Real Honest Emotions on Becoming a Second Time Mom

I mean, I guess the appropriate first words should be, “Baby UGGs.” When I saw them I knew I had to grab them for Watson because any chance a mom can get to match her son should be taken advantage of—am I right?

We laid low last week because Watson has had a double ear infection, but he showed some signs of feeling better over the weekend, so we walked down to the dock to soak up a little fresh air. It finally feels consistently like winter here. Charleston’s weather is so unpredictable. It can be 85 degrees one day and 55 the next—but we’ve had more cool days than warm around here, which I love considering we were in shorts and t-shirts last Christmas. I like cold weather and I like dressing for it. Wait, I should mention that “cold” weather for me is not below 50 degrees and anything under that is considered “freezing,” which I do NOT like. haha.

I’ve been picking up some cold weather gear for Watson any chance I can find something really cute, like this hat and mitten set from Nordstrom. He outgrows hats really quickly, but this one is for 2-4Y, so fingers crossed we can make it last at least one more winter! It’s so soft on the inside and has multiple warm layers. We also are loving these jogger jeans, this soft t-shirt he has underneath, his fuzzy sweater, and of course these tiny UGGs.

It’s hard to believe we only have 2-3 more weeks tops until this sweet boy is a big brother. Leaves me with so many emotions. Sadness, excitement, an overflowing feeling of love, fear, and so much more—all rolled into one. On one hand, I’m so ready for our baby girl to be born, but on the other hand, I’m soaking in every moment I can that she stays put in my belly.

I think a lot of my fear comes from the insider knowledge I now have of being this thing called a “second time mom.” See, this time, I know the drill and know what I’m getting myself into. The recovery of labor, the way you feel like a zombie for a good few weeks, the hardships of breastfeeding, the feelings of confinement from being cooped up inside and not having true flexibility anymore, those crazy hormones that make you just want to cry all the time, that new postpartum body, the hair loss to go along with it, and so on… It’s hard.

When I had Watson and brought that sweet little bundle home from the hospital, I was a little blindsided by all of that. Sure, I read the books and went to the classes, but you just don’t know how it really is until you’ve been there, done it, and have the breastmilk stains on your t-shirt to prove it. I can’t really remember my expectations, but maybe I thought having a newborn was going to be like a staycation. A good excuse to pause the hustle and bustle, snuggle with that sweet, new baby, and then resume life as I knew it before, but with a new family member in tow.

Yeah, not exactly. Not for me, at least.

I really struggled in those postpartum days, so I wanted to write about it in case any new mommas reading this are having a rough time, too. This is hard for me to write, by the way. I think I brushed on it here and there, but it has taken me almost two years to put the pen to paper, so to speak. I know so many women aren’t given the opportunity to become a mother, so I just didn’t want to sound ungrateful or like a complainer. Or have a mixed message go out that I don’t like being a mom. Because the truth couldn’t be more opposite than that. But when Watson was first born, I kept waiting for that “newborn high” to set in that I saw all these mommas have through their Instagram photos and captions. The snuggles and sweet baby smells were amazing, but what about the tough parts? Why didn’t anyone mention that? Was I the only one feeling this? Was I the only one that looked and felt like I had been hit by a truck? A lot of women say they feel like being a mom is what they were destined to be—their life’s purpose, fulfilled. And I was over here just waiting and waiting for that feeling to arrive.

We started off on a rocky foot. We brought Watson home from the hospital to a house that was a complete disaster. Our kitchen was under renovation and at that time, we didn’t even have drywall in there, much less a sink, dishwasher, or an oven to heat up all those casseroles you imagine yourself eating after you’re home with a new baby. We had dust absolutely everywhere, a refrigerator in the dining room, a whole kitchen’s worth of cabinet boxes and trim parts stacked in the living room up to the ceiling, plates and other kitchen things stuffed in the guest room, and a little microwave station stacked up in the back corner of the play room with some paper plates, boxes of granola bars, bread, and plastic utensils. After staying home with Watson in our house for two nights, we had to leave because it was time for our hardwood floors to be installed, stained, and then given multiple coats of poly on different days, so the fumes were going to be something terrible for about a week. We hit the road and stayed with my parents during that time and although it sort of felt like an inconvenience to be forced to leave home, it really ended up being wonderful to have the help from my parents, especially when Brandon had to check back in with work mid-week. All was good. We were tired, but life was good.

Getting back to our house after that week was when it all got rough for me. Brandon went back to work and I was pretty much stuck inside our bedroom during the day from that point in time until the end of our renovation. Here’s what I mean by, “stuck in our bedroom.” We had no less than three random men in our house from 7am until 5pm every weekday working on our kitchen for the next 8+ weeks. (It took way longer than it should have, considering we started it a couple weeks before Watson was born.) Our house was one-story, flowed with a long open floor plan, and the kitchen was smack dab in the middle of it all, so it served as a hallway to get to any room. Like, we had to walk through the kitchen to get to the living room. And you had to walk through the kitchen to get to the bedrooms, and so forth. Since all rooms were visible from the kitchen, I stayed closed up in our bedroom with Watson and the cat all day long until they left. It was the only place for me to have privacy from these workers with being on a crazy breastfeeding/sleeping schedule. Plus, the doorway for our bedroom was located in the kitchen, so often, I couldn’t even walk out of the room if there was a big, messy project being worked on. Any day that I got out of the house was much better, but being a brand new mom and feeling so sleep deprived… I just didn’t want to have to get all ready and go somewhere.

