More to Love
When I think about how the small amount of time I have left with Henry as my only child, I get inundated with emotions. The first is panic to be honest. The second (hot on the heels of panic!) is excitement. The third is overwhelm and I think the fourth is a longing. A longing for the time to finally come because we have passed two due dates since having my miscarriages but held no baby. I thought I’d break down these feelings and explain. I feel like two are attributed to being quite positive and hopeful, while the other two may seem a bit Negative Nancy. But they are real and my own and quite honestly where I’m at with it all, combined with all the pregnancy hormones.
I don’t believe I have diagnosed Anxiety, but I do commonly have moments of anxiety especially during pregnancy and during the baby blues period of postpartum. When confronted with the thought of another person to feed, put to sleep, bathe, cuddle, love and play with, I stress that I won’t be able to do it all well. I panic I’ll let someone down whether it be Josh, Henry or the new baby. I panic someone is going to go without. I panic someone is going to feel like I’m not paying attention to them. I panic that I won’t be good enough to be a mother of two. I panic at the thought of someone in my home feeling as if they are left out. I panic that Henry is going to feel replaced. I panic I won’t be ‘on’ enough as a wife.
So then all that panic overwhelms me. I start to think maybe all of this is too hard. Even though we have felt ready for months before this baby was even conceived, maybe I’m just not cut out for this. Part of my overwhelm I think stems from feeling so sick during this pregnancy for a lot longer than I felt with Henry. It’s not a great launch pad into birth or postpartum. And knowing what I’m in for also doesn’t help. Beginning breastfeeding again, recovery, the strange sleep patterns, the constant cycle of feeding, changing, burping and settling to sleep. I don’t have ignorance on my side this time. It means I can brace for it and go in with an understanding at least but the thought of doing the newborn thing with a toddler who is used to be the only pinnacle of our world, with his own routines and demands, overwhelms me.
Stay with me. I promise I have some very good feelings about having our second baby too! I just want to keep it real.
I’m honestly very excited. I know what I’m in for this time around (to a degree – every baby is different!), and that relieves some pressure. I remember a big part of my baby blues season last time was around me totally being thrown into the new. New home life, new routines, new demands, and all of the new made me miss my old life and feel like there was nothing familiar to me anymore. At least this time, we are already parents. We already know that bringing a newborn home is wild. We already know newborns cry a lot. We already know breastfeeding may be challenging. We already know what a joy a newborn is. All of this makes me excited to do the newborn thing again, because not all of it is unknown territory. The person is new, but the concept isn’t. We can enjoy it more because it is familiar.
I’m so excited to see Henry as a doting older brother. I am excited to cuddle two people that I have grown in my womb, at once, on Earth. I am excited to find out who Tulip is, who they look like, and if they are a boy or a girl. Excited to see what birth will look like this time. Excited to see Josh become a father to someone else. Excited fill a room that we always had pegged as a nursery as we were technically pregnant when we moved in. Excited for my heart to double.
Our first baby we miscarried was due October 10th, 2020. Our second baby we lost was due December 6th, 2020. So when our due date rolls around for Tulip, even if I’m a swollen pork bun, you best believe I’m going to be thankful. We have had to wait awhile for Tulip. Not as long as many, but it was not straight forward this time for us, unexpectantly. There was lots of heartache, questions, patience, prayer and stillness in the lead up and there still are those things today. Tulip is our rainbow after a should-have-been rainbow. There isn’t even a name for that. Maybe we can call it a Tulip baby. So when people say things like, ‘you just wait/you don’t know what tired is yet/you are in for it/you won’t know what hit you’, it doesn’t wash well with me. I think these things are a bit of insensitive thing to say to any expectant mother let alone one who had had to wait for baby longer than nine months or who’ve had to say goodbye to babies. I know I do not know what two kids is like yet. I would have thought that would be obvious. I feel that these comments set up a new mother to feel anxious. It sets her up to feel like she is already not cut out for it. It squashes down hopefulness and brings bitterness into the conversation. It’s a projection. It doesn’t help prepare a new mother for the realities; it makes her feel small. Side bar but even if after reading this blog you’re still tempted to hit me with one of these one liners, use that energy instead to cook me a pasta bake and bring me those double coat Tim Tams. It will be much more appreciated.
It’s going to be chaotic. It’s going to be messy. It’s going to of course have elements of new and unfamiliarity. It’s going to cause a shift for everyone in our home. It’s going to be tiring and busy. It’s going to be an adjustment and at times, hard.
It’s also going to mark the moment I get to hold my new baby in my arms, finally, after loss times 2. Its going to be joyful. It’s going to be a good new. It’s going to signify a whole new season for our family. It’s going to bring another person to love into our family, and we get to call them ours.