Tuesday, April 7, 2015

How I am Really Feeling About Having Another Baby

This is one of those posts that my friend Anna would call a "Mom Confession." I have one to make, and probably I just need a pep talk. It has some content that may not be familiar to those who have never been post-partum or around a post-partum woman from day one until the baby is one.

I have been struggling against a dread of the newborn phase for the entire pregnancy, actually since I first got my cycles back after F was born. I was visiting Buffalo, NY at the time, and discussed my unreadiness while using a hot pack to battle a small bout of mastitis/clogged duct. I had a rough first year with F. She was a great baby, my easiest yet, but I spent 9 months dealing with infections that only women can get, 4 months dealing with post-partum depression, and barely knew anybody in the Twin Cities. On top of that I was dealing with my first Minnesota winter.


The three girls.
The first two months with F were actually really pleasant. She was born in early November, so I took some walks with her as a newborn. We had grandparents helping for two weeks, people we knew brought us meals, so I actually saw people without much effort, Thanksgiving was brought to us by our Wisconsin relatives, Advent was lovely, and we traveled over Christmas. Then we came home in early January, and the PPD and isolated stay at home mom loneliness set in. The only way to see people and attempt to make friends was to venture out into the Minnesota cold with 3 children under 4. Then infections.

Since F has been 18 months, things have been really nice. I feel like I am finally used to having this many kids. I remember last summer just enjoying the kids and our family, not really wanting it to change. But we also felt like we needed to be open to having more children, we wanted more children, we still want more children. And here we are about to have another child in our arms. The newest child is squirming inside me as a write this. I feel like this year of being content with three kids has been really good for me, like an amazing retreat. I have not been night nursing for almost a year now. I have not been nursing at all for five months. But I am feeling afraid of the change before us. I am not looking forward to sleepless nights. I am not looking forward to being post-partum, especially the physical recovery.

32 weeks along and counting.
What I am looking forward to is the baby having a regular nap schedule, and a bedtime, and being able to be put to sleep easily. All of our children have gotten to that point, and that is when I feel the most relaxed with a baby. I crave a loose schedule, ie. morning nap around 9, afternoon nap around 2, bedtime around 8. But I dislike the in between time, when baby is too little for structure.

This is the point when you should tell me that it is just for a short time. Or you could tell me that I don't need to feel guilty about not being a huge fan of the newborn-6 month stage. You could say it really is a hard time. I know some people love the stage, and I recognize the perks. I just love my routine. Being more flexible is something I need to work on, so I guess baby is going to help me with that.


7 comments:

  1. Awww. I love the newborn stage. Sooo much. I mean I'm crazy hormonal and cry all the time and I'm sure my husband would tell you otherwise, but I really do love it. My baby (okay, toddler, sigh) is getting so big. I miss it. So I don't have any advice of course, having never felt the way you do, but maybe having a spring baby will make all the difference.

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    1. Two November babies in the frigid Northern climate is enough for me! :)

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  2. Oh man, I've been meaning to comment and it's been giving me problems. Anyway, I hope this works.

    The nice thing is this year you'll have a spring/summer baby, and you know lots of people in the area. I'll definitely want to get out for visits and maybe walks or easy picnics if you are available for those sorts of things. It was really nice having a baby in late spring because we spent a ton of time outside, which is what I needed postpartum.

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    1. If you can motivate me to take all the kids for a walk this summer, that would be awesome. Also, you are always welcome to our backyard. We can sit in the shade with coffee and watch the kids swing. :)

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  3. Honestly, I'm the same way. I can't wait for the baby to get older. I'm grateful you wrote that when your third was 18 months you felt like it's been good. Our third is 12 months now and while I can do so much more than I've done, emotionally, things are still so difficult. God expands our hearts to help us manage with flexibility and grace. I'm told once they're older these stages do feel very short in retrospect, though I find that little comfort now. In the end, perhaps the best advice is, whatever doesn't kill us, make us stronger, right?

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  4. Thank you for being so honest. I am terrified of going through the process of having this next baby. I love all my children dearly, but I too, have suffered from PPD, anxiety and sick babies. I will be the second to admit I am a nervous, emotional wreck during those first six, I mean 12 months. Please know that our family is praying for you and yours as we journey through this time almost simultaneously. Please call if you need too. Thanks for the great articles and encouragement. It is really good to read real writing and be able to connect on some level.
    P.S. Isn't it great to have Julie for an aunt. I think she really gets this kind of thing.

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    1. Aw, thanks, Lynn! I hope your housing situation gets settled soon!

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