Tiny kicks and pinpricks of worry

My husband felt our second baby kick for the first time last night.
 
I’d be lying if I said I felt no trepidation about this second baby.
 
Sometimes it feels like our lives have JUST barely reached some sort of equilibrium—what if I’m throwing off that balance forever? Having a child changed everything. My career is different (albeit so much better). Our marriage was tested (though came out arguably stronger). My friendships were refined (and I was left with fewer but the most amazing connections).
 
Despite all those positive results, it was rough road getting here. It was months of depression and postpartum anger and stress and self-doubt.
 
Some days, Vivi still screams for 20 minutes about the dress she’s going to wear or a headband that I’m not putting on her “right.” Some days, I wonder if I’m going to survive year two…let alone if I can do it again in another couple years.
 
Some days I wonder if I’ve possibly made a big mistake.
 
Because…am I ready for another seismic shift in my life?
 
On a (somewhat? maybe?) smaller scale, I worry about my heart growing to love two babies equally.
 
This is a thing. I know it’s a thing. Every woman doubts her ability to love her next child as much as her first, and virtually everyone comments later that it was a silly, pointless worry. “You just do,” they reassure you with friendly smiles.
 
But like a young girl who asks what love feels like, the answers never seem to really satisfy the way experience ultimately will. But I believe in the THING. I know I will love this baby differently but the same, and I look forward to the moment when I just do.
 
Which isn’t to say this experience isn’t rife with its own opportunities for worry. I worry about my children getting along. I worry about upsetting Vivi’s life. I worry about a thousand unknown things that I hope one day I’ll laugh at myself for worrying about.
 
But then, last night on the couch, my husband’s hand pressed to the side of my belly as we both held our breath, his eyebrows jumped with each wiggle until finally, “Was THAT it?”
 
“Yes!”
 
And both our eyes filled with tears as we grinned at each other like idiots, a mirror image of ourselves three years ago on a different couch in a small apartment in Astoria.
 
“I love it already,” my husband whispered.
“Me too,” I answered softly.
 
Because despite the worry and the waiting shifts, it’s true. We just do.

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