So that’s all just to set the scene, not to complain—promise!!! We signed up for that renovation and we were grateful to be able to do it because the kitchen beforehand was just bad! It was our choice to get it done and I was so pumped about it! But it was our first time renovating and so we didn’t know how stressful the process would be. So choosing to do it when we were bringing home a brand new baby was probably the worst decision ever because that just quadrupled the inconveniences of it!

I never spoke to my doctor about feeling depressed because I wasn’t sure if I was, but I definitely was—even if just mildly—now that I look back. It was the first time I’ve ever felt anxiety. My chest was always tight and I could cry at any given second. Maybe I just blamed it on the kitchen renovation issues we were having, but I know that wasn’t the only thing causing me to feel that way. I had heard about postpartum depression, but before being a mom myself, I didn’t understand how anyone could possibly be depressed after having a baby—especially when you consider how much of a miraculous blessing it is. It seemed to me like that would be the happiest moments of a woman’s life! And while the latter is definitely true, I learned firsthand that it’s possible to feel that and have the baby blues, too.

I wondered how my life would ever slightly resemble the way it used to look. Being able to run around town to events and errands. Having girls’ nights and fitting into the clingy dresses I once wore to those things. Hopping over to last minute work meetings and daily gym sessions with my girlfriends. Being able to wear clothes that didn’t have to be nursing friendly. Spontaneous date nights with Brandon. Heck, having a bra size that was two cups smaller than it had suddenly and painfully become overnight from breastfeeding. All of those little things that ultimately made me “Megan” at the end of the day. It was gone and I completely grieved the loss of myself. I loved my baby more than the world, but transitioning into this new life and adjusting to be what felt like a whole new person was hard. Especially at the beginning when the baby needs you and only you to be fed or be rocked… it left me feeling no sense of freedom whatsoever. And I craved that feeling again.

It’s hard for me to admit that being a mom didn’t come naturally for me. Maybe from the outside, it did. But not deep down. I never would have expected that about myself. I played with baby dolls until much later an age than probably appropriate and had dreamed of the day I would become a mom for as long as I could remember. I was ready to have children from the moment we got married! So to suddenly not feel like “mom life” was a life I wanted was incredibly hard to come to terms with. I felt a lot of guilt.

The day our kitchen renovation was finished was a day I’ll always remember because I felt such a heaviness lifted. It was a long, dark 8 weeks cooped up in our tiny bedroom with our brand new Watson. And I mean “dark” both figuratively and literally—there was just one odd, little window in that bedroom, which we kept covered up with drapery because it needed to be replaced! But when that dust in our house got swept away and the breast pump parts no longer had to be washed in our bathroom sink, things got easier. But also, I think that the 8 week mark is a pivotal turning point in a new mom’s life. At 8 weeks, we had a schedule pretty much figured out, I was starting to be able to fit back in my normal clothes, he was not feeding around the clock anymore and was sleeping a pretty solid night’s sleep.

From there, each day got easier and I started to find the joy and fun of parenthood. Want to know the dead truth? 21 months later… I’m still not in love with every moment of being a mother. Just being real. But that’s normal, right? (Someone please tell me it is.) I miss the “old me” sometimes, but I love the new person that I’ve become even more. Being Watson’s mom is the best thing I’ve ever done and it brings me more happiness than anything in the world. But getting to this point wasn’t something that I felt from day one, as I had expected all during my pregnancy.

So with all that said, yes, I’m terrified to have another baby. I’m terrified that those same “loss of identity” feelings I had when Watson was born will all come back now that I’m finally settled into my new identity as Watson’s mom. I’m scared that I will lose my mind when both babies are crying. I worry that Watson won’t feel the same amount of love that he is used to getting. I’m scared to breastfeed again. I’m terrified of having to go through the recovery from delivering a baby again. I am wondering how dinners out will be with two little ones—and going to church and going to Target. I’m just scared as a whole, but Brandon and I are both so much more excited than we are scared. And would we have done it all over again if it was really as terrible like it sounds in this post? No way! Because it’s not!! The feelings of anxiety and baby blues were really just the first few months for me, although it’s different for everyone. Some people don’t get them at all! Although it was the hardest thing I’ve gone through, I know how sweet those first months are and I would go back to those dark days in our old bedroom in a skinny minute if that meant I could snuggle on our newborn Watson again. This time, I know to expect the first couple of months to be really tough. Brandon and I both will certainly have a lot of learning and adjusting to do with having two under two, but I will not be blindsided like I was before with the hardships of motherhood. I’ve got my game face on. This time, I’m going into this as a mom already. And us moms can do anything.

