After going through pregnancy and labor once, I thought I’d be an old pro this time around. I mean, I’ve been there, done (every excited, bloated and painful bit of) that, and I know what to expect.
And therein lies part of the problem: I know what to expect.
The other part of the problem? I don’t know what to expect. Because every pregnancy is different and because now I have another child to worry about while I’m going to be doubled over with contractions.
So I’ve got this fabulous combination of heightened memories and fear of the unknown. Here are 5 things that are keeping me up at night. Well, in addition to the baby tap-dancing on my bladder.
Before you get pregnant again, you experience this weird wave of mommy amnesia and think, “Well, it wasn’t that bad.” To my pre-pregnant, baby-obsessed self: Oh, yes, it was! Now that I’ve gotten my memory back, I’m terrified! I read somewhere recently that the pain of a contraction is equivalent to 20 bones breaking at once. And the ring of fire? I’d somehow missed hearing about that delightful stage of labor before giving birth the first time. Now I know all too well about that—and about the painful, bloody, awful aftermath. TMI? Trust me, that’s the incredibly tame version, and I can’t imagine that I’ll have the same luck as Kate Middleton. I. Am. Scared. Especially since I’ll also have to take care of a 3-year-old while recovering.
Going into labor early
We all want our little ones to stay put and cook for as much of those 40 weeks as possible, and I am scared that I’m just not going to make it this time. (So says the woman whose first kid was so comfy that she had to be induced at 41-plus weeks.) At 6 months, I already feel so big, I’m carrying so low and there’s so much weird lower-abdominal pressure. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if this kid made her debut waaaaay too soon. I’m praying that my fears are just second-pregnancy body issues.
Going into labor while alone with my son
Sure, we have a babysitting plan in place for the weeks surrounding my due date…but what if things go awry? What if I go really early and my husband is out of town? What if this baby wants out immediately and I don’t have the “luxury” of an all-day-long labor like I had last time so my parents can’t get here quickly? (Yes, I actually said that last one with a straight face.) I guess that my son will be going to the hospital with me, but I really would rather not traumatize the poor kid with a National Geographic–style introduction to his baby sister.
That no one in our house will ever sleep again
Well, except for my husband. (Kidding, kidding, honey! Um, kind of.) The baby will be in our room for the first few weeks, but after that, she’s going to be sharing a room with her big brother. I am worried that she’s going to wake him up every single night…and then I’ll have two miserable, crying children, up till the wee hours of the morning and in just wonderful shape for the next day.
The enormous change for my firstborn golden child
While I fully realize that having a sibling will be wonderful for him in many ways, I also can’t help but worry about the massive adjustment that it will bring. He and I have been an inseparable team for more than three years, and I wonder if he’ll miss those days when it was just the two of us. I wonder if I’ll miss those days. And that’s why I’m cramming as much fun into our pre-baby time as I can and another reason I hope that this wonderful new addition—who we’ll love and welcome with open arms—stays put for as long as possible.