I come from a small family and grew up in a world that wasn't made for children, but was surrounded by adults. I always wanted a big family and envisioned myself having many children. I looked with envy at big families, at their noise, their family gatherings, their many siblings playing together. I was even jealous when I saw them arguing. As the first few years of my marriage passed and I didn't conceive, my dream began to diminish. I still held on to it, but it no longer seemed like it was going to become a reality.

My son became the center of our livesThen my son was born and filled our home with a radiating light and laughter that we hadn't experienced before. My husband and I are quiet people, and suddenly there was the glorious noise I had waited so long to hear - crying, laughing, things breaking.

My son became the center of our lives. Taking care of him was so much work and yet it brought me so much pleasure. As he approached his second birthday and the thought of not having more children became too unbearable to imagine, I miraculously conceived again. The pregnancy flew by; I don't even remember it, and I found myself in labor. Frida Tamar, my daughter, was born, another blessing, another miracle.

Why then did I find myself crying every night after I came home from the hospital? Every day I prayed for children. Now G‑d had given me another child, and I felt torn. I didn't quite understand what was going on. Part of it I could blame on fatigue and being overwhelmed by the responsibilities of taking care of our home and attending to the physical needs of two children. Part I could blame on hormones which seem to plunge so many women into post-partum depression.

But there was another part that left me confused. I cried over my son. I cried over the fact that I could no longer give the same attention to him as I had before. I cried over what this would mean to our relationship and to the fact that he was no longer my baby. Of course, at two-and-a-half years old, he's still got some time before he gets married, but suddenly he seemed so big and grown up to me. I also cried over the fact that I would be unable to give to my daughter in the same way as I had given to my son. And I asked myself what so many mothers ask: "How could I possibly love another child as much as I love my firstborn?"

Part of this is fatigue, part of this is hormonal, and part of this is a real feeling of loss in the midst of feeling bountiful.

I spoke with women who have many children and they not only empathized with me but also pointed something out. I could no longer give my son the same attention as before and my daughter might not receive the same attention as my son had, but they were each gaining and being enriched by the love of a sibling. They also reminded me that things do settle down. The fatigue will pass and the hormones will stabilize and I will be able to find time to give both children the attention that they need. When my son is in preschool I cuddle with my daughter, and when my daughter is sleeping I play with my son. There are moments when we all snuggle together, and this is the best of all, because I see how I'm fostering a lifetime of sibling love and friendship.

I saw qualities in my husband that I had never seen beforeMy son, Avraham Nissim, proudly shows his baby sister to his classmates in preschool. At last, he's no longer the only one without a sibling. He helps me change her diaper and is learning valuable lessons on how to share and how to love. One might have thought that after more than four years of being together without children, the presence of my son would have put a strain on my marital relationship, but if anything, it only made us love each other more. I suddenly saw qualities in my husband that I had never seen before. His patience, generosity and gentleness when dealing with Avraham Nissim made him even more endearing to me. So, too, when I watch Avraham Nissim conquer a natural tendency toward jealousy and treat the baby with tenderness and affection, it makes me love him, and her, even more.

Within the body of every Jew is a soul that burns like a candle. Each soul that is brought into the world sheds its particular light. Have you ever been in a dark room with a candle? The candle illuminates the room. Take some fire from this candle and use it to light another candle. Does the first candle's light diminish in any way? No. And the room? The room only gets brighter.

Each child we are blessed to have illuminates the world and brightens the lives of the others. I tell Avraham Nissim, "I love you because you are my only Avraham Nissim, and I have no other Avraham Nissim," and I tell my daughter, who is barely a month old and yet who has totally captured my heart, "I love you because you are my Frida Tamar, and I have no other Frida Tamar." I didn't know that it would be possible to love another child as much as my firstborn. But if anything, I learned that my love can expand exponentially, and that it is my unbelievable love for my daughter that resulted in me loving my son even more than before. I love him for him and her for her. Every soul is precious, and I feel myself lit up in different ways by each one's particular light.