I could end this post with some mushy gushy feelings about having babies (because I could talk about that all day), but that’s not the point of this post. People don’t seem to really talk about this side of having a baby. Or maybe they do and I just chose to ignore it in the past. So, I knew I wanted to talk about it at some point on here to let all the new mommas out there know that you’re not alone, it does get easier, and do not beat yourself up over not loving your new life the way you had hoped. As your baby grows, you will grow as a mother. You will adjust and learn the ins and outs of each other. Talk to friends and other moms in your life—it helps so much just to be able to vent. Get out of the house as much as you can. It may be hard to do at first, but schedule some self-care moments for you. (I shared some ideas here.) Those sweet newborn moments are such a brief stage in life and before you know it, it will be a distant memory, which is so bittersweet. So hold onto those babies. Don’t worry about not brushing your hair or teeth, for that matter. Soak up the sweetness. And remember, we’re all in this together.

 

Watson’s Outfit

long sleeve t-shirt  /  sweater  /  jeans  /  hat & mitten set  /  boots

My Outfit

vest (did you catch the rose gold accents? I’m in love.)  /  maternity jeans  /  boots  /  gingham shirt  /  glasses  /  similar earrings 

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Thank you to Nordstrom for partnering on this post.

53 Comments

  1. Cassie
    December 18, 2017 / 1:11 pm

    Thank you for this honesty. I don’t have kids yet but struggle to picture what life will be like when we do. I appreciate you sharing the ups and downs bc most people definitely don’t talk about it. All the best to you as you start the adventure with your next little one!

  2. Molly
    December 18, 2017 / 1:27 pm

    There is so much truth in this post. I’ll never forget wondering why I didn’t feel an immediate bond and feeling like a horrible mom. Or the first time we tried to take him out once we were home from the hospital and he screamed bloody murder when we put him in his car seat which caused me to sit in the floor and sob to my husband bag I couldn’t do it. I felt so overwhelmed and like I wasn’t normal. Everyone else seemed to love it and take to it so easily. Little did I know that people just don’t talk about the hard parts. As my mom told me if people ever told you how hard it was people wouldn’t do it. Six months later it is so much easier and so much more fun. Thank you for writing this post. It is so helpful for new moms to know they aren’t alone in the feeling.

  3. Mandy Hansil
    December 18, 2017 / 1:33 pm

    I love all the TRUTH that this post holds! I too felt the same way you did. I thought I love this baby but she has wrecked the life I once knew. It is all worth it but in hind sight, I def should have talked to my Dr about postpartum as well. I also think more mom’s should talk about their true feelings so you don’t feel so blindsided!

  4. Jane
    December 18, 2017 / 1:38 pm

    Tears. Wow, you summed it up so well!!! And the guilt you feel for not feeling happy every moment that just plagues you on top of the hormones and sleep deprivation and, and feeling like you can’t tell anybody or don’t want to because it’s not what people want to hear, and you never hear anyone else talk about it so it must be you and something YOURE doing wrong or you weren’t meant to do at all. I’ve made a point to tell anyone I know having a baby or who wants a baby my experience (well, not to scare them but enough so they know if they feel it they’re not alone and it DOES get better and isn’t the mark of being a bad mom!), because nobody tells you. I DO think I have become a much better person because of my daughter and she is the absolute love of my life, but it’s HARD. Thank you for sharing this. Your kids are so lucky to have such a wonderful, honest mom, and your husband a thoughtful and great wife.

    • Jane
      December 18, 2017 / 1:40 pm

      Lots of run-one and mistakes in that post hah oops

      • Jane
        December 18, 2017 / 1:41 pm

        Run-ons* omg.

  5. Ally Harding
    December 18, 2017 / 1:47 pm

    I definitely wish more moms talked about the baby blues but for some reason they don’t. I’ll be the first to admit I had them with Oliver and just like you I never told my doctor but deep down I knew what was going on. But I was also super sleep deprived and hated breastfeeding and the isolation so who knows what caused what! I’ve heard from moms of two kids that it’s a very hard adjustment, harder than a lot expected but since it is your second time around you know it will get better, you’ll get sleep again, and you’ll get used to this new normal. I don’t know about you, but I feel like if I get sleep I can handle anything. I’ll be in your same position come June so I can’t wait to hear how your adjustment from one to two goes! 🙂

  6. Valerie
    December 18, 2017 / 1:49 pm

    I loved this post. I needed this about 5 months ago (my daughter was born at the end of July, our first baby), but I think I would have brushed off all of your truth. I think you have to experience being a mom for the first time to really “get” it, but everything you admitted is awesome and so, so true. Thanks for writing this!

  7. LM
    December 18, 2017 / 2:03 pm

    You are not at all alone on so many fronts! Thanks for sharing! I’ll be joining you in the “2 under 2” club in March!

