Week 18: All the feels
Over the weekend we met a 6-day-old baby girl who […]
Over the weekend we met a 6-day-old baby girl who we all fell in love with. She’s the first child of friends of ours and is perfect. Holding her for the first time made me melt. Then, I saw my 3-year-old daughter hold this newborn’s hand followed by my husband cooing at the baby, and I was doing everything I could to keep myself from bursting into tears. Talk about a walking cliché! You know what I’m talking about: the pregnant lady crying about everything whether it’s an empty ice cream carton or a Hallmark card. Yikes. My version includes (but is not limited to): diaper commercials, birth documentaries and chats with old friends. I’ve started crying at the drop of a hat. I mean, even weekly updates from the pregnancy app I use have gotten me weepy. What is going on with me? Oh, hello, pregnancy hormones. It’s so nice of you to arrive and stick around for the remainder of this trip.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it’ll be like with two children. Something I didn’t expect was to have bittersweet emotions about it all. On one hand, when I look at my daughter, my heart aches at the fact that she’s no longer a baby. She’s not even really a toddler anymore. She’s a kid. She’s growing and overcoming challenges in her 3-year-old life. Her brain is developing faster than I can keep up with, and she’s hilarious, sweet and so sharp it catches us off guard. At times, I want to keep her at this age (or even slightly younger), and our family would forever be preserved in this moment in time.
On the other hand, I’m watching our family grow! There is a tiny human inside of me that is changing every day. It’s amazing to really imagine that it once started out as small as a poppy seed and is now pretty much fully developed and fattening up. This baby will be the newest member of our gang and will have an awesome big sister who’s helping to pave the way for him or her. (Side story: Our daughter got her first taste of jealousy last weekend when we all met the newborn. She momentarily believed that she could only babble like a baby and even asked for a bottle to drink her milk out of! While hilarious yet slightly concerning, it was, perhaps, to be expected. Right?)
Then, of course, there’s the anticipation of watching my husband hold and care for his baby and see him grow as both a husband and a dad for the second time. He’s got an innate ability to be so wonderful already, and our daughter simply adores him. There’s a balance that all parents somehow figure out between love, discipline, fun and boundaries. Watching him, it’s hard not to believe that he’s mastered it. Meanwhile, I sometimes feel like I’m still learning. How will I be as a mother this time around? I don’t want to feel like I’m “lazier” because this is my second child. And I certainly don’t want this baby to feel like I’m not trying hard enough, either. Will I be gentler to myself if things don’t go as planned, or will I feel like I just earned a big fat F in being a mom? It’s so overwhelming to think about sometimes!
So how different will it actually be? Will it be a juggling circus act? Will we have time to come up for air? Will a family of four feel more like a party? Or will it feel like a zoo? To be honest, I hope it’s a combination of all of the above.