I've been trying to write a post about this for ages, because it was a big thing for me when I was pregnant with Theo. Then there was an article in the paper over the weekend about the devastating affect that the birth of a second child had on one woman's feelings for her firstborn. I'd have died if I'd read that while pregnant with Theo. So here are my thoughts on two. (I really hope this doesn't annoy anyone - I've re-read and re-written loads of times and found it's very hard to write about without making it sound like I'm saying that it's much better to have more than one child. That is really not what I am saying at all and I actually think there is a lot to be said for sticking at one. But I obviously haven't stuck at one and can only write from where I am now.)
When I was pregnant with Theo I agonised about whether I was ready for a second child and whether I had had enough time with Freyja alone. I trawled the internet for information on having more children and ideal age gaps. I didn't really find anything to reassure me - just things like 'you will love your second child but differently' or 'your relationship with your first will change'. It sounded horrifying, to be honest - 'differently', translated to me as 'not as much' and as for a change in my relationship with Freyja, it didn't bear thinking about.
And then Theo arrived and I loved him immediately with all my heart and knew I couldn't bear to be without him. I didn't love him less or more, I loved him in that whole, total, unconditional way that I guess all mothers love their children. I was relieved to find that it's true - you just love your children and there isn't some dirty secret out there.
Of course a first child is a cherished thing. You have no other child to focus on so you focus completely on how exquisite they are, how funny, how special - you think they are the most amazing thing in the whole world. Secretly you think other people must be slightly envious of you for having this incredible child. Then your second child arrives - who you find is equally enchanting - and somehow this puts the whole thing into perspective. You realise that, yes of course they are sweet and lovely - but they are only really, totally enthralling to you (and your family of course). You stop being quite so silly about your first child - you don't stop loving your first child, or finding them any less interesting, but it's as if you can look at them more rationally. I don't know why this happens but every mother of more than one child that I've asked has said something similar - that having a second child puts things into perspective (although I have actually only asked about 3 other mothers, so it's not really valid) .
So I think having a second child does change something in your relationship with your first born, and while I know that probably sounds horrible if you have only one child, in reality it isn't horrible at all. I think it's a bit like the difference between an obsession and love. With the first one you can sometimes veer dangerously close to obsession (often without realising it - blogs dedicted to your child, anyone?!). Perhaps that passes with time anyway - but certainly once you've had a second child, it's out the window - or at least diluted. But the love remains unchanged.
I'm not sure that I would agree you love your children differently - I feel that I love mine the same and equally. I think you might LIKE them differently and that changes from day to day, and I imagine gets more pronounced as they get older and develop their own personalities and opinions.
For me having two has been a blessing and they are both my angels, the apples of my eye, my little stars, my life, my love - however you want to put it, both my children are 'it' for me.