Thursday, February 16, 2012

My dark confession

At the risk of this blog totally contradicting my tagline and becoming ALL mommyblog, I have another post about babies.  I am 2 weeks away from my due date, so you all will indulge me, right?

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I’ve known I wanted a baby as soon as I wasn’t one myself.  It’s never been a question in my mind. I’ve never wavered.  A childhood friend just reminded me that when all my girlfriends were taping pictures of Ricky Shroeder and other Tigerbeat hearthrobs to their notebooks, I taped a picture of the Gerber baby.  You see what I’m getting at here?

When I was pregnant with Caleb I would do nauseating things like lay out a little newborn outfit in his crib and beg Colin to come imageine how cute our baby was going to be.  I had waited a long time for my first baby and I was over the moon about it.

See?  Look closely in the co-sleeper.  One of many practice ensembles for my coming little angel.
But I have a huge dark confession to make and I’m begging no one judges me for it. 

This time around the overriding emotion I’m feeling is terror.  There’s very little joy.  I know full well what the sleep deprivation will do to my emotional state, my patience and my marriage.  I know the searing pain of sore nipples.  I know how taxing the recovery process will be, how isolated I'll be when my husband leaves for work.  I know my relationship with Caleb will never be the same, and I worry I'll never be able to love another soul with the intensity I love Caleb.  And all I can think about this that stuff.  I half-joke that I already resent the little guy. 

Discussing these fears over a dinner with friends, Colin and I jokingly declared, “newborns suck!”  This was met with uncomfortable silence.

And of course we wanted another baby.  Never thought twice about it.  Only one child didn’t feel like full family to Colin or I, and as much as our siblings mean to us we didn’t want to deny Caleb that relationship. 

But now mainly what I feel is terrified. 

I’m told this is normal, and I’m sure it is.  I also know that women successfully have more than one child all. the. time!  Some have even told me it’s easier the second time around.  (Others annoyingly tell me that it’s “more than twice the work of one.”)

All I hope for now is that as soon as that little baby is placed in my arms, all of the terror melts away and all the difficulty I know is coming becomes secondary to my love for him.  And I find the girl taping pictures of Gerber babies in her school notebook because she can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t.

14 comments:

  1. Of course you are terrified, You know now what you are in for ...

    I won't judge you and I'm sure no one else will either.

    I love you

    Glen

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  2. I think it is all very normal, and being away from family makes it harder. The fear doesn't melt away upon birth, you only realize how hard it is and will be. But for this reason it is good that both grandfathers will be there to help until you get on your feet, and trust me, we moms figure things out. You're strong, resilient and resourceful, you'll do just fine.

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    1. Thanks Liene. And you're right having both grandpas here will be a huge help. And people are already coming out of hte woodwork to offer a hand. I plan to take full advantage of it!!

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  3. Dear Kim,

    Suprisingly enough I am one of your kind. The only difference is that I have not started having babies yet. Although I do have names for my little girls. I find it hard to get boy names, but it will come to me.

    For all I know with children, a mother's love will always remain the same. The moment you look into his eyes, you will see all there is to see, and feel all that mother feels. With only a few days remaining, it is better if you start falling inlove with your little chap, before he arrives, and give no room for terror in your mind. It is okay to feel frightened. But the small guy is just a blessing as much as Caleb is. Your love for the two will still be the same, and hopefully caleb will bond with his brother soon enough. He is a caring kid and very sweet.

    Lets see how it goes, but do not freak out yet. You are justified to feel this way, but think of nothing except love...love...love...n more love..

    Myself, I am thinking of four..and I want that intense experience of a real family...the laughter..the joy...sadness...fighting...but most important of all, love and unity in whaterver case scenario..I bet that is the joy of living....

    Keep blogging. I like your writting. I will send you a link to mine soon enough when I upload my work on it.

    Have a good one..

    J.

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    1. THanks so much for your beautiful words. Deep in my heart I do know that once we meet the little guy I will be overwhelmed with love, just like I was with Caleb - even if it doesn't happen right away. Look forward to reading your blog!

