Monday, December 19, 2011

A change in plans?

My last post about my BFP "anniversary" resulted in a lot of reflection and looking ahead for me. I always said I wanted three children, though I was pretty sure we would end up with two. After the rough first weeks we had with Amelia, I wasn't sure I could do it again. I joked that she was making a good case for being an only child. People told me I would change my mind, that I would forget it all. But four months in, I haven't, and I wonder what that means for our family going forward.

I love my sweet baby girl more than I ever thought possible. But motherhood has been a challenge for me. It is really, really hard for me to admit that. I have always wanted to be a mother. I love babies and kids, and I knew I wanted to be a mom - maybe more than anything else I've wanted in my life. When I finally saw those two pink lines, I was beyond thrilled. My dream was coming true and the anticipation of waiting for that sweet baby was like waiting for the ultimate Christmas gift. I had plans of all the things I would do, the pictures I would take, where she would sleep, the cute outfits she'd wear, how I would enjoy my maternity leave being at home with her. And then she arrived and all of my plans went out the window.

My child didn't sleep anywhere but on my chest. My maternity leave was spent in a haze of sleeplessness (I frequently told C that I was so tired I thought I might literally die). I didn't blog or take cute staged photos because she was always crying and needing me to hold her 24/7 (at times I was pretty sure there were more than 24 hours in a day). I didn't care for breastfeeding. She lived in sleepers because it was just easier that way. I cried, I fought with my husband, and I wondered what the hell I had gotten myself into. I was frustrated more often than not.

I realize some of those emotions aren't uncommon for new moms. But when I think about having another child (God willing) it causes unspeakable anxiety for me. Could I do it all again? How in the world could I handle another baby in addition to tending to the little one I already have?

And then there are the selfish thoughts that lie deep inside, that I almost fear saying out loud: I miss my life. I miss being able to get up and go. I am happy to be able to drink coffee and beer and not be uncomfortable just sitting in a chair like I was at the end of my pregnacy. As Amelia gets older, I know these things will get easier, and I'm not sure I can imagine regressing back to it all.

And then I feel like a horrible person for having these thoughts. Because I have so many e-friends (and one in real life) who want a baby more than anything in the world and are struggling to get there. I know I am so, SO blessed to have my baby girl and I don't want anyone to think for one second that I am ungrateful for that blessing. I love her so much my heart aches when I'm not with her. Her smiles are flat-out the best thing in my life. And I want my awesome daughter to have siblings. I want to be a good mom.

It's just that this thing that I've wanted for so long, this mommyhood gig's different than I expected. I'm facing emotions I never dreamed I would face, and they lead me to wonder if I will in fact have an only child. I guess time will tell.

"I don't know how long I can do this, he said. I think the universe has different plans for me & we sat there in silence & I thought to myself that this is the thing we all come to & this is the thing we all fight & if we are lucky enough to lose, our lives become beautiful with mystery again & I sat there silent because that is not something that can be said.", "Different Plans"


  1. I have the very same feelings.. And when things are going smoothly around here, I do start to forget. And then we have a rough day or night & it all comes flooding back. This post of yours makes me feel a little more 'normal'. I feel guilty for my feelings too & sometimes I think the guilt will eat me alive. But it all comes down to those moments you would never trade :)

  2. yeah i am pretty forgetful and i still dont think i want to do this lack of sleep thing again.

  3. Do not ever feel guilty for your feelings - they are yours and you didn't ask for them, they just are. Accept them and learn to fix what needs fixing and move on. And know that all of the feelings you think are wrong or bad (which they are not) are completely independant from the love you have for your child.

    Plans change, life changes you. That's the beauty of it all. You get to change your mind, to find a new perspective. Maybe you won't end up where you thought, but where ever you do end up is exactly where you are meant to be.