I feel like I’ve been in the last 400 meters of a cross country race for months. It's that stretch when your legs are jello, lungs are on fire, all while trying not to vomit. Pregnancy will do that to you. It’s a 10 month marathon of perseverance. It’s a 10 month marathon of mind over matter…lots of matter. It’s a 10 month marathon of digging for courage while you face fears and embrace life altering change. It’s finding energy and faith…believing and trusting in science and medicine. But man, that last ¼ mile…
Extra thinking, extra worrying, extra anxiety… but an extra person?? It took a long time to adjust to being a party of 3. Our daughter has been trail blazing since day one and as a result, my husband and I have had to adapt. Teaching someone from scratch takes an unfathomable amount of patience, time and energy. And we’re about to do it again! Waaaaaaaaaat??!! So many nights after the terrible two’s had us staring glassy eyed into space, I thought to myself, “How are we going to do all of this?- there’s no way.”
We all know that deep down, everything works itself out, if not for any other reason than…that’s what life does. Time doesn’t stand still…it moves forward. So you keep moving forward, you evolve, you grow. You bend and adapt to your new life. There’s no going backward. I recently read a very poignant quote from a woman I follow on Instagram. It has stuck with me these last few months:
So, as I enter the final stretch of weeks before baby “Dos,” makes his/her arrival, I realize that the difference between my first round at parenting and this round is experience. So, I decided to try really hard to really embrace the “Knowledge is power,” frame of mind.
Various mental exchanges with myself:
“Oh God, birth sucks.” Yes, it does. But you already did it once. You lived.
“What if this baby has colic, too?” Then you hang on for dear life and embrace those 5 S’s that Harvey Karp preaches about and pray that those first 3-4 months go by in a blink.
"What if I have post-partum depression?" Then you get your head right before anything else. This ship doesn't sail without some self care.
I recall a conversation I had with a friend years ago. She was on the brink of stepping into a new role at work that was also a lot of “extra.” Extra responsibility, stress, people management…time.
“How am I going to do all this- there’s no way.”
“I don’t think you realize that you’ve already been doing it. You’re so worried about swimming in the deep end that you don’t realize that you’ve been there for years.
You’re already swimming.”
It’s so simple when we can have someone get us out of our own heads with just a simple sentence. It’s even better when we can be the moment of clarity for someone else.
Onward and upward.
To those parents getting ready to be parents again, you got this. You’re already in the deep end.