Our first child is a rainbow baby (a baby born after a loss) and is the absolute joy of our lives. She brings so much laughter and happiness into our lives it is contagious to anyone around her. I personally think I have the best daughter in the world (don’t we all?) and I am so excited for her to be a big sister. We are due with our second child, a little boy, in about a month. This whole pregnancy has gone so fast and it feels like just yesterday we were finding out we were pregnant. I remember when I first saw those two lines how nervous and excited I was. Some of my first thoughts were: “How would our daughter be with the baby?” “Am I going to be able to handle two kids?” “Will I lose more sleep?” Then I was suddenly 35 weeks pregnant thinking the same exact thoughts again. I thought I would have all pregnancy to prepare and gather my thoughts, but I guess when you are chasing a toddler around, time flies.
So here I am, 35 weeks pregnant and I am starting to really think about how different our life is going to be with 2 kids. If our daughter did not change our lives enough, this baby boy was going to definitely throw some learning curves into the mix. I think my biggest worry is not being able to love and give my daughter as much attention as I do now. How will I divide up that so she still feels all the love I have for her? I can cuddle her anytime I want, pick her up anytime I want, take her to the park whenever I want, and just be there for her anytime. Obviously, none of those things will stop, but will be about balancing between the two kids. Being a stay-at-home mom makes her very attached to me. When we go places she has to proclaim “this is MY mommy” to anyone that comes close to me. At home she is attached to my hip, so my worries of making sure she still gets the attention she needs are very strong.
I wanted to reach out to some of my Smart Bottoms Ambassador friends and ask them some questions to help not feel alone in these thoughts. Also, who does not love real life scenarios and feedback? Some of them have multiple children and I asked them what their worries were before baby #2 came, and if the worries changed after the child was born:
Jennifer stated that she just wanted a healthy pregnancy and baby. She did worry about balancing the needs of her already 2 year old daughter, husband and herself. After her new baby girl came she said that worry changed because her newborn daughter was healthy and thriving and her husband helps out a lot. She still struggles finding balance, but somehow it all works out.
Breanna, mother of 2 kids, responded with, “When I got pregnant with Tobias I was terrified something would go wrong and I would die during childbirth. Leaving Milla, Tobias, and Justin to live without me. I had realistic nightmares the entire pregnancy of something going terribly wrong.” She said those fears went away once she gave birth and Tobias was here safely. She also stated that, “I think the second time around I just knew what was at stake with childbirth. I knew how precious life was by then. The first time around I took it for granted and did not worry much.”
Cecilia just welcomed their third child, but she still had a response that is similar to my worry. She said that she was worried “whether or not I’d have enough love for both babies, and would Niles be able to share his mama. It was just me and Niles for 9 months while RJ was deployed.” Once her husband got home from deployment, they had to adjust to daddy being home and getting back into the routine of things. Then once the new baby was born they had to adjust to that as well. She said “once we brought Liam home and got settled in, Niles snapped right back to his normal self. We also found our own special things to keep the bond going.”
The last ambassador I asked with multiple children was Cindle. She has 3 children but I asked her the same question how she felt before baby #2 joined them. Her thoughts were, “When I became pregnant with Lindley I spent a lot of time worrying about not only being able to love her as much as Maddox but also being able to enjoy her without letting comparison control my joy. Even back then I knew he was smart and sensitive and mathematically minded. I worried I would have a kid that did not have those strengths and then I would always be comparing and somehow making one child feel less than. I think this comes from the dynamic my sister and I had being constantly compared to one another. Anyway, it went away as soon as she was born. So much so, that it really has not crossed my mind until now. And even though she could not be MORE different from him she is perfect and has her very own arsenal of amazing qualities that make her so special and wonderful in my eyes.”
Those ambassadors all have multiple kids and know what it is like to parent more than one child. One other ambassador, Grace, is in the same boat as me. She has a 2 year old daughter, with a baby boy due in July. I asked her what she was most worried about bringing baby #2 into the mix. “I am pretty sure Ruby will accept and love Ezra but you just never really know for sure. I hope there will not be any jealousy over nursing or who is sleeping near mommy. If she will even accept daddy having to do things that I would do normally.” She also said “I guess my biggest worry right now, is making sure I make enough time for focusing on myself. Like self care, hobbies, when to go back to work; even what the next step in my career is.” Her last response is so true. Finding time for yourself, even as simple as going to the grocery store alone, will help tremendously.
Scarlett is also having their second child, at the end of the year. I asked her the same question, what she was most worried about. Her response was, “I am afraid Coop is going to feel like I am replacing him. I am worried I did not give him enough time to be an only child. I am worried about beginning breastfeeding again(even though I love it) and I am worried about stressing with two babies and taking it out on my husband.” Her response definitely sat with me awhile and got me thinking more (oops). I have had all of those thoughts, especially the one on breastfeeding in particular.
The thoughts during this pregnancy are so different than they were with my daughter, and I know in the end we will find a way to make it work and everything will be ok. With my daughter, when I was pregnant with her I was most worried about sleep. Not so much “am I going to get enough sleep” but more a long the lines of just sleeping in general. I am a very light sleeper, so I honestly did not think I would sleep that much. Between worrying about the baby at night, and trying to fall back asleep after a feeding or diaper change, I did not think I would sleep, ever. This did not continue as a worry after she was born. It all went away and we fell into a very nice sleeping routine. We were also blessed with a spectacular sleeper who takes after her daddy. So that worry proved to not be anything in the long run!
There are so many thoughts and worries that us mothers deal with on a daily basis. Bringing more children into the family is always going to bring worry and stress, whether it is the 2nd child or the 10th. Hormones while pregnant do not help the matter at all, but in the end when that precious new baby is in the arms of their mother, all of that goes away for at least a minute. No matter what, mothers everywhere are amazing and we can adapt to all situations like professionals. In all the personal stories above, every single one worked out just fine. The stress and worries turned out better than they expected. I know this will be the case for Grace, Scarlett and I as well.Who is to say we still will not worry? Because we will. I believe it is in the job description of a mother! What about you? What were your thoughts before the second child came? Share them!