"How does it feel to be expecting a second baby?" "Are you ready for it, mentally and physically?” " Do you have a plan?"
As my due date approaches, I get more questions about how I feel, have I prepared enough, is my plan good enough to get through this new phase of my life. The truth is, I have NO IDEA. While juggling a super-energized toddler, moving to a different state and trying to keeping up with my endless projects, I don’t think It even had the time to think about my feelings or get mentally ready soon enough I'll be a mother of TWO. I still don't fully realize how it happened the first time, how a little human could grow in my belly and now look at me with her dark eyes and cheeky smile and refuse to pick up her toys from the floor. It is mind-blowing, to say the least. The miracle of life, this is probably the most impressive of all miracles.
They say that all kids are different, so are pregnancies. When I was pregnant with Sasha I've had all the bad things - starting with swelling, heartburn, blocked nose (to the point that I couldn't breathe normally and was snoring like a drunkard), swollen feet that the only shoes that could fit me were my hiking boots which are 2 sizes bigger, and the great finale of getting preeclampsia and induced labor. Oh, I don't even want to remember my delivery and the horrible two nights postpartum that I still refer to as my "hospital nightmare". Everything that could have gone wrong did
But most difficult for me was to deal with my mental state. I was an emotional rollercoaster and didn't know how to handle those waves of anger, tears, jealousy and complete despair. After I had my first daughter, my entire world collapsed (I'm sure of it now, I had a PPD, just didn't want to name it). My whole life has basically changed and from a wild party girl, I turned into a full-time mom. Those first months reminded me of the beginning of a fairy tale when the princess gets locked in a castle with a little dragon that has to be fed, changed and rocked to sleep. The fairytale has a happy ending though, when you establish a new routine, get used to so many changes aka new "normal" and basically make peace with your new life
When we made a decision to have a second baby, unlike the first time I knew what I was signing up for and expected the same 40 weeks of misery. To my surprise, this pregnancy is so different. It went by so fast, I didn't have any previous symptoms and hope (spitting over my left shoulder) it is smooth sailing in the few remaining weeks. But most importantly, I have a different mindset.
So what are my thoughts before the second baby arrives?
It's terrifying to think I have to go through the "newborn" stage again. Oh, those sleepless nights and constant worry not to drop the baby (this is probably my #1 fear of all times), breastfeeding horrors and uncontrollable emotions... but this time I know that all the horrors of first weeks/months will pass and it will get so much easier later on. I'm pretty sure it will be terrible but something tells me I might cherish those moments more than I did with my firstborn because it's just a stage and will go away so quickly that I won't be able to think about it.
I worry that Sasha is jealous and not be accepting that she now has a baby sister and gets more attention. Poor thing doesn't know yet that the world that she knows is about to collapse and she won't be the only child anymore. She will have to learn to share - her toys, clothes, parents' attention. I've been reading a lot about how to prepare her for having a baby sister but I don't think anyone can know for sure what's really going on in her little mind and how she will react.
And I'm worried that I won't be there enough for her and that I'll have to pay more attention to the newborn especially in the early days. I worry that Sasha rejects her new sister and acts out, emotionally or physically, gets angry and pushes her newborn sister or something. Also, I know that it's all temporary and in a few years she will be happy to have a partner in crime. I have a sister myself and although we fought all the time when we were younger, she is my most precious person ever.
I have no idea how to manage a toddler and a newborn at the same time without help. Guess this is something I'll have to figure out as we go.
I'm scared I won't have time for myself anymore. My biggest struggle with becoming a mom was losing myself. After all these months, when things are normal again and I can enjoy "me time" when Sasha goes to bed at 6 pm, the thought of being "on-demand" 24/7 freaks me out. I've worked so hard to establish this routine and can't imagine it being another way. On the positive side, I'm sure adjustments can be made and another efficient routine could be established.
All my fears aside, I know that no matter how hard it will be in the beginning, it will all be worth it.