Pregnancy is a truly amazing experience. From beginning to end, I think all mothers marvel at the wonderful and sometimes inconceivable things that her body can do to form and nourish a human being. Now, being nearly 36 weeks pregnant with my second child, I’ve learned that the true mystery of pregnancy is becoming very apparent…how can 40 weeks go by so quickly leaving SO MUCH to do in the home stretch to prepare for the arrival of our little miracle? As I near the final days of my pregnancy, I am shocked with how differently my preparations, thoughts, and emotions for our second child are as compared to three years ago with the birth of our first baby.
When I was pregnant for our first child, a baby girl, I remember gleefully wandering through the aisle of Babies R’ Us, registering for everything we could have possibly needed to care for an infant (even though at that point I was rather clueless). Now, as my husband and I await the arrival of our second child, a baby boy, I feel like we are in a frantic race against time to get everything ready for his grand debut. While we have been through this once before and feel that we have every baby care item we could possible need, I am still not certain we are totally prepared.
As I sit alone in my future son’s soon-to-be nursery, folding onesies and burp cloths, I find myself contemplating things I never thought of when awaiting the arrival of our first baby. I know these thoughts are normal and probably true for all seasoned moms, but at times I find myself feeling guilty for the storm of different emotions I feel now. Of course, we will love our son just as much as we adore our daughter, but I cannot help but question how the arrival of our newest family member will impact my older child’s daily life. Also, how and when will we return to the “normalcy” that is our current daily life. Further, am I capable of raising two children when some days my limits are tested to extremes with just one toddler’s meltdowns and costume changes? And probably the biggest question, “Are we ready to do this again??”
Many of the questions I ask myself now really didn’t apply to our first child, and maybe I was just a bit naïve, but I never remember asking myself so many questions, which had no resolute answers. These are just some of the questions and emotions that fill my already overloaded pregnancy brain:
- Is my older child prepared for this huge change?
- How should my children meet for the first time?
- How will I answer the barrage of questions my daughter will ask?
- Have we done a good job preparing her for this life-changing event?
- Will she feel left out or neglected?
- Will this affect her behavior?
- How will I manage to care for two children, a household, and myself on the minimal sleep that comes with raising an infant?
- How will I manage to get out of the door on time in the morning (a feat that I can sometimes barely do with one child)?
While parenting books, mommy blogs and Google have helped to give me some peace of mind and reassurance, I know the answers to these questions will just come with time and patience. What I do know is that having experience as a mom, I now already have MANY of the answers I didn’t have with my first child. I’m sure that if the nursery isn’t perfect when our son arrives, life will go on. I know that my body is totally capable of birthing and nourishing new life. I already know that I am able to care for a newborn baby, so this time around I will likely cherish the exhausting days of infancy so much more instead of worrying if I’m “doing it right.”
I know that time passes WAY too quickly and that before I know it my babies won’t be babies any more. I know that we have raised our oldest child to accept change and adjust to new challenges. And, I know that many moms have multiple children and manage to get through the day with grace, determination and still maintain their sanity. While I am confident that our lives will be a little chaotic for a while, our “new normal” as a family of four will be just as wonderfully fulfilling as our time as a family of three has been.