Have you seen any of those beautifully poignant photos of the last time a mother holds one child before having another? (like this one). I see these images and immediately weep. I think of the momentousness of this—that my sweet little boy and I are saying goodbye to a certain dynamic forever—and my heart aches.
This spring, we are expecting our second child.
Although we are thrilled, I'm also far more nervous this time around. I think because I know what's coming: the sleepless nights, the hours of breastfeeding, all those dirty diapers! The first time you do it, you go in somewhat blindly. The next time, you know EXACTLY what to expect. I know it'll shift things in my family. My son has been our one and only for 3.5 years. And we've all gotten quite comfortable with our "three musketeers" dynamic.
Here come the waterworks!
But change is part of life, and learning to embrace change ultimately leads to more happiness.
As a parent, I must model acceptance of change for my son, so I am trying to set my worries aside and focus on the excitement we all feel to be welcoming a baby girl into our world. I know it will have it's fair share of challenges but I also know that it will come with all the heart-bursting joy that the first time around came with. Even with sleep-deprived eyes and spit-up on my clothes and those weird new fuzzy hairs growing out of the sides of my head, I distinctly recall how much love I felt for Bodie in those first few months as we got to know one another, and I look forward to feeling that way again, for someone new. It seems to me people don't talk about this kind of anxiety enough. We're all expected to be 100% happy about expecting. But it's normal to be nervous. It's normal to mourn the loss of the life you know you will never have again. Children change things. More children change things. Irrevocably.
Then there's the birth anxiety. Again, the first time around, you don't really know what to expect. The second time (and every time thereafter) you have a pretty good idea—and yet every time is different—so you feel a strange combination of anxiety over what you know and what you don't. I was lucky to feel pretty empowered by my first birth... but that doesn't mean I had fun! It was precipitous and painful and scary for my husband who knew that my son had come out not breathing.
This time around, my placenta is low lying, so I might not be able to have a natural vaginal birth like the first time. I've been wondering over the past few weeks whether I'll have to have a C-Section, major surgery, and the wondering gives me heart palpitations. So then I remind myself to breathe and stay present and repeat my mantra, "healthy baby, healthy mama." Nothing else matters. I think of all the mothers I know who have had very successful and even positive experiences with C-Sections with very healthy babies and they give me courage and strength.
So that's where I am at this moment, 7 months pregnant. Happy. Sad. Scared. Anxious. Present. Nostalgic. Excited. Waiting. All the feels, all at once!
Much love and thanks for reading,