So I already talked about the things I stressed over with my first baby that I’m not worried about with the second, but now that I’m about two weeks away from my due date, let the freak outs over baby number two begin!
OK, I’m half joking because I don’t believe in freaking out about things. I spend the majority of my time teaching people not to do this and overall I manage to keep freakishly calm in the face of chaos. Stressing never leads to anything good. This is probably my biggest piece of life advice. But now onto the things I’m stressing over!
I wouldn’t say stress, but I would say there are some concerns, and as the reality of having a second baby sets in (and with your second, you are a lot more grounded because you know what’s coming this time!), I do have those little fears and worries. Rather than worry, I’d say I’ve been wondering a lot. Wondering about the changes ahead and how I’ll cope this time around.
Save for a few rough weeks in the beginning, I had motherhood down very quickly with the first one. Some say it was luck, others say it’s because I’m crazy and was ultra prepared by reading every baby book, and others say I was just good at it and a good baby is a reflection of a good mommy (please may that be the case!).
But I don’t know. And I can’t know. And right now I’m trying to be OK with the not knowing but these are the things that are on my mind …
1. Will I lose more friends?
A sad and unfortunate by-product of creating a person is losing some of the other persons in your life. You try to stay in touch, but it just gets so challenging, especially when your friends don’t have kids.
For one, I’m tired. All. The. Time. Being pregnant doesn’t help matters because now I’m even more tired and even less likely to show up than before. And the last thing I want to do after dealing with a toddler all day, probably the most mentally and physically exhausting job out there, is deal with more people.
But it’s not just because I’m an introvert or because I’m a working mom with so little free time. It happens to all of us and it’s sad but it’s just what is.
I have managed to keep some of my old friendships intact, but it hasn’t been easy. Communication is far more infrequent and the gap between us continues to grow. Will it get worse? Will the rest of them go away too? I hope not, but I guess we’ll see…
2. Will I ever get my body back?
So here’s the thing about bouncing back. With my first, the number on the scale wrecked me every time. And at my doctor’s office, they check your weight before your blood pressure and they would always have to repeat my blood pressure like three times because seeing such a frightening number on the scale literally sent waves of panic through me and made my blood pressure spike. All I thought about was how I’d lose the weight after the baby came.
I would waste countless hours googling celebrities who gained a lot of pregnancy weight to see exactly what they did to lose it. I obsessed over it like a mad woman.
Then the baby came …. And it just didn’t matter that much. First, a large chunk of the weight just fell off right away without me having to do anything (save to acting like a human food truck to my baby!), but also, it just wasn’t a priority. Keeping my kid alive was way more important than a few extra pounds. And being a good mom. And a good wife. And a good person. And finding time to work and be there for my baby. Going on an intense diet and feeling perpetually faint just wasn’t so appealing and wasn’t worth the sacrifice. If I was going to do it all, I needed the energy to do it!
Now I’m not going to lie. I wasn’t in love with my post-baby body. I wasn’t one of those women who was like, “Wow, this body housed a human!” I was more, “Ugh, why do I still look 5 months pregnant?!”
And I watched my diet and I exercised and lost a ton of weight, but not all. And then just when my stomach was flat for the first time in over a year… I got pregnant again! (And seriously, they’re not kidding when they say you’re back in maternity clothes as soon as you get that positive pregnancy test!”
I would like to look like my old self again. I would like to wear my old clothes. But I have no idea if I’ll ever have the time (or energy) to hit the gym and take care of two babies and continue running my website and try to be a somewhat decent wife and I just don’t know if I’ll have the will to even care that much.
3. What if she isn’t an angel baby like my first?
Whether it’s my masterful mothering or I just hit the baby lottery, my first was an angel baby and he’s an angel toddler.
He’s the best sleeper, he’s easygoing, he can be reasoned with, he’s just the best and he always was. And every parent says that, but this one really is a magical unicorn. And so I can’t help but worry … what if the next one is the opposite?
Will I be able to handle it? Motherhood is challenging enough with an easy child … but having a difficult baby?? I just don’t know how I’d cope!
I’ve noticed that a lot of people I know have two kids close together and then they either close up shop or say they are going on a long, long hiatus before they consider having a third. So what exactly is it that happens to cause such trauma? I guess I will very soon find out…
But even if my next one is easy…
4. What if her presence turns my angel baby into the devil?
I’ve heard of kids acting out, of regressions, of bad behavior … what if the trauma of getting a sibling makes my angel baby a disaster?
I know that a sibling is the best gift you can give, and I’m dreaming of the day when they can play with each other and I don’t need to be a one-woman entertainment center, but what about the time before we get there. Will he be OK? Will he feel betrayed by me? What if he goes completely off the rails? We’ve had it so good until now, the other shoe has to drop sooner or later, right?
5. Will my relationship suffer?
Nothing shakes things up in a relationship like having a kid, and not in the good kind of way!
Everything just gets harder. It’s harder to make time for each other, hard to go out on dates (and forget about going on vacation!), hard to really connect to one another, hard to keep your eyes open past 9 pm, and for a woman (well at least, for me and I’m sure many others), it’s really hard to feel sexy and desirable like before. It doesn’t even matter how sexy and desirable your guy finds you, it’s really hard to channel that within yourself.
Also, especially in the beginning if you’re a nursing mom, your body kind of belongs to the baby now! Your baby spends way more time at your boobs than your husband ever will. Your baby is basically a vestigial organ. Now it’s beautiful and amazing, but you don’t really feel like a hot mama anymore, you’re just mama.
Relationships, in general, aren’t easy but even the easy parts become harder when you have a baby. And I would imagine it gets twice as hard when you have two!
More than the fears and worries, I really just feel excited to meet this little person who has been growing inside me. I know life will change dramatically. I know the beginning will be a little rough, as all major transitions are. But I also know that it will get easier and there will come a point where I don’t even remember what life was like before her.