An Open Letter to My First Baby on the Eve of Her Sister’s Arrival

An Open Letter to My First Baby on the Eve of Her Sister’s Arrival

My sweet girl,

On the eve of your baby sister’s arrival there are some things I want you to know.

You are, and forever will be, my first baby. You made me a mama, and for that I will always be grateful. The way you came into this world was unexpected and while it was nothing like I’d planned, I can see now that it was exactly what you and I both needed to start our journey together this time around.

Before your sister comes I want to thank you for choosing your daddy and me to be your parents. You bring pure magic to our lives and to the lives of everyone who gets to spend time with you. To watch you discover the world is to watch a miracle. Thank you for reminding us daily what life is all about: wonder, fun, and love.

Thank you for teaching me how to slow down and do less, from the very moment you took up residence in my belly, to just this morning when I patiently waited for you to see what the dried paint felt like on your easel and attend to all of your toys and books on our way up the stairs to get you dressed for school.

Thank you for teaching me to let go and surrender. I am softer because of you. I am freer because of you. You’ve changed me in the very ways I needed to be changed (and I have no doubt you’ll continue to do so) and I’m so grateful.

I would be lying to you if I told you that I’m not nervous as I sit here with this growing belly and your baby sister giving me gentle kicks, reminding me all day every day that she’s coming. So soon.

I’m scared to give birth again. Even though I know I can do it because I did it before (and you’re the astounding proof!), I’m scared.

I’m scared that you’ll be upset when you see me and Daddy taking care of another child and that you’ll think we love you less or that there’s not enough space for you anymore.

I’m scared of dividing my energy and attention between two precious girls. I have no doubt that there’s enough love. Every mother I’ve ever known (including my own) has assured me that when another child comes along your heart simply grows. The capacity to love expands. My love for you is infinite. My love for your sister is infinite. Both make the other one bigger.

But I’m scared that there won’t be enough attention.

I’m scared that you won’t like your baby sister, though I know in the end you’ll love her. (My sister did not like me for the first several years of my life, but I know without a doubt that I’m one of the biggest gifts of her life and she of mine.)

And even though I’m scared, I’m also so excited.

Excited to see you be a big sister and tell your baby sister all about the things that you love.

Excited to see the two of you play together and grow up together.

Excited to sit hand in hand with your daddy and watch you two make your own brand of sisterly magic that no one else will ever fully understand, including us.

I want you to know this, little one:

There’s nothing in the world that could ever make me love you less. Not the birth of your sister. Not anything you have ever done or ever will do. Not a thing in the world.

I love you more than I ever knew it was possible to love anything or anyone. While I may be extra tired and feel extra pulled over the next several months as we welcome your baby sister into our family, please remember:

You are special.

You matter.

You are loved.

And you are going to be the best big sister this world has ever seen.

I love you forever and ever,

Your Mama

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51 comments

  • Absolutely beautiful. My daughter is 24 and this is how I felt before I had my son … her brother. And then again 10 years later with both of them when I had their baby brother. Blessings to you! Oh and yes your heart will expand to make room for your new little girl . You are giving your daughter one of life’s most precious gifts… someone to love forever and someone to love her forever. XXOO

  • I cried so hard when I read this beautiful poetry. This letter is so special. Thank you for sharing. What you described, your fears, they keep me back from even entertaining the idea of a second. The interesting thing is when I think of you being a mother of 2 I never doubt for a second your capacity to soar in this new phase. Your journey is inspiring, the way you show up is inspiring. Thank you. And big love to you right been to be family

  • That was the letter I needed to read as I struggle with either or not to have a second child. Thank you.

    Someone in Origin wrote a similar letter but about her son and shared it with the group. It was equally lovely.

  • Wow. Stunning. (Reminds me of those letters to our mamas we penned years ago.) My baby sister just turned 50 and is and will always be my greatest gift. I still remember taking her to Show and Tell in kindergarten and being so proud to share her perfection with the world. Bless you four! Xo

  • So precious. Moved to tears by this naked, powerful vulnerability and love.

    Thank you and all the blessings for your family!

