A Journey to Motherhood
**This post is a compilation of articles that I wrote six years ago for the Valley Shopper while pregnant with my second child**
I am sitting here starting to fill out a baby memory book for my soon-to-be born second child. The question for the parents to answer is: How did you feel when you found out I was on my way?
My husband and I talked a lot about what we would say. The only conclusion was that we didn’t know how we felt, or how we feel today, with just weeks to go before the baby is to be born.
Neither my husband nor I are highly emotional people. We always knew that we wanted to have children, but wanting and actually having are two different things. When we found out we were pregnant with our first child, yes, we were happy, but we weren’t overly emotional. We avoided telling people, just so that we wouldn’t have to talk about “the baby” for the next nine months. Denial seemed to be the best coping strategy for us. My husband grew up surrounded by babies, but I had never had much exposure. I really was never “into” babies, and really have no desire to hold anyone else’s. If I felt like this already, how was I going to handle having one of my own? How would I know what to do? Was I capable of being a baby person?
Then in 2006 Daniel was born. The moment that Daniel was put on my chest, the love was instantaneous. It felt completely natural. Having Daniel in our lives far exceeded our expectations.
Now, we are about to have our second child. My husband and I agreed on having at least two children (I say two, and he says three). But, now as the time is drawing closer, we’re not sure how we feel about having another person join our family.
Second and subsequent pregnancies are different than the first one, at least in my experience and in the opinions of some of my friends. With the first pregnancy, you can probably spout off how many weeks along you are, and all the relevant details. This time, most days I was lucky if I could remember that I was pregnant! My method of keeping track of how many weeks I was, was by listening to my first-time pregnant friend and adding eleven weeks.
Husbands also seem to be different the next time around – less doting, perhaps. According to several of my friends, husbands seem to have a mysterious pile of work to do when you ask them to rub your back or feet. And, instead of coming home and letting you rest, they realize that they are tired from working all day and are going to sleep. Feeling the baby move? Been there. Done that. Not saying that they aren’t excited, it’s just different.
So, with all of these different circumstances, it would only be natural for the parents’ feelings to be different the next time around, too.
When people find out you are pregnant, the first comment is usually, “you must be excited!” It is a common notion that pregnancy is equated to excitement. However, what if you are not sure if you are excited? What if you don’t know how you feel? This seems to be the part that no one mentions.
The story of my friend’s mom sums up my feelings. When she was pregnant with her second, she went into her first born’s room (my friend) and looked down at her in her crib. She thought, “I love this child with all my whole being. How am I ever going to have enough love to share with another child?”
I also think, “poor Daniel.” He’s used to all of the attention and now will need to share it. As a first born and as someone who needs constant attention, I say that when you are displaced by a second child, you spend the rest of your life trying to make up for the lost attention!
“I totally felt that way,” said a good friend of mine. “I was sad when I left for the hospital. Those feelings started about one month before my second son was born. Every now and then I would just start crying and feel so badly for my first child. The feelings got stronger and stronger. However, at the same time, I just wanted the kid out. But you know what? When they put my new baby on me, I just loved him so much. I didn’t think I would feel that way but I started to cry because I loved him so much. And I knew that my oldest was the perfect kid to be a big brother to the baby.”
Finally, in February 2008, Thomas was born. When they placed Thomas on my chest, it was love at first sight. And you wonder what all the worry was about and you know your heart can be so full of love.
Did you ever have these feelings?
Write and tell me about it!