The Thought of Two
B and I have been having the "second baby" discussion a lot lately. First we wanted to wait until after this date, and then it was after that date, and most recently it's until after our vacation at the end of July. There is a large (large) part of us that is completely happy the way that things are. The three amigos. Able to double team one small toddler when necessary. Able to take breaks from being responsible while the other parent steps in. Able to keep four eyes on one child.
But with two, there's no double teaming. Two is infinitely harder than one (so I'm told).
And let me be honest for a second: I hated the newborn stage. Yes, the cuddles were great, but that's kind of all that I enjoyed. The lack of sleep was debilitating, the constant neediness was overwhelming, and don't even get me started on breastfeeding. For the first year, I felt in a motherhood fog. Yes, there were certainly the good days where he would smile and coo and babble. And it was amazing to watch him learn something new each day. But I wouldn't trade that time for where we are now for anything. His laughter, his grins, his ability to play and feed himself. Those are the things I cherish and I'm not sure I'm ready to start all over again, you know?
I'm not concerned about having enough room to love a second baby, because as I understand it, you just do. But I do wonder, will I always favor Henry? He made me a mom. He was the little boy I wanted from the very first time the baby talks happened. Just after delivery my mom mentioned how glad she was that my first baby was the boy I wanted. And Henry has always been such a pleasant baby. He's generally happy, laughing, independent, and though he tests rules sometimes, it's not often. I can only assume this would mean that the second child would be a hellion, completely different from his/her brother in every way. Am I ready for that?
But then there is the other side. The side where Henry gets to have a sidekick, a companion for life, a sibling to love and torture. And that is something I want for him. That is something that would make 9 months of hell (if it's anything like my last pregnancy) worth it. He loves other children, loves to play with them, loves to boss them around. He'd be the perfect big brother material. And I have no doubt he'd love on the baby so much I'd have to tell him to quit loving on the baby.
And I know that the baby would fit in perfectly with us, as if he/she was always there. I know our family of three would easily expand to a family of four. I know that we'd take it in stride just as we did with the first one.
But still, there is hesitation there. Each time I think I'm ready, that I can feel the weight of a newborn on my chest, that I can imagine the late nights again, something else overcomes me and I remember just how hard it was. I've heard time and again that once the baby is here, you forget about the 9 months of pregnancy and the pain of labor. I haven't. I remember how hard it was. I remember how hard the first 13 months of Henry's life were (until he started sleeping through the night). I remember the pain and confusion and frustration when I just didn't know what to do.
I'm certain things would be different this time around if only because we aren't new parents. Because we might have an inkling of what to do, or what the cries mean or how to soothe a reflux-addled baby. But still, there is hesitation there.
How do you push past the hesitation?