After a while of carefully guarding my choices of posts and words over here, I’ve started to become more adventurous again. It’s not because I somehow magically stopped caring about what people think, but because I feel like if something is tugging on my heart for that long and is that powerful, it’s worth putting it out there. The type of thing you can’t forget because it’s always on your mind and you want to post about it, know there’s the chance of potential flack (even when the virtual hugs drown out any negativity), so I’m just going to go ahead and say it:
I want another baby more than anything, but I fear it as much as I want it.
It seems to be one of the most commonly-asked questions when people find out you have a baby. “Oh you have a baby?! When are you having another one?”
What I say:
“Ohh, you know, maybe when she’s 3 or so.”
What I’m thinking:
“I want one right now but postpartum anxiety scares the f*ck out of me.”
When Liv was teeny tiny, I wasn’t sure what the rush was about. I’m relatively “young” (whatever that means?), I want to enjoy my amazing daughter for a while, and things are finally in a routine and we’re having so much fun as a little family. I started to feel little inklings of baby fever within the past couple of months and lately the urge has been strong. As much as we want it, we’re still going to stick with our original plan and wait a while.
I’m not scared of the pregnancy; I loved every second of being pregnant,
I’m not scared of the actual birth; the pain was INTENSE, but then it was over, and we got to finally meet our baby girl,
I’m not even scared of the dark sadness of sleepless nights and constant feedings and/or pumpings; I know what to expect.
The postpartum hormones? Another ballgame entirely.
Quite a few of my friends who also experienced postpartum anxiety told me that it was SO much better the second time around. The hormones weren’t as awful, they still had some anxious spells, but it was much more short-lived. Then, on the other hand, a couple of friends said that it was a thousand times worse the second time. The anxiety was magnified by the worry of giving the older child as much love and attention in addition to caring for the new baby. There was more guilt, more sadness, and even turned into full-on postpartum depression in addition to the anxiety.
We know we want more than one baby, but always planned to wait at least 2-3 years in between. I feel like I’m at the point where I’m ready, but am still waiting until I have a solid plan of what to do during my pregnancy and after the new baby is here to prevent what happened last time,
Some of the steps on the action plan:
Seeking out therapy as soon as we decided to start trying.
Knowing that it’s ok to ask for help when I need it.
I’ll do a better job of prioritizing work and tasks, so I don’t feel so overwhelmed and anxious.
I won’t be so apprehensive to introduce formula. If breastfeeding isn’t working, I’m not going to fight it. I’m glad I worked as hard as I did to get Liv breastmilk for the first 6 months, but I don’t want to put myself through that again in addition to caring for a newborn and a toddler.
So even though baby fever is definitely here, I’ll be waiting for quite a while, and enjoying the little lovebug we have, because she’s kind of the best thing ever.