From a young age, I knew that I wanted to be a mother. As I started to grow up, I knew I would not be complete until I had children, and I wanted lots of children! Then I got married, and had my son, and although I was still set on having multiple children, the number dramatically decreased. After the birth of my son, my husband and I spent time talking about when to attempt to have our second child. We are both educators, and our son was born on the second day of school – we were hoping to plan a little bit better (this is the first point where we went wrong…thinking we could plan it). We counted months, took into account the amount of time it MAY take to get pregnant again, and decided we were going to start trying. And then it happened. Quickly. We were pregnant. Cue the happy tears, jumping up and down, celebrations and excitement for the new endeavor. Then cue the extreme panic that set in.
I started to second guess our choice. I looked at my perfect son who was blissfully unaware that his perfect little world was about to explode. How could I possibly take away my attention from him and give it to a new child? Why would I want a second child when my first was so absolutely perfect? How was I going to navigate the dynamic of dividing attention equally when a newborn and an 18 month old require two completely different amounts? What in the world were we going to do with TWO children when some days we felt completely lost with just one?! My husband who apparently thought all of these potential questions out prior to agreeing to try for our second did not understand how I did not have these thoughts earlier. Of course I had them, but they were fleeting thoughts that I would handle as they came up, and suddenly they had come up.
We went through the motions of joyfully announcing to our family and friends, and my body instantly popped unlike it had for our first, and I still could not shake the feeling like I was going to ruin my son’s life, or our life by adding a child to the mix. I know that is crazy, I know that my love will be multiplied for each child we bring into our lives, and that my son’s life will be richer because of a sibling, but my rational brain was not in control. The hormonal, nervous, panic brain was in total control.
Today, 5 months pregnant and counting, I am beginning to get excited about the upcoming arrival of our little squish. I’m looking for the positives, enjoying the moments I have right now with my son while he is my only son, and dreaming of how awesome of a big brother he is going to be. I know the panic will come in waves, specifically at those moments when I am feeling most overwhelmed with just one, and the thought of adding another to the mix is particularly daunting, and that those moments will pass just as quickly as they arrived. I know once our new son arrives we will be adjust and make it work, just like every parent before us, but I can’t really be alone in my initial panic, can I?