  8. Caroline
    December 18, 2017 / 2:09 pm

    Awesome post —- thank you !!

  9. Anna
    December 18, 2017 / 2:27 pm

    I wish more women felt open enough to speak freely like this and not be judged. Good for YOU! Thank you!!!!

  10. Kerri
    December 18, 2017 / 2:34 pm

    Megan, omg. This was me after I had Ro. I wish more people would have told me about all of this and less about how “fun” it is because while it is very fun it’s so dang hard, too! I’m glad you shared all of this!

  11. December 18, 2017 / 2:49 pm

    This is exactly how I felt with my first baby, too. I remember looking at Christmas lights in my neighborhood when he was 6 weeks old wondering if I’d every enjoy Christmas again. I was not prepared at all for how much freedom we lost when we had a baby and it was, in all honesty, devastating to me. But as you pointed out, it gets easier and easier. My son is 2 now and I truly enjoy being a mom (have to admit that it is a huge relief to me to feel this way, was so worried I’d never enjoy it). Our second is due in February and I’m hoping because the 0 to 1 transition was so hard for me that the 1 to 2 transition won’t be as bad! Thank you for sharing this post, it really resonated with me!

  12. Jessica Sellers
    December 18, 2017 / 2:49 pm

    Megan, I am so, so thankful for this post. I have a little boy that just turned two and your words are verbatim the words in my heart about becoming a mother. Man, some days at the beginning were so hard and lonely and I mourned for the longest time the loss of my old self and my old life. I can’t say it came naturally to me either.

    There were so many days I said “Why didn’t anyone tell me about any of this? Why wasn’t anyone real with me about the good AND the bad?” I hope your post will help to give others a heads up that some days may be hard and they aren’t alone in that.

    By the way, we are also expecting our second and your trepidation about number two is exactly the way I am feeling as well! You are not alone!

  13. Elizabeth
    December 18, 2017 / 2:56 pm

    You are certainly not alone! I definitely experienced some baby blues and postpartum anxiety myself. Your hormones are just so unbalanced not to mention what an overwhelming responsibility parenthood is. My daughter and Watson are very close to the same age and I definirely love being a mom now and our day to day comes a lot most easily but it was a bumpy beginning for us as well. You have done a beautiful job.

  14. Liz
    December 18, 2017 / 3:02 pm

    I’m with you. I wish, sometimes, for my old life. But I would never give back the one I currently have. I’m also expecting number 2 soon and have all the same feelings of ‘I know what’s about to come’. I just keep reminding myself it’s alllllll worth it 🙂

  15. Kelsey Mubarak
    December 18, 2017 / 3:05 pm

    I love this post so much and couldnt agree more with all the feelings. I have a 23 month old and experienced these same feelings and very similar trials. Also pregnant again with TWINS and feel utterly terrified. I love your post for so many reason and it is nice to not feel alone. Keep doing your thing, momma because you are amazing!

  16. Susan
    December 18, 2017 / 3:20 pm

    It’s all so true! Thank you for sharing. My daughter is 8, but I clearly remember the day I cried my eyes out because she was 6 weeks old, it was raining outside, I had been up all night, I missed my friends, and I was out of hazelnut syrup for my coffee. Breaking point. I cried all day. I just felt so depressed. I actually wanted to go back to work because newborns are HARD!!
    I think it is totally normal. I hope this time will be easier for you – you know who you are better now, even though we are always growing and changing.

  17. LINDSEY STROMBERG
    December 18, 2017 / 3:24 pm

    I love you honestly and bravery for posting this. You hit many “nails on the head” for lack of a better term for me.

  18. December 18, 2017 / 3:26 pm

    This is so well written! I can relate so much.

  19. Carla
    December 18, 2017 / 3:30 pm

    Hi Megan! I have followed you for a long time. Just wanted you to know I shared those feelings. My “babies” are 21 and 19 now. During my second pregnancy, I cried everyday wondering how I could ever love another child as much as my first! My Mother (who is deceased now) was an only child and she reassured me that giving my first daughter a sibling was the greatest gift. How completely true! Watching their relationship build and grow is a blessing. It’s so comforting knowing that no matter what, they always have each other through life! I realize these days with babies and toddlers are long and sometimes grueling, but slow down and cherish it! Before you know it they will be teenagers and you’ll long for these days. Merry Christmas!

