18 months of you.
When I discovered those two blue lines for the second time in my life, I ultimately felt more fear than elation, not because our tiny human wasn't wanted, but purely due to the sudden whopping certainty that there would be two of them before long. I spent the entirety of my second pregnancy envisioning a sibling for A and what they would be like, well, they'd be just like him, of course; the same parents, the same gender, the same act of growing them, they'd be more alike than not, it seemed such a certainty at the time. How wrong was I?
Then you came along, and you were and have always been so different in every way, our journey such a contrast to my first 'go' at parenting. Where your brother showed me how to be a Mother, you helped me to feel confident and good at it, to trust myself to know that I am doing my best. I thought it could never feel quite so special after the first time round, once I had already experienced each wonderful milestone and witnessed one baby mature so beautifully, but it has been everything and more.
I heard the second was always the troublemaker, the one who proposed the challenges, the wild one who'd keep you on your toes, but for us it was the opposite. You are gentle, thoughtful, daintily tiptoeing through life; you are the yang to your brother's ying and the sensitive to his fierce. You are good, through and through.
Our journey has been the one I always wanted as a parent, one that hasn't been influenced by the books or the advice or the vulnerabilities I had before. The regrets I had as a first-time parent have been erased by my second chance and I am so grateful to have had that, it's done us all the world of good.
18 months of breastfeeding. 18 months of co-sleeping. 18 wonderful months where I wouldn't change a thing.