Confessions of a Soon-To-Be Second-Time Mom

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second-time momMy husband and I had always agreed that we’d like to have two children. Our firstborn daughter was born in July, and I became pregnant for the second time in October. Sadly, I suffered a miscarriage in early November of that year. At that time, I was in my last year of school, so we waited for a little to try again. In July, on the very due date of the baby I lost, I became pregnant again after a missed fertility treatment. (How’s that for a sign?).

This baby is very much wanted, will be welcomed and loved, and, despite the missed treatment, really was planned. So, here’s my confession; until recently, I have felt like I’m cheating on my daughter when I think about Baby #2.

By this, I mean that I feel a twinge of guilt when I’ve talked to my bump, especially in front of my daughter. Sometimes when I think about the new baby, I feel disloyal. I find it ironic because part of the reason we wanted to have two kids is to help teach my daughter empathy, sharing, patience, and that her needs aren’t the only ones that need to be met. Besides, what kid doesn’t want a constant playmate? Alright, but you get the idea.

These feelings of guilt have led me to ask myself, am I subconsciously protecting myself in the event of another loss (which is unlikely at this point in the pregnancy but always a genuine possibility)? Perhaps. But I think the real cause is because my daughter has been the center of my world for three and a half years. I have a hard time imagining expanding that world to include someone else. Somehow, I feel as if I’m going to be replacing my daughter with a new baby.

Because I was a full-time student for the first three years of my daughter’s life, I have been able to care for her almost exclusively. When I was in class, my mother-in-law watched her, or we got a sitter, but the rest of the time was Mommy and Me (papers were completed before she woke up or after she was in bed at night).

Of course, my husband spent time with her as much as possible, but I was constantly with her. Even now that she’s in school, she’s only there for three hours a day, four days a week, and my husband works long hours. I prepare her meals, dress her, bathe her, read to her, take her shopping, ballet, swimming, to the library, and to the park. She is the Sun, and I am the Earth, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And even if I sometimes feel like all I do is “mother,” I don’t regret how this quality time has strengthened our bond. I know everything about her; her favorite colors, favorite princesses, what foods she likes and dislikes, and I can typically predict how she will react to almost any situation or stimulus.

My daughter has enriched my life in ways I did not imagine, making me wonder how we could be that lucky again. Can lightning strike twice? If one child has made us this happy, will two make us exponentially more so? Or will Baby #2 always come second? 

Of course, people have multiple children all the time, and (as far as I can tell) they love them equally. Heck, my paternal grandparents had eighteen children, and I’m sure they all felt loved.

My friends with more than one child tell me they felt the same way while waiting for the second (or third). They didn’t imagine their heart could get any fuller than it already was. They had trouble imagining (as I do) that they possessed enough love to spread any more around. But they did, and I know, deep down, that I do, too.

As we get nearer to my due date, the thought of having two kids instead of just one becomes more real. And I feel sure that once they put her in my arms, neither she nor my daughter will detract from one another, no one will replace anyone, and our family will feel complete.

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