There’s been something different about this pregnancy from the beginning. Sure there was immediate, long over-due excitement upon confirmation of conception, but it’s just felt different. With Embers, I was concerned with how our lives would change. We wouldn’t be able to just off and party out of town for the weekend. We wouldn’t be able to spend copious amounts of money on ridiculous non-necessities. This pregnancy, it’s filled with different worries.
I often catch myself already mourning the alone time I have with Ems, knowing that soon our focus will be on the baby. I know that this is really a great thing for all of us. The benefits of a sibling will far outweigh the time she has to split with us and the new baby. Yet, I’m still saddened to look at her joyous face and know that soon enough her excitement for the baby in mommy’s tummy making its debut will be overshadowed by mom and dad’s lack of time to play mindless tickle games with her.
When I was pregnant with Emberly, there were the constant worries that something would happen. The unknown. The unknown was generally put in to the back corner when the excitement of what a child will bring to our lives would shine through. All the tiny infant diapers and clothes, the crib not yet slept in, the changing pad with it’s freshly laundered cover not yet marked by the uncontrollable squirts of a baby, all of the new things that seemed impossibly small and wondrous gave peace to a sometimes waning heart.
Now, the stress of work, raising a preschooler, a marriage fraught with tribulations, it all seems more melancholy. The weekly belly pictures give way to once a trimester. The much needed afternoon rests are put on hold for a work phone call or book read. The anticipation of the gender scan ultrasound is now just another errand to run on an already packed Wednesday morning.
I’m at a loss and I don’t know where to go. I long for winter nights and holidays. The smell of fall and pumpkin spice permeating my senses. I can’t decipher if my longing is for a time of joyous occasions, the impending birth of this baby, or the possibility of being completely done with on-call work. Sadly, I think the anticipation of maybe, just maybe, being able to break free from the hell that is on-call is what I’m most anticipating. The unknown damages of how my stress about this job are potentially affecting this baby just propel the endless cycle of worry. Mere weeks before Christmas I will start taking my maternity leave from the on-call position. I think that’s what’s tying all of this together, the holidays, the newborn smells, the quick sigh of relief before life changes again.
Can you call it antenatal depression when you know what’s causing it?
And then the baby kicks and punches inside of my expanding uterus, and I’m brought back to the reality that I have an amazing human being growing inside of me, dependent on my every breath. A person that will hopefully be an amazing addition to this earth, a contributing member of society. The sadness takes a quick backseat to giddiness, and then guilt.
It’s said that even though you feel you won’t be able to love another child the way you do your first, it happens immediately. This bond, this love, never the same nor greater/lesser than the first. I yearn and fear for that. It feels almost selfish to want to love someone as much as I love Emberly. It forces me to wonder what the hell I’m doing? Do I think I can improve on what we’ve already created? Do I really want to start over with an infant? Hell, we’ve been diaper free for over a year and a half. Now I’ll be back to washing diapers, worrying about midnight feedings, when the last time was that I pumped, nurturing another human, praying that this one little fight or misstep doesn’t scar them for life or become the turning point in what would have been a promising abundantly peaceful life! Who makes this possible? Why was I agonizing for months to get this pregnancy that now has my mind riddled with greater fears?
Is it my indecisiveness holding back my excitement for my ultrasound? Do we not find out the gender, staying true to how we felt with Emberly’s pregnancy? Do we use this time to find out and help prep Ems for the impending sibling? Does any of this really even matter? Why should we be judged on whether or not we find out the sex of OUR child? And yet, everyone has an opinion. everyone but me.
It will get better. This baby and Emberly will be loved the same. I just need to make it through tomorrow.