I have always loved children and had the opportunity to work with them throughout most of my life. And, although, my first pregnancy was a surprise, I was ecstatic to find out I was going to get a little miniature version of my husband and me. I dreamt of cuddling on the couch watching movies on a rainy day and taking him on trips all over the world. Oh, the fun we would have! Then he arrived. That is the moment I realized, regardless of how much experience you have with children, nothing can prepare you to be the actual parent. NOTHING!
Now, I am pregnant with my second child and the feelings of excitement, anticipation, and joy have been replaced with fear, anxiety, and nausea. Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful to be pregnant. My husband and I dreamed of having a handful of kids to call our tribe. However, I know the truth now. I know what happens once that little precious child escapes my stomach. That is why finding out your pregnant the second time is terrifying!
Let’s start with sleep. My son is now 19 months old. He no longer nurses. He sleeps through the night. And honestly, this boy loves taking naps. When it comes to sleeping, he is an angel. Well, it wasn’t always like that. People warned me I would never sleep again. People told me to rest up while I could. I ignored them or brushed it off. Then he arrived.
For a year of my life (it can be so much longer for others), my husband and I woke up in the middle of the night, MULTIPLE TIMES to tend to our son. We would have these half asleep fights in the hallway at 3 a.m. trying to decide if we should let him just cry it out since every other option had already failed. I remember trying to function through out the day after only getting two hours of sleep.
I could barely get a fork into my mouth to eat breakfast, let alone properly take care of an infant. Well, in 6 months, my husband and I will resume our 3 a.m. family conferences in the hallway. Does that count as a date?
Another scary thing about being pregnant again is labor & delivery. You know how people say after delivering the baby you forget because you are so overwhelmed with love for your child that the pain just disappears? Okay, yeah for a moment, I forgot what just happened, but now I can give you an exact play-by-play of the blood, sweat, and whatever other liquids came out of me that day.
I remember the pain of the contractions, the pressure of the baby trying to escape me like a wild animal. He was a big baby, too. Huge head (97 percentile), 9 lbs, and 21 inches long. This kid was no joke. I didn’t know about this the first time around, but I am already having nightmares of D day this time around.
This may seem like an obvious fear for some: multiple children. When I was first pregnant, I didn’t have anyone else to take care of (not including my husband). Now I have my little guy running around making a mess, pooping his pants, and whining all day long. When I looked down at the pregnancy test and saw a positive result, I realized I would soon have two babies making a mess, two babies pooping their paints, and two babies whining/crying all day long. Ughhhh. Scary stuff.
Lastly, because I almost forgot about it, is the issue of forgetting you’re pregnant. This one, well this has been scary. See, with my son, I knew the list of foods I couldn’t eat, I avoided people smoking like the plague, and I made sure to take a baby bump picture every week. Well, God bless this little one being created right now.
First, I don’t have one image of my “bump” and I can’t tell you how many times I have eaten an Italian hoagie and ten minutes later thinking, “crap, I think I wasn’t supposed to eat that…” There’s nothing like a beautiful plate of sushi in front of you full of raw fish and you are so preoccupied with raising your other child and all the other priorities on your plate, you down four spicy tuna rolls with out taking a breath. But, hey, at least I took my prenatal vitamin today!
Overall, the fear that I have being pregnant the second time around stems from the fact that I now know what to expect. With my first, I had no clue. I only dreamt of rainbows and butterflies. I didn’t think of the painful recovery, the severity of sleep deprivation, and the amount of poop such a tiny person can create. I didn’t think of those things because I just did not know. Now I know.
However, there’s nothing I can do about it then mentally prepare myself for what is to come. Although, the idea of having to go through the pain and agony of another child haunts me at night, I can’t wait.
I can’t wait to have two little ones calling me Mama. I can’t wait to see my two children form a friendship over time (even if it’s in their twenties…). I can’t wait to watch my husband hold his two babies in his arms.I can’t wait to watch my home get filled with even more love and joy than I thought was possible.
And, that joy is so worth giving up a few nights (or years) of sleep.
About Philly Baby Bump Guest Contributor Julianne Thomas
Bio: Julianne was hired as a professional stay at home mom on April 15, 2014. She is a Philly native, but now resides in the suburbs with her husband, one year old son, and her 17 week old puppy (Lord, help her!).
She considers a successful day one where she gets to brush her teeth and take a shower. Her life has been turned upside down since her son’s arrival, but [most days] she wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world!
Julianne’s Blog: Who’s Raising Whom?
Follow Julianne: Instagram@julianne_t