I think I have been in a bit of denial about the impending birth of my second child. The first trimester was so long and so slow and I wanted it to go faster and now that I’m at the end, I am trying desperately to find more time. Despite the fact that I’m having another boy, things could not feel more different this time.
I’m less nervous about the birth than I was last time. That’s just a product of it no longer being an unknown. I know that it is going to hurt like hell and that epidurals are amazing. I know that the pain will be temporary and I am trying to not forget that the contractions don’t stop when the baby is born, because that made the second day kind of traumatically upsetting last time. I’m told it’s worse this time, but even that is short lived, I know.
I am much more nervous about breastfeeding, and then also less nervous about not breastfeeding. With Eli I was a disaster. He was born, they put him on my chest, he wiggled his way to my breast and then he did nothing. Did not root, did not suck, did not have any interest in any of that for anything other than a pillow. For two hours of bonding time we tried to convince him and he was not having it. The nurse tried to stimulate his rooting and sucking reflex and…nothing. He didn’t eat a thing for almost 24 hours.
I carry some guilt about this, because I was trying so hard to be relaxed and not one of those crazy new mothers that I didn’t ask for the help I needed. I just went with the, he’ll figure it out, and when he didn’t, I still tried to stay calm. I let lactation consultants discharge us when we weren’t anywhere near ready to be independent with feeding and then when it didn’t work out, I got so obsessed with succeeding on some level that I cried when I had to supplement with formula and I pumped 6-8 times a day for a year.
Let’s say that virtually none of that is going to happen this time around. I’m going to try to be relaxed, but I’m going to advocate for us. I’m not going to get caught up in the formula is evil for only my baby mindset and am going to feed my child however works best for us. I want breastfeeding to work, but not at the expense of my sanity. I lost so much time with Eli to pumping and crying and worrying and I will not do that this time.
While I was sure I was going to go early last time and was instead 6 days overdue, I still have a suspicion I won’t make it to my due date with this one. Partially it’s just a weird gut feeling, and partially it’s that I was already dilating and effacing at 26 weeks and have contracted all the live long day since then. If these contractions strengthen the uterus, mine is an absolute beast by now.
Eli was an excruciating 6 days overdue and I was awful. I was homicidal. I hated everyone and everything. I won’t do that this time. This time I will remember that Eli was only 6 pounds and 15 ounces after being overdue and it’s clear my body waited for a reason. If this baby doesn’t come early, I know it’ll be for a reason. I know my doctor will monitor me and make sure everything is safe and then I have to trust that my body knows what it’s doing.
And while all of that sounds like I have things mentally in control, that’s…not entirely true. I am terrified of the transition from 1 to 2. I feel like Eli is going to struggle and it makes me sad and scared. I’m worried I won’t be able to take care of them both alone, which I will have to do a lot of and, which is not a surprise, obviously, just a fear. I fear the sleepless nights followed by the toddler mornings. I can’t even talk about how scared I am to go back to work when this baby is only 14 weeks old (I know many people have it tougher, I just had a bit more time with Eli). For all the knowns this time, there are still so many unknowns left.
I have 5.5 weeks left until my due date and I know most of this stuff will play itself out one way or another, but I am both totally ready and not even a little bit ready. Life is crazy that way. I’m horribly uncomfortable and exhausted, but I’m also comfortable with life as I know it. And we all know that change is never a good thing. I guess unless it’s tiny and cute and a baby.