Thursday, September 4, 2014

Second Pregnancy Anxieties

The truth about the second pregnancy is that it’s a little bit scary. I know from talking to many other mothers and reading many other blogs that I’m not alone in feeling this way.

Even though I already love this little baby I have yet to meet, I also very much love this little toddler I’ve been loving for the last 16 months (and the nine months before that). At the moment, he and my husband are pretty much my whole world.

I already feel some days like I’m being tugged in a million directions. I know it’s hormones but it always feels like the end of the world in the moment.

First, I worry about the actual act of going in and giving birth. I find it funny that I was so terrified of labor and delivery the first time that I would cry or leave the room thinking about it. This time around, I’m ecstatic and so excited to get to repeat the experience in a new and different way. The act of leaving our kiddo to go to the birth center, though, is terrifying to me.

I pray almost every night that I start labor the way I did last time, in the afternoon/evening. I hope to start cramping in the afternoon, mild and easy contractions through the evening, put the boy to sleep, call our designated sitter, big and hard contractions, Ryan takes suitcase out to Jeep while I go over pointless and obvious details with sitter, cry on the ride to the birth center because there should obviously be a better system than having to sit in a confined space for seven entire minutes. I’ve heard from most women that labor goes much faster the second time around (although I’ve also had a few friends who labored longer the second time) so my hope is that we have a newborn by noon. Ryan calls the sitter, we introduce Baby to Baby, and then depending on our feelings and the policies, Ryan goes home with the kiddo at bedtime or we all four sleep in the recovery room for our first night as a family of four.

If it all goes down like that, great… but I have a feeling it won’t. Then I start to feel guilty. What if my little guy doesn’t understand and gets scared when bedtime rolls around and Mommy and Daddy aren’t there to help him get ready for bed? What if he has trouble falling asleep after a day of confusion without his parents and ends up crying it out until midnight? I’ve never spent a night away from him before. What if he thinks I’ve abandoned him? What if I’m so focused on my guilt over that situation that I don’t take full advantage of the bonding time my newborn deserves?

PicMonkey Collage

(Navigating life with our first sweet newborn // 17 week baby bump with Baby Bell II)

Then I start to think about the actual act of having two children. What if I can’t divide myself up evenly? What if I say “Shhh, the baby’s sleeping” too many times? What if I don’t fairly set up naps for the newborn because I’m trying to play with my toddler and make sure he feels just as loved as before? What if I’m so focused on making sure one of them feels loved equally that I miss out on special memories with the other? What if I work so hard to treat them fairly that my marriage takes the backseat? What if, what if, what if…

It’s all very strange to me, I guess because it’s something (much like bringing that first baby home and into our marriage) I simply can’t really imagine until it’s happening.

Deep down, I know it’ll all be fine. I am certainly not the first woman to have a second child and everyone I’ve talked to has admitted that there are moments when one child needs all of your attention (like in the case of an accident or serious illness), which is hard, but that there are far more moments when your life just moves right along naturally and you aren’t even thinking about it. I also know that God won’t give me more than I can handle.

I know this is true. I’ve seen it with my own two eyes every time I grocery shop or push my son in the swings and watch a mother interact with more than one child at a time. Even still, I just can’t wrap my head around it all and I’m not sure I’ll be able to until the baby is here and I realize one day that I’ve already been doing it without even having to think about it.

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