Earlier this summer I had someone ask me if I was nervous about having a second child.
Nervous? Hmmm. “No,” I replied (perhaps naively?). “I woudn’t say I’m nervous. Just mentally preparing for something I know will be hard at times.”
In my mind I compare going into labor with standing at the starting line of a marathon. Ideally, that runner has spent months gradually preparing her mind and body for the long journey ahead, gathering support, insight and resources, and dreaming about the huge indulgent meal she’s going to have at the end (OK so in this case “the end” of labor is obviously just another huge starting line, but you better believe I already know which cold cut deli sandwich I’m ordering).
Likewise, I’ve really learned that there’s a reason pregnancy is nine+ months long. It takes that amount of time not only to grow a physical baby, but to develop one’s mind, body and heart for what is to come (and in our case, to decide on a name…but that’s a whole other post).
When I first became pregnant with this second boy, it was such a stretch to try to wrap my head around how I – mother to one and only one very specific child – could possibly copy and paste this most intimate of relationships onto another unique human. How is this possible?? I asked for months. A lot of people told me it’s like your heart literally expands and multiplies with your threshold for loving and embracing each new child.
Skeptically, I believed them, but I was still waiting to feel it.
Thankfully, at almost 35 weeks pregnant, I really do feel it. I look at my older son and remember how little I knew about him in the womb, and how MUCH I know about him now, and I just know the same will be true of this new baby. As with my oldest, I will love and know and protect and obsess over him more than I ever thought possible. He will be distinctly, triumphantly mine, and I will think every single photo and story about him is The. Cutest. Thing. Ever.
Because he’ll be my child. He already is.
So could I find things to be nervous about? Sure, endlessly! Will labor and delivery go smoothly and safely? Will my older son want to “return” his baby brother (another thing many parents have warned of)? Will I suffer terrible heart wrenching guilt at not being able to devote enough of my time and energy to each of my two boys? Will I ever sleep again? Will I always feel like I’m falling short?
So I can choose to be nervous about all these things and a zillion more, but what if some of them aren’t as scary and daunting as I make them out to be in my head? What if I’m actually OK? Won’t all that worry have been for nothing?
There’s a passage in the Bible that says not to spend our time worrying about tomorrow, for today has enough trouble of its own. Can I get an amen?
Today, I’ll worry only about easing my pelvic floor pain with a warm bath, and crossing my fingers that the free crib we snagged from the Seattle Moms Facebook group, actually came with all the parts needed to assemble it.
That’s enough for today.
About the Author
Seattle native Beth Morris is a PEPS Newborn Group Leader, writer for this blog and her own (writeasrainblog.com) and stay-at-home mom to Anderson. She enjoys salty margaritas and can sing a mean Shania Twain karaoke cover (definitely in that order), and wishes life were more like the TV show Friday Night Lights.