In the days and weeks after I found out I was pregnant with my second child, I went through a series of panicked emotions – many of which have continued to haunt me throughout this second pregnancy. I know I’ve no one to blame but myself – for flooding my brain with negative thoughts – but I think these anxieties and doubts have made it extra hard to find a quiet, comfortable space for this new baby; not just in our small apartment, but in my mind, in my marriage and in my Bean’s daily existence.
Now that I have reached the relative safety of the 3rd trimester, I worry less about the pregnancy, but even more about how it will be as a SAHM to two: I worry about becoming a crappier wife and mother, I worry about the transition from a family of three to a family of four, about the inevitable exhaustion of a newborn and how it will affect everyone involved, I worry about Bean feeling jealous, unhappy, and/or neglected…
…and on the flip side, I worry that this baby already hasn’t been given the same start as Bean. I haven’t been diligent about my vitamins, DHA, Folic Acid or water intake. I’m not doing the prenatal yoga I did the first time around, or spending time each day relaxing – caring for myself and bonding with baby.
Sure, I think about baby each time he kicks me or pulls me up short of breath, but otherwise I am totally distracted from him by caring for Bean, and by the numerous other daily tasks to be attended to. I know this is normal the second time around, but it still fills me with guilt. I haven’t been fair to this little guy, and he hasn’t even been born yet. We’ve hardly bonded, hardly gotten to know each other, and I’m already 29 weeks! How did that happen so fast?
When I was pregnant with Bean, I went through the Hypnobabies Home Study Course and really enjoyed it. In the end, my birthing time did not turn out the way I’d hoped, but I was still incredibly grateful for the peace of mind Hypnobabies gave me in the weeks leading up to Bean’s birth. With that in mind, I’ve started the course again – this time with no expectations. I use it to calm my mind, and make space in my day and in my mind and body for this poor baby who seems to have already pulled the short end of the pregnancy stick.
Each time I listen to the these intensely relaxing and meditative tracks, I feel that for a short time I have focused solely on doing something for THIS pregnancy and THIS baby. I focus on me and on him and on us (though it’s still sometimes hard as Bean tends to crowd my mind most of the time), and I feel better for having made the time to do it.
I know it isn’t much, but it’s a start, right? I want so much to better connect with this baby, and this pregnancy. I want to set aside the trauma of my first birth experience, and remember that every delivery is different, every baby is different. I want to stop worrying about what will be and just live in this moment. I want to enjoy these last weeks of alone time with Bean – who is changing and growing so much, so fast, that it baffles the mind – while still making room in my life, and in my heart for this new baby who is coming whether I am ready for him or not.
I don’t know if meditations and hypnosis can accomplish all that, but like I said, it’s a start.
I wonder if any of you have experienced similar emotions with second pregnancies. I would certainly love to hear about them if you have.