Tuesday, October 22, 2013

On having another baby

It seems like from the second Ainsley was born I've had a huge fear weighing on my mind.

Am I going to be able to have more?

They say that you forget how horrible pregnancy and labor and delivery are but I have NOT forgotten. I had a really difficult pregnancy and just the thought of being pregnant makes my stomach churn, not to mention I still don't feel like I've physically or emotionally recovered from the whole pushing a baby out experience. I vividly remember the excruciating pain of labor, the sleepless nights of pregnancy, keeping a mental list of all the new places I had lost my cookies... you get the idea. I haven't forgotten anything. 

And I hate that I haven't forgotten it. 
I really want to forget.

I have had several friends who have had babies within just a few months of when I had Ainsley already get pregnant with their second. I so badly want the courage to go through with it again but the thought keeps me up at night. I'm scared out of my mind. 

I feel like if/when I get pregnant with baby number two, I'd need to hire full time help to take care of me and her. Just about the only times I got out of bed in my first trimester were to greet the porcelain throne. And I don't want Ainsley to feel neglected. I love that girl so much I think my heart will explode. I want what is best for her. 

Please don't confuse the fear of getting pregnant again with not wanting to have a second....or third or fourth. It would make me so sad to only have one. It would make me so sad to only have two! I still want a big family!!! I always have. I love kids. The baby stage is harder for me, but I still love it! 

Putting aside the fears of pregnancy, there's the fears of actually raising two children. I hear seasoned mothers tell me all the time how easy it was when they just had one...or when their first was a baby. I know they don't mean anything by it and I'm not saying they're doing anything wrong with voicing this, but it makes me feel stupid. I only have one and she's only a baby and I still find myself feeling overwhelmed a lot. Does this mean I'm not cut out to be a mom in the first place? 

Then, every once in awhile, Heavenly Father reminds me that fear is the opposite of faith. Fear cripples the divine potential He has given me. If Satan can thwart the power of a righteous mother, he has caused more damage than I can imagine. No matter how difficult I find this work of motherhood, I know it is what I was created for. While having a child has brought on an identity crisis and I'm still trying to figure out where I fit in the rest of the world, I find my purpose in my family. I have faith in His plan knowing that if I'm meant to have more children (which I hope is the case) somehow He will help me through it. I'm grateful to know of the power of prayer and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and my Heavenly Father. No matter what, I will always be grateful for the opportunity to be my sweet Ainley's mother. 


Denise said...

It took me four years to convince myself to get pregnant again. I wanted another baby so bad but I was so terrified of being pregnant again. It was such an awful experience my first time. I finally decided I was physically, mentally and emotionally ready to face pregnancy again and now my Presley girl is two weeks old! I was telling Dave how different of an experience pregnancy and handling a newborn has been just by having a good attitude about it and focusing on the good things (not that you didn't/don't, but I was very negative my first pregnancy) but it really does make a huge difference! I find myself rocking Presley back to sleep at 2-3 in the morning just starring at her. She'll have been asleep for a while but I just don't want to put her down because I just love her so much! I'm starting to ramble but I just want you to know that you're not the only one that's felt like this. I know exactly what you're going through and I'm here for you! It's scary but it's SO worth it :)
Love you!

Katie said...

Such cute pictures. And I definitely have felt some of these feelings...especially worried about being pregnant/having a newborn plus another older child. I don't understand how I'll take care of Ellie while I'm in front of the porcelain throne, and I don't understand how I'm going to chase her around the house with a newborn in tow. But I take comfort that other women like me have been there. We'll figure it out, I know we will :)

Flora and Fauna said...

Girl I am right there with you! I am SO glad Lauren connected us. I was literally having this exact same conversation with my husband last night. I really thought I would be ready by now but the moment I think of my delivery the hairs on my back stand up and I fear I may never be ready again. But you're right, I know that with time all things will heal and I will wake up one day and know that I am ready. Hang in there darling! I will keep you in my thoughts! xo

Emma Frances said...

