I'm breastfeeding. Vito used to sleep wrapped up in my arms—since the day he was born! Now, because Iñigo is where he used to be, he curls up by my legs. When Vito sees my arms are free, he always lets out a shout of joy and jumps into my arms. He's crazy happy when he sits on my lap or when I chase him around the house. Then when Iñigo awakes from all the racket we make, Vito deflates, his smile wiped off his beautiful face, his shoulders slumped, and he drags his feet while I walk away.

People always dismiss our pain. "Oh, he'll get over it. Tell him he's a big boy now. Tell him to be a big brother. Explain, show, make him realize, yada yada." I want to scream at them all: "He's NOT a big boy. He's not even 2 years old. He's still a baby!"

My poor baby Vito. It's hard to remember he's still a baby because he's so big and tall. He fits into clothes marked for 2, even 3 years old. But he really is still a baby and he is struggling ever so hard to understand the huge changes in his life, and I wish my hugs and kisses—so few and seldom now—will assure him he's not been replaced and he'll always be loved.
My two baby boys.

45 comments:

  1. Aawww...thanks for sharing this, Frances! Must be hard for you to see your eldest getting heartbroken like this. I can only imagine how life is with a baby and a toddler. Hugs to you, too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awww...Frances, your post left me teary eyed. I can't give you any words of advice, because my little zoie is still an only child. but I am sure vito knows how much you love him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is my hope, Ricci! I want to believe he's secure in my love!

      Delete
  3. your babies are beautiful!!! I had many babies close together...and ran into the same things you are writing about....when I deferred to the oldest one he or she would realize i was giving her the attention instead of the baby and would tell me to take care of the baby first...worked every time...good luck!! don't stress ...they will love each other..
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll try that when Vito's older. He's still a baby himself. He can't talk yet.

      Delete
  4. Thanks for putting words to what I am scared to feel Frances. My Benjamin may be almost 3 but a baby brother in a few months makes me miss him already. I'll give birth via CS and that just adds up to the limitations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, because you need to recover pa! Hindi kaya normal delivery?

      Delete
  5. Frances *hug* =(

    I got teary eyed too! I understand where you're coming from. I am imagining the same with Anika and it's really hard. Ayaw ko na tuloy maganak agad. You have a point eh. Babies need our time and attention plus that fact that they'll never go back to that stage ever again. Ang selan ko pa naman magbuntis. Baka talagang hindi ko na maasikaso si Anika during and after.

    But you're definitely a great mom, Frances. Vito can feel that, I'm sure =) Kudos also to Vince for stepping in for you =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Fleur! I want to believe that Vito knows I love him super duper mega!!!

      Ya, Vince is amazing =)

      Delete
  6. Hi Frances, Such an honest post. When I was pregnant with my second, my eldest was 21/2 and we were moving to another country. There were several transitions during that time that I had to make sure everything was alright for my eldest. I remember my husband telling me when I said that I need to spend a special bonding time with my eldest before the baby arrives, he replied by saying, he doesn't know any mom who spends more time with her baby, haha, true, I was very hands on. Since my eldest was used to having full attention from me, I slowly talked about my growing tummy and the sibling he will have. He was the one with me in all my check ups and would feel protective of the baby. Once baby arrived, of course, he couldn't understand why he only sleeps and eats, since I told him that once we have the baby, he'll have someone to play with. Through it all, breastfeeding, etc, I made sure to give him enough attention especially when baby was sleeping. I still brought him & picked him up at school, I didn't want him to think or feel things changed, I wanted him to feel that we have another addition to our family who will enhance our life even more.
    Fast forward to today, they are the best of friends. He takes care of his younger brother but of course they do fight at times but rarely. I have single dates with them to give them full attention and have our one -on- ones. I even traveled with just each one, first with my eldest when he was 9 going 10 for 10 days to the States then just recently with the youngest also to the same venue. No one complained since it was fair to each one. I have single travel dates with all my boys. Once a year my hubby and I go for a weekend break, just the two of us. We travel as a family most of the time but there are times that they want alone time with mom, haha.
    Eventually, I think the boys will want to travel on their own too.
    Bottom line is, in both time and attention, I was conscious to give them equally, moms are given big hearts anyway to accommodate their children's hearts inside of them. I would tell the other if someone said something nice about him behind his back, this way, they both would feel each other's loyalty and respect.
    At their age now, they enjoy each other's company that they like hanging out with each other all the time. I made sure that they are there for each other, no jealousies, I always tell them to support and be proud of the other.
    I wish you the best, they look like they're good kids, such a blessing to have them. God bless your family always!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the advice. Will try that when the kids are older, or at least when I'm done breastfeeding.

