Becoming a parent is profoundly life changing.
It has a way of splitting us wide open, so that our most vulnerable of places, our most sacred hopes and dreams, are laid bare.
Which is why it hurts so much when we come up against loss, or grief, or disappointment or trauma or any of the unexpected challenges that come up on our journey into parenthood that absolutely NO ONE prepared us for.
And so, of course it can feel so scary to think about doing it all over again.
But what I’ve noticed now that my second child is no longer a baby, but a full fledged toddler, and my husband and I are debating whether or not we should go for a third, is that there is a different flavour, a different intensity, to my fears and hesitancies this time around, compared to with my first.
After my first child was born, my fears around having another baby were truly rooted in trauma and grief, fear and so much pain.
I was so scared it would be awful all over again (spoiler alert, it wasn’t).
But fears like these – the ones being driven by our traumas and our pain – are only one type of reason why we might be hesitant to have another baby.
Another type of reason is actually quite practical in nature. One that’s more rooted in our needs and values and the life we’ve imagined for ourself, and how another child might or might not fit into that picture.
And that’s the experience I’m having this time around as I think about having a third.
Because, this time it’s not trauma that’s guiding the decision – I’m not afraid that I’ll have another baby that doesn’t sleep or cries all the time and that I’ll find myself once again in that place of truly believing that I was failing my child and somewhat losing my mind. Because, my experience with my second baby was proof that it can be different, even if all circumstances are very much the same. And not only different, but healing.
But this time around, as someone who’ll be 38 years old next week, I wonder about my body’s ability to handle another pregnancy – especially the kind of pregnancy I tend to have, which involves carrying a 10lb baby around inside my small 5 foot 3 body, and experiencing all the pain and exhaustion that comes with that. Not to mention the hernias and diastasis and all that has wrought on this body of mine.
And I worry about how difficult it’s been to navigate the changes to my body, especially after my second pregnancy, and how much harder that might be after a third.
I worry about the practicalities of how we’ll navigate sleep, when we still have 2 children who still need us so much at night.
I worry about not being able to throw myself with full force into my career for another 3-4 years, until the next one is in school.
To name a few.
And so when I think about these categories, let’s call them the Fears and the Worries, if you will, I think about how little conversation there really is about either of them. And how so many of us are navigating it all on our own.
(Which is exactly why I’m building this course which will address both, that I assure you.)
But I just wanted to take the time today, in case you happen to find yourself in this place, to name that the Fears require a slightly different approach than the Worries.
Different tools. Different conversations with ourselves. About our beliefs, our internalized cultural messaging, the state of our nervous system and the way trauma has reshaped the way we see the world, the values we hold dear, that stories we’re telling ourselves about who we are, what our lives should look like, what our bodies should look like, what our families should look like, and so much more.
And whether or not you decide to join me for the I’d Love Another Baby, But course, I do hope you find somewhere sacred to hold these conversations with yourself and with your partner.
Sending all my love,