Pregnancy and Newborn Amnesia

My husband and I made a proclamation prior to having our second daughter that this was it for us. We went through so much with our miscarriage journey, and we wanted to put that behind us. After all, kids are expensive and time consuming, AND also rewarding and amazing. I agreed with my husband. I still agree, I think.

Is any woman ever really ready to make that final commitment? I know pregnancy is painful, tiring, and body altering, AND life changing, beautiful, and empowering.

The butterflies in my belly, the baby flips while doing yoga, the feelings that came with growing a life inside of me…..who wants to say goodbye to that? Then, there’s the baby stage….the sweet smells, the endless snuggling, and the bond that comes with nursing. I look at pictures of my sweet girls as newborns and all I want to do is go back in time.

And for us, there’s more to consider. I worry that not giving Haley a typical sibling will put too much pressure on her as she grows up. Will she feel obligated to stay closer to home? Will she make decisions for her family instead of herself? Will we hold her back?

Now, logically, I am aware that this is not a reason to have another child. I also have learned that there are no guarantees. Pregnancy does not always end with a baby. Labor and delivery do not always end with a ‘typical’ baby. After all, you get what you get and you don’t get upset.

I go back and forth about this all the time. Our plan before Sienna was two kids, and we should stick to that plan. Then, I see a pregnant mom or a newborn and my oxytocin memories come flooding back, and I forget all that. I call it pregnancy and newborn amnesia.

Here’s the thing though. Why do we not remember how draining that stage of life can be? How quickly I forget the fact that Sienna didn’t sleep more than 3 hours at a time until she was 11 months old. I was so sleep deprived that I thought I might have a brain tumor. I forget how hard it is being dictated by a baby’s feeding schedule, their helpless cries, and their sleeping (or not sleeping) demands.

We are finally starting to get some freedom. Haley and Sienna can play together now. I can leave them alone for a few minutes and not worry. We are getting out of the house more. My husband and I are dating again. I can have a glass of wine (or four) and not worry about having to breastfeed or pump. My kitchen and living room feel bigger without the swing, the pack n play, and the exersaucer.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t daydream about those tender moments. Childhood goes way too fast, so for now, I’m going to cling to every stage and enjoy the ride. Each stage brings a new challenge, but so many new rewards. Motherhood is the hardest job out there, but it’s also the most gratifying.

I may not have those newborn snuggles anymore, but they’ve been replaced with hilarious banter between sisters, dance parties to music I never thought I’d tolerate, and nights spent going over homework. I also get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, and I love every second of it.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi Shan, I think every Mom gets to the point, should I have another baby, I’m getting older its now or never. I was like that at 39 yrs old but decided not to, I am glad in a way I made that choice because I am a worrier and today I think to myself if I have one more kid ( even though their not kids ) to worry about I would never sleep…….Trust Me Cara & Jeff are gonna have their hands full come April, I can’t even picture it. I told Jeff you better never leave the baby in a room with Charlie alone, you just never know with him. He’s kind and sweet one minute then out of nowhere BOOM ! I just keep praying since from what I hear their is no good way to discipline him. Jeff & Cara went to a kinda seminar on DS behavior and Jeff said they said Time Outs were no good either, although I know Jeff will put him upstairs when he’s had enough.
    This is funny but not funny…….We go to get Charlie from school on Monday, I stayed in the car, so Mike and Charlie come out and Mike said the teacher said he kept taking his shoes off and throwing them. Couple min. later I turn around and real calm say ” Charlie you shouldn’t take ur shoes off and throw them, you might hit one of the other kids etc…….Couple min. later don’t a shoe come flying into the front of the car OMG haha !! I didn’t let him see me laugh but I was like, what a stinker……He wasn’t himself on Monday and by the time Jeff took him up for a bath ( Cara was still at work ) tears just rolled down my face because I was thinking how hard this is for Cara & Jeff…….so I just keep praying that he gets easier……don’t get me wrong their are many great moments with him and we love him dearly, wouldn’t trade him for nothing. Thanks for listening and you will come to know your decision was the right one! Love, Joanie

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