  20. Elizabeth
    December 18, 2017 / 3:33 pm

    I am so with you. When I had my first child I expected to feel like you expected to feel….lovey dovey, gooey eyed, and in love with being a mother. The truth of it was, I had birthed a stranger who cramped every fiber of my style. I was 30 when I had her, so fairly “set in my ways”, as they say. All of a sudden, I had to leave my work friends and sit in our house all day long with a newborn while my husband got up every day and continued on with his life. It made me furious. I scheduled play dates and walks and lunches and gym time with friends. Nothing helped. I had planned to not work for a year. Ha! As soon as I realized that being at home with a baby was definitely not for me, I enrolled my daughter in daycare and went back to work. It was like someone took the washcloth out of my lungs that was suffocating me. All of a sudden, I enjoyed this baby. I even began to love her! My husband no longer felt like he was going to come home to find that I’d packed a left or worse yet, dead. I still look back on the newborn stage of my daughter and shiver. She was a dream of a baby…slept through the night at 5 weeks, perfectly healthy, and perfectly beautiful. I felt the same guilt you felt because so many people would want to be in my shoes and I was trying my hardest to run out of them. If it is of any comfort, 3 years after that baby, I had another. Everything was completely and totally different. Like you said, you know the ins and outs. You know it can be pure hell but you also know it is so very joyful. Welcome to the Second Time Moms club! It’s so much better than the First Timers Club!

  21. Sarah
    December 18, 2017 / 3:54 pm

    Thank you for this very real post! I am expecting my first in February and don’t feel like I am the maternal type to begin with so I’ve wondered about many of the feelings you experienced. Thanks for sharing. I can’t wait to read all about your baby girl!

  22. Clara
    December 18, 2017 / 4:24 pm

    Wow! I am tearing up over here! You are right, those first few months are HARD! People don’t talk about the dirty and raw details of having a baby. It is the hardest and yet most beautiful thing that I have ever done. The first few months are so hard but they are temporary and you have that beautiful new baby to help you through it. I had the same feeling of losing my former self. You feel different and you are different, but in a new and better way. You are going to rock two under two!

  23. Caitlin
    December 18, 2017 / 4:45 pm

    I completely agree with everything you said – I have said I felt like I got hit by a truck so many times when describing the days after giving birth and I defintely don’t recall anyone warning me about that! Also imagining of being a mom for so long and then the shock of it being so disorienting is on point. All that being said I am 14 months in to having 2. My daughter was born when my son was 21 months old. It is hard in different ways but the newborn days were much easier the second time around for me. Our biggest adjustment is going from being able to trade off with the toddler and having that alone time. Now we each have a kid 99% of the time!! Thankfully having them this young they are still in cribs and once the baby starts sleeping through the night it gets a little back to “normal” in the evenings after bedtime!

  24. Ashley
    December 18, 2017 / 4:54 pm

    This post came at a great time! I gave birth four weeks ago to two baby girls after a grueling two year battle with infertility/IVF. I expected to have that *moment* when they were born but I didn’t. In four weeks it’s gotten better but the waking up every three hours around the clock is no joke and it feels like it’ll never get better! I was just telling my husband I wish people shared this part of the newborn phase so I really appreciate you writing to this! Congrats on your second baby and hoping the transition goes a bit smoother this time!

  25. Jessica
    December 18, 2017 / 5:33 pm

    I absolutely love that you posted this and applaud you for being so honest and real! I am expecting my first baby – being induced this Friday – and am scared of so many unknowns. It makes me feel very reassured to know that other moms are scared of the same things and that not everything is as perfect as Instagram sometimes makes it seem. Sending you positivity and best wishes for the delivery of your new baby girl!!

  26. Kellie
    December 18, 2017 / 8:25 pm

    I have followed your blog for years! And I love the real-ness of this post. I have 2 boys: 6 and 2. My first I had when I was 24 and now that I’m 31 I think about how young my husband and I were when we had him. Such a total life changer! I guess I too thought you had a baby, came home, life was great! I quickly learned that my life as I knew it was over! (But not in a bad way!) I definitely had baby blues but as a nurse I was too embarrassed (and young) to ever admit it. I had some of the very same feelings you described after Watson! I will say, the second time around is SO much different. I waited almost 4 1/2 years to have another baby bc honestly, I wasn’t sure if I was ready for: sleepless nights, painful breastfeeding, feeling restrained to the house…..again!! But I found that I didn’t have those feelings at all with my 2nd!! (Now there were nights that I completely thought….why am I doing this again?!) I knew how fast those newborn baby days quickly disappeared and I relished in each moment. Now at my stage in life I so love my two little boys and I feel validated that I have found myself. I realized the other day that I really was destined to be a mom and I can’t picture my life without kids. I can’t even remember what I did with all my time before I had kids!! Someone once said to me: the days are long but the years are short. And I’ve found that to be SO very true as my babies grow. I’d give anything to go back to their newborn days but sadly I do think my “baby days” are over. I want to focus on raising them to be the best boys/men/husbands/fathers they can be. I do get asked a lot about “the third” or “are you going to try for a girl” and honestly the answer isn’t no, it’s I don’t know!! If it’s in God’s plan…. (I can’t even believe I just typed that.) 🙂

