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Fear, etc.

I dreamed last night that I had the baby, or at least that there was a charming newborn lying next to me in a hospital bed and I was trying to nurse the thing without accidentally snapping his little neck. But then it turned out my precious newborn son was some sort of bitter Vegas casino lizard and ultimately ended with him eating grapes (to my horror - choking hazard!) and berating me.

I'm a little apprehensive about this new kid. I remember feeling the same way with Mia, the whole "how am I going to manage this, what ever made me think this was a good idea?" thing, but I assumed I would skip all of that this time now that I'm already committed to the mothering thing. It is just that things are, mostly, so easy with Mia lately. She mostly sleeps, she sort of eats, she has enough language that she more often than not tells me what the hell her problem is rather than just screaming about it. She can sit and entertain herself for a few minutes while I brush my teeth or get dressed. She likes to help clean the kitchen. She can be easily bribed with candy. We have our little routines and our little outings and our little ways of doing things, and I am about to throw an infant into the mix and screw all of that up.

Chris and I worry a lot about the impact a new brother will have on Mia. Ultimately, of course, I think it will be a very good thing for her, but in the short-term I worry that it will be a hard transition, that she will not get enough attention, enough time, that she will somehow feel that we love her less. And that could never happen. In fact, I share the concern of seemingly all second-time moms that I am not sure I can ever love another child as much as I love Mia. And I know that you do, that the amount of love in the world is not finite, that your heart expands to hold all of your children, but god, you know? It's like Mia is my very bones right now, and I don't know how that happens.

And oh there is more, there is always more, but I think that is enough Thursday morning random anxiety to dump on the internet. The real problem with being pregnant is that you can't even down a bottle of wine to chill yourself out.

Comments (43)

There's nothing I can say to make you feel less stressed, as I think you have a perfectly valid reason to be worried right now! But have you read "Siblings without Rivalry?" It was a great book (a little fruity at times, but still great) and really helped me look at her cousin and a potential future sibling someday in a more positive way. It also helps reassure you that you can love one more, differently, whatever, and still have everyone get all the love they need. Plus it helped me with viewing the cousins as unique instead of comparing them. I think it might be a nice read for you. :)

One of the big reasons I love your blog:

You've just described my internal monologue for the past 12 weeks. Every mom with more than one child tells me it's normal and will go away the minute the baby is born, but for now... damn... it's scary.

I don't have first hand experience with this, but I suspect you guys will be fine. One of the side-effects of a new baby in the family is a closer connection between the older sibling and the father (who doesn't have nursing duty and post-partum recovery to deal with). So maybe instead of worrying about it, consider looking forward to Mia and Chris getting closer.

Just a thought.

As a faithful reader, I am willing to step up and have some wine for you. I know, I know, it's a big sacrifice, but that's just the sort of person I am.

I suppose I'll at least wait until lunchtime though. Even those of us with my generosity of spirit (bad pun!) have to work.

This is exactly why, and pretty much the only reason why, I am terrified to get pregnant again. My husband? He worries about things like FINANCES and TIME. I worry about LOVE. Because I love Miss R so so so so much. And I don't want that to change at all.

I've had one year to experience the 2nd child's entry into our world and it's both all the expected stuff (the good) and the unexpected stuff (both good and bad). You will love Mia as much, if not more and definitely in different ways than before. That part is awesome. You'll be amazed at how she reacts to the new baby and how that reaction changes and matures and how their relationship blossoms. You will love your boy completely differently than Mia. Just as much, but as differently as your love for Chris is from your love for Mia is just how different the little boy's love will be. That's the hardest part, for me. Having my heart, outside my body, and strung between 3 men (hubby and 2 boys) is so bizarre and wonderful and tough. Tough, you'll handle just like you did when Mia entered your world. Try not to worry about the tough.

I wish so much I could say it's all and only sunshine and roses, but I can say that the sun shines from one more source and the roses are so vibrant they take your breath away.

We worried about that when my wife was due. It turned out to be a total unexpected surprise. The oldest we thought would be all about the baby and her brother would not want to give up his baby spot. Turns out brother and my daughter are the best play buddies and my step daughter is more of a mommy to her.

It works out.

At 2.5 it will be about a baby!