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  4. Kim-
    before I had Zoe I truly did not think I could love someone as much as saffron. I couldnt imagine a child as perfect either. Everyone told me that I will but I was worried how that could be. Saffron was perfect. I obsessed about it.
    Then Zoe was born. And Zoe was unique and different even as a newborn from saffron. And she was perfect.
    I also stressed a about the logistics of having a second child. And the day I brought Zoe home from the hospital, ben had a migraine and was in bed. I was downstairs with a crying infant, saffron who was crying
    bc she wanted me to hold her, and I was crying wondering if this was a mistake. But that moment passed as all those stressful moments do (sleepless nights, cracked nipples, double cryIng kids). They are tripled by those heavenly moments (watching Caleb hold and kiss his younger brother, feeling jellybeans heartbeat on your chest when he's napping on you, hearing them giggle together when they r older). Hang in there. Breathe. - Alyssa

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    1. Oh Lyss - thank you so much for this. It really did make me feel better! I definitely anticipate moments like you had, where dad is indisposed and both kids desparately want my attention. I'll cry, think of all the other moms going through the same thing and move on! I'll be thinking of you! ; )

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  5. oh boy oh boy oh boy I can relate!

    First of all, do you know about raw cabbage leaves stuffed in your bra to alleviate nipple pain (since today we're full-time mommy bloggers)? I know you can get it there and it also feels better if you put it in the fridge first. It works like nothing else (of course Lansinoh is pretty indispensable). But since you're surrounded by all that testosterone, make sure they don't go out and buy cauliflower instead of cabbage like my husband almost did.

    Second of all, I had a revelation. When you have a baby you love them because they are yours and because they are fragile and depend on you and ... mostly because they're yours. But as they grow, you also start to love them for their personality which you learn about more and more as they grow. When you have a second baby, you can only love them with the first kind of love for the time being so it can feel like you love the older child more. But the second baby's personality develops very quickly and it evens out very fast.

    At least that's my experience.

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    1. Oh that is SUCH a good insight Jennie! It's true the love I have from my toddler is because of his hilarious personality, how sensitive and goofy he is. What needy newborn can compete with that? But, you're right, when they are so new and so dependent on you there's something special about that too.

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  6. Of course I felt all these feelings before I had my second!
    One thing that I had forgotten about newborns, which was AWESOME, is that they sleep nearly all day for the first few months...remember? So I had all this time to lay on the couch "playing" with my son while my new daughter slept. It was actually quite beautiful and relaxing for us both!
    The worst thing, I found, was when they both woke up from naps or in the morning at the same time. Rufus was still in a cot at that point (having just turned 2); and Zadie was obviously in a Moses basket or her own cot. I'd hear them both crying from different rooms and never knew who to attend to first. Always felt like I was rushing both of them and not giving either of them the right attention.
    Two kids though, it's a beautiful thing. As someone said above, the joy of watching your little offspring interacting - indescribable. GOOD LUCK MAMA! xx

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    1. Thanks Jade! Someone once gave me the advice to always go to your toddler first when they are both crying. I"m forgetting why (and not sure if I'd do it). I think it was because the toddler is feeling more vulnerable and the newborn won't remember it. I'm sure I'll be doing a lot of playing it by ear. ANd good point about all the sleeping they do! My sister's 2 month old slept 13 HOURS the other night. I can hardly imagine it!

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  7. Kim, you've got to find some house help if you don't already have someone. You will be tired. You will be stressed. It will all pass, but you need to allow yourself some breaks, too. Vicky went through a really aggravating phase just a week ago (she seems better now), but if I hadn't called in The Reserves (house cleaners and baby sitters) I would have gone absolutely mental. Oh, wait, I'm already absolutely mental. Well, I would have walked out if Matt weren't here and I didn't have the extra help when he was at work. And this is coming from a supposedly stay-at-home-mom whose kid is in almost full-time daycare. The 3 hours a day I spent with a rotten toddler was enough to make me want to leave my family. If you don't have house help, you must have friends/co-workers/neighbors who have teenaged daughters who could be Mother's Helpers when they're out of school. Even a mature 12-year-old knows how to play with a toddler, hold a crying baby, wash dishes, and tidy a house. Your stress will be greatly reduced if Caleb has an older friend to come play with him each day. I love you, and I know you'll get through it. Caleb is old enough to understand a lot, and he may totally surprise you by how helpful he wants to be.

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  8. I felt this same thing when I was pregnant with my 2nd, and even 3rd, babies. I think it's natural. But just know that you will be able to do it. It will be an adjustment, but you'll get through. And then? You won't remember what it was like before the little one was here.

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