I cannot believe I have not blogged in 2011 and it is more than half over...alas the life of a working (outside of the home) mother of two little ones! On top of that our baby boy is turning 1 tomorrow! It was about this time last year, when after dealing with contractions during the night and nothing during the day, I was beginning to wonder if he would ever show his face (although, I didn't know he was a he at the time!).
I'm not going to lie, when I found out I was pregnant for the second time there was some serious heart pounding, what the heck are we going to do fear (and disbelief) pulsing through me. While I knew we wanted another child (and planned on it down the line), I felt that it was too soon, our daughter was just barely 1 and the husband would be wrapping up the 2 year program he started when we had our daughter (which transitioned us to a one income family), right about the time this one was due. But, much like I have read time and time again, parenting is a journey that teaches you nothing if it doesn't teach you to give up on trying to control things. The husband who usually is the worrier stepped in in usual fashion when I lose it to say that "this is a good thing!" and "everything will be fine." While I certainly believed him and was happy with all the possibilities another child would bring our family, when you're the one carrying the bundle of joy it is impossible to escape the overwhelming weight (no pun intended) of the time bomb of responsibilities slowly ticking away.
Then there was the guilt. I did not know how but I knew this new addition to our family would change my relationship with my daughter. I already felt cheated that I didn't get to spend the amount of time I wished I could with her and now that time would be even less as I try to manage the task of trying to shower TWO babies with love, attention and affection in the 2 hours/day I get after work before bedtime. I mean I was still nursing her for Christ sake...I thought that was supposed to be some kind of safety net (don't count on it!). There were more than a few nights that I left her room in tears as her days of an only child dwindled and I felt increasingly more guilty of the change I was about to impose on her. Then on the other hand, I couldn't imagine my life without my brothers...I am certain that they are a big part of who I am today and I would not be the same person without them...how could I deprive her of the joys, traumas, torture, unconditional love, trouble, partnership and connectedness that I have experienced with my brothers. But fear is illogical in most instances.
Fast forward about 7 months because, yes I was that oblivious (in denial) to the fact I was pregnant and didn't even bother to take a pregnancy test until I was nearly 10 weeks, to right about this time last year. I had been laboring off and on for days and had no idea that my plans for a peaceful home birth were going to get blown out of the water as I detailed here: http://http://thoughtfulmamma.blogspot.com/2010/10/way-it-was-meant-to-be.html . But when I heard that cry (and the doctor say "you have a boy!") and saw that face, I knew our family was complete. As we've adjusted to being a family of four we have gotten to watch our daughter seamlessly transition from only child to big sister with such grace, love and joy that it fills my heart everyday. It only proves that our baby boy knew the right time to show up and that while I may not have felt "ready" (whatever that really means), much like with our daughter's pregnancy, he forced us to readjust, refocus on our goals and priorities as a family and I believe we are all the better for it.
So, the last year has been a challenging, joyful, tiring, fun, stressful, happy, overwhelming journey for us that has been filled with more love then we could have ever imagined and we have one small(ish) baby boy to thank for it all. Our lives will never be the same and for that, I am grateful.