Originally (like, last week) I was going to post about how I've (once again) had babies on the brain. Last week I felt like everywhere I turned there was something having to do with babies, and it got me all excited just thinking about baby #2. A friend of mine had a baby--her second, a boy this time after having a girl just a little older than Jacob--and the pregnancy blog I read finally posted a birth story for its most recent blogger. That birth story was written with some crazy attention to detail, and I swear just reading it brought back minute, repressed memories from my own childbirth experience. It wasn't gross or anything, just vivid. And strangely, her experience was pretty much entirely unlike mine. She went through miscarriages, was well beyond her due date, labored at home, sat in a tub, had a doula, didn't have drugs, and had a meconium scare. But some of the details--like how so many moments were a blur when she was working through the pain, for example--reminded me of the sheer "along-for-the-ride" confusion and apprehension that accompanied me for a good week when Jacob was first born. Just thinking about her blog post set off a bunch of other random associations, I think. Like how being off my allergy meds in anticipation of this week's testing reminded me of when I went off them before I got pregnant. Or that shopping for a baby gift reminded me of all of Jacob's adorable, tiny clothes from when he was little. There were moments I was wistful for a sweet little baby face, that charming yet clueless stare, and the simple, happy moments that accompany milestones like smiling and rolling over. I know this is probably bad, but I'm also missing that time where the baby is perfect...unable to get into mischief, talk back, hit, or do any other willfully nasty things. No, it wasn't easy back then either, but there was a certain peace about that time. And knowing the daily battles we have with Jacob, it's making me long for that...even though I know how ridiculously hard that time was.
And then along came this week and I'm having doubts I can do it all over again. Rest assured, if all goes well we will...but it'll certainly be accompanied by a healthy dose of fear. I don't have enough hours in the day right now, so how on earth can I split myself yet again to accommodate another tiny human being that takes up a significant amount of time? Can we really pull off the daycare costs, even for a year? If I'm this tired now, how will I feel when I'm doing twice-a-night feedings? If Jacob's current behavior is stressing me out, how am I going to be when I'm extra sleep deprived and/or getting it from another baby, too? How will I ever leave the house with two? Am I really ready to start another 2-3+ years of diapers, the journey through solid foods, babyproofing, or worrying every single second about a helpless baby? Craig and I are already fiercely protective of our downtime now as it is. What happens when we don't really have any because we each have a kid to manage at any given moment? No doubt, it's pretty overwhelming.
However, I always thought the syllabus for every single college class I ever took looked overwhelming, too, and I got through every one...with generally great results. So, just like college, one day at a time I'll manage this stuff too. I'll admit that there's still a bit of fear that it just won't go well, that no amount of sugarcoating or cheerleading will overcome the difficulties. Maybe the stress of balancing it all will get to me, or one kid will suffer at the expense of another, or that it'll have an irreparable impact on the relatively pleasant life we have right now. But I'm trying not to let that stuff cloud my mind. We're all stronger than we think we are, and even though it all seems hard, there are ways to get through it.
I always said that I wanted to have more than one, and I do want Jacob to have a sibling. While I fear for his response when he figures out he's not the center of the universe, I know it will make him a more well-rounded, more connected person in the long run. And people do this all the time. I think I would have to use both hands to count the number of people I know that have recently had or are having a second baby that already have a kid around Jacob's age. And there's at least few beyond that that have more than one already and are adding another. And, you know, we bought a house to fit another kid, for goodness sakes. One of those bedrooms would seem awfully empty without the second kid we pictured living in it.
I know we'll find a way through it but there will be some incredibly difficult moments. That is one thing I am absolutely sure of. But I feel like we just have to push through the hard stuff now and be rewarded down the road with a great family made up of a couple great kids. I hope so, anyway.