I’m sitting here this morning, drinking my cup of half-caf coffee listening to my 16-month-old talk herself into a nap, completely and utterly terrified. Why you ask? Because yesterday I took eight pregnancy tests that all told me the same thing, I’m pregnant. Yep. Pregnant. Eight times I’ve been told this.
It’s not that I don’t want another baby or even that this was an accident; it’s just that now it’s a reality. Now I have to cope with the truth that it only took one month of trying to create this little poppyseed inside me, not several months like I had envisioned.
I’m terrified that I can’t love this baby as much as I love my first one—seriously. My heart is so full and occupied by my current child, how can there be space for more love and adoration? Will I make room by adoring my first child less? That doesn’t seem right, but how will it work?
I’m terrified that I can’t grow this baby as well. How will I possibly take as good care of myself and the baby as I did the first time? Now, my days are filled with eating the leftovers from my toddler’s meals, chasing her around, and desperately chugging caffeine to keep up. Before all I had to focus on was eating right and getting the right amount of exercise. Will I miss some key nutrients and this baby will end up with 10 limbs, a tail and hobbit ears?
I’m terrified that my toddler won’t understand when the new baby gets here. She will still be very little, how will she comprehend that there is another human for mommy to take care of? Will she feel less loved and cherished? Will she resent the new baby? Will she love me less?
I’m terrified that something will go wrong. I had a “perfect” baby the first time, no serious health or developmental issues. What if I screw this baby up? There are so many scary things that can happen to a baby! Will I do something to hurt this child? Will I miss the signs of an ear infection this time around and my baby will end up with partial hearing loss?
I’m terrified that my marriage will change under the strain of two babies. We are so in love and happy with our family, but another human completely changes the dynamic. Will it be too much for us? Will we focus too much on our children and forget about “us”? Will we be bickering and judging each other about how we parent two children? Or will we be in awe of the two lives we made and rejoice in the partnership?
I’m terrified that the sleep deprivation to come will break me. I barely made it through the infant months with my first child, how will I make it through this time? Now I’ll have two children wanting my love and attention when I just desperately want to close my eyes for 20 minutes. Will sleep deprivation make me so cranky nobody wants to be around me? How will I find the energy to play and snuggle and love like they deserve?
I’m terrified that I’m not a good enough mother to be in charge of two lives. There are so many ways to screw up, it’s paralyzing. What if I don’t appreciate my child’s drawing because I’m paying attention to the baby and she gives up on art? What if I don’t see her make a basket or throw a ball because I’m feeding the baby and she gives up on sports? What if I’m playing dolls with my toddler and the baby feels neglected and won’t form human attachments?
But I’m also terribly excited that it could all go perfectly and wonderfully right. What if none of the bad stuff happens and I am blessed with a strong marriage, two beautiful healthy well-adjusted children? What did I do to deserve that? How will I not float away on a cloud of love and pride?
I’m terribly excited that I will love my children so much I will turn into the mom that won’t shut up. What if they are so wonderful and joyful that I can’t stop talking about them? Will people be annoyed by me?
I guess what I’m trying to say is, be pregnant is scary, wonderful, and full of possibilities. It’s ok to be terrified and worried, but it’s also ok to imagine how perfect it can be and rejoice in that. So for now, I’m embracing the terrified and hoping everyday it gets a little less terrifying and more exciting.