Soon to be four

ollies-announcement

Where to begin, where to begin?

Remember when I wrote this post about people asking if we were planning to have a second child and how stressed that was making me and how we were just so undecided and nervous and … blah?

Well, I was already pregnant. I took the positive test that night. My first clue came in the form of my emotions being all. over. the place., which isn’t necessarily unusual for me — but I remembered that out-of-control hormonal feeling from a previous experience. Namely: a previous pregnancy.

It was … surprising. Exciting! And scary.

It’s different this time. While I was blindly, happily naive to any sort of possible “complications” during my first pregnancy, I’m approaching this one with open eyes. Putting aside Oliver’s traumatic birth and my preeclampsia, my husband and I know what it’s like to have a newborn in the house. We know what those sleepless nights and early mornings will require of us. We know we’re going to have to invest in a king-size can of coffee, like, every few days. We know we’re going to be tired.

I’m almost 13 weeks along, preparing to bid adieu to the first trimester and generally coming back to life. This pregnancy has been easier on me physically — less nausea, less exhaustion — but tougher mentally. Having a 17-month-old during the early, awful days when I wanted nothing more than to lay in a dark room eating crackers was tough. I can’t just concentrate on me this go ’round; I have sweet Oliver reaching for his Puffs. My husband has been awesome (as always), but it’s always Ollie and me getting ready for work and daycare in the morning. Mornings are hard.

And, you know, work. I’m probably busier at my job than ever before — and working in a completely different environment this pregnancy. Different building, different coworkers, different boss… different company, actually, though we’re still the same newspaper. This is good, really, because I love our staff and get a lot of joy from what I do. But? You know, it’s work. I don’t want to fall behind in any area: as a parent, wife, employee. The balancing act is tough.

It probably sounds selfish, but we are all finally sleeping again and I am … scared about what adding another child to the mix will be like. Maybe all second-time parents feel this way. (I hope?) I feel like we’ve just gained our footing as a family of three, and now we’re expanding to four. While I’m thrilled and feel very fortunate to be having a second child, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared, too.

The difference between this pregnancy, so far, and the last one? Well, I’ve come a long way from the woman whose chief concern was how quickly she’d be able to shower after childbirth. (Seriously? Yeah.) Being hospitalized for a week beforehand will do that to a lady.

So many of the concerns I had as a first-time parent have softened with experience. We have already taken care of an infant. Of a premature infant. Of a fresh-from-the-NICU infant. We have driven home with a 4-pound baby. We have been away from our child and close to our child and we have stayed up until 2, 3, 4 a.m. listening to him breathe. We’ve driven to the ER in the dead of night, and dashed to our son’s hospital bed after surgery.

And we have laughed together, cried together, watched endless (endless, endless) episodes of “The Muppets” together. Sometimes I still look at my child and think, I have a child. A child who now reaches out to run his little fingers through my hair, who croons “Mama” in my arms just before he falls asleep.

We have known fear, and we have known grace. So much grace.

So no, I’m not the pregnant woman I was before … but I think I’m someone stronger. And hungrier.

Someone who desperately wants tortilla chips and super-spicy queso all the time.

And cake. Brownies. Cookies.

You know what? Just bring the whole dessert platter. Let’s do this.


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30 thoughts on “Soon to be four

  1. Congratulations, Meg! So happy for you! I remember going from a family of three to four, and it was everything you’ve described above. I think, too, you’ll surprise yourself along the way at how much more at ease you’ll feel with certain things. Little things, maybe, to those who haven’t joined the parenting fraternity, but you’ll definitely feel it.

    The biggest thing, though, is that Oliver is going to be a big brother! Believe me, your greatest joy will come from watching him interact with his younger sibling. It’s confounding and humbling and entertaining and just plain fun, all at the same time.

    Wishing you well and that this pregnancy goes smoothly. All the best, and congrats once again!

    • Thank you so, so much. You’re right: I cannot wait to see Oliver become a big brother, and I can’t even imagine how much my heart will expand in that moment. After everything we went through welcoming him, I hope this pregnancy is much smoother — and even if it’s not, I know we can get through it. We have and we will. ❤

  2. I’m so excited for you and happy for your family! I have all the same fears for when we add a second one to the mix eventually. It’s normal to worry and wonder but you seem to have a positive attitude. You can do this and you will. You will do great!

  3. Congratulations, Meg! And yes, all second-time parents have similar fears because now you know exactly what to fear. But with that fear comes the experience too. and being prepared is half the battle. I know you are going to be excellent parents to your second child; one look at Oliver’s happy face is proof-positive that you are rocking the parenting thing.

    • Thanks so much, Michelle! That means so much to me. I can count on one hand the number of times I haven’t cried when someone said, “You’re doing great!” We all need that reassurance. I appreciate it!

  4. Congratulations to you! I look forward to reading your column, and I identify with so much of what you write! I’m feeling the same joys and concerns about #2 (my #2 is due in May). Best wishes to you for a safe and healthy pregnancy.

    • Thank you, Brie! My best wishes to you, too, as we get ready to do this whole crazy thing again. 😉 It’s exciting and nerve-wracking and a thousand other things. I think it will feel more “real” when we learn if we’re having another boy or, this time, a girl… then I can prepare a little bit. Well, as much as one can, anyway!

    • Quite true, Kailana! The lack of sleep (again) is probably what scares me most right now. I don’t look forward to those zombie days again…

  5. So, so excited for you and your family! I will keep my fingers crossed for you this second time around. As you know, I lucked out the second time around and although I had some issues towards the end, the pregnancy was a lot easier on me. I hope you take some time to enjoy it all, because it goes by so fast. And sleep? Yeah, I miss it. 🙂 Get some good shut-eye while you can. It’s so worth it though. I can’t wait for all of your pregnancy updates.

    • Thank you, Christina! Knowing you’ve had a preeclampsia-free second pregnancy has been a big comfort to me. We’ll rest again someday … right? 😉

  6. So happy for you!!

    I’m pregnant with our second and you’ve said many of the things we’ve been thinking the whole time. Nervous about the lack of sleep because now we KNOW what that’s like! and you’re spot on about the difference between being pregnant and being a pregnant mom. (Ps, although not born as early as Oliver- my son was 36 weeks – you may feel a little reassured that despite all my anxiety about another preemie, my due date is tomorrow and every indication points to being overdue! They are discussing induction at 41 weeks !)

    Hope you’re getting your energy back a little ! Here’s to a happy and healthy pregnancy! Congratulations!!!

    • So glad to hear you’ve made it so far this time, Kate! I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ll have an easier go of it this time, too. Wishing you lots of happiness and rest as you prepare to welcome your second, too! ❤

  7. Despite already knowing that you were pregnant from your Instagram photo, I still read the title of this post and thought “wait, there’s no way that Oliver can be almost 4 already?!!”

    So so pleased for you all! Heaps of congratulations! I really hope it all goes smoothly x

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