It's a weird feeling. After being so truly elated to be pregnant the first time around, this second pregnancy, while just as exciting, feels different. Not different bad - no, no. Just different.
When I first had Brooke and became a Mum, it overwhelmed me so much and changed everything about me and about my life. Overnight it turned everything upside into a wonderfully chaotic mess and adventure. And I think it's that feeling of being so overwhelmed and totally consumed by parenting, that has never really left me, and sometimes it feels particularly raw.
My experience of being a Mum is pretty much all I thought it would be, plus a gazillions times more. I really do think some people are destined to be parents, and I genuinely and unashamedly believe I'm one of them. I truly enjoy it, though of course some days are harder than others - some days I literally want to bang my head off a wall and others I have actually cried from frustration and exhaustion. But irrespective of all this, I simply wouldn't change a thing.
I'm also lucky enough to have predominately been a stay-at-home mum too, and I've never had to face the heartache of leaving my baby to go back to the day job. This has given me the opportunity to spend literally all my time raising my daughter, and watching her grow from a teeny tiny newborn to a head-strong and determined toddler.
Our lives have been all about each other, all day, every day for nearly two years. And whilst I know there is plenty of room for another bambino to join our little gang, I'm faced with a sadness that it won't just be the two of us anymore. (I am of course writing like Al doesn't exist in this picture and that we're not actually a family of three -sorry Bub- but I'm referring to the day-to-day Monday to Friday whilst Al is out slaving away.)
We do EVERYTHING together and always have. And whilst we still will, and it will be equally incredible becoming a little team of three, it won't just be me and my girl anymore. And for some reason, this realisation pulls and twists in my tummy and makes me feel anxious.
I don't know why I'm feeling as I am, it must be hormones (bastards, piss off), and I know it will pass and be a completely distant memory by the time the baby is here, (in fact I guarantee I will end up writing a post about the guilt I felt about feeling guilty...!) But I just can't help but feel like this particular part of my life and Brooke's, is coming to an end.
I make it sound dramatic don't I? Sorry - I don't intend to, and I certainly don't mean it to come across at all in any way that I don't consider being pregnant and having another baby, to be a blessing. In fact this *weirdness* I've been referring to, is apparently pretty much the norm.
When I first felt those pangs of panic, I was hesitant to talk to anyone about it, as I hated the thought of anyone thinking that this baby wasn't very much planned and very much wanted. But when I felt totally freaked by it, to the point I thought I might implode, I spoke to some really great girlfriends (with 16 kids between the four of them!), who assured me it was actually completely normal to feel as I was. And knowing this has definitely helped me rationalise my crazy guilt-filled thoughts.
Mother's Guilt is a funny old thing. I didn't think it would grab me in a way that makes me question how I can love two of my own children? I mean really, what is that about? Why do our minds play these silly tricks on us and make us constantly question ourselves? I mean, about 100 times a day at the moment I'm thinking:
1. How am I going to fit two babies on my knee? Teeny is a real lap baby and spends 80% of the day on my knee, on my lap, under my arm, on my hip, (which has subsequently given me a nice case of SPD...!).
2. Will there be room for four of us in the bed? I lay in bed last night and thought, Al and Brooke can probably go one end and me and baby could go the other, like top and tailing...!
3. What if Brooke wakes when I'm feeding the baby and she wants me and I have to say No, or Hang on. I hate the thought of her feeling like she's being left out or replaced in anyway.
4. What if she wants a cuddle when the baby's conked out on me? Who takes the priority? How do you decide which child needs you more?
5. And then what if I'm too worried about Brooke being left out, that I don't give the baby the same love and attention I did when Brooke was a newborn?
All these thoughts plus a million more, are whizzing around my head and landing in that deep pit of my stomach. It's just too much for my baby brain to contend with. You can totally see why I get my knickers in a twist can't you?
Mother's Guilt - it's a tricky business.