Confessions of a First Time Mother: Two Babies, One Mother, Much Love, Many Meltdowns?

Confession time.

I've written and re-written this post so many times in the past two months, I don't even know where to begin anymore. Do I stay positive, or write what I'm really feeling? Do I pretend I am so overjoyed and excited for every second of every day, or do I admit that I'm terrified half the time? Am I allowed to be excited to be pregnant while DREADING the newborn stage, coming {way too} soon in January? So many thoughts in my head about what's happening to me, my body, my family. But there is one thought I can't get out of my mind: WHAT KIND OF CRAZY PERSON HAS TWO KIDS IN 18 MONTHS?!!!? There. I said it. I admitted it. I feel crazy. I know you all think I'm crazy, too. We're all in agreement that Tracie is cuckoo-crazy for having another baby before the first one is even TWO. Six months before she turns two, in fact.


This pregnancy is already so different emotionally than last time. I feel so connected to this little lump of life that's currently tumbling around in my belly. I'm so excited for another baby. I feel an intense, emotional love for this little one. I sit and daydream, wondering if we'll get another baby that looks exactly like E (the husband), if this one will look more like me, if she'll look anything like her sister, if we'll ever be able to agree on the perfect name by the time she gets here (doesn't look good so far). I love this baby already.



But those aren't the only thoughts I am having. Life, and especially motherhood, is not perfect. That's nice & sweet I love my baby alien-fetus... but how will I feel when he/she is screaming all night long, I have to get up multiple times to feed, and I'm exhausted and need sleep and can't stand another minute of a baby crying? Can I keep it together for another newborn? Can I admit that I absolutely, for the most part, hate the newborn stage? Add a toddler into the mix, and I have no clue how I will do it. Will it be different this time, or will I start to have anxiety breakdowns again every day?

I've had so many mini-meltdowns during my first year as a mom, that I considered re-naming my blog "Mini Mama Meltdowns". I even made a separate blog with this title. It might head that direction anyway, come January. I've been avoiding this post so I don't have to deal with it, but here it is:

Two kids. A newborn and a toddler, 18 months apart.

This is my future. And I am petrified.

Baby S, I already love you, but I am not ready for this. Rationally, logically, I know I can do this, but at the same time, I feel like I won't be able to handle it. At all.

Why is it so terrifying? I feel like I'm having PTSD flashbacks from last summer: Baby acting fussy all day. Baby waking up screaming after 15 minutes for every nap. Baby wanting to eat every 1.5-2 hours. Baby crying in the middle of the night. Anxiety over nursing anywhere but home. Baby sensing my anxiety and refusing to nurse anywhere but home. Never getting enough sleep to feel rested. Forgetting to eat. Forgetting to take care of myself. Cringing when baby cried, not wanting to nurse. Mini meltdowns every day, for every feeding. Mini meltdowns every night, for every feeding. Having to bounce a baby just right to put her to sleep, only to wake her up as soon as I set her down. Hating myself. Hating motherhood. Wondering why I ever wanted to get pregnant before age 35 40 45. Missing a good night's sleep. Missing my old life. Missing me. Crushing guilt because of all these feelings.

The answer to why my baby was so fussy and crying all day long? My anxiety. It was making Isla lose weight. My poor baby girl was starving and I had absolutely no idea. I was still nursing and pumping... how was this not enough? I finally started supplementing with formula and baby foods. The change in my baby's mood and sleeping patterns was miraculous. The change in myself was miraculous and rejuvenating. I felt like I had been living in this fog, and now I could see clearly- I loved me, I loved my baby, I loved being her mother. I could be a stay-at-home mom and not lose my mind. 

I know many people do it, all day, every day, in every part of the world. But the thought of taking care of a newborn while raising a toddler terrifies me. The thought of getting post-partum anxiety again or post-partum depression with another newborn scares me. The thought of trying to give love and attention to my Isla-girl while giving love and attention to a new baby scares me.

Thank goodness for my husband. He is amazing. I am so grateful that I have him. A light in the midst of these dark thoughts.

 


Any time I get down about this, E is there to lift me up. He is so encouraging and enthusiastic about my mothering skills and he has complete confidence in me that I can do it. Need to supplement with formula right away? Totally okay (and it's already the plan). Need a break in the middle of the night to sleep? He's already volunteered for the feedings. Need a break in the middle of the day? He's making a list of friends & family I can call. Post-partum anxiety or depression? Call the doctor, get help right away instead of waiting seven agonizing months.

I can do this. (I can do this??). Yes. I just need to ask for help this time when I need it.

On top of all these emotions, I REALLY AM looking forward to meeting this special little babe. Baby Bug, you are already loved. You are supposed to be here in January, to become a part of our family. Just please, please, PLEASE love sleep as much as your 11-hour-average sister does now. I can get two good sleepers in a row, right??

 

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Tags: anxiety, baby, depression, motherhood, post-partum, pregnancy, second

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