I’m sorry that I’ve been quiet lately. Things have been, well, busy!
As many of you know, I wrote about our other surprise in the post It’s A…nother Surprise. I found out that I was pregnant with our second baby in August last year. And we were surprised that I was expecting again so soon! My daughter was just over a year and here we were, still in the throes of breastfeeding and carrying another little human. As with our first, we wanted to keep the gender a surprise that we got to see on the birth-day. It was so much fun not knowing the first time around.
This time, pregnancy was a little more challenging. Morning sickness, rather evening sickness like last time, I expected. All day sickness was next level stuff, especially with a toddler pottering around! I remember mornings of slouching on a couch shovelling Marie biscuits into my mouth trying to appease the “naar” feeling. Then there was the exhaustion of the first trimester – the first time was easy as it was during school holidays when I could just fall into bed as and when I needed to. This time, I recall (well, barely!) curling up in the sun on the floor of my daughter’s room to “doze” only to wake up not knowing where she was and to find her inspecting a (covered) plug point with her fingers!
Then I was phoned one evening and told I’d been exposed to a child who possibly had German measles – to which I had no immunity. Blood tests ensued the following day. Thankfully, she was clear. Two more German measles outbreaks happened in our community and I was told to avoid all children exposed to the disease. Try that for a month!
Oh, and did I mention the flu that I had once, possibly twice? Or the two bouts of 5 day gastro that plagued me twice in a month?? Needless to say, any time I heard that someone wasn’t well, I was tempted to run a mile!
I was also overwhelmed with guilt. Anyone else have that the second time around? I felt guilty for having my second while my first was still a baby herself and still being breastfed. I felt like I was rushing her into a new stage that she wasn’t ready for. And if it wasn’t guilt over her, it was guilt over the little life growing inside me who seldom got more than a cursory rub and the occasional, “Oh! It slipped my mind that you are there!” I didn’t feel the same bond to this baby and I spent the majority of the 9 months worrying instead of relishing in the flutterings inside my tummy.
And then, one thing I won’t say again to people is, “What’s the age gap? Wow, that’s close!” Guys, I’m already smothered in my own guilt! Don’t make it worse! Apart from which, it’s not said in a positive way, like it’s a good thing. There’s always a grimace or a disconcerting facial expression that accompanies those comments. And worse, do you know how many times people have said,
“You’re going to be busy!”
I…KNOW! Don’t you know how much those thoughts consumed my thinking. I don’t need a reminder. Someone once said,
“Why is it when you’re pregnant, people always say such negative things like, ‘Enjoy your sleep while you can!’, ‘If you think you’re tired now, just wait!”, “Oh, for days of freedom or a clean house!” or “I wish I could sleep in until 8! When you have kids, a sleep in is 6am if you’re lucky!”
And then, they often add,
“But I wouldn’t change it!” or “Kids are great!”
Sure feels like it after all that! I realised that we really don’t sell parenting at all! It is hard! But, for all the hardships and emotions we face, those little souls really do steal our hearts and bring us a priceless joy! It is worth every tear cried and every sleepless night!
As due date approached, I didn’t feel the same anticipation and excitement and felt guilty. How would my second child feel knowing that as the day of birth approached, I was scared of what it might bring. It’s hard to say those words for everyone to hear. But it was the honest, honest truth. I was scared. And maybe, just maybe, I’m not the only one who felt this way. And possibly, it needs to be said because maybe, just maybe, there are a few of us out there who were too scared to say, “I’m scared!” Not only of the change in our lives but the fact that my little girl’s life was about to be turned on it’s head. I was the nanny, the day mother, the person that cared for her every, single day. And now, I wasn’t only going to be giving most of my attention to a newborn but I wouldn’t even be able to hold her or pick her up. And the thought broke my heart! The upcoming days were scary because I like to be in control. Don’t we all? I worry and let anxiety get the better of me if I’m not. I spend my life trying to figure out how to regain control again to the detriment of those around me. Those around me are subjected to either my volatile anger that could shoot daggers in their direction with mere words or they have to watch me drag myself around the house slumped in self-pity. What a lovely person to be around! I felt like this fear had been building. And I felt quite alone because few people seem to have had a C-section experience similar to mine. I was scared for so many reasons. And, I felt like if I wasn’t going to have a caesar, my whole perception of having the precious child I was carrying would have changed quite substantially! I worried about how little I’d be able to do and help with. How was I going to be a mother when I needed to hold onto something to get out of bed and if I couldn’t even cuddle my firstborn on my lap because she’d lean on my cut?
The one thing I treasure from this pregnancy was feeling the baby move. That feeling never gets old and I missed it when I gave birth to my firstborn. But, this time, although I tried to stop and enjoy it whenever feet dug into my ribs, I felt a sense of sadness that I was so preoccupied and this could be the last time I have the joy of the feeling of a little life living and growing inside me.
So, (and it’s so hard to say this out loud because it means that I’m actually owning up to feeling this way!) this pregnancy has not been easy. But…stay tuned for the day our other surprise entered the world!
Tags: children, fear, feelings, guilt, mom, mommyhood, mother, motherhood, parenthood, pregnancy, pregnant, scared, second child, siblings