Monday, August 22, 2016

Child #2 Anxiety

This is not about the anxiety about my blood draw results tomorrow. That is there, yes, but this time I am aware of a different type of anxiety. It nears ambivalence, but ambivalence seems like too strong of a word to use.

This is the anxiety about if everything does work out. The blood work comes back positive and so does the next one. The ultrasound sound shows a heart beat, or two. The trisomy test is negative and the anatomy scan is normal. Sometime in April, 2017 we welcome home one [or two] healthy child[ren].

This scenario is anxiety provoking in a way I didn't feel with our daughter. With her, the anticipation was entirely positive. And it largely has been. She's had her share of challenges, but she is perfect to us. Our family is near perfect as well. On many days I would argue it is perfect. Which then makes me question, Why are we trying change this?

I question how our daughter will react to a new sibling and how we will manage with dividing our time and our resources. When I spend hours in the evenings playing tea-party and reading books, I am now acutely aware that this will not be possible with a second child. At least not in this way. I get sad when I think about the new child getting attention from others and the thought of our daughter getting brushed aside. I'm not sure how much of this is rationale.

This time I also go into pregnancy and motherhood unblinded. I miss the snuggles and fresh-baby-smell but I am not looking forward to returning to sleepless nights and those periods then they are inconsolable and nothing you do can stop the crying. I cringe when I think about the heartburn of the third trimester and the inability to be comfortable for months at a time. Trying to do all of this with a toddler sounds like an impossible feat.

Yet, clearly having a second, or third, or fourth child has worked out a million times over for women across the world. I have two siblings and my husband has three. I can't imagine growing up without siblings and wouldn't want that for my daughter. I look forward to watching them play together and hearing them giggle in their bedrooms when they should be sleeping. I believe our daughter will be a wonderful, albeit sometimes bossy, big sister.

If the results are positive, I look forward to eventually being able to talk with other mothers on how they balance a second child. Until then, at least I have the blogging world.


  1. Our kiddos are 28 months apart (older daughter, younger son). While you're correct that you won't frequently have evenings to devote all of your attention to just one of them, the attention that they will get from each other and give to each other is just as precious. Yes, it does take a few months to get there, but they will. And in the meantime, I bet your daughter will be thrilled to help with her baby brother or sister. I remember our son being 7 or 8 months old and in his jumper for the first time, and he'd jump and our daughter would laugh. Then she'd do this crazy dance for him, and he'd giggle with glee, then it would be his turn to bounce again, and they'd go back and forth taking turns like that. I literally cried tears of joy watching them, and I'm not one to cry from joy. That's a really rambling response, but I hope it helps relieve some of your anxiety. I'll be thinking positive thoughts for you!

  2. I think because the first time, it was unknowns and only unknowns. And this time, it's unknowns against a sea of knowns. It's the difference between going to college when you're 18, when everything is fresh and new, and going to college as an adult where you know what you're giving up in order to move ahead.