Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Adding The Second Child

Should you have a second baby?

To begin- obviously, I can't answer this question for you!  I don't even know you.  But I got a question on my Facebook page about if/when you should add another baby to the mix.  I don't  know what other people should do, but it made me think of that time, a few years ago, when I made that decision.

So, let me take you back.

When I had my first baby, my son, he became the center of my life.  It really changed everything for me.  I stopped working for pay outside my home.  I was suddenly a different person- a mother.

My sleep patterns changed (or were eliminated), my body was totally different (like- fluffier), my marriage changed, my husband was suddenly a different beast, everything was different! 

And even though the first few weeks made me weep like a crazy person with uncontrolled and unfamiliar hormonal fluctuations, I just loved him so much.  I mean, love beyond what I could imagine.  And it all seemed so surreal.  Was this really my child?  Oh my gosh.  Could this be REAL?

I don't know how to explain it all, but it was really different and sometimes difficult for me.

Then he got older.  I started to notice women around me who were a little farther ahead of me in the game of motherhood.  They already had their second child.  And let's be real.  Some of them seemed kind of...crazy.  Or overwhelmed.

Frankly- I didn't want to be crazier or more overwhelmed.  I was really happy with just my one perfect baby.

And then, when he was about two, I got pregnant again.  I don't remember trying to get pregnant, it just happened (I am one of those women who does that.)

Truth be told, I spent almost the entire pregnancy horrified.

I found out I was having a girl.  Horror again!  Girls are mean to their mothers!  Oh my gosh- she would hate me!!!!  This fear was combined with other irrational fears about suddenly finding our car in a river in Texas and my kids being stolen at Disneyland.  (I am actually normally a person who just doesn't worry.  Except for when I am pregnant.  Then all of a sudden, I am a raving lunatic with strange fears popping up out of nowhere.)

So, here I am, pregnant and scared.

What was I afraid of?  I was worried about if I could actually love another little baby as much as I loved the one I already had.  He had become such a focus of my existence that I couldn't imagine another focus.

I was worried too about being overwhelmed.  I didn't want to be miserable, in over my head, freaking out, and have insane kids to boot.  I was worried that I wouldn't be able to handle what my life would become.

At the end of my pregnancy I finally made peace with my worries.  This was the END of my pregnancy.  In fact, I was already overdue.

I remember finally just sitting down for a quiet moment, and talking to this new baby.   (I am not the "talk to your baby" type of mama.  The idea is fine in theory, but I am just not very corny.  So this was kind of a big deal for me.)  So I just talked to this little baby in my belly and told her that I loved her.  I told her I was ready for her to come.  And I prayed and choose a name for her from the Bible.

Finally I was at peace with my coming change.  I had accepted, at the eleventh hour, the idea of baby number two.

You know what happened?  I had another baby.

And it was wonderful.

Really, it was nothing like what I had expected.

The birth was totally different (it was like 1/3 of the length of time).  Breastfeeding came easily, which totally shocked me.  I saw this little girl that I had been so worried about, and I just LOVED her instantly.  She was my best girlfriend!  How could she ever dislike me?!  Shopping trips!  Girl time!  (She is now four, I hope I feel the same when she is 16.) 

Once she was with us, I couldn't imagine life without her.  In fact, I wondered why I had waited that long to have another baby.

There were difficulties of course, with adding another baby.  But they were not insurmountable.  I loved seeing my babies together.  I loved that they had each other.  I loved that they loved each other.

Obviously, I had two more babies after that, so I just kept on going without looking back.

I guess what I am saying to people who wonder if they should have another baby is- I don't know if YOU should.  But I am glad that I did.

Do I have my hands full?  Yes, of course.  But I did with one child.  Does it change things?  Of course, but life is about change.

There are difficult things about having one child and difficult things about having one or two or more.

There are also joys in having one child, and there are joys when you have more.

Adding a baby doesn't necessarily make life harder, it just makes it different.  But new baby different is kind of awesome.  I heard somebody say once that having a new baby in a home brings a special spirit that can heal things.  Now, I hope people NEVER have children to "fix" their lives or their marriages.  That is a stupid and selfish game to play with a life.

