I’m just going to come out and say it…
I am TERRIFIED of having a second child. I’m not nervous, I’m not confused – I’m scared. I guess I should rewind a little bit and tell you more about my motherhood experience thus far, in order for you to understand my hesitation about adding a second baby to our family.
I didn’t have the best pregnancy. It was physically and emotionally taxing. I hate saying that. I feel so selfish for not enjoying my pregnancy, because some women don’t even have that option, or privilege. But alas, it is my truth. I had terrible iron deficiency issues (I passed out ALL the time) and gained almost seventy pounds during my pregnancy. These are just minor things that make me pause when thinking about having another child, because I know I can and could get through that again (if those things were to happen). However, there’s something bigger and scarier that’s holding me back from adding to our little family.
Postpartum depression. It hit me like a ton of bricks -NO, it hit me like a freight train. The birth of my little girl was quick and painless. The world stopped for a moment when my midwife laid her on my chest. That moment quickly interrupted by the darkness of PPD. And before I continue, this was not your typical Baby Blues, this was full blown postpartum depression. Everyone talks about those beautiful first moments after giving birth. This magical bond that wraps oh so beautifully around mother and baby as they meet for the very first time and then pure euphoria. My beautiful and magical moment left just as quickly as it came. I was no longer crying because I was finally meeting the best thing that had ever happened to me, I was crying because I was incredibly confused. Instead of being overwhelmed with love, I was overwhelmed with anxiety and sadness. I can’t really put into words the amount of shame I felt and still feel that I did not feel that bond with my brand new beautiful baby girl. It’s supposed to be instinctual, and I just wasn’t getting it. I was so disconnected, as if I were on the outside looking in on my new life. I think for the remainder of my postpartum depression I spent trying to make up for that moment. Part of me thinks that some of the fear of having another baby is me still trying to make up for that lost moment between my daughter and I.
My husband begs for a second baby almost weekly. Our little girl was a big surprise, so the mere thought of sitting down and actually planning to procreate is just an odd feeling. What if I don’t have enough love to give? What if I don’t have the euphoric moment with our second baby? What if I do? Will I feel guilty for having such a beautiful moment with one child and not the other?
My career is finally starting to take off, our finances are finally at a good place, my marriage is strong, and it seems like I JUST started sleeping again! Wow, I really do sound selfish.
Although I have an endless list of reasons of why not to try for a second, a small part of me feels like there are even more reasons why having another baby would be perfect. Maybe one day I’ll come to the realization that our family doesn’t feel completely complete just quite yet. Maybe.