    Love,
    Camilla

  • Judy Slater

    Kate, what a beautiful letter to your daughter! It’s wonderful that you took the time to write it. Your first baby will be grateful to have this letter and know what an amazing mama she has. Wishing love and grace on your family journey!
    Xoxox, Judy

  • Dear Kate ,
    Tears are streaming down my face. Your letter to your daughter touched my heart. As a mother of three, I so clearly remember the feelings you described. I still feel like that sometimes….even with three young adult children. I’m preparing to teach a series of Prenatal Yoga classes so I’m immersed in the aura of birth ….I send you love and joy for a blessed birth experience.
    Love,
    Deborah

  • Kiele

    So sweet, heartfelt and honest. A beautiful letter! Its true, sisterhood is magical. Congrats on your growing family- it’s very special!

  • Hope

    What a beautiful gift. She will cherish it more and more as time passes, and as she anchors her life through a childhood filled with a loving mother.

    You painted a lovely snapshot of some of her last moments as an only child with the story about the paint and toys. From that one moment, you can feel and see the connection she has given you to the simple joy of life.

    Now, on to birthing a beautiful and healthy baby girl that will expand your heart, and that she will call sister and friend.

    • Kate Northrup

      Yes – these last days before her baby sister arrives have been super sweet and timeless. I’m soaking it all in!

  • Kate this is beautiful. I have a brother, we are 21 months apart. We are great friends now. I am 55 and he is 53. I don’t see him much and we live a hours train ride from each other. We love each other eventhough we don’t see each other often. How old is your first daughter?
    Fondly,
    Pam

  • Lynette Mast

    This is beautiful! ❤️

  • Judy

    You touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes with this letter. Keep this letter for Penelope. When she is older she will appreciate these words more than you can imagine. Tons of Love and Light as you start your next great adventure.
    Judy

  • Jeannette

    This is beautiful Kate<3…..this brings back lots of memories for me as our Girls are 10 & 12 years old now…and we just returned home from Orthodontist appointments, lol. Sending lots of positive vibes to you and Mike and Big Sis P as you welcome your newest family member<3

  • Patricia Moore

    Dear Kate,

    This heartfelt letter makes me cry. If only every eldest child/sister could have such a letter from Mom. I believe that my mother felt this way, too, and the child-rearing consciousness of the time did not allow for such an expression. Instead, my mother made sure to read to me every night after my sister was born, not quite two years after I came into the world. One day, Penelope will read your letter and know the infinite scope of her mother’s love.

    All my best for a beautiful birth of daughter number two.

    -Patricia

  • Happy birthday new baby girl, and happy birthing to you Kate!

  • Oh Kate….

    this makes me speechless.

    So raw, so true, so beautifully full and honest.

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    There is something about naming our fears to those we love that touches me profoundly!

    Love the courage in this letter…

  • Oh Kate….

    this makes me speechless.

    So raw, so true, so beautifully full and honest.

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    There is something about naming our fears to those we love that touches me profoundly!

    Love the courage in this letter…

  • What an absolutely beautiful piece. They are so lucky to have your love. That was very moving … it made me weep!

    I do not have biological children, but this moved something in me as I read it.

    I re-read it a second time feeling the energy that you share of birthing, and it really gives a push of saying hello to fear, and blessing it along as the birth of new comes in.

    Thank you for sharing your journey of new. In so many ways you nurture so many… an ultimate mother.

  • So beautiful. ❤ I remember feeling these things before giving birth to my second daughter (and that was 18 years ago!).

    Just your awareness and your listening of your heart, your babies, and their daddy is enough.

    As you fully know and have demonstrated so generously, all will unfold as it’s meant to be – perfect.

    And yes, your heart will expand (already happening) and your world will expand accordingly.

    Thank you for sharing this sacred time with us. ❤

    You’ve got this, Mama. You’ve got this. 🌞

  • Shawna Thompson

    I just spent a long time in the shower this morning processing the fact that I’m pregnant with my second. I was actually imagining myself writing something like this to my daughter (my first-born) and I started sobbing.
    Woah! Was not expecting such powerful emotions (and was not expecting this in my inbox! Timing!). I think as much as I want ourlittle family to expand, I was grieving today that it’ll never be the same, our little family’s of three and the undivided attention my daughter gets from me. It’s like the last two years, from the time that she started growing in my womb, are now an era that is ending. A new chapter is being written, and as eager as I am to turn that page, I am so sad – I’m not sure why or what I think I’m losing, but grateful for the space to process it today. And I can only hope that this baby does make the long journey of joining us and forever changing us.