I honestly don't know how people do it who get any more sick than I do. I don't get that sick but it was/still is SO HARD to take care of Holland when I feel sick/am throwing up. I think it definitely will take A LOT of faith to get pregnant again (it did for me!) and there is NOTHING wrong with that. Also, I need to find this awesome blog post about how every number of children is the hardest. One child is the hardest when that's all you have. And then you have two and that's the hardest and then three and so on. I don't think it's the nicest thing to say that it was so much easier because for people who only have one it is the HARDEST right then--even for the women who say that one was so much easier--when they only had one it was still SO HARD for them. I guess that's something that people might forget but should work on remembering more often. I worry so much about raising two little ones but I'm sure Heavenly Father will help make up for my many shortcomings! You are going to be an amazing mom to however many adorable children you have! Ainsley and the rest of your future little ones are so lucky to have you! Love you Alexis!! Now if only we could raise our kids close to each other!!

-Danica- said...

I have similar pregnancies to yours (not to mention a very..."challenging" little girl haha) and it's taken me 3 years to be ready to take on this whole thing again. I remember about a minute after pushing my daughter out having the thought of "how can i convince other and myself that it's okay to just have one kid? because I will never do this again." And I was pretty serious. It took about 2 years to even feel okay *thinking* about having a 2nd. But it was right for our family and so Heavenly Father made it possible for me to feel okay about getting pregnant again. It's been tough, but having my daughter old enough to be somewhat independent helped so much. I was in bed for about 15-16 weeks and she was so good about getting herself snacks from the fridge and laying next to me watching tv and movies. It wasn't the ideal way I wanted her to spend her whole summer, but we got through it!

I guess what I am trying to say is that if its right, you WILL be able to do it. It will probably be hard, but as you know with your daughter, it's worth it. And Just remember that every pregnancy/birth is different. The next one might not be as traumatic :)

Sarah said...

Something to consider- let the Lord tell you when to have another child and trust in that. Does that mean it'll be an easy decision that won't keep you up at night? No, but if you feel that He was the one who prompted it then you will have an anchor in your heart during the whole experience of pregnancy/birth and being a new mom to two. Some people are meant to have babies 19 months apart, but some are meant to have them 3-4 years apart. The Lord knows what is best for you, Ainsley, and your hubby. He'll protect you <3

Annastasia Richardson said...

I know it's easier said than done but don't sweat it!
I remember my mom telling me a story about someone who was pretty much like you with her pregnancies. Basically from the minute she conceived she was laying in bed miserable or on the bathroom floor in much the same manner. I just remember my mom saying that the woman said "I will know when I am ready to handle it again."
I think we spend so much of this life trying to fit to others' ideas and guidelines- even within the church! We think Susie had her kids a year apart and families are important so I should too! and it's just not true! One thing I've learned over my long 24 years of life is that my life is my own, it is my journey and no one else's. And as long as I am checking in with the Lord and I have peace about the decisions I'm making then nothing else matters. What matters is that I am doing what is right for me.
My biggest example of that was choosing not to pursue a bachelor's. Growing up there was no other option, but when it came time I was so stressed just thinking about all I had to do before I could even transfer to an (EXPENSIVE) university to get a degree in a subject I wasn't interested in (because no one had a degree in what I really wanted to study) I would end up in tears at the thought of it and lose sleep over it. Thank goodness for loving husbands who talk us out of such crazy things. And thank goodness for a loving Heavenly Father who knew me better than myself and gave me peace about the decision to take a different path.
occasionally I would talk with someone and they would make me feel bad for not planning to pursue a bachelor's and I would rethink my decision and with it came the weight of the world back on my shoulders. But then I remembered the answer I had already received from God (who knows best!) and the weight would leave and peace would return.
just keep a prayer in your heart for peace and guidance.
peace that you are doing exactly what the Lord wants for this season, this time in your life. and guidance that you can continue to be an amazing mom to Ainsley and that WHEN the time is RIGHT Heavenly Father will let you know that it's time for her to get a playmate. :)

Tara said...