      Delete
  7. This made me cry. This is what I also experienced, and still experiencing. My eldest is turning 3 in Sept, and I have 7 month old baby. Super hard to balance everything, we are still working everything out. It will be more difficult when you return to work...I really try to make more time for my eldest. But I still feel it's not enough :(
    Good luck Frances. I hope everything will work out well for us. I'm logging out now to hug my boys.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, super hard to balance our life! But it's not hard to love naman =) We're lucky to have our children to hug and kiss!

      Delete
  8. That's the reason why my husband wants an only child naman. He's afraid that his attention and love will be divided between two kids.

    The second photo made me teary-eyed. Hugs to Vito and Inigo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tell him, ya, attention will be divided but the love, no. You'll find your hearts are so huge because you can love them both!

      Delete
  9. This post made me cry.:( I feel your pain. I have a 13-month old baby boy who doesn't look like it because he's so big. Thinking of how little he once was and how different he now looks makes me sad na (it feels like I just blinked and my cute little baby is already gone), what more if I'm in a position like yours. I know it's really heartbreaking but maybe the joy of seeing them together, playing with each other and loving one another especially when they're older, will make up for it.:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now pa lang, may joy na. When they sleep beside each other and we look at them, it's happiness!

      Delete
  10. I read somewhere that if your 2 children need your attention at the same time, you must choose the older one as he/she can understand more so is more sensitive to everything around him. Forgot the source. Your blog made me cry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Read that somewhere, too. Thought it made sense until real life happened. I tried it--stopped breastfeeding the baby to attend to Vito but of course the little one was hungry so I went back to him. =(

      Delete
  11. Hi Frances.

    I can feel your heartbreak. I am 22 weeks pregnant, and my son has yet to turn 2 on October. I fear exactly the same sentiments you are feeling now. It hurts me so much just thinking that I might break my eldest son's heart once his baby sister come out (yes, I'm having a girl).

    One mommy told be that it is inevitable. We can't do anything to prevent the elder child feel neglected or unloved. Oh, I cried upon hearing that. But that's the way it is eh. The needs of the youngest always precedes the needs of the eldest. I would like to quote what she'd said, "You have to believe that it is just how God/Nature intended... we protect, serve the weakest. And soon enough, that weakest one will have grown and not requiring of so much care and time and energy anymore. And that's when you rebuild with the eldest/older children."

    Hugs to you, Frances. We can work this out. :)

    PS: Sleepy Vito is so cuuuutttteee! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wise words. I'm lucky my husband is the one with the chance to build a strong bond with Vito now. I had my turn naman before and I will have a chance again =)

      Delete
  12. an honest opinion from a mom and I LOVE IT. I could relate as well because the age gap of my eldest and my 2nd daughter is 1 year and 3 months. It was difficult for me as a mom because I knew I never gave that much attention to my eldest tapos eto na may kasunod na. I could feel the need of my eldest but then again my 2nd needs me as well. and of course may needs pa din ako as a woman. but then again just like you my husband is so nice and very helpful that after that I am "drained" from a day's work, he helps din. but I always assure both girls then that I LOVE THEM despite and inspite of their age gap. You're doing a great job as a mom, Mommy Topaz. And I salute your hubby as well for being THE MAN... hug and kisses to your very handsome kiddos.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi frances,

    Just wondering, where do you get vito's shirts? :) love the shirts he's wearing in the photos on this post :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're all gifts and hand-me-downs. I don't buy clothes for my sons because we're deluged with clothes! I do buy them shoes =)

