As excited as I am to be growing our family of three to a family of four, I’ve got to be honest…I’m also kind of freaked out. I’m trying to focus on the positive (I even wrote a post – 10 Things I’m Looking Forward To About Having Another Baby – to help me be more optimistic about it), but I’m not sure how much it’s helping. Maybe a little.
The thing is, it seems like I should feel more confident about this seeing as I’ve already done this whole newborn baby thing before…right? Nope. Still super nervous for a myriad of reasons. I thought maybe writing them out would be cathartic…or something like that. Here goes…
10 Reasons I’m Totally Freaked Out About Having Another Baby
1. I know what’s coming
When I had my daughter I spent a great deal of time preparing myself for childbirth, so by the time it rolled around I genuinely went into it without fear. I had no expectations, and was maybe a bit naive, but I believed that my body was strong and capable of delivering a baby. In the end I did end up with the all-natural water birth experience I had hoped for, but that doesn’t mean it was a walk in the park. Birth is hard work and super intense. And aside from birth itself, I know what’s coming in terms of postpartum recovery and caring for a newborn. Oh man.
2. Two words: Post. Partum.
I hate postpartum with the passion of a thousand fiery suns…like, seriously loathe. Swollen lady bits…raging, out-of-control hormones…the bleeding and massive pads…I could go on and on. If I never had to experience postpartum, I just might have a whole brood of children. It’s the worst.
3. Two more words: Sleep. Deprivation.
Now that I finally have a toddler who sleeps like a champ I get to start all over with a newborn. Sleep deprivation is rough (especially if it’s compounded by hormonal crazies like I get) and there’s really nothing you can do about it except wait it out. I’m definitely not looking forward to not sleeping again, but at least this time I have a point of reference and know that it doesn’t actually last forever…even though it sometimes feels like it.
Nursing was the biggest challenge about new motherhood for me. I struggled with my milk supply and for my daughter’s first three months of life, I cried and pumped and supplemented my way through every day and night. I’m pretty sure I spent at least 12 hours of every day dedicated to baby feeding and feeding-related tasks. In the end it turned out great, but it took at least five months before I actually got the hang of things. I fully intend to nurse this time around too, but I’m sort of dreading it. Hopefully knowing what I’m doing will help matters this time!
5. Learning how to meet the needs of two children
There are some days when just one child seems overwhelming, so the idea of meeting the (very different) needs of two individuals? Well, let’s just say I’m mildly terrified. I’m sure I’ll figure it out over time, but I have no illusions that it’s going to be easy.
6. No more breaks
I nursed my daughter until she was 17-months-old. I was sad for a bit when it was over, but then I realized the awesomeness of being able to send her to the grandparent’s houses for overnight sleepovers. Sleepovers, while possible with a nursing baby, are not very practical and are almost more work than they’re worth…not to mention the fact that babies are tiny and need their mamas more often than toddlers, so it’ll be awhile before I get a bit of freedom back.
7. Knowing how much work the weight loss really is
After having my daughter, I naively believed in the “breastfeeding will just melt the weight off!” myths. Yeah. Not so much for me. Weight loss has been a long, hard journey since having my daughter so I know what lies ahead. Thankfully this time I’ve been taking Barre3 classes before and during my pregnancy. I’ll continue to take them postpartum too and I’m really hoping that makes a difference in helping my body recover this time.
8. Schlepping around 8,000,000 things
The return to the days of the diaper bag is not something I am particularly stoked about. I’m hoping I will have learned from my over-packing ways from my first run, but the fact is babies just need more stuff. When I go out with my toddler all I have to bring are a couple of snacks and some sunscreen. With babies the list is far lengthier. My shoulder is already remembering the pain of lugging around that heavy diaper bag.
9. Baby puke
My daughter wasn’t a big puker, but when she did spit up? It was always on me and right before we were headed out the door for some event or another…typically when I had nothing else to wear. As such I was frequently late to a great many things during that stage of life.
10. Figuring out what to do with a tiny stranger
I’ve never been a tiny baby type of person. Once babies hit the 6 month mark, I tend to do a bit better, but I have a hard time in the early days. New babies are basically tiny, little strangers and just like anyone else you have to get to know them. It takes awhile to know what those cries mean and what their temperament and preferences are. Maybe I’ve developed motherly instincts that are a bit stronger to help me through with Baby #2 though.
Did any of you get freaked out before the arrival of your second child? Am I just worrying needlessly?
Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble.