Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Power of a Heartbeat

Yesterday's 8 week check up went perfectly.   I was so thrilled to see that spot on the screen and the tiniest little flicker of a heartbeat.  Yes, a heartbeat!  I still can't believe how fast a baby develops.  It leaves me in awe and it reminds me how fragile and special a little life is.

After the ultra sound we had a meeting with a nurse practitioner to address any questions or concerns that we might have.  Since this is our second baby our list of questions were much smaller.  At least our list of pregnancy related questions are smaller but our list of logistical, "how are we going to make this work" type of questions were much, much longer!

At the very beginning of the appointment the nurse practitioner looked at us both and said, "so tell me... what are you worried about?"  "What are your concerns?"  Hubby and I looked at each other and without saying a word I could see the list of worries and concerns racing through our heads like NASDAQ quotes on Wall Street!  I knew the nurse wanted to know about the things we had concerns about regarding our pregnancy and not so much about the millions of other things on our minds.  Things like:
  • How are we going to afford two babies in daycare full-time?
  • How are we going to afford two babies, period?
  • How am I going to be able to juggle the work-life-balance as a mother of two?
  • Where is the new baby going to sleep?
  • Baby Boy might be too young for a "big boy bed" when the new baby arrives so will we need two cribs?
  • Is Baby Boy going to be missing out on special time with his mommy and daddy because of the new baby?
  • Is the new baby going to miss out on special mommy and daddy time because we have our hands full with a toddler too?
  • How is my boss going to react when I tell him?
  • How is this labor going to go?
  • Will the new baby and I have a better run at breastfeeding?
And those are just a few!  Then of course, my dear friend GUILT joins the party and I feel bad for stressing in the first place.  When we learned we were expecting Baby Boy we were thrilled and we spent the following 9 months in "baby bliss land" where everything was exciting and fun.  Sure we had logistical things to work out and there was some stress and anxiety about being first time parents, but it didn't feel like this...

I feel bad that the new baby wasn't immediately greeted with the same overwhelming joy.  Please don't hate me.  I know that sounds very, very bad and I should clarify something.  Baby #2 was ALWAYS in our plan.  However, we genuinely thought it would take us a while to conceive as it took us over a year with Baby Boy.  We were naive enough to think our first time out of the gates wouldn't lead to the obvious.  So although we were trying for Baby #2 when it became a reality we were still a bit surprised.  I feel guilty that the new baby was greeted with shock and stress.  This baby deserves the same excitement and overwhelming joy that Baby Boy did. 

We are expanding our family and when I think of how much fun we've had over the past year with our son I get excited to share that with another baby.  I can't deny that I also think of how much we've struggled over the past year.  Baby Boy was constantly sick from being in daycare full time.  I missed a lot of work and had to make up for it whenever possible.  We struggled financially.  But, and this is a big "but", the love and sense of family we've experienced over the past year is so powerful and amazing that any struggle we faced can be forgotten. 

Although we have a number of logistics to go over and we may experience some stress along the way I have shifted gears and am dedicated to giving the same attention and excitement toward our Baby #2 as we did with #1.  So my initial reaction, although very real and honest, is now replaced by happiness and joy. Seeing that flutter of a heartbeat brought me right back to that "baby bliss land" and I couldn't be happier!  

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