~Jef

Gosh, I can't think of anything more than what has already been said. I can't think of any magic words that will alleviate your fears, because I remember feeling the same way. All I can say is that it just somehow works out. One day, probably not all that long from now, you'll be sitting there and just for a moment you'll remember these feelings and wonder why you ever even had these concerns. It just sort of all falls into place while you aren't paying attention and you'll stop for a moment and also realize that you cannot imagine your life without either of your children.... that this? This is how it's supposed to be.

First of all, my husband uttered those exact words about "will I be able to love the second as much as I love the first" to his mom when I was pg with my second. She was nice enough not to laugh at him at the time but now (after #3), they laugh about it together. There will be a short adjustment but you will be surprised how quickly he feels like he was always there.

Secondly, I want to commiserate. I felt this way with every baby I had. I remember the exact spot in the world I was standing when the panic hit me "what have I done" with #2. With #3, I actually let the words leave my mouth, after he was born, to my husband (and this is a huge regret of mine), "I think we made a big mistake having a third". Ouch. Granted it was during the first hormonal 36 hours postpartum and God knows that boy is loved every bit as much as his siblings (maybe more, he can't backtalk yet ;-) but the feelings were real at the time. Real and scary. And real scary.

So I just wanted to let you know, as I know others will too, that everything will Be Alright. It won't be until it is but it will be. Make sense?

Even fifth time mothers have those feelings. And I miss the wine too. Although I feel I need it to chill after the stress of being too mean to the 4 kids on the outside. I hope this one doesn't think life is all griping and complaining.

I have been rehearsing all this for the better part of two years which is one of a numerous reasons we waited to get pregnant with the 2nd. Once I (we) mostly worked through those feelings, we decided to get pregnant.

Now that I am pregnant, I still have these concerns to varying degrees I think they are less so than I would have had had I decided to get pregnant before processing through it all (it takes me A LONG old time to make a decision about anything...) Ultimately, I just know that it will be okay, that we all will handle it and I am sure there will be moments but nothing we all cannot handle and of course the love is there or else you would not be worried about it!

I, too, will down a bottle of wine for you. I really like to do favors like that for people. You just name the type.

Oh yah, had those same feelings just before Squeaker came around. Everything was so hunky dorey, why the heck did i go and screw everything up with having second kid!?? as it turns out, I could not have found anything better for Little Man. They are so adorable together. Yah, that initial transition was difficult, but those kids are so darn resilient. The house feels empty when one of the boys is not home. The other doesn't know what to do with themselves... can't. play. need. brother.

I am sure Mia will have her days of needing mommy more, and I pray for you that those days don't be the same days that Mia's brother needs you more, too... but even if they are the same, the love is there and you will manage. and, you can always complain to the internet if it gets rough! :) It sure doesn't beat a glass of wine, but it is pretty darn close!

As you expect - it will be full of ups and downs - initially. Then as mentioned above - they will become playmates. My youngest acutally cries when the oldest leaves to go with his friends...

Ice cream could be substituted for wine! If I had an address I could mail you cookies!

Well, my friend has newborn twins and a 2 and a half year old. She was in the hospital for a month prior and the kid is no worse for wear. They also moved the week after the twins were born (did I mention that my friend is a sadist ?) and we all suspected, the parents included, that the kid would be a mess. Nope. Loves the babies, loves the new house. It is normal if Mia becomes jealous, but that's something to learn in life. She is going to LOVE the baby, she has already demonstrated her love for other babies, right ? All will be well.

I've been feeling all of those exact same things lately. I know deep down that it will all be just fine but it sure it hard to believe that right now.

From what ive read here and at rudecactus i think both your kids will be just fine and dandy xxx

Well, like others have already said, this entry reads like everything I thought during my second pregnancy, too.

No one could convince me that it would be OK, but it is. It's much better than OK, most days. It will be for you, too, but it's all right if you don't believe me right now.

During my pregnancy with Raisin, I concluded that the last trimester is awful because it helps the mother overcome her fear of delivery. Maybe this second-pregnancy fear has a similar purpose -- a sort of prepare-for-the-worst-hope-for-the-best kind of thing?

Oh! And I also dreamed once that Apple had crawled out through my skin, like a C-section without a knife, about 8 weeks early. In my dream he looked like my brother. He smiled at me and crawled back in. Freaked me right out.

About 3 weeks later, he was born. He didn't look like my brother then -- too small. But he does now.

Remember when it was just you and Chris and you couldn't imagine having a third person in your relationship? And then Mia was born and you couldn't imagine only being two instead of three? It's like that, version 2.0.

