Sitting on the red swing with my mom, looking out over her back yard covered in golden maple leaves and a few crisp brown oak leaves, I smiled. “I’m pregnant again.” She gasped and smiled, and we rocked back and forth talking and thinking about what the future held.
I already had a little boy who was just hitting the 9 month mark. These two babies would be just 17 months apart. I didn’t really know what to expect. I was finally starting to feel like myself again after the life-threatening delivery I endured for #1, and now I was about to go through it all again. Like my first pregnancy, things went well, and I only suffered from minor issues: gagging, claustrophobia and other little things. This time though my hips ached terribly, and sometimes I could barely get out of bed and walk. That made for some interesting days chasing around a very busy little boy who decided to walk at 9 months and progressed to running the next week. Oh, he was so busy…eventually running from one room to the next getting into anything he could reach. Even as a young toddler he needed a job, something to do.
As time progressed, so did I! And that made for even more challenging days. My baby belly didn’t stop me from rocking my baby, or from picking him up, or from doing numerous other things that some pregnancy journals tell women not to do–which would all be well and good if you didn’t have another baby to raise.
Not quite as glamorous as the previous picture, eh? But that’s life.
And so life went on. And I managed to take care of this busy little guy while getting ready for another one. This time it was going to be a girl, and I was relieved. I didn’t think I could handle another boy–this one was wearing me out! But he was growing up, too, and I was learning more and more what it meant and what it took to be a mom. And it was hard. And like I mentioned in my Mom to Be letter, I had many anxieties and insecurities about this whole motherhood thing. Being a perfectionist didn’t help. It takes some time to learn that you cannot and will never be the perfect mother. Nope. Not gonna happen.
Then one day something else happened. Baby #2 decided to make her grand entrance into the world. And unlike delivery #1, I was actually able to smile afterwards and mean it.
We brought home our little girl and adjusted to life with a newborn and a busy toddler who was only 17 months old. And although nothing prepared me for that experience, I managed to get by. But along the way, the regular baby blues I expected to experience turned into something very, very different.
Overwhelmed and stressed out, I sank into a place I had never before been.