Pregnancy #2 and the Guilt that Comes with It

I think it comes as no surprise that I feel guilty about stuff. I’m easily guilted into things and just feel guilty ALL OF THE TIME. I think my mom has done a real bang-up job on hammering the whole guilt thing into me (despite how mean people think I can be to her).

I’ve been feeling a lot of guilt lately around caring for my mom, not making more of my last few months wtih my dad (because, really, who knew he was going to die?) and now? Now I feel guilty about having another baby.

I want another child. I’ve wanted this since AM was a few months old. I wanted her to have a sibling somewhat close in age so that she’d always have someone to play with. She’d always have someone who can relate to her when she complains about her horribly embarrassing parents. And especially, she’d have someone to help her manage her ailing parents when we’re too old to care for ourselves (or when I inevitably get Alzheimer’s or cancer as I’m predicting will happen to me).

I found out I was pregnant in mid May. I spent the first 2 weeks in shock. I wanted it but I guess I just wasn’t anticipating that it would happen for a few more months. Then I went into a fury about MOVING. We had to move. We had no space in our house. So for a few weeks, I obsessed over real estate. And then, my dad died. And I sort of spiraled into this feeling of hopelessness. My dreams of moving to the ideal suburban area was crushed and I was now faced with caring for a 67 year old woman who was grieving.

And then just like that, I was nearly half way through this pregnancy.

Guys. I am nearly (and I’m talking just days away) from being officially halfway through my pregnancy.

I feel guilty that I should be making more out of the time we have left as a family of 3. We should be soaking up every moment of having just 1 child (and her experiencing the joys of being an only child).

I feel guilty that when the new baby arrives, AM will not longer have my undivided attention. My attention is now divided and will always be going forward.

I feel guilty that I may miss some wonderful things AM says and does because my attention is now spread.

Did we rush this? Should we have waited until she was a little older?

Sometimes I look at AM and I get a little teary-eyed. She is my baby. Even when she’s throwing an epic temper tantrum (like she did last week at the mall complete with flailing around on the ground), I still look at her as my one and only. How will this dynamic change with another child?

So yeah. Lots of mom guilt going on right now.

And even worse? I still can’t devote making the most out of having just 1 child. Our free time now is devoted to helping my mom, cleaning out her house, etc. We’re always so busy now. And my heart breaks a little more each time I realize that this time is moving at warp speed.

Weeee
(not to get all artsy fartsy but I thought the blurriness of this photo perfectly captured how I feel about AM’s rapid growth.)

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Every night before I go to bed, I go into AM’s room and look at her sweet sleeping face. I usually put my hand on her chest or back to feel her heartbeat. I realize that this sounds absolutely insane, but I can’t help myself. Those are the minutes I take to soak in my only child. With all of this guilt mounting, I find myself getting choked up when I do this crazy routine. Will this change when I’m balancing 2 kids?

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And the other guilt I feel is the guilt over the fact that I feel guilty! Gah! I can’t win. I feel guilty about feeling guilty about pregnancy #2 when there are people I know struggling to conceive AT ALL and here I am with another wee one on the way. Or friends who would love to expand their family but specific circumstances prevent them from doing so right now.

How do some people go through life without feeling guilty over everything?

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7 Comments

Filed under Charm City Kim Breeds

7 responses to “Pregnancy #2 and the Guilt that Comes with It

  1. It’s amazing finding out how much love you possess. Then to see the love between the two babies is so sweet! I love hearing my two boys laugh back and forth. They are 22 months apart and I won’t lie, it’s tough. But they are so sweet!

    Maybe write a “To Do List Before #2 Comes” and take pictures of the fun you three have.

  2. As you know, I’m mired in guilt too. For different reasons, but I can relate. I know every situation is different, but if it helps, I always say my siblings are the best gift my parents ever gave me. We are all very close in age – five kids in about 8 years – and maybe it wasn’t perfect every day, but it is truly the best gift. I think, in the end, you’ll be glad for how this worked out.

  3. I have had moments of guilt recently, too. I get worried and wistful about all the attention we’re able to give Em and how different it will be with another to dote on. I’m sure it’ll work out fine, but it sounds like everything you’re feeling sounds perfectly normal.

  4. You know how we deal with it? We pay very nice people to sit and listen to us vomit our guilt and fears for an hour and then tell us that we’re okay, we’re not bad people, that this is normal. Sometimes just knowing that your anxiety isn’t special makes it a little more manageable.

    Really, though, I think you have more urgent things to worry about. Like the fact that having TWO little cuties as adorable as AM is likely going to cause the apocalypse.

  5. I feel guilty about everything too. It’s normal, but I’m here to say you truly shouldn’t feel guilty about bringing another baby into the house. I can totally understand mourning the “just the three of us,” even if you wanted another child. Change is hard! But I’m with Doah. Siblings can definitely be one of the best gifts ever. I love my brother and sister and wouldn’t change that for the world.

  6. Carrie

    This seriously made me cry. I’m sure AM will love having a sibling and can you even imagine how cute it will be when she tries to help?

  7. Vonni

    I’m the oldest of 2, my brother is 5 years younger than I. And although there were times I tried to murder him as a child (remind me to tell you about the tricycle and stairs incident) I wouldn’t trade having him for anything in the world. We are great friends now and at one time were actually roommates in Atlanta while we were working there. Don’t feel guilty about the 2nd child…siblings are a trial, but they are also a great gift.

    And go with monsterawrs suggestion. It helps. Alot!

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