In so many ways, deciding to have a second child was easier than deciding to try to conceive the first time around. Well, at least for me. I mean, I thought I knew what to expect with pregnancy and birth, had a couple of years of parenting experience under my belt, and had a relatively easy first pregnancy. Then I got pregnant and learned that there are so many reasons your second pregnancy is actually way scarier than your first.
I'm not going to lie: so many parts of my second pregnancy completely scared the sh*t out of me. For one, I learned that every pregnancy is different. So just because I had an easy pregnancy the first time, didn't mean I was automatically going to have an easy time the second time around. I actually started to fear that I wouldn't make it and would leave my kid without a mom. Being pregnant while parenting is no joke either, by the way, and once your new baby is here I can tell you that adding a second child to your family is a much harder transition than having your first. As is recovering from child birth while you're caring for a toddler.
So, yeah, pregnancy is actually way scarier the second time around, but it's OK to be afraid. Pregnancy, child birth, and having another baby are all big life changes, and it's good to go into the process with an understanding of what you are getting into.
Because It's A Big Deal
Having a baby is a huge deal. Probably the biggest deal, when you think about it. And pregnancy and childbirth are no joke, either. The bottom line is that being a parent might just be the toughest and most important job on the planet. It's natural for your second pregnancy to scare the sh*t out of you, because it is scary.
Because If Having One Child Is Scary, Having More Than One Is Scarier
Once my baby was born, guys, it was really hard to find balance with two kids. I'm not going to sugarcoat things. There were so many times I felt like I couldn't be a great parent to both of my kids simultaneously. It was exhausting, overwhelming, and I was right to be scared.
Because Your Pregnancy Might Be Different This Time
For some of us, pregnancy sucks. And for some of us, our second pregnancies are nothing like our first, so even if we have a frame of reference, it becomes useless when we're facing new challenges and side-effects. While my first pregnancy was blessedly easy, my second was terrible. I had hyperemesis gravidarum (extreme nausea and vomiting) all day for months. Then,I was put on bed rest for preeclampsia. It was so scary to have unforeseen complications and not know how to cope.
Because It's So Much Harder To Be Pregnant While Parenting
It was hard enough to be pregnant the first time, and without also having to chase around a 2-year-old toddler. Then, during my second pregnancy, I was put on bed rest and couldn't even chase her around. I survived my second pregnancy through a combination of take out food, Netflix, and naps. It was scary, and exhausting.
Because You Know What Childbirth Is Like
They say you forget some of the pain of childbirth later, but I still remember the worst parts of my first childbirth experience almost nine years later. You would think that knowing what was coming would make things easier, but for me, it was way scarier. Labor and birth hurt like hell, and it's normal to fear pain and uncertainty.
Because You Remember What Postpartum Recovery Was Like
I half remembered what postpartum recovery had been like the first time. I don't remember much these days, and honestly, it kind of went by in a blur. I do recall how terrible I felt both physically and mentally — pain, sleep deprivation, postpartum depression, exhaustion — and it was hard enough with one child. So, really, it was terrifying to think about with two.
Because You Worry About What Will Happen To Your Child If You Die
For me, one of the scariest things about being pregnant the second time was thinking about what would happen to my daughter if I died. I know it sounds morbid, but women still die during pregnancy and childbirth. It's scary to think about who will care for your child, if you can't.
Because You Fear That You Will Love Your Children Differently
After I had my first child, I couldn't imagining loving another human more than I loved her. Then, when I got pregnant the second time, this thought actually scared me. I mean, what if I couldn't love my second as much, or worse, my love for my daughter diminished once my new baby was here?
After my second baby was born, a friend told me that a mother's love, time, and energy are like a pie: once you have more than one child, there's less of that pie to go around. In some ways, she was right. Some days you won't feel up to the job. You may not be enough at all times — like when you realize you only have two hands and one of them is pooping on the floor, or you have to choose which bedtime routine to do each night — but in the grand scheme of things, you learn to adapt and grow. In the end, you become a bigger pie.
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