Thursday, February 19, 2009

This time around

As you know, we didn’t try very long before getting pregnant with this child. Whereas with Reagan...it was years of praying, begging, waiting, disappointment, etc. This time was a big huge shock to the infertility system! In a good way...but nonetheless...a shock.

With Reagan I had some morning sickness early on. Nothing very bad. I only lost my “cookies” two times throughout the entire pregnancy. This pregnancy I was sick every night - usually losing my “cookies”, sometimes in the morning and afternoon as well. Peppermints helped only slightly. I had to switch prenatal vitamins because some were too strong and upset my stomach. Each night I would crawl from the supper table to the couch where I would lay down in misery for the remainder of the evening while poor Brian cleaned up supper and took care of Reagan.

When I was pregnant with Reagan, I made a careful point of doing kick counts every single day. I was extremely vigilant and made sure not to sleep on my back if I could help it. I did not eat the foods on the “don’t eat this when you’re pregnant” list. I rather enjoyed watching my stomach grow and actually felt almost cute in a waddly sort of way. I spent countless hours reading, thinking about names, decorating the nursery and researching products. I spent the entire 9 months (and it was a very full and complete 9 months) preparing for her arrival.

This one is different. Much much different. Which is not a huge surprise to me. I mean, it makes some sense that I’m not decorating a nursery again or researching baby swings or taking a breastfeeding class. We’ve done those things and there is no reason to do them again. But I will admit to you that I do feel pretty guilty that I have not actually purchased one single thing...except for a super big box of newborn swaddler diapers...for this baby. Not a pair of socks. Not a coming home outfit. Not a toy. Nothing.

I don’t have to take a prenatal class or learn labor techniques. As my doctor put it, “Well, you’re a pro now!” Though I think his definition of “pro” needs some work - because I’m fairly sure someone who went through 27 hours of labor (2 hours of pushing) ending with a c-section and a long hospital recovery is not so much a professional as she is a case-study in difficult deliveries. This time, we have a planned c-section where I will show up at the hospital, be prepped immediately for surgery and have a squawling infant without hours of sweating it out under close observation. Sign. Me. Up.

We don’t have names picked out. Although in the last couple of weeks we have actually talked about names. I have two I like, but Brian has yet to weigh in on them.

When I read, I read about how to help Reagan adjust to life with a newborn. Not so much about how to bathe the baby or how to soothe an infant.

I feel pretty uncertain about being a mommy of two. You may not have noticed, but I am a little head over heels for my little girl. She is pretty much the light of my life and I cannot hardly process thoughts of her feeling “set aside” - even for a short time. I’m basically obsessing about how I can spend as little time in the hospital as possible and come home so that she will be less affected by my absence. I stress over how I will care for her and a baby while dealing with a c-section recovery. I have shed many tears thinking about the times when she will feel less attended to or loved or treasured when she sees her sibling being held and cuddled and fed. I worry that she will feel less loved. Like she has been replaced. Which could not be further from the truth.

And then I worry that in my fear of hurting Reagan, I won’t focus enough on the new baby. I won’t feel the same level of attachment or affection for him or her...because he or she came second...because we didn’t try as hard for him or her...because I didn’t prepare nearly as much for him or her. I know I will love them. But will I love them enough??

I cry a lot more this time, too.

So really, in every imaginable way, having this baby is different than having Reagan. Being a mom has truly softened my heart in ways I didn’t know it would. It breaks my heart when Reagan gets hurt or has hurt feelings. So I’m feeling more this time around just because I’m feeling more as a mother.

And though having a baby is a wonderful, joyous thing...I’m still unsure. Unsure of all those things I just mentioned and more. I know it will be an adjustment. I know everyone says it will be just fine. I know millions of women have walked this road before me and I am not the first to feel this way. I know all those things. But I’m still unsure and afraid.

Don’t misunderstand me to say I’m not happy about this baby. I do very much look forward to meeting him or her. I am excited to have another little one around. I love this child already in the way that mothers love their unborn children. I know this is a precious gift and I’m not taking it for granted or trying to “complain” about a situation I know many others would love to be in. But I’m being honest in saying its all quite unsettling to me. Something you could pray about for me - for our whole family - in the months to come.


Anonymous said...

You have absolutely nothing to worry about. You will be fantastic. The very fact that you are worrying about those things proves what a great mother you are now and will be.

Melissa said...

C-Section Recovery Kits

Heal faster so that you can focus on what truly matters...baby!!!! Good luck to you :)

Anonymous said...

Thnigs will go good. Remember babies do sleep a lot so you can lavish love and attention on Reagan during those times. It is overwhelming to think about it now.

Stephanie said...

Jean, I love your honest emotions and your willingness to lay it all out there :) What's even better is that the Lord loves to hear your honest heart too. He already knows how you feel, but He loves to hear you say it because He's longing to step in a help you with every detail! Isn't it amazing how He can take our fears and calm them, how he can prep our bodies for carrying children, how he can enlarge your heart to love #2 just as much as you love #2, and how He loves us no matter how overwhelmed, inadequate, unprepared or unsettled we feel. Praying for you sweet friend, but I'm confident you're going to make it through life with 2 kiddos and a great husband just fine!!

Amber said...

Jean -

I still read your blog every now and again, and I love the "this time around" post. I feel like I could have written this myself!
Baby #2 is due in less than a month, and I'm feeling so conflicted this time around for all the reasons you,so beautifully, put into words! I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling this way!
So happy for you all to be expecting #2, as well. Stay healthy and enjoy the last trimester.