  27. Bonnie
    December 18, 2017 / 8:30 pm

    What you have said is so spot on! I felt the same way, including a move into a new house 4 days prior to her birth! Plus, I had been in a career for 10 years (which I loved) and it was my identity for so long. I had to let that go (because I was deciding to be a SAHM) as well as my freedom, old body, time, etc. I did not realize I had so much wrapped up in my career until it was gone. I went and talked to my doctor because I was having horrible thoughts and feelings. She totally listened and explained to me that I will have a “new normal” and it will be okay. I think once I hit the 6 week mark and was cleared to exercise, that is where I finally found my sanity. We had purchased a treadmill beforehand and when it came nap time (pretty much no matter how tired I was), I got on there and hit it hard. Losing baby weight and releasing stress kept me going. You’re right though, no one talks about how difficult it can be. We, as moms, need to stick together and forget the mom-shaming and support each other. That’s a whole other topic, though… 🙂

  28. December 18, 2017 / 9:10 pm

    I just wanted to encourage you that the second time around for ALMOST everyone (myself included) is like night and day easier/better/less traumatic of a transition. The night leading up to my induction with my second I was so nervous and scared and sad that I wasn’t just going to have my one baby anymore (and had no clue what this new baby would be like, despite obviously wanting her and going through pregnancy with her). I wrote letters to my two babies and I’m SO glad I did. And then, I was delightfully surprised to see everything was a trillion times easier, having known what to expect to some degree. There were still some HARD days (like the first time it was just me & the girls – lots of texting my mom “How do I go down stairs with a newborn and a YOUNG toddler?!” or “How am I supposed to grocery shop with two children?”) and I had postpartum anxiety again, but still… way better than the first time. The absolute hardest thing for me after my first was hating my husband for a solid 8 weeks (no joke), so knowing that hormones were going to be raging and abundant grace was necessary helped with that tremendously, too. We were on the same team from the get-go and that makes allll the difference. I don’t know if there’s legitimately something to be said about connecting with a baby of your same gender (I don’t have a boy so I can’t necessarily attest to that), but I do think you will have a special bond with your baby girl that will at least be *different* than with your sweet Watson, and you’ll find yourself pleasantly connecting in a new way that doesn’t feel so hard. I’ll be praying for you in this season!!!!!!! Second time goes FAST, so know none of the hard will last forever (and sadly none of the sweet, precious will last, either).

  29. Lindsay
    December 18, 2017 / 9:39 pm

    I used to follow a lot of blogs and then after becoming a mom I found it hard to keep up and couldn’t relate as much- they actually made me miss the “old me” even more. But for some reason I couldn’t stop following yours and this post explains it! Thank you for your raw honest truth. I could have written this exact post in both how I felt those first few months being a mom to our son Jack, and how I feel now three months before we’re expecting number two (a little girl as well)! I wouldn’t trade motherhood for the world and feel so blessed I get to be a mom, but I felt the same exact way as you mentioned. I probably eve had some postpartum depression but didn’t address it bc I thought these feelings may be normal or I was just waiting for that overwhelming attachment feeling to happen. I’m sure this was so hard to write but I can’t thank you enough for helping mamas like me know that we aren’t alone and this is real life and we’re in this together 💕

  30. Ash
    December 18, 2017 / 9:43 pm

    Thank you so much for your honesty! So many women feel this way and unfortunately, this issue is not openly talked about enough. I have a 2-year old son who I love with my whole heart, but motherhood also did not come naturally to me like I thought it would. My son had some issues right after he was delivered and was whisked away to the NICU before I even really knew what was going on. For someone who had the easiest time getting pregnant and going through pregnancy, this was not “how it was supposed to be.” I then also had some issues postpartum and all I could feel was resentment. I would look at my beautiful, healthy baby boy and loving husband and feel so lucky for these blessings, while at the same time being so resentful that my life was the only one seeming to change. My husband got to go back to his job and normal life and his normal body while my postpartum life was unrecognizable. I missed me, and I felt so so guilty. I had a perfect baby boy which is all I had ever wanted. I looked around and saw so many of my friends and family members struggling with fertility issues so who was I to complain? My “aha moment” occurred when he was about 4.5 weeks old when one of my best friend’s mom came to visit. She oohed and ahhed over my son as everyone had done and then looked at me and said “Do you love him?” I smiled and said, “Of course!” And she replied, “No, do you really love him?” My face must have appeared puzzled because she quickly proceeded to tell me about her own postpartum struggles from 30 years ago with her first-born. I was so surprised. Listening to her discuss these feelings was so relieving and I finally felt like it was okay to feel this way. She knew exactly how I felt and told me it was okay. She was the first person who objectively made me feel like my feelings were very normal. She’s a great mom who has an awesome relationship with her kids and I never would have suspected she could have ever felt this way. And she was so right! It was about the same time that I went back to work and he began sleeping through the night and everything began falling into place. I adapted to the new me— And I love this new me now more than ever. I certainly miss the old, carefree me at times, but one look at my sweet one’s dimples, and I am forever reminded of the blessing I have been bestowed by being his mother. But it’s also comforting to know that you are not alone and you’re not a bad mom for ever having these feelings.

