I found out I was expecting Baby Number Two a month before my son turned one. When the second little pink line faintly appeared, a wave of excitement, fear, nervousness, and panic came over me.
I had suspected I was pregnant after a rush of nausea came over me earlier in the week. I avoided taking a test, worried I wasn't ready to be pregnant again. My denial wasn't going to change or slow down the fact we were going to be parents again.
The second time around you aren't wading into the unknown when it comes to the struggles and challenges of pregnancy, child birth, and life with a newborn. But that might be the most terrifying part. You know what's coming: morning sickness, backaches, insomnia, the pain of child birth, sleepless nights, endless worries, breastfeeding struggles; it goes on.
You also know the pure joys of motherhood: the blissful hours spent watching your new baby sleep; the excitement of each milestone; the adorable smiles, cuddles and babbles; and the strength of a love you never thought was possible.
My husband and I had talked about having our children close in age. The benefits were tempting. We wanted our children to grow up together and go off to school together. I wanted to be at home with my babies until they start kindergarten, and then start up my career again.
Related:10 Reasons Raising a Child is Easier the Second Time Around
I wanted the few intense years of the baby phase and then freedom - not always waiting for the next one to go off, and years of baby brain. I wanted to raise our children while we're still young and full of energy.
My brother and I were born 14 months a part. I grew up with a friend always by my side and ally in my corner - a gift my parents gave our family, and one that I wanted to give mine.
However, almost a year into motherhood, I was overwhelmed and tired. I wasn't sure if my body had recovered fully to create another baby from scratch. The illness and discomforts of pregnancy, and the agony of child birth were still too fresh in my mind
Not only did another pregnancy scare me, but I was finally finding my feet as a mom, and not sure if I could juggle another little human into the mix.
Our little team had a routine that worked for both of us and little tricks to make everyday life easier. I figured out I could take a shower and watch my son play in an empty bathtub. We designed a safe play area where I could sit and work without having to worry about injury. We built a perfect standing high chair for the kitchen, a game changer when it came to cooking.
Bath time, diaper changes, lunchtime, bedtime all were becoming second nature to us. I hadn't perfected mothering, but I didn't feel like a rookie anymore.
Furthermore, our marriage felt like it was back on track. We were starting to get our lives back.
Soon we would be thrown into the world of newborn chaos again. I was worried about how my little guy would react to a sibling. He was a mama's boy, and I was concerned he wouldn't share and adapt. Would he be jealous? Would we still have quality time together to do the things we loved?
Suffering from bad morning sickness, I started to rely on others to help care for my son. The guilt of losing precious time with him weighed on my heart. I barely had enough energy for one baby, so how was I going to manage two?
It was't just my son I was concerned about, but also the tiny baby growing inside me. In my first pregnancy I was extra careful about what I ate, that I got enough rest, and had regular check-ups with the doctor.
Every week my husband and I would eagerly wait for updates on what fruit or vegetable our baby turned into and new developments happening inside my womb. We would take bumpie photos each week (carefully placed into a pregnancy album). At night my husband would sing to my stomach, and we would get giddy over each baby movement.
My second pregnancy was passing by in a blur. I can't tell you what fruit my baby is this week. I'm too tired to be as picky about what I eat. I forget to rub oil on my belly at night to avoid stretch marks. Sleep is a luxury I can no longer afford. And I'm sad to say, I have only taken two pictures of my pregnant tummy this time around.
Somedays I have to remind myself I'm going to have another baby in less than two months.
Related:Adding the Second Child
But it wasn't the pregnancy, sleep, feedings, sibling jealousy, or child birth that scared me the most. It was that I was unsure I could love another human as much as I love my son. Can one heart love two babies equally?
I talked to other moms who have two or more children, and they laughed at the idea. The beauty of motherhood is you always have enough love to give.
So I concluded the bond with my son won't change. He has been my guinea pig the last year and survived my mistakes. Just as I managed as a first time mom, I will be able to balance two under two, and they both will thrive.
Now I'm starting to nest for Baby Number Two, buy adorable onesies, play with my son more, but also enjoy a quiet moment to myself. There is an endless list of things to do and think about before a new baby arrives, and I sometimes forget to get excited about our new addition.
Yet as my stomach grows so does my excitement and love for the baby girl I'm carrying. With the due date quickly approaching, panic doesn't take over any longer, but a rush of joy and love fills me.
I can't wait to meet our baby girl, and watch our family grow together.
The post Expecting a Second Baby: The Fears, Worries, and Realizations appeared first on Mothering.