Thursday, March 7, 2013

Second Time Around

We are closing in the final days before Baby GH arrives. And I am finally ready to say this out loud:

I am so scared of what is about to happen.

It is no secret that I struggled through the first months of motherhood. Matilda was a difficult baby. There were a lot of unknown factors from reflux to food allergies, and a mother who is probably a little too much perfectionist to accept no real answer as an acceptable answer. There was very little sleep for almost 5 months (until Munchie found her fingers...). And there were a lot of long lonely days.

And so as I am less than a month out from another maternity leave with a newborn I still have to meet, I am feeling less 'warm and gushy' and more 'nervous and realistic.' And I am completely comfortable admitting that.

The classic line that almost everyone has said to me at some point in the last 9 months is "this time around it is going to be SO much easier because you are going to be so much more relaxed." The reality about that statement is that it makes me feel worse. Because I don't FEEL more relaxed headed into delivery. So will we have the same problems?

And does that mean the issues and problems we had the first time around were because I wasn't relaxed? Was it really all my fault, and it all could have been avoided if I could have just taken a deep breath and rolled with it? The very intent behind why people say this to me, causes me to feel more anxiety about what is ahead. 

I don't deny that the 2nd time around will be easier in some regards. There are a lot of things that I just will already know how to do.  But every baby is different and maybe I am just wired to suck with newborns.  I am also scared for how this will affect Matilda, and the dynamics of our family. How will I be able to get down on the floor on her demand, so she can dance around me  if I am nursing the baby??

There is a lot in the coming months that I know I can't predict or control, but I learned a few important lessons the first time around that I will be keeping very close.

1) I hate being alone. I am an "E" on the Myers Briggs to almost the 100th percentile. I draw my energy from other people. Being home alone all day drains me. So I will be hunting for every opportunity to surround myself with people that can tolerate a potentially screaming child.
2) It is okay to ask for help. It took me too long to do this the first time, and in some instances I am still struggling to actually ask for help for the right things. I am going to try hard to swallow my pride, my worry about what it will look like, or my aversion to  my imposition on people who are OFFERING to help, and let them in.
3) I have the world's most supportive husband. Okay, so I guess I knew this before we had kids, but it has been reinforced time and time again.

And so armed with these lessons, a little bit of optimism, a whole BUNCH of realism, we get ready to embark on life as a family of 4.


Anonymous said...

Great Post Gert!!!! Tillie will do just great...she will be a big helper, just wait and see...And you will do just great....Can't wait Baby GH2 to arrive!!!


Schulz Family said...

I understand, and it'll be ok. I'm not one of those people who says that the second child is easier than the first. After having Grayson, I realized just how "easy" we had it when it was only Evie, and she wasn't an easy baby. I may have been more relaxed about some things the second time around, but taking care of a newborn and a toddler is not easy. It's not supposed to be. And that's ok. You'll all get through it. And it's a short phase in the bigger picture. Trying to focus on the positives and remember how soon it will be when the kids don't need me so much, and I'm wishing they did, has helped in the rough moments. That, and knowing that at some point the kid just has to fall asleep :)

Anonymous said...

You kids are gonna be just fine. Put your socks on, point the vessel to the second star to the right, pull the pin, drop the hammer with a full wilson and enjoy the ride knowing ahead of time there will be sleepless nights and days on end wrought with frustration and angst...and once you are on the down hill side you will look back on it all and remember all the good parts. Life is just googy that way.
Uncle Todd

Anonymous said...

...that would be "goofy"...not sure what googy is...maybe it is like a henway...
Uncle Todd