When I got pregnant with my first child, Lyd, I was completely serene. I didn’t fear pregnancy, and I didn’t fear how a new baby would fit into our family. After educating myself and conquering my fears of the childbirth process, I wasn’t afraid a bit to have a baby. When Lyd was born, I was eager to see her, hold her, and pictures of me taken in the minutes and hours and days following her birth show me with a radiant glow. I remember being unbelievably happy; I had no post-partum depression of any kind. The only tears I had were tears of joy. I remember an incident from when Lyd was about a week old. JJ and I were in our living room holding and talking to and admiring our new daughter. IZ was singing “What a Wonderful World” on the CD player, and I wept from the complete sheer bliss of the moment.
When I got pregnant with my second child, Jujubee, I panicked. I had equally panicked during my short pregnancy before Jujubee, a pregnancy that ended in a miscarriage. When I became pregnant with Jujubee, my panic returned. I was afraid of morning sickness again, and I could not picture how a new baby would fit into our family. In the minutes following Jujubee’s birth, I had a final panic attack. It didn’t help that Jujubee’s birth was rather sudden and traumatic and that she was born blue with an Apgar of 4. I remember after she came out and (finally!) gave her first cry, then the nurses gave her to me, but I was shaking so bad I could only hold her for a moment. JJ had to take her as I cried and wailed, “I can’t handle two children! I can’t do it!” To which my wise doula responded, “But Emily, you already ARE doing it.” Thankfully, my caretakers helped me do the right things to get nursing established and to bond more with my baby, and after a few weeks I was thoroughly in love with my little girl. It actually was a blessing for me emotionally that Jujubee ended up in Children’s Hospital for 24 hours when she was six weeks old, because I wasn’t sure yet that I really loved her. When I was faced with a fleeting thought of losing her, I then realized how much I loved her.
I am not pregnant with a third child … yet. I still hang onto hope that another baby is in my future. And if I am blessed with another child, my prayer is that I won’t panic this time around. Some of my panic was physiological; my anxiety wasn’t under control then as well as it is now, so some of it wasn’t technically my fault. But beyond the physical problems, I really did have emotional issues with how I would possibly handle a second child and how I would love a second child as much as my first child. Those fears turned out to be completely unfounded, as Jujubee has completely stolen my heart as well as the hearts of the rest of her family and anyone else who spends time with her. We can no longer imagine our family without her.
So, I pray that the good experience I have had with Jujubee will make me less fearful about another pregnancy experience as well as another addition to our family if I find myself pregnant. I can’t control what my body does, but I think it’s better prepared to handle a pregnancy than it was four years ago. Emotionally, I think I’m in vastly better shape than I was four years ago! I’m still a little nervous (especially about going through morning sickness again), but I now know of even more methods for dealing with it then I did last time, and I also know that it doesn’t last forever.
I was watching some video clips on our computer from when both of my girls were born, and oh my, did I have cute little babies! I’m really hoping I get the chance to have that experience one more time. I keep holding on to the fact that when the time is right, God will send us a baby. If he doesn’t send us a baby, that means the time wasn’t right, and I pray that I’ll be able to find a way to be okay with that, too. But I guess I haven’t given up all hope yet (especially after a very encouraging acupuncture appointment today) that perhaps a baby is still in my future.
I’ll have to wait and see what God has in store.