Your firstborn will always be your baby. But, if you decide to grow your family, then your older child will only be your only baby for a very short period of time.
Realising this – and coming to terms with it – is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do as a mum.
Only child no more
Every mum has that moment, whether you have a home birth, hospital birth, C-section – when it’s time to say goodbye. It’s the conflicting and heartwrenching moment in time where you give your firstborn a kiss, a cuddle, a squeeze. You whisper in their ear that you love them and that they will always be your baby.
Then you realise that this is the last time they will be your only baby. Forever. It’s one of the hardest goodbyes, followed by one of the best hellos.
Photographer captures emotive moment
Portland photographer, Laura Paulescu captured this exact moment between a mother and daughter and it’s as raw and relatable as it gets.
As Mum, Nikki Colquitt, sits in labour in the hospital, she gives her daughter Everly a cuddle. Paula, who was hired to take photos of the birth, couldn’t resist snapping the candid pic just before Everly left the birthing suite.
This moment is so personal, so private, yet something many of us have been through.
As Paula explains,
I felt a little pang because I had just had my second, so I could totally relate to that moment of, ‘Oh my gosh, this is the last time I’m going to be holding you as my baby.’
It’s so heartbreaking at that moment, but it’s this dichotomy of feelings [because you’re also] so excited to meet the new baby.”
The hardest goodbye
This moment – this goodbye between myself and my firstborn – nearly broke my heart. I still remember that cuddle, clutching to him, breathing him in and knowing everything about our little world together was about to change.
As I walked to the car to be induced with my second child, I could barely look back at him at the top of the driveway waving goodbye. But I did look back.
I still remember his tender smile and wide eyes, hesitant to spend the night away from me with his grandparents. Confused why he couldn’t come too. Worried about what “your baby sister” would entail.
I couldn’t wait to welcome my daughter. But my heart was breaking for my son.
I cried for him as we drove to the delivery ward. I cried over the fact he wouldn’t be my whole entire world anymore. I was terrified that I wouldn’t have the capacity to love my second baby as much as him, or that I would have to take away some of the love I have for him to give to his sister.
After having my daughter, I discovered just how amazing a mother’s heart is. I learned it’s possible to love double the amount and then some. But I still remember those anxious feelings as I prepared to become a mum of two. This stunning photo takes me back to that day and reminds me just how amazing my firstborn is. He taught me how to be a mum and, even though he’s 12 years old now, he will always be the one who first had my heart.
Thank you Laura, for capturing this conflicting moment so beautifully.