      Delete
  14. Hi Frances, I've been reading your blogs for few months now, and have also followed you on Twitter (oh I don't Twit, that's just my showbiz fix! hehe!)
    I think all mommies go through that phase, specially when having a second child. I have 3 girls with 3-year gaps between them, and I still feel the same way, up to now that they are 9, 6, and 3. It seems dividing your time doesn't work for mommies coz we always want to give each of them 100%. But, of course as they grow older the kids will understand. So don't worry about it, you have a lot of time to make up for lost time with Vito once Inigo grows up a bit.
    We planned for the 3-year age gap, but now that the girls are growing, parang I'm realizing parang mas ok if shorter yung gap, just like you. Kasi at specific periods of their growing up years, they will be enjoying the same things so 1 bonding activity will work for both. But in my case kasi parang it's harder kasi they have different interest already, like when I bring them to the park to play, or go swimming, parang our Big Ate naman gets bored na. The same way naman when we try activities like watching a movie or malling, the little one naman gets restless!
    What I try to do na lang is apart from our family bonding, I devote 1 day each week for each of them, like on Tuesdays everybody knows na that it's Lyian's day so the other 2 don't complain anymore when the middle child and I goes out just the two of us. But what I am finding out lately is that the girls have already developed a bond of their own that most of the time we break na rin this rule, kasi sila mismo, they don't want to go out na di kasama sisters nila :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've been having pangs of desire for our 2nd child now that our daughter is turning two in October...but your heartfelt post made me decide to wait for a year or two. So, thank you, Frances. :) now to convince the hubby.:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, if you read some of the posts here, it doesn't matter what the age gap is. Having more than one child means dividing your time (but not love!) anyway!

      Delete
  16. Awww. . . beautiful boys, beautiful photos, a heartwarming post! I got choked up (sniff, sniff)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love your honesty. Made me remember last year, I had just given birth to my 2nd child, and I was crying to my breastfeeding counselor (who was the first one to ask me how i was doing after my delivery!) about how much I missed my firstborn (who was 2 when I got pregnant again). He was still with me all the time, but it just wasn't the same. So I really made it a point to devote special time for him.

    Hay us moms...with so much joy comes the inevitable heartbreak talaga. It will get better Frances.:) God bless you and your family always.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Frances, I felt like crying when I read your posts. Don't feel sad I can see that you're doing a great job to your boys, yes you are! And you're giving your best to them and that's what matters most. When Vito grow up he will understand everything, but for now make the most of your time with your kids because the next thing you know they'll be opting to be on their own. Don't feel sad, di ka nag iisa, your hubby is there and all of us here. Oh, btw you don't look 34 ah, in fairness! :)

    Btw, this is Sha, if you can still remember. :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Crying while reading... I wish you the best and God bless your beautiful family always! Just tell Vito that even if mommy can't hug him with both arms because mommy is holding the baby.. you still love him this BIG! =)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Frances,

    I can't help but comment on this one. I only have one son; he's turning 5 next month. A few nights back I caught him crying while watching a video on you tube.
    He was crying over this!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLRq9WaQyiQ

    Pingu the penguin is jealous of her little sister since all the attention is on her. The mother penguin doesn't help Pingu with his building blocks.

    And I asked my son, why are you crying? And he answered "Because the mommy penguin didnt hug Pingu"

    I cried over that!

    ReplyDelete
  21. hi frances! i've been reading your blog ever since I got pregnant last year :) I can relate with a lot of your endearing stories about your little Vito and now your baby Inigo. you might be interested in this... Have you heard of EduChild? It stands for Education for the Upbringing of Children. A non-profit organization formed by parents to help fellow parents in the delicate task of rearing a family. You might find time for their First Steps seminar... a course for parents with young children. Never heard of it until a friend invited me. Check out their website :) http://www.educhild.org.ph/ I hope you can share this with your mommy friends :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Aww Ms. Frances...now pa lang I'm starting to feel what you are feeling right now. My baby will be 2yo by the time our bunso will be born. She has our 100% attention all the time coz I'm a SAHM. I hope you'll continue writing about Vito's journey as an older brother and how he copes with his new situation.