My mum has four, and she loves us all! I'm sure you can manage two ;-) Seriously though it sounds like a very really sort of anxiety, and since I have nothing useful to contribute, well...*hug*.

Yes, it's normal, but that doesn't make it any easier. Things will change, and they may be difficult sometimes. But, there are difficult days anyway, you know?

I remember going into #1's room the night I was in labor leaving for the hospital with #2. #1 was still so little (15 months), and I just cried to leave my baby. Take a picture of Mia before you go, because once you see her after the baby is born, she will look like she's grown a million times since you saw her last. She will look every bit the big sister. :)

All this is natural, and if you think about it, you're nearing the end of that special time that is just you and Mia. Everything will work out just fine with the new baby, as it generally does, but nothing will ever replace that time between a mom and a firstborn child.

It's ok though, because as you said there's enough room and love for all children. But I think I'd be a little sad, too, in your place.

I could have written this post (except without that dream.) I am at 20 weeks and freak out all the time about WHAT WAS I THINKING? sweethomealagirl hits another big thing on the head too, saying bye to number one as I leave for the hospital. He'll have no clue how much his world is about to change and it's ALL MY FAULT. I keep telling myself that everyone thinks this way, but it's not helping.

You'll soon see that you don't have to divide your time between two because it will multiply 10 fold in your heart. You will be just fine =)

You'll soon see that you don't have to divide your time between two because it will multiply 10 fold in your heart. You'll do just fine =)

Oh, you have such a way with words. Easton is only 7 1/2 weeks old and already I am thinking this about when we have baby number 2. This is at LEAST 2 years away but I am stressing out slightly now just to make sure I'm good and stressed when the time comes. :)
And I totally agree about the wine. I'm still nursing E so I'm in the same boat. Breastfeeding does offer the ability to "pump and dump" as the saying goes but I'm paranoid and don't want to take a chance E will get sick so I'm still drinking O'Douls.

I think you have already heard this several times, but yes, the feelings are normal, and yes, they will pass. I say this as the father of four. Mia won't be displaced as your very bones, she will just have company there.

And ask your OB about the wine, a bottle is right out, but I would bet that they say a glass is fine. Ours even prescribed it with our third to ease preterm contractions.

Every day I look at my little guy and wonder how on earth I could ever love something as much! I am head over heels in love with him! But I can't wait for the chance to try :)
I'm sure the transition will be a little trying but it will all work out great for the four of you:) Hang in there!

You'll be stunned to discover just how much you're going to love this little baby boy. I didn't think I could love another kid either, but I was just like the Grinch whose heart grew several sizes larger than it had previously been. Trust me. You'll do just great.

I hear ya. I felt exactly the same way before I had my second - I knew it would be OK, but I also *knew* that I loved my son and OMG what the hell was I doing?!

I think my biggest piece of assvice is to get Mia involved in it all. Or to get her to *feel* like she's involved, anyway. Make a fuss about her being the big sister, and isn't it cool that she can help you with the baby, and look, the baby's learning to do *this* but he doesn't know how to do *that* yet.

I know you're doing that already with the pregnancy, and I'm sure you have plans to do it with the baby, too, so I apologise for teaching you to suck eggs. ::g:: Hope the reinforcement might make you feel a little more positive.

At the risk of being simplistic, it just works.

It does.

Mia will love and hate and then love her little brother.

You will love that little boy as much as Mia, but differently. Can't explain it, but you'll get it.


And, remember, there are still only two of them and two of you. It's a fair fight. ;)

The best thing that I did was to take all of my c-section recovery days rather than leave early like I did with the first child. That extra day or two allowed me time to "bond" with the new baby without having to be a caregiver to both children 'cause once you get home ... forget it.

It's hard with two but it's so worth it to watch them together. Even though they've only known each other for three months there's already a great connection. Did I mention that it was hard? (:

Trippy about the dream. I JUST woke from a nap in which my 2-month-old was a terradactyl that I had to nurse. Oddly, I wasn't worried about the teeth, just that the baby terradactyl was screaming from hunger. Can you tell what issues I'm having?

Hey, I feel the same way sometimes. Though I could theoretically down that bottle of wine, that wouldn't be fair to Nadine. We feel guilty sometimes towards Tim. Especially since I know my oldest brother did not react all that positive when my other brother was born. He was four, and maybe more aware of the change that Mia & Tim will be. Maybe we can set up web cams so Mia & Tim can support each other.

