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Thursday
Oct272011

Is There Room In My Heart For Two? 

Today I announced that I am pregnant with Baby #2 on the MommyBeta Podcast. It's true! Baby loading! 

I found out I was pregnant about 6 weeks ago. Next week, I enter the second trimester and hopefully this morning sickness (AKA all-damn-day sickness) will subside soon. 

What surprises me about this pregnancy is not that it is so familiar but rather that the idea of another baby is so foreign, even after 6 weeks of warming to the idea. 

Last week I went in for my genetic testing where I had to give about a gallon of blood. (I exagerate but not by much!) The nurse asked if I was excited about Baby #2 and I gave her an honest answer as I often find myself incapable of meaningless smalltalk. 

"Yes but I'm nervous because I don't know how I'll find room in my heart for another one," I said. 

She was silent so I kept talking. 

"I'm sure all moms feel that way, right?" I said. 

"Actually no," she said. "You're the first person to ever say that to me. Most moms are nervous that they won't be able to handle the workload. No one's ever said that they may not have room in their heart. That's interesting." 

Interesting? This woman sees new mothers every day and I am the first one to express this sentiment? How can that be?

Of course I am referring to the love I have for Baby Mo who is 15 months old now. Every day I fall more in love with my son as his personality grows and he shows himself to be intelligent and kind and fun loving. My heart is chalk full of love for him, for my husband Clayton, for our family. I feel like I am at capacity! Yet I am told that when I see my new baby, I'll find that I have so much more love to give. 

My mom said she felt the same way when she was pregnant with my sister but then "you get over that fast." 

I did not learn to truly love Baby Mo until I had actually seen him with my own eyes. There is no preparing yourself for how much you will fall in love with your child, which is why I know that when #2 makes his/her debut, I'll love him/her in a brand new way because s/he is a brand new person. 

It is also worth reminding myself that I did want another baby. We had planned to start trying towards the end of the year but it turns out we're a fertile family. Which is fine by me! I don't want to go through another humid summer in my last month of pregnancy. Woof!

We are in a good place for another baby. We have moved out of Manhattan so we have the space in our home. And I'm sure we have space in our hearts too. We just don't know it yet. 

Parents of more than one child, what was your experience? How did your heart expand to fit your growing family? And do you even remember feeling the way I do or does that all Poof! go away when you meet your new bundle of joy? 

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Reader Comments (10)

Well,Natali congratulation on your second little one. I hope you will be happy with bigger family.

October 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobert

First of all - congratulations! And second of all, I really appreciate your honesty. I'm shocked the nurse reacted the way she did - there is no way you are the first person to express this sentiment. And I know that because I feel the exact. same. way. I am pretty sure I won't have a second baby, and one of the reasons is this very topic! I can't even fathom loving another child as much as my daughter. I know it happens, people do it, your heart grows, blah blah blah, and people tell you that you won't understand until the baby is born. I am 100% sure that is all the truth. Just wanted you to know there is at least ONE other person out there who understands your feelings. Hope you have a great pregnancy!

October 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBecki

OMG! I'm so happy for you Natali!!! Thanks for the lil clue you left on my Facebook! So, so excited! :)

Sometimes it feels that you don't have room to love more, but you soon find out there's lots of way of spreading your love around. You're an amazing woman, and I look forward to following your journey. :)

Many congrats to you and family! Now.. I need to catch up on the MommyBeta podcast!

October 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDaynah

I felt the same way, but now I couldn't imagine my life without my two little boys. There is def room in your heart...just wait and see. It's normal to feel that way though.

CONGRATS!! Love the ultrasound picture!

October 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

I wasn't sure if I would love my second as much as my first. But I do. I surprised myself with just how much I do. Don't worry.

October 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

I have no source for this, but it is so very true.

"Walk along holding your 2-year-old hand, basking in the glow of our magical relationship.
Suddenly I feel a kick from within, as if to remind me that our time alone is limited.
And I wonder, how could I love another child as I love you?

Then she is born, and I watch you.
I watch as the pain you feel at having to share me as you have never shared me before.

I hear you telling me in your own way, "Please love only me" and I hear myself telling you in mine "I can't".
Knowing in fact that I never can again.
You cry, I cry with you.
I almost see our baby as an intruder on the precious relationship we once shared.
A relationship we can never have again.

But then, barely noticing, I find myself attached to that new being, and feeling almost guilty.
I'm afraid to let you see me enjoying her -- as though I am betraying you.
But then I notice your resentment change, first to curiosity, then to protectiveness, finally to genuine affection.

More days pass, and we are settling into a new routine.
The memory of days with just the two of us is fading fast.
But something is replacing those wonderful times we shared, just us two.
There are new times -- only now we are three.
I watch the love between you grow, the way you look at each other, touch each other.

I watch how she adores you, as I have for so long.
I see how excited you are by each of her new accomplishments.
I begin to realize that I haven't taken something from you, I've given something to you.
I notice that I am no longer afraid to share my love openly with both of you.
I find that my love for each of you is as different as you are, but equally strong.
And my question is finally answered to my amazement.
Yes, I can love another child as much as I love you, only differently.

And although I realize that you may have to share my time, I know you'll never share my love.
There's enough of that for both of you -- you each have your own supply.

I love you both and I thank you both for blessing my life."

November 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Congratulations Natali, to both you and Clayton.

Really don't worry about having enough love, our second is 3 months old now (first one is just turning 3 next week) and trust me you'll find room to love them both.

The big thing is not the time (like most people worry about) or the love (like a fair few people worry about), it's the attention to detail. With the second you are more relaxed, you've done it all before - you'll make every effort to be fair with your time between the children and you will naturally have tons of love for both. However you have to work to make sure the second baby isn't a second class baby.

What I mean is that nothing is really new to you - it's new to the baby but not you, so the novelty is lost; add that lost novelty to balancing your time between your first child and you find you are paying less attention to the new baby in that you won't have taken as money photos, or or you won't haven't recorded as many of the little details in a scrapbook etc.

My wife, myself and some of our friends who all have second babies recently were discussing this just the other day, and everybody was saying the same thing - they are suddenly making a concerted effort to take more photos etc . because they are feeling guilty that they haven't been documenting enough.

In addition to perhaps not photographing enough etc. you might find yourself feeling guilty because as you are more relaxed second time around you do things you didn't do before - I don't think at 3 months our first daughter was ever in a different room to us, but our 2nd daughter will now get placed in her cot in the bedroom when she's sleeping of an evening. Again every one in our baby group has made the same observation.

No one in our group has ever mentioned not having enough love for the new baby, and you won't either!

November 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNick

Congrats! I know you aren't the first to feel that way. Both my wife and my mother were concerned about the very same thing. I think it shows that you have a lot of love for you children, so much that you will love them equally. The truly surprising thing is not that you can love both, but how each will endear themselves to you in their own individual way.

November 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrian A

You aren't the only one out there who feels this way. When I gave birth to my first daughter, I felt a love like I've never felt and holding that baby in my arms was the most amazing feeling in the world. When I found out we were pregnant again, I wondered how I'd love another child as much as I loved her. Everything I did. Every breath I took. Everything was for her and to share that with another was beyond my comprehension. However, when they placed that baby in my arms for the second time, my heart was once again filled with that same amazing love that only a mother can experience. So good luck with your pregnancy, heres to a happy 9 months, and you will love this baby just as you do your precious little boy.

November 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Just came upon this post, and noticed no one else mentioned a quote I heard a while ago:

Love multiplies, not divides.

Your heart will only expand and grow in love, not be cut up into more pieces to be divided out between the ones you love.

You'll see.

I'm a mother of five.

April 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTracey

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