    ReplyDelete
  23. This made me sad because even my daughter was 3 years old when I conceived and almost have a four year gap from her brother, when I gave birth it's too difficult for her. I havent been there for her when she was infant and all she had was a yaya, and when I finally did gave her attention and love that she needs (I had a hard time accepting my motherhood), I got pregnant again. After the baby was born, I saw her crying and when I asked her why, she asked me if I love her. And that broke my heart. Up until now she gets jealous of her brother, but I always let them play together so they wont have a gap. And everyday that passed, she's accepting it more and wont even let her brother out of her sight. :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Frances, I've been reading your blog for a while now, and can't help but to comment on this one. this really brought tears to my eyes. It is really heartbreaking. we also have the same reasons why i want to have my 2nd baby now. and I also worry about the heartbreak you just mentioned.
    Oh.. mommyhood..
    anyway, i hope Vito will be ok. with all the love and hundreds of kisses you give him, am sure he knows you love him so much.
    Lord, grant us mothers strength.. hehehe.. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Frances, I'm with you in this sentiment. My first born is a girl and our 2nd baby (boy) came when she was 2. I so missed our mommy-daughter bonding at that time but I know how fragile a newborn can be and need much attention especially since I exclusively breastfed during the first month. I saw how much effort the little girl made to become such an ate so she can always be at mommy's side while I tend my our new family member. as soon as my little boy because somewhat independent, I made it up to the little girl and I sensed how much she appreciated it. Kids even at a young age are very perceptive so I know how much I needed to make an effort to provide quality time to both. Of course, that's a sacrifice on our part. Now that they're both toddlers, I still make sure that they get a fair share of mommy and daddy attention, if one wants a scratch on the back, the other will get it too even if he/she didn't ask for it:) Don't worry, I can see you're a great mom and naturally find a way on how to be a fair parent to both. It gets better in time :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. My comment is pretty late compared to when was this posted, but better late than never. Anyway, it's funny because the time I read this specific post, it was the same day that I was about to take a pregnancy test. I was delayed for 5 days and was pretty sure that I am pregnant with our second child. My son is 15 months old and I am so happy to have read such an honest post because it is exactly how I feel. I am just on my first trimester and I am pretty worried that I will not be able to spend as much time as I have been giving my son because I am having morning sickness :(

    Thank you for writing this post. Now I know I am not the only one who feels the same way. Our love for our children will always be there.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Frances, this tugged at my heart so. I felt I missed something with my 2nd baby when I gave birth to my third child. Suddenly, he's so big, and was walking with steady steps. BTW, he's two and my third is one, so pretty close age gap. Our third wasn't planned but she's God's blessing since through her I was able to breastfeed for one year plus (kaya ko pala!). I could relate with this heartbreak since I had to let the nanny step in, then he was sick pa while I was giving birth. His daddy had to be with our eldest since she was also very sick at that time. Very challenging to be a mom of wee little ones!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'm glad a recently came upon your blog, and this post! Thanks for sharing this wholeheartedly (and it is wonderfully written too). As someone who's waiting to have her 2nd, this was reassuring to read.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I cried reading this..again, same situation as yours. My 2nd daughter was 1 yr 2 mos. when i gave birth to my youngest. It's really heartbreaking seeing her seek for my attention and I can't give it to her because i'm busy with her baby sister. I know looking at her and my smiles aren't enough so i really try my best to make it up to her whenever i can..

    ReplyDelete
  30. This made me cry. brought back memories of how I felt when I gave birth to my youngest. I have 3 kids now aged 16, 8, 6. No problem with my eldest and second because of the huge gap. But when I gave birth to my 3rd child, I did not expect I will miss my second so much that I actually felt bad having the youngest so soon. The reason for having the youngest so soon was so that they will be playmates and para isang hirap na lang. But when I had a hard time recovering from the CS operation, that's when I felt really sad for my 2nd child. I had to stay upstairs all the time with the youngest and the 2nd stays downstairs with her dad and/or helper. I remember her always going at the foot of the stairs calling me "mommy?" and when i answer "yes?" she'll say "love you" - just broke my heart. I can't go down to hug her and kiss her. She can't go up too by herself yet because she was also a baby then. I promised myself na babawi ako sa kanya. I had "our" time when they had different sched in preschool. I made sure super bonding moments with her. Somehow, parang nawala yung guilt. Though sometimes may konting pinch pa rin. Thanks for this post, akala ko ako lang ang may ganong feeling. (crying while typing) {{{hugsss}}}

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I super cried when you described that scene. I can totally see your daughter at the bottom of the stairs. Broke my heart, too. Bless our children because they forgive us for being human!

      Delete

This is all pretty new to me so please feel free to share your mommy wisdom!