Tamara Reese wrote a piece recently about being pregnant with her second child, and thinking about how she could possibly make room in her life and heart for baby #2. Like Tamara, I’m also pregnant, and constantly thinking about these questions. But my main question is a little bit different: how could I possibly not have baby #2?
Maybe it’s because I’m at 36 weeks now, and have spent so much of that time really thinking about what a second baby means. I’ve been lucky to watch many of my mommy friends go through the process of adding a second baby to the family, and though I’ve seen first-hand how hard it is, I’ve also seen that it’s possible. Or maybe it’s the advanced nesting–we’re ready with our co-sleeper, six bags of hand-me-down clothing from friends, and even a massive amount of newborn diapers from a neighbor.
But I think that for me and my husband, it’s not just about parenting another child. We are so excited to give our daughter a sibling. Both of us are from very close families, and have wonderful relationships with our brothers (and sisters-in-law, too). We talk about our childhoods with extreme nostalgia; even the arguments and fights that we inevitably got into with those brothers have been glossed over as we remember those times that built our current positive relationships. There was an article some years back in Time Magazine about how siblings are really the people that you’re with your whole life–and how special and important those bonds are. I utterly agree.
As we’ve spent the past few months preparing ourselves, we’ve also been getting our daughter ready. We’re reading books about new babies and what they can and cannot do, we signed up for a sibling class at the hospital where I’m delivering, and we talk a lot about what will happen when the baby comes. Abigail is actually really excited to meet the baby. Of course I know that will change as soon as she sees how much of my attention the baby takes up–but I am confident that we will get through those bumps.
Why? The most beautiful advice I’ve received upon telling people that I was pregnant for the second time was from a friend and respected colleague. He said something like, “I thought that the greatest feeling I could ever experience was loving my daughter. I was wrong. The greatest feeling is seeing my daughters loving each other. Nothing compares.”
I know it will be a lot of hard work. Being a mom has been hard work already–and I know that parenting two just makes it harder. But I know that I can do it. And Tamara, I know you can too.