It’s been a while. Having two kids will do that to you. The last time we spoke I was pregnant with my second baby, but still didn’t know whether we were having a boy or a girl, although I was certain I was having a boy.
Spoiler alert, we had another girl!
Even though it was a big shock our hearts are so full with our two girls. Our oldest is now 2 years and 4 months, and our youngest is 2.5 months.
Throughout the pregnancy I had so many worries about having a second child, I worried if I had enough love to share with two children, if I was really ready to have another baby. Part way through my pregnancy I started struggling with depression and anxiety, to the point that my midwife said I had prenatal depression.
Perinatal (prenatal and postpartum) mental illness is something that hasn’t always been recognized, and the spectrum of conditions continues to grow. For myself, prenatal depression was something I had only heard about maybe a year before.
The first thing that came to my mind was fear that I was going to struggle again postpartum; I felt like I’d just come out of that storm and now I was heading right back into it. I struggled through the whole pregnancy mentally and it seemed like it would only continue after.
Finally, January 7th our baby girl made her appearance and every single worry and fear I had disappeared. While it’s true in some cases that prenatal depression can lead to postpartum depression, in my case thankfully, it didn’t. I felt connected to her instantly and the ease of having a newborn the second time around was such a relief. I didn’t have the same fears and anxieties I had the first time. I wouldn’t be close to tears every evening worrying about something happening to her through the night.
I read something recently about mothers who don’t struggle with mental health with their second children, only with their first. It talked about mourning that enjoyment you missed out on with your first born because you were so consumed with worry and struggle and I completely understand that. The ease and joy I feel with my second is something I never got to experience before, and she is actually a fussier baby than my first and I still feel that way. So it is sad feeling like that whole experience was a bit tarnished because of whatever mental health issues I had.
That being said, I make sure to take full advantage of the better circumstances I have this time around to enjoy both my girls. My oldest is so eager to help with her baby sister and loves her so much. She also gets the biggest smiles from her out of anyone. My youngest although being fussier, gassy and grumpy still makes my heart feel so full. When she’s happy and gas-free she has the biggest smiles and loves attention.
So yes I thought I was having a boy, I was convinced. But now that I have my two girls I can’t imagine life any other way. My husband has learned to live with all the estrogen and loves being a girl dad, although we’re not opposed to getting a boy dog next time to mix it up.