Thursday, September 29, 2011

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Confessions of a Pregnant Mother

Being pregnant again has made for an interesting experience. There has been so much to process and think about this time around. On top of having the same concerns I had with Cati (what if something is wrong? how will be adapt to life with a baby? etc), I have the new concerns of how will Cati react to having a new person around who will take attention away from her. The mommy guilt has been so bad and I feel selfish for wanting and having another child.

The other big thing I've struggled with is a huge disconnect with this pregnancy. It took me up until a few days ago to really feel connected to this baby and this pregnancy. With Cati I was excited and connected from the beginning. This time around, again, because I am so worried about Cati's reaction and adjustment to a new baby, I have felt distant and less emotionally connected. It's so weird to feel so emotionally detached from something that I can recognize on a rational level as an amazing and incredible blessing. It has been a relief to find out that I am not alone in these feelings, so thank you to those moms with multiple kids or those on their second pregnancies for sharing your experiences with me. It's hard to feel like a bad mom when others know exactly how you feel and give you the words to express how you feel.

And, just for fun, here are some other random thoughts and confessions I scribbled down during the first trimester:
  •  The thing I am most afraid of is the task of juggling it all. I sometimes have trouble juggling my life as it is with one child. How am I going to do that with two children?
  • I lie. The thing I am most afraid of is being in the same emotional state this time around that I was in after Cati was born. This is the main reason that I don't want anymore kids after this pregnancy: I'm afraid of myself and my emotions and I honestly think I can only handle feeling like that one more time. 
  • Cravings have been weird this time around. Not only I am a pizza and Dunkin Donuts everything bagel fiend, I've craved for things like a bed made out of pillows that smells like cotton candy.
  • A beautiful perk of being pregnant: Alex picking up the slack and doing more with Cati. It took me getting pregnant for it to feel like we were more or less equals in the evening parenting routine. Now on the nights when I'm not at school or Alex isn't on call, we switch off giving baths and putting Cati to sleep. It's glorious.
  • The not-happy-about-it-but-oh-so-welcomed morning sickness was a reminder that things were sticking the first time around. This time, morning sickness is truly a nuisance because I just can't keep up with Cati. I hate feeling too sick to play with Cati and I hate that she thinks of the toilet as a fun place to stick your head in and make "poof" noises. Proof:
  • Alex still has no common sense sometimes: I don't think I will ever forget the night when I threw up my entire dinner and then Alex proceeded to initiate a conversation about food. Really?
  • First time around I spent hours daydreaming about the baby, even when I was sick. This time around the only times I really think about the baby are when the morning sickness is at its worst or when I have a doctor's appointment.
  • There should be a way to donate your stomach during the first trimester so you can completely forego the stomach issues.
  • First time around I was so excited to be pregnant. Don't get me wrong, I AM excited to be pregnant, but Cati is my top priority and main brain buster that she takes center stage.  Even when I'm not feeling sick and Cati is down for the night, I still don't think about the baby because my brain is saying "please stop thinking so I can recharge for tomorrow!"
  • Which leads to the sad truth of this pregnancy being more about Cati than the little forming baby. My thoughts run more along the lines of how will Cati react to a new baby? Will she feel unloved? Displaced? Will she resent the baby? How is she going to handle my attention being split? Will she resent me? Even thinking about what the baby will look like is more like how will the baby be different from Cati?
  • My hair doesn't look or feel as glorious as it did last time. And honestly, I haven't been feeling any of the perks that come along with those lovely pregnancy hormones.
  • Comparisons between siblings start early. Everything with this pregnancy is being compared with the last. Morning sickness ended around 13 weeks then, will it be the same now? Will I start showing around the same time? Feel the baby around the same time?
  • My first look at the baby was not filled with my tears. Instead it was filled with Cati's as she screamed to be let out of her stroller. I was in awe but, again, my attention was so focused on keeping Cati calm that I didn't really get to enjoy the moment.
  • The firsts of this pregnancy won't be as exciting as the firsts of the last. Yes, it will be exciting because these are the firsts of a new baby, but (1) these are not new, un-experienced firsts and (2) it goes back to the whole comparison thing.
  • I'm not as anal this time around. With Cati I forced down my vitamins the first trimester. Once the doctor said I could skip the vitamins until I felt better this time around, I did. I didn't even think twice about it.
Now that I'm in my second trimester the defining features seem to be privacy and practicalness. Privacy because I feel like this pregnancy is something only truly meaningful for Alex, Cati and me and, as a result, I haven't shared as much about the pregnancy as I did with Cati's pregnancy. Practical because my focus has been more the needs and don't needs. An example of this is the sex of the baby. I want to find out more for practical reasons (do we need new clothes? can we get away with using all the girl stuff we have? etc...) than for the fun reasons of all the cute sister-sister or sister-brother combinations. I feel like the knowledge of the sex of the baby is something that will only directly effect us, so why share it with everyone else? Apparently, the baby agrees because s/he doesn't want to show the goods!

I really can't begin to explain how different things are this time around. There is joy, excitement, worry, anxiety, anticipation, and lots of love; all the same emotions felt the first time around but felt on a different level with a different dynamic this time around. And again, for the millionth time, a lot of how I feel has to do with Cati and not wanting her to ever feel robbed, betrayed, or left wanting more love. She is the beloved first child, our first blessing, and our introduction to pure, unconditional love. Our second child will be our beloved second child, our second blessing, and our confirmation that pure, unconditional love has no limitations.


Anonymous said...

Oh my.... I'min the SAME exact situation (2 months pregnnt and a little girl who just turned 2) and I feel EXACTLY the same way. And so guilty.... I feel like I'mthe worst mother on earth...

Desi said...

You are so very blessed!!! Congrats again, Steph!!!