Our first pregnancy was fueled by the tick of my boisterous and unrelenting biological clock. I was ready for a baby, I NEEDED a baby. I remember the faint, inaudible chime of my husband’s internal clock sounded something like this, “Well if we wait for me to be ready, we’ll never have a baby,” and I took that as a ringing endorsement for fatherhood and ran with it.
When a few months of “practicing” didn’t result in two pink lines, I was on a lunar mission for two weeks of nonstop sexy time followed by two weeks of waiting (wondering, crying) until one day it finally happened. And while I spent most of my pregnancy being terrified of motherhood, the moment my son was born my heart overflowed with love for this tiny person, and it hasn’t stopped. I actually think the love I feel for my son, and my husband, has grown exponentially over the past two years. Each night I go to bed beamingly grateful and content.
I revel in each day I am home to watch my son grow and show him the world. When my husband mentioned another child not even a year in, I told him I wasn’t ready. I wanted to savor my firstborn. I still had so much more to learn about being a mother, about balance, about us. I wasn’t ready to share myself or change this perfect dynamic between my son and me. This time, it was my husband’s encouragement that fueled our decision to start trying again and I was scared and admittedly relieved each month that resulted in a negative test.
My first thought upon getting pregnant again wasn’t joy. I didn’t cry and jump around screaming with delight, but all I could think about was my son. I thought about how he only had 10 more months of my undivided attention. How he would have to share me with a screaming newborn and I would have to give less of myself to him. My son is sweet and naïve and I am his everything–yet one day I will go away big and round and come home with a tiny person that will change his life forever. More than anything I wondered, I still wonder, how my beaming, bursting heart will make room for another child.
There are days that toddler tantrums, laundry, play dates, failed dinner attempts, and my amateur rendition of discipline strategies leave me completely and totally exhausted. I sit down on the couch and eat a sleeve of Oreos with nothing left to give. And I think to myself, “How will I do this with TWO?” There just isn’t enough of me to go around. Everyone needs and deserves a piece of me. My loving husband requires reassurance, support, and a sliver of my undivided attention each day; my son needs my constant guidance and understanding; and don’t get me started on the attention that my kitchen needs. I don’t even know which parts of me are sacred and mine. I see myself as a wife, as a mother, and the rest is lost in the joy and struggle of the journey.
I am half-way through this pregnancy and it has flown by. My days and thoughts are filled with the child in my arms and less of the one in my womb. I confessed to my best friend that these feelings fueled in me a deep sense of guilt. She told me for the first child you are consumed with excitement and anticipation, like planning a huge party and just waiting for the guest of honor to arrive. With the second child, the love and wanting are still there but the excitement is different, it’s like, “Hey, the party has already started and we can’t wait for you to get here and join in the fun.”
On my wedding day I felt the most unimaginable love for my husband and remember thinking, “It can’t get any better than this.” And you know what? It did. My heart has grown and changed and loved in ways I’ve never known. And when our second guest of honor arrives at our party, already in progress, I will love again. There will be indescribable joy and there will be more of me to give. I know this because the moment we became a family of three, it became boring and insignificant to be just two. And soon, we’ll be four and my heart is ready for more.