But there is truth in that statement.  Children do bring a healing and teaching spirit to a home.  They teach you.  They push you.  They love you.  They make you better than you could have been without them.  Our children help us become what we are capable of becoming. 

I am grateful for all of my babies, and I am grateful that the universe deemed me fit to have these people be part of my life.  They make my life better and I hope that I never let them down.

Love isn't something that you can run out of or grow tired of.  The more you give it, the more it grows.  The more you need, the more you have.  And the more you show to your children, the more you get back.  This is what life is all about.

I am so grateful for my second baby.  She is just as first in my heart as all my others. 

And mamas- good luck on your journeys.  I know it is hard and I know it is scary.  But we can do this.  We were meant to do this.  We just have to trust, to try, and to love and sacrifice what is needed to be the mothers our children deserve.

9 comments:

Amanda said...

Thanks for sharing! My first baby just turned a year and we are talking about trying for baby #2 in about a year or so. It is exciting and terrifying for all the reasons you listed. I'm glad it all works out in the end. :)

Jo said...

this could have been me writing. i felt all those same feelings and had the exact same circumstances. boy then girl, same length apart, same anxiety (seriously even the car in the river thing- i have blogged about it), same wanting another boy, same not feeling like i could love another the same, etc. etc. etc. and then starting with her birth, she was about 6 trillion times easier to deal with than my crazy first born and i figure we'll still have more :)

Brittney said...

I needed to read this! I am pregnant with our second right now. Our son is only 10 months old so they will be about 16 months apart... I could not be happier about our new addition! Except... I love my son SO much! It has been so hard to imagine loving another with the same intensity. Reading about how you felt when your second was born and how you love to see your little ones together.. I needed to hear that! So, thank you. I know that I will love both my babies, I always new that. But sometimes it is hard to imagine its possible to have this much love AGAIN.

Plus Size Mommy Memoirs said...

What a wonderful and timely post! I’m at this point in my life now – wanting a another baby but not knowing if I can: (a) handle another baby (b) love someone as much as I already love my son! It’s helpful to read your words of wisdom and know that baby #2 will only bring more love and joy into my home.

Meribah said...

I thought this was such a beautifully written post ~ thank you! We are pregnant again and expecting twins and I am overwhelmed with all of the negative worries and you have reminded me just to start focusing on all the positive there is and will be! Thank you!

Dreaz42 said...

Made me cry! Thanks for your point of view. I have one now and she just turned one. So this has been on my mind.<3

Dreaz42 said...

Made me cry! Thanks for your point of view. I have one now and she just turned one. So this has been on my mind.<3

thefullmontessori said...

This is exactly what I needed to read. I have a 7-month old and we're going to TTC again in January. I'm nervous, excited, scared... Glad to see I'm not alone. :)

Lilly's Mommy said...

Thank you for this post! I am currently 17 weeks pregnant with my second child and am feeling the same way you did during your second pregnancy.

My daughter, who is 20 months old, took us nearly 4 years to conceive. Finally, with the help of fertility meds our miracle arrived and she was everything I had imagined and more. I can't explain my love for her. She is my world, and after seeing her I knew I could never love another child the same.

My husband and I decided that with the troubles and emotions we had getting pregnant with her that we would have just her and spoil her as our one and only. Well, surprise! I, not thinking I could get pregnant on my own, decided birth control wasn't necessary. Here we are pregnant again and I am trying to figure out how we're going to make this work. I feel like I'm robbing my princess of her childhood by bringing another baby into the mix. I feel guilty, sad, overwhelmed, scared...just to name a few. Knowing you had these same feelings and that you have the love you do for your second child gives me hope. I just wish I could feel the same connection in utero with this one as I did with my first. Maybe we'll get there eventually. I'll try out the belly talk like you did. ;)

Again, thanks for sharing your experience. It makes me feel more normal...well, as normal as I can be!

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