Joy and Fear: Waiting for our Second Child

14 Sep

It’s like I told my coworkers last week, “Now it’s time to freak out.”

I’m only partially kidding.

Why? Last week I started the third trimester of this lightning-speed pregnancy. And I can’t quite wrap my head around that.

For so, so long we waited, we prayed for this child. Our hearts were broken again and again. But then? She was. Growing safely inside me. Our prayers were answered in the most beautiful, soul-shattering way possible.

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I felt so blessed. So unworthy. I was almost afraid to truly bask in our happiness because it was just too good.

The tingly feelings of deep gratitude are still here, but they are sometimes pushed down by the realities of life. Of laundry and packing lunches and making dinner. Of work and travel and corn harvest.

The summer was so busy. And we’re so busy right now. The calendar over the next two months makes me want to cry. Between my work and farm insanity, there hasn’t been a lot of time to float around in a magical pregnancy bubble.

When I was pregnant with Anders, I lived in that bubble. I loved the wistful look that would come over someone’s face when I said “Yes, it’s our first.” I had nothing better to do than to take weekly photos in front of an elaborately-drawn chalkboard boasting “Baby F is the size of a kumquat!”

This time, understandably, has been very different.

Now I have a busy and egocentric toddler underfoot. Even when I was feeling my sickest (the first 16 weeks, ugh), sweet little Anders still demanded crazy things. Like dinner. Or diaper changes. Toddlers are not very accommodating to the woes of pregnancy, people. In the midst of pulling him off tables, chasing him around to put on his socks, and assuring him that asparagus is JUST DELICIOUS, I barely had time to notice I was pregnant.

I didn’t have a lot of time to sit. To think. To really imagine what our life will be like when the baby comes.

But third trimester. It’s here. I can’t ignore the fact that a baby is waiting for me at the end of this pregnancy.

Cue the freakout. I can’t believe we’re starting over.

In spite of the craziness that comes with a two-year-old, I love our life right now. Anders is hilarious. He talks constantly. He sleeps predictably. He loves so hard. He’s obsessed with farming. He has the coolest hair. He’s becoming more independent. I’m still floored by his transition from baby to little boy.

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Sometimes I sneak into his room for one last peek before I go to bed. (Am I checking if he’s still breathing? Maybe. Don’t judge. I hope my psychotic tendencies will lessen for the second kid.)

In those quiet moments, when his busy toddler body is stilled, his breath comes out sweet and slow, and his face is slack with innocence, my heart aches. My chest tightens and I can’t breathe from the sheer weight of my love for this little human. How I would die to protect him. How the thought of him growing up in this broken world renders me undone.

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It seems crazy that Dairy Man and I have willingly decided to divide our hearts again. To allow another piece of our soul to walk around in the world. A world we cannot control.

There’s so much to worry about. Especially for a professional worrier like myself.

But if pregnancy and being a parent has taught me anything, it’s that life is not about control. It can’t be. As much as I try to have the perfectly organized house and the perfectly run family, it’s not up to me. I can’t control toddler tantrums or farm emergencies or milk prices. I can’t control the sickness or tragedy that strikes those I love. I can’t control my pregnancy or be sure of a healthy baby.

Every shred of this imperfect life is in God’s hands. Not my own. That’s where sanity and comfort can be found.

Realistically, my freakout is still real and looming. Dairy Man knows nothing in the house is safe from my insane need to organize and nest. A part of me can’t believe we’re going back to blowouts, breastfeeding, and sleep deprivation.

I worry how Anders will adjust, how my heart will split to accommodate two.

The beautiful thing? It’s not up to me. My only choice is to trust that I’ll find our way. That I can bear the joy and fear of this life. That I can live in gratitude and faith. That I can rescue a toddler with his hand stuck in the vacuum while simultaneously rocking a newborn. That my heart can be broken and reassembled dozens of times a day. That our tribe will carry us when we can’t carry ourselves.

I have no idea how to have two kids, but I know we’ll figure it out somehow.

I am terrified and I am calm.

(And freakout + farm widowhood during harvest is the perfect excuse for ice cream.)

Bring on the third tri.

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11 Responses to “Joy and Fear: Waiting for our Second Child”

  1. farmerswifeandmummy 09/14/2016 at 1:24 pm #

    I totally understand everything you said. There’s 4 years between my 2 because of heartbreak but honestly. When the baby comes you will love them
    Both equally. The problem
    With farming is there’s never a good time to have a baby but we all get through. I’m thinking of you

    • the Modern Farm Wife 09/15/2016 at 8:50 am #

      Thanks for the note! You’re right about there never being a good time, but I’m hoping winter is better than spring. When Anders was born, Dairy Man was out in a tractor to plant corn within a week. 🙂

  2. Christina Lawrence-Eklund 09/14/2016 at 1:29 pm #

    What a great post, Jessica. I’m also a farm wife and professional worrier/Type A personality. My husband and I don’t have children, but I’ve often wondered how I would handle it. Thanks for your unrelenting honesty about your own experiences.

    • the Modern Farm Wife 09/15/2016 at 8:51 am #

      Thanks, Christina! Always nice to meet another professional worrier. There should be a support group.

  3. Sylvia 09/14/2016 at 2:36 pm #

    I love this. It’s so true, after the first there is no simple enjoying the second pregnancy. We have three and I remember being 9 months pregnant, carrying my 5 year old on one hip and my 3 year old on the other hip. Because they both needed me at the same time. Your heart doesn’t split. It grows even bigger. You’ll see. Good luck, remember the first year is survival. Once the baby gets closer to two, where she can take commands, Anders will love having someone to direct. But until then, we would tell the kids, if you take a toy from the baby, you have to give him another one. It worked well for a while….Good luck 🙂

  4. Wife of a CAT salesman 09/14/2016 at 3:07 pm #

    Love does not divide. It multiplies. The love you have for this new life will never take from your love of anyone else, just makes it stronger. Love is a wonderful thing.

  5. KB 09/14/2016 at 4:31 pm #

    Your heart won’t be split, it will grow big enough to love another, just as your belly grows in pregnancy. God bless you and your family xx

  6. Holly Moon 09/17/2016 at 10:33 pm #

    Another beautiful post…someday you will look back on this and be so glad you documented this precious time.

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