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The Ups and Downs of a Second Pregnancy

Laura Hahn

 D meeting my friend's newborn and getting in some big brother practice!

D meeting my friend's newborn and getting in some big brother practice!

I always knew I wanted to have 3 kids, but after my first, I didn't even want to think about another child until my son was at least one year old. I wasn't taking any chances so I got on birth control ASAP, plus I really wanted time to have my body back to myself since I nursed for a year. When we decided we were ready to try for #2, we fortunately ended up getting pregnant right away. Getting that positive pregnancy test was definitely exhilarating, but it also opened up a lot of emotions that I wasn't expecting (beyond the expected hormonal onset of pregnancy). Here are just a few:

  • Sadness. I love my son so much, and there's something so special about your first child since he or she is what made you a mom. We have a special bond and relationship since I can give my undivided love and attention to him. When it started to sink in that he would have a sibling soon and it would no longer be just the two of us, I actually cried thinking about it when I was rocking with him before bed, just like I did every night when he was an infant. I know that having a sibling will enrich his life and their relationship will be special in a way that I will never be able to provide, but I can't help but mourn for the end of our exclusive time together.

  • Dread. This mostly refers to the newborn phase. I love babies, but I found that I am really enjoying age 2 right now with my son (I am terrified for age 3 though). I don't have to carry him everywhere, he can follow instructions and therefore help me out with little things, but mainly he sleeps through the night and I'm not nursing him. I'm already exhausted at the end of each day, so I'm not exactly stoked to sleep less, go through physical pain and a long healing process, and nurse around the clock--while still having to care for another child. Which brings me to...

  • Fear. I know a lot of moms with multiple children who say it was hardest for them to adjust from zero to one child, but I think because I have so many nieces and nephews, I knew ahead of time certain ways my life would change and I was prepared for that. But, since I'll be the one caring for the kids most of the day, with a second I'm now going to be outnumbered and that scares me! At this point I feel like I can keep it together most days with my son (read: we’re alive and can make it out of the house), but throwing a baby into the mix is definitely going to take some time to adjust. The good thing is that infants are stationary for awhile so at least I won't be chasing after two kids right away (moms of twins or more--I am not worthy). Another parent told me that at least you have two hands to handle two. Three is a different story I guess!

  • Excitement. Of course, it’s not all bad! I shared earlier that we are expecting a girl this time, and I am definitely excited to have a different experience with her. Though pointing out trucks has become second nature to me now, having a little mini me, someone to hopefully send to my women-only alma mater, and a daughter to do fun girls' stuff with is just the beginning; I’m super excited to experience a different kind of bond with my daughter than with my son. But even if I were having another boy, it's exciting to see how your second child's personality will differ from your first and what that relationship will be like.

  • Joyful anticipation. Honestly, it’s hard for me to fathom loving another child as much as my son, but there was a glimmer of hope when I had my first ultrasound for the new baby and my maternal love kicked into gear. I’ve also heard from numerous other parents that you don’t divide your love for your kids; it multiplies and grows. While it took me about a month or so to become head over heels in love with my son--I wasn’t one of those women who immediately fell in love with their baby--it’s amazing to think that my heart will be capable of encompassing that much love. Darian has also been demonstrating incredible big brother traits already, like kissing my belly and saying, “love you, baby sister!” that while I’m going to be giving up a lot of control over my body, time, and let’s face it, cleanliness, I can’t wait for baby girl to get here and be part of our family.

What were some of your experiences like anticipating your second pregnancy? Were there any similarities with your subsequent pregnancies?