Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Babies on the Brain...again.

Ok, I'm really starting to think that my feelings about having another baby are seriously impacted by my monthly cycle. I mean, yes, chances are we're going to have another baby one way or another, but my confidence in the whole process seems to ebb and flow right along with my hormones. One week it seems like the best thing ever and we need to get on it right away, and the next week it's like, eh, what's the rush? Usually the indifference tends to coincide with some sort of monumental Jacob meltdown or other sort of frustrating situation that makes me wonder how on earth we'll manage two.

When I'm not in baby mode, I think about the sleepless nights, projectile bodily fluids, the pure exhaustion of pregnancy and beyond, and obsession about everything from the baby's health to being caught in public with a diaper blowout. I remember the crippling fear of SIDS and the insane frustration of a screaming baby with no apparent cause. I wonder how on earth I'll push through the exhaustion to attend to two kids, when right now one three-year-old tires me out despite getting a full (albeit too short) night's sleep.

I do really want a girl this time and worry about disappointment if it doesn't happen. I'll obviously love my boys and enjoy their brotherly relationship immensely, but it's certainly something I think about. I worry about a breaking point mentally--when it all might get to be too much. I think about the blow it will be to our finances to handle two loads of daycare along with all the other baby essentials. I worry about the guilt of working and leaving behind not one, but two kids. I wonder about Jacob's adjustment period and how we'll prevent him from playing sports too close to his new sibling. Long story short, it's easy to get overwhelmed.

On the other hand, when I'm in baby mode, I remember the sweet little baby faces and noises and stretches, and how Jacob could sleep through anything on our schedule, regardless of the time or place, nestled comfortably in his car seat. I remember the tiny clothes and tiny fingers and toes, the simplicity of breastmilk as the only food option and the bliss of a child that didn't talk back. I think about how cute it would be to watch Jacob be a good big brother, and watch the kids interact as they get older. We're not learning everything from scratch this time, so hopefully we'll worry less and enjoy it more.
Despite all the tough stuff, I can't help but be excited by the prospect. But again, I know that for all its hard parts (aches, pains, swelling, hearburn, nausea, stress), pregnancy is this happy la-la land where you get all of the excitement and anticipation without the physical, mental and emotional toll that caring for a newborn entails. And, of course, there's that tiny detail about how it all ends. But even still, I look back fondly on a lot of elements of pregnancy...mostly feeling the baby move and kick, all of the excitement and preparations, the well-wishes, and just the general feeling that you've got this huge purpose in life, every second of every day, as your body cares for a helpless little human. Why that feeling wears off a bit once the baby arrives, I'm not sure, because God knows it only gets more intense and more important after the baby is born.

Looking ahead I do wonder how I should blog it this time around. Last time I didn't start blogging until we officially announced the pregnancy--we spread the word at Christmas and I started the blog a few days later--but this time I have a couple options:

1) I could be open and honest about every little step--our timeframe, each step toward it, problems we encounter, the positive test right when it happens--but that's obviously sharing a LOT and potentially getting everyone excited before it's "safe" (if that's ever the case) to be excited. I do fear a miscarriage. I'm getting a little older and you just never know what your body is going to do. It can leave some pretty hefty emotional scars and be such a letdown. Also, I have a pretty solid timeframe in my head, and a miscarriage obviously throws all that off.  Really, that's mostly for practical purposes of using the same maternity clothes and having the right season's clothes fit at the right time if we have another boy. Small issue, but you all adds up.  While it's a bit of an emotional risk, I don't think honesty is such a bad thing.  Lots of people suffer with (and blog about) infertility struggles, including miscarriages.  If it's something someone is struggling with, there's no reason that it shouldn't be discussed...either as therapy for the writer or to help others know that they're not alone.  But it begs the question...if those are the worst things that could happen and I'm planning on talking about them here if they happen, then why not just start talking from the beginning?  After all, if I get pregnant right away and stay pregnant, why not maximize the celebration? :)

2) I could keep it all quiet again and surprise everyone once it's common knowledge.  Obviously that keeps it as a more private issue when it's at its most sensitive, and provides a prime opportunity for a BIG announcement.  However, I'm not sure how I'm going to keep from complaining about the exhaustion or nausea that will inevitably befall me for a few months before the cat is let out of the bag.  Whenever a blogger I read announces a pregnancy, I always think back to see if I missed any signs of it. Most of the time they're pretty slick, but I think they have enough topics to talk about that what they're dealing with never needs to come up.  I'm not sure if I can pull it off or not.  It will seem a little funny ot not be able to talk about it here.  I remember the feeling of living a "double life" when I was pregnant last time, during the month and a half that we knew but hadn't shared the news with more than a few people.  It seemed so crazy to have this huge thing going on that was in our thoughts all the time, but to have to live like it was any other day.  I can only imagine how that feeling will be magnified if I don't blog about it. 

In the end I suppose we'll just play it by ear.  If things start taking a while, I might start talking about it.  Likewise, if we do have to deal with a miscarriage, it'll probably come up here, too...even if the pregnancy was never discussed prior.  We'll see how long I can hold off and stick to talking around the subject...not about it. 

So anyway, despite all my reservations, I know we'll figure it out and get through it.  There may be tears and yelling, laughs and smiles, but we will figure it out.  One day at a time, one blog post at a time, one kid at a time.  Stay tuned...


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