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Pregnant with a Toddler: What I Didn’t Expect to Feel

Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters.”

I’m a little further into the second trimester, stepping slowly away from the overwhelming phase that was the first trimester while easing into the weight and slowing of the third trimester.

It’s been surreal to say the least.

The first set of bump photos I’ve taken… at 17 weeks.

I remember when I was pregnant with Dominic, I was taking “bump” photos nearly every week.  I was savoring the changes and making sure I stayed up-to-date every week.  Tristan and I would lie in bed to watch short videos of how our baby was developing.  Now?  I’m lucky to be able to sit down and catch up on the past 3 weeks of updates.  I mean, I have a toddler now.  Any moment of peace is spent doing this, or doing that, or showing me this, or sharing that.  I miss the slowing down to soak it all in.  I feel so fortunate to be in the midst of this pregnancy, but I can barely savor it.  It’s something I didn’t expect to feel right now.

Guilt.  I get waves of “mom guilt” for my unborn baby.

Tristan often says I’m too hard on myself, and I’ll admit that it’s something I still have to work on.  Finding my point of being able to accept something as “enough” is a struggling point because it seems there can always be improvement.  I anticipated the happiness and the worries, but I didn’t anticipate this.  I didn’t expect for it to be something I couldn’t fully manage.  You know, time. Silly, I know.

I’ll admit a lot of my attention has been with Dominic though – to soak up what I can of this wonderful life as it is with us 3.  In addition to him craving for my attention and pulling me in different directions, I also put a lot of attention into making sure he understands what’s going on so that’s he not surprised when life shifts when the baby arrives.  I think we’re there though – the other day, he put his hand on my belly and said “Hi baby!” out of nowhere.  I nearly cried.  That moment itself was magic.

For peace of mind, we borrowed our friend’s baby doppler.  Future big bro has enjoyed the experience of finding and hearing baby’s heartbeat.

I smile as he reminds me of all the good there is in life, but then I wonder – how is it that you’re turning 3 in a few months?  THREE? I’m about to have a three-nager?  And…I’m almost 5 months pregnant? I haven’t even thought about my upcoming newborn.  What will they need?  What will the sleeping arrangement be like?  How did this happen so fast?  Sometimes I look down and get caught off guard by my growing belly.  Oh, that’s right.  I’m pregnant.  Extreme pregnancy brain?  There’s just so much going on.  So much to think about. We still haven’t even fully unpacked from the move!  Even though I’ve worked to try to simplify aspects of my life, there’s still so many things to tend to.  Time, please slow down.  How I will ever manage to love another as equally as Dominic if I barely have enough time to share this love before the baby is even born?  You deserve more.

It’s like I blinked, and a whirlwind of time just… past.  And yet, I need to remember that sometimes life just does that.  I should be grateful that life has been enriching and that everything is in order, but in some ways, I just wish it was a little different.  I guess Oprah said it best when she said, “You can have it all.  Just not all at once.”

In a few weeks, we’ll find out if this little one is a boy or a girl.  I will be completely happy either way, but I hope that once we’re able to confirm the sex of the baby, it’ll help me focus better and give more one-on-one time with each baby.  I practiced meditation more often when I was pregnant with Dominic.  I need to set aside the time to do that for this baby as well.  It makes me worry so hard that I will not be able to give both children the love they deserve because time – it has its way with things.  I just know with each passing day, I need to be more conscious about what I need to dwindle down in my life to make more room for what’s most important.

On a plus side, I remind myself of how exciting it is to have Dom ready to fill his role as big brother.  He may be hesitant to say a preference of a brother or a sister, but he’s shown so much empathy when it comes to caring for babies.  His daycare teacher told me there was a day where a baby boy there was fumbling with his bottle and spilling milk on his face.  Dom exclaimed, “Oh no!  What a mess!” then ran off to grab a wipe.  Not only did he help clean the milk dribbling from a baby’s mouth with the wipe, but to help entertain the baby, he found a shark toy and started singing the “Baby Shark” song to the baby while mimicking swimming motions with the shark.  How sweet is that??

Other moms have said that it’s normal to feel like things are going too fast with each additional pregnancy, and I guess to some extent, I knew that.  There’s only so much time in a day to be fully present amongst so many things that need my attention.  I just didn’t think to really prepare for what that entailed in my heart.  I write it now that I will do better.

I will do better.

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