Alexis, I love how honest you are in your posts. It's something that keeps me coming back to your blog (besides the fact that your family is so cute!)

Choosing to have another baby is a scary decision! Everyone is "ready" at different times. Many of the ladies who had babies when I had my girl are pregnant again, too. I loved pregnancy (even though I was soooo sick and exhausted for the first 15 weeks), but I'm still not sure how I'd juggle a toddler and all-day sickness. I guess it does just come down to faith. Heavenly Father always provides for us in whatever we need :)

Annastasia Richardson said...

anndddd because my last comment wasn't long enough...
P.S. as far as mothers saying it "was so much easier with just one!"
it is. but elementary school is easier than high school, but it is appropriate for your abilities at the time. Just like 4th grade was maybe really hard at first, but then again so was junior year and when you were a junior boy do you wish you could go back to 4th grade! we come to these "levels" in our lives as we are ready for them. Being a new mother to one baby is HARD! but so is being a mom to 2 kids! just in a different way. With #2 you probably aren't going to worry so much about the little things and just being able to keep her alive and instead you will worry about learning to balance your time and attention, and with #3 you won't worry so much about that but instead worry about the fact that you only have 2 hands and now you have 3 kids! every stage is hard, but for different reasons. It is another chance for growth.
and if you worry about Ainsley not getting enough attention when you have #2, remember that there will then be another person to give/receive Ainsley's attention! Her sibling! It's not all on you- that sibling will become a playmate for her. If it's soon they will be close in age and probably closer for that, if it's later I'm sure it will be amazing to watch Ainsley take care of her "baby" and be more aware of actually caring for someone else and they will be close for different reasons.

you're supermom. make your own calendar and timeline- make it match the Lord's not everyone else's. ;)

Karina Marie Powell said...

Such an honest post. I think I think about this weekly! You are an amazing mom and your daughter is so lucky to have you!

K&R said...

i love this post. and such a great reminder at the end that we can apply to so many areas of our lives, its more important to be faithful then fearful. in the end our faith will get us farther than our fears.

while i'm not a mother yet, i know that i am afraid, and that some people just breeze through the delivery, but just thinking about it gives me nightmares.

you will be ready all in good time, your time table is different than everyone elses, so don't worry cute girl.

also lets plan a meetup soon! email me and we can make it happen!

Courtney B said...

Confession. I had an easy pregnancy, easy labor, easy recovery and EASY baby!! But I am TERRIFIED to get pregnant again. I feel so rotten admitting that... but seriously. A couple weeks ago I asked Eric if he'd be sad if I got pregnant right now. He told me no. I was like, what the crap? You want our kids that close in age?? He said "no, but I wouldn't be sad even though you would be sad." I was like, sad?? PLEASE, I'd be pisssssed.

And then I felt super horrible for admitting that out loud.

I'm just scared of the unknown. I'm scared of having a hard time. I can't get that lucky twice in a row. And I'm scared of not being able to give Mia all of me when I do get pregnant. That would break my heart!

BUT obviously that means I'm not ready right now. If it happened, I'd get over it and I'd get excited and I'd be thankful that Heavenly Father was blessing me with another baby.

But I also know that I WILL be ready to get pregnant again someday. And until then, I refuse to feel guilty for not wanting another one right now. I can enjoy every little moment of life right now and until I feel ready to change things up, I am NOT going to feel guilty! And you shouldn't either! You're an amazing woman... and the BEST mom! So just enjoy how wonderful it all is right now :) The time will come when you'll be ready for change!

Siri Baxter said...

Really inspiring to read this Alexis... I am only on my first so I can only imagine. You are such a great mom and I LOVE what you took from this conference quote!

Chelsie said...

Coming from a mom of three kids who's still trying to figure it out, you are completely normal and should feel validated in your feelings. You're a wonderful mom! It's not always easy, but God takes care of you, lifts you when you need it, and somehow things always work out. You just do the best you can. And about the one kid is easier junk... Bull! Each amount of kids is hard and easy for their own reasons. You'll do great with two when the time is right!