  31. Caroline
    December 18, 2017 / 9:45 pm

    Your post is truly touching! I have a 2 year old and I will never forget the day I gave birth and then coming home from the hospital, feeling completely, utterly, deflated. I told my Mom I felt “let down” and I knew that was not how I was supposed to be feeling. I had just had an extremely easy delivery and brought a perfect baby boy in to the world! As you said in your post, things did get better but it was so hard and still is! I am due with Baby #2 in January and I am pretty terrified about the delivery and those first few week. I got so lucky with my first delivery and I remember how hard those first few weeks are. It is especially frustrating because I work full time and got annoyed that my maternity leave was getting eaten up by extremely hard days (I really thought I would have my feet up just cuddling with a baby, doing some breastfeeding and just relaxing, HAHAHAH!). Your post made me feel encouraged that you have your game face on and that us mamas are in this together. This whole second pregnancy, I have had zero time to worry because I have another child to care for, and I think that is better in some ways. I will be forced to jump in with this second one and keep going because I have will now have 2 children that depend on me. Motherhood is definitely still challenging many days for me, everything that has changed about myself, my relationship with my husband, family and friends. However, my heart explodes every time my son looks at me and says “I love you so much Mama”. That makes every sacrifice worth it! Will be keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers as you make this transition! Thank you again for sharing!

  32. Ariel
    December 18, 2017 / 10:08 pm

    You are beautiful inside and out!! Never forget that you are an amazing mama! Your babies and Brandon love you for you and that’s all that matters. So happy for your growing family!

  33. Sissy
    December 18, 2017 / 10:40 pm

    Thank you so much for this blog post. I think it’s very important conversation every new-to-be mom needs to have with someone close to her – if we could all be so honest. I went through a very similar experience with my first one, and although I’m sure it’s different for everyone, the second go around was much better. Sure, I still had the blues and tearful moments, but I knew to expect them and I knew they would be gone soon. It was also easier knowing how to take care of a newborn since you’ve been through it before. Less anxiety for sure, you know some tricks of the trade now. By far, I felt the biggest change was going from no children to one, than from one to two. You are also busier – leaving less time to feel lonely, left out or sad – you’ve got things to do and the days go by faster! You do feel
    much more productive the second time around!

    I do have to say one big change was figuring out a schedule so that we could make sure our second napped and went to bed at certain times (not as many late nights), but my two are close (21 months apart) and by age one I felt like their schedules definitely meshed better and we planned fun stuff appropriately!

    Give yourself lots of grace, ignore the messes sometimes (everyone alive is your only goal! :), and ask for help when you need it. You’re going to do great and I can’t wait to see your little precious one. PS Dressing girls is so, so fun.

  34. Sarah
    December 18, 2017 / 10:42 pm

    I want to thank you for writing this post. I only (selfishly) wish you had written it sooner. A little over a year ago, I gave birth for the first time and because my life and style is similar to yours, I read all of your baby posts and especially loved your birth story. I hoped and honestly expected my labor and delivery to mirror yours and then my epidural failed horribly. I ended up having to have a natural birth with my baby sunny side up. I was in so much shock and pain during the labor and after that I couldn’t focus on my baby and snuggle him and let the love flow over us. I was shell shocked. I felt robbed. And so, so incredibly alone with my physical and emotional pain … which lasted for months. I didn’t feel like anyone in the world could relate to how I felt. Since, as you say, nobody shares about anything but the joys, I felt like all I saw all around me, *especially* from fellow bloggers, was overwhelming joy and these easy peasy painless deliveries. A line from your birth story would actually replay in my mind – something along the lines of how you would love to repeat the day over and over again. I would pray to God and ask Him why He abandoned me during my delivery and why I couldn’t have a birth story as beautiful as yours. I’m ashamed to share all of this but I’m sharing it to be able to say the reasons why I’m grateful for the post you just shared and how I think it will definitely help other mamas-to-be … because motherhood is hard in such a multi-faceted way and every new mom faces struggles of some sort. While I knew this truth all along, it really brings it home to read it from an otherwise “picture perfect” blogger. I really appreciate you being honest here and wish you the best.

  35. December 18, 2017 / 11:49 pm

    Wow I so appreciate your honesty and vulnerability with this post. I am sure it wasn’t easy to post, but I hope that it was cathartic for you to finally share how you truly felt and hopefully hear from some women who felt the same.

    I do not have children yet so I can’t say I’ve gone through the same thing, but I will say that two parts of your post really struck a chord with me, as I think they are more universal and a lot of people can relate:
    1. I suffer from mild depression (well similar to you I haven’t gotten myself diagnosed but I’ve realized that’s what it is) and it seems contradictory that you can be so happy and yet so sad at the same time. Sometimes I feel guilty because I have so many good things going on but when the depression hits I just can’t get out of my hole no matter how hard I try. It’s the strangest sensation being happy and sad at the same time, but it totally happens.
    2. Having a dream for the longest time and then getting it and it not being what you expect and that causing you to question everything. This happened to me when I began my career after college. It was what I had always wanted to do, I had busted my butt to make it happen, and then when I got into it, I was like, wait I actually don’t love this! It was frightening and I had no idea what to do because that’s all I’d ever wanted to do.

