I wasn’t ready for a second baby – even though I feel like I’ve always been a mother. I didn’t think it was possible for my heart to have room for another child.
I babysat all my younger cousins and siblings and friends babies. I used to pretend to have a childcare with all my dolls when I was little. Even for my 13th birthday I asked for a new Cabbage Patch Doll (which I still have today – she was a preemie and named Laura Ellamay! – my siblings chopped her little tuft of hair off so now she has a spot of shaved woollen hair!).
Growing up – as I am 7 and 10 years older than my brother and sister – I helped my mum out a lot. Except poop nappies! I’m still scarred from an event that happened with my brother as a baby in his bouncer! Scarred I tell you!!
As a teenager and young adult I still helped out with my siblings and their friends who were going through a tough time. I’m just a mumma or a caregiver at heart. My mum is the same!
More recently, as in just over 2 weeks ago I gave birth again to a little boy – Oliver. Bringing the child count up to two.
I was not prepared to have another baby. I was originally told I would never conceive without intervention – and was successful with IVF for my first child (whom is now 3.5yrs Victor).
My marriage ended and I am now 35, and deal with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue, and studying a degree in health science and a high energy toddler and study a few other things and help run Adelaide Paleo.
It took me until he was 4 days old to really accept I had a newborn and to fall in love with him.
The whole pregnancy I felt disappointed in myself mainly because I had a life plan and was happy thinking I’d just have my Victor. He’s awesome. Why would I want anything more? I was happy with studying and having the time to focus on myself and my own goals – it had felt like for decades I had focused and given all my energy to being a mother to everyone and helping everyone else with their life and goals. I had helped everyone else so much that I totally wore myself out and was unable to give anything more to anyone or even myself! So you can see why I was excited for life once again and hesitant in accepting a pregnancy.
So I felt guilty that I even felt this way and that I wasn’t feeling grateful for being pregnant naturally or being able to have children at all.
So many emotions were flying around, so I did what I do best and I engaged in delving into study and focusing on everything else other than being pregnant. Morning sickness didn’t really let that happen at first and I ended up really depressed.
At 28 weeks pregnant I decided to do an on campus personal training course, I changed my whole degree pathway and refocused my life to include a baby but also so I could complete everything faster so I could support my baby boys.
I took the two weeks off prior to giving birth from my PT course to prepare for the baby. I didn’t. I was still so disconnected.
I even only stayed the minimum 4 hrs in hospital after giving birth so I could get back home to my toddler – whom was the most important person in my life. I even made a comment once to my friend, that Victor fills my heart so much with love how could I ever make space for another child. I think now this is a normal feeling to have and that I’m not the only mum that has had it.
As I stated earlier, 4 days after giving birth I finally started to fall in love with my baby boy. It seemed everyone else was more excited about the pregnancy and birth than I was until then.
Don’t get me wrong I was prepared for the baby with stuff – like a cot, cradle, nappies etc but just not emotionally.
And then I was! Whether it was the hormones that kicked in, or just his cute adorable face looking up at me. Something clicked! Victors acceptance and love towards his new brother definitely helped. His excitement when my tummy was back to nearly normal and that there was more room for me to hug him now helped! The energy that I still had and drive to keep studying – even with all that lack of sleep with having a newborn and crying whilst waiting for your milk to come in – was a positive experience when previously I only had my first birthing and child experience to contrast with which was a terrible experience!!
The fact that my body healed and I bounced back so quickly to the point where yesterday, Mother’s Day, I walked the 7.2km Mother’s Day Classic at Peace Park, Adelaide (ok in all honesty I feel now it might have been a smidge too much for that soon after giving birth but now I know – lesson learnt – sort of!).
So from after all my emotional venting you just read, bottom line is: it’s ok to have feelings – positive and negative. If they really worry you talk to a professional. I did and it helped.
It’s taken me a long time to express and feel feelings and be ok with it. I hear this a lot from my Adelaide Paleo partner ‘What you suppress, will be expressed!’ – which for me means whenever I suppress negative emotions it increases my Fibromyalgia pain!
PS I took two weeks off study after giving birth!