Trust me on this one: Mia will LOVE him. And, I know, because my little monkey's a spirited little firecracker like Mia! It'll definitely take time in the beginning. The monkey went through quite the phase - she was moody and stubborn and super naughty (but, it wasn't all bad -- she was still wonderful and adorable! just clearly a little confused). But, NOW, she's sweeter than she's EVER been, and SO happy. She loves her baby brother, is so obviously proud of him. Please try not to worry. It's going to be GREAT!

It is the way you are supposed to be feeling, you know? You have this child...this special, wonderful, genius of a little thing, who makes you who you are and then you're supposed to just, take some attention away from her? Make her share you? Give her less? Then the baby comes and you find even more reasons to love her. The way she strokes the baby's head, or the way she wipes milk from the baby's lip to help her Mama out. The way she runs to the door to tell everyone about her NEW BABY! It will bother you periodically...the questions about whether or not she is getting enough of you, but then someday it will be smooth sailing. You will all have your routines, your special moments everyday and you will almost forget what life with one was like. When you find out you are pregnant with #3? That's when you will really flip out with the Mama guilt.

Work has been crazy and I couldn't get here yesterday, but I saw this today and wanted to share a possibly different perspective. I don't have kids yet, but I'm a second born, and my mom and I had a conversation once in which she told me that she was worried about loving me as much as she loved my sister, because she loved my sister so very much. But she said that once I was here, well, love has infinite growth potential. If she ever loved me any differently than my older sister, I never knew it. As other posters have said, I'm sure it'll be the same for you.

My second son is almost five months old and I know exactly what you are going through. I went through a long period of mourning at the end of my pregnancy. Mourning over the fact that my baby was no longer going to be my baby, etc. I was totally torn up about it, and really ambivalent about having number two. It is hard, very hard to have two. But often times it's a LOT easier than I EVER imagined it would be. The first time I took both of them to Target at the same time I felt like I'd climbed Everest, not because they were at all difficult, in fact it was so easy, but I felt I'd overcome something so huge. After that I just took it an errand at a time and it got easier and easier. Although there are still places I WILL NOT go with the two of them. Like, I go grocery shopping at night now when they are asleep and it's LOVELY. So quiet at the store and no one begging me for anything and no sore back from a 16 pound kid in the bjorn and my two year old in the cart. Best of luck to you and Chris. It will all be worth it and I know you've already heard that a thousand times. You are TOTALLY normal to feel like you do, plus, it sucks to be pregnant most of the time so cut yourself a lot of slack.

well I'm lucky enough to have five rugrats and I felt like this EVERY SINGLE TIME. And every time it worked out just fine, and I found it hard to imagine/remember what it had been like without the new addition.

And yes, I had 'what have I done?!' and 'this was a mistake!' moments before and after births. It passes :)

sure, there's some hairy transition moments, but then I find I have those with ANY change - change of house, change of job, change of family size etc.

Oh, and ok, no wine, but what about mint or calomile tea? lavendar oil in bath? Wale music? Yoga? Watching comedy? Swimming, walk/stagger to a local beauty spot? All work for me.

As I've spent the last ten years being pregnant or breastfeeding I've had to find some non substance ways of relaxing!

Even when expecting my FIFTH, I still FREAKED OUT repeatedly. (But it's been fine!)

Ok, so I am a little late on the commenting, but I have 2 boys to run after....anyway - I can tell you that it is NOT NEARLY AS BAD AS YOU THINK! I was going through the same freaking out thoughts as you - and I have NO family nearby to help out, 0h, and a husband that works a lot of hours. I couldn't imagine leaving the house with a 2.5 yr old and a newborn - how is that possible? But honestly, you just do it - and since you have already done it with Mia, you won't be as freaked out with the baby crying, etc.
Happy New Year!

Ooh, late commenting because it took me 10 days to realize that Bloglines sucks and maybe y'all hadn't disappeared off the face of the earth. Sorry.

When I had my Lauren it was love at first sight. Instant. She was mine and that was that.

With Jamie, I'll be honest - it wasn't quite as instant. We had a tough beginning with jaundice and awful nursing issues that had me feeling like a total failure. On top of all my "I Don't Know If I Even Want A Boy" issues.

But now, he's mine. He's my snuggly boy and the love does just grow infinitely. It is different with 2 - I am much more tired and have much less housework done, but there is nothing better than watching Lauren tell me she loves her baby boy-o.

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