    • Kate Northrup

      It’s so true – there’s so much grief mixed in with the excitement. I’m just riding that wave and I’m happy to hear I’m not alone!

  • Hi Kate.

    Oh my gosh. Your letter made me cry. I am touched by your ability to take time to write the feelings, certainties, uncertainties and love for your 1st baby girl, from your heart…even as you must be busy and tired, with a million other things calling for your attention. I’m sure she will treasure this letter forever…a touchstone letter to remind her the place she’ll always have in your heart and in life.

    I love your work and what you share. Thank you. I have a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Felt just the same for my older son when my second son was on his way.

    You are a wonderful Mama and soul. Your girls and family and WE are so lucky to have you in our lives. Sending you love and blessings for your birth and family.

    Gratitudes and love~ Kathy

  • Brenda

    Dear Kate,

    Lovely. Please take out a fine sheet of paper and write this by hand. Your heart and personality are transposed into art at that point. When she reads this 60 years from today it will bring you and the day, entirely present and alive for her. As a documentarian, that is the the gift I foresee. Blessings. FGM

  • Oh, the tears! What a stunningly beautiful expression of motherly love and the certainty of a future rich with possibility and promise. Thank you for sharing this with all your babies’ virtual aunts and uncles, Kate.

  • kim

    Prayers and good wishes as you continue on your journey! You brought tears to my eyes. And my oldest is 27! and her little sister is 23! But we also added a 4 and 6 year old to our family 9 years ago. Life continues to be challenging, but my all time favorites are when all my kids (and significant others) join together around the table.

  • maria amado

    Kate, This in one of the most beautiful letters I have ever read in my life, your girls will love each other. God bless!

  • Beautiful tears reading this. You are quite the incredible mama. What a gift for P you wrote this for her. I’m sending so much love for this next incredible transition and birthing. Love, KC

  • Kate, this is such a beautiful gift to your baby girl and to her sister soon to appear. I am on my way to Europe with my 2 daughters, 40 and 42, to experience the pure joy of spending time together with no distractions. I do remember them as little girls and the sweetest times together. And now, we have an adventure together to share our differences, our similarities and all the new experiences we can find! Enjoy every minute of these babies because the time does go so quickly! much love, Carolyn

  • Rita Shields

    I felt the same way when I had my second son. And I feel the same way now that they are young adults. By the way, when they were at a certain age and shared the same bedroom, I noticed they were not getting along. So I gave up my home office, which was another bedroom, to my first son. Never had any problems with them after that. They both had their own space and place to grow up.

  • Audrey

    I cried when i read this. My beautiful daughter turns 25 tomorrow and i too thought and felt all these things when her brother arrived 23 months after her. Scared that i did not have enough love in me to spread between them but i also learned that the heart can love to infinity and back. Has there been rough spots? No doubt. But the person they help you become is their own special gift to you if you parent with an open heart. Each and every little being (that grows into a big being) is a wondrous gift to you and the world. These special gifts you are birthing will be the women of tomorrow and they are so lucky to have you and grandma as their guides. Blessings to all of you. And remember….nap when baby naps said every mother. LOL.

  • Kate,
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful letter. I’ve been writing letters to our 18 mo old since before she was born and I think it’s such a lovely way to express the intense emotions surrounding becoming a mom. The way that you’ve gracefully shared your journey has really helped me feel at ease as I travel along mine. I can only imagine (and hope to soon) the shift in emotions when it comes to #2. You have a beautiful family and that sisterly love will be so strong. I can remember vividly being a proud big sister to my siblings. The universe is expanding for all four of you… how exciting!!
    Much love,
    Rather

    • Kate Northrup

      I love that you’ve been writing letters to your babe since before she was born. That’s so beautiful! And thank you for your well wishes!

  • Prayers and best wishes for you as you prepare to meet your sweet girl tomorrow. Two will be double the fun and love. Your love for both girls will multiply like crazy with each passing day. Holding you close in good thought.

  • Mary Ann**

    As I read this I think back to the chaos in my life when my kids were born. I had these thoughts in my heart, but had a lot of trouble manifesting them. Just being honest, as I think it about it now I can send waves of love from my healed heart to my children now. They are 30, 28 and 26. Thank you for this and prayers for your family as your start on your new life together

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