    Thank you so much for opening up and sharing your thoughts, fears, and recollections. It really touched me and I am sure I am not alone. It was empowering to read because you seem like such a wonderful woman and terrific mom and it’s nice to know that even people like that have tough times and questions and hard days. I think in this age of highlight reels, when people only share the good stuff, then when we go through something hard we think we are the only ones and think something is wrong with us, but in reality tons of other people go through the same, they just don’t share it. I felt that way when I first got married, like I couldn’t confide in anyone that we were fighting or having trouble transitioning because I didn’t want to admit it for fear that they would be like “Oh it’s because you married too young!” or something like that, but really everyone else felt the same way and it just took time to meld two lives which isn’t surprising!

    Anyways, now I am rambling, but I just really appreciated this post. Your little girl is so lucky to have a woman like you to look up to.

    xo Mary-Katherine
    http://www.goldhattedlover.com

  36. LeAnna Corley
    December 19, 2017 / 12:21 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this! You have no idea how much this spoke to me! I am SO relieved and thankful to know I’m not alone!

  37. Laura
    December 19, 2017 / 7:31 am

    You are doing a fabulous job, Megan. Raising my hand over here saying, I’ve been there! I have a 2 boys, 22 months apart. Although I am totally with you about the 8 week turning point, my youngest just turned 1 a week ago and I finally feel like I’ve regained my spirit. Going from one to two all depends on the children, but it was a huge leap for our family. Don’t get me wrong, I love my babies more than anything but it’s hard. I can finally say, life with two is manageable and on most days it’s easy. Hope this encourages you. Praying for you!

  38. Casey
    December 19, 2017 / 8:44 am

    Megan, Thank you fort his post! It is so comforting to know that I’m not the only Mom who went thru almost the same emotions and thoughts… Congratulations on your second baby; wishing you, Brandon, and Watson all the best! 🙂

  39. Rachel
    December 19, 2017 / 8:51 am

    The blog world needs more honesty like this! I don’t have babies yet but I still very much appreciated your transparency on a topic that is never discussed. Social Media can easily convince us that we’re the weird ones if our lives don’t look like all the beautiful images we see. You always do such a great job capturing the small things in a beautiful way and I have to say, it was like a sense of relief to read this. It made me feel like we’re all just trying to get by and nobody is perfect. Kudos to you for your bravery in writing this, it is so very much appreciated!

  40. katie
    December 19, 2017 / 9:27 am

    You are so brave! Thank you for sharing… as you can see, so many of us readers can totally relate to this. I really enjoy following your blog and this is so appreciated!! xoxo. Katie

  41. Kristin P.
    December 19, 2017 / 10:47 am

    Like most of the other comments, there is so much truth to your post. Not one of my friends told me how hard having a newborn was going to be. No one said how terrible recovery was and that breastfeeding isn’t easy for everyone. I had my daughter when my son was 17 months old. She is 4 months now and it gets easier every day. I really feel like going from 0 kids to 1 is harder than from 1 to 2. It is really hard, but like you said, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is just a season of your life.

  42. Lindsay
    December 19, 2017 / 12:54 pm

    Thank you for writing this. I’m due with my first in February and as much as sometimes reading about the “bad” parts of parenting can be scary it was refreshing to hear about it not always being sunshine and butterflies. I KNOW it’s going to be hard (obviously I don’t know exactly HOW hard, but I’m preparing myself for the worst. I figure anything will be better than that), and it’s good to know that not loving every minute is normal. Best of luck on the transition from 1 to 2 and thank you again for your honesty. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  43. cindy
    December 19, 2017 / 1:13 pm

    Excellent sharing, well done! Transitions in life are the most difficult and first time parenthood is a huge transition. You will likely adjust to two children easier than one but there will be stress worrying how it is affecting your first born and changing his world in a huge way. Be prepared for that. He will exhibit more negative, attention getting behavior than he did before, which is normal but upsetting to his parents. Your extra love and attention to him for helping you and the baby will be so important. Do not expect him to love the baby as he is too young to feel that. Mommy/son alone time and Daddy/son alone time will be nice and fun for him but do not make those times more fun than times when the four of you are all together, make those times the most fun!

  44. Julie Jensen
    December 19, 2017 / 1:49 pm

    Such a wonderful post!!! I just cannot for the life of me figure out why so many women will not admit the hardships of becoming a Mom – is it fear of ruining it for someone else? the fear of being judged? What is it? I am the Mom who is probably too honest, but I always tell myself I would rather that than hide behind a fake smile when someone asks, “how’s it going?” Being a Mom is TOUGH and each situation is so different whether it be breastfeeding issues, weight issues, formula issues, sleep issues, colic, reflux and the list goes on, but recognizing being in the present and adjusting literally minute by minute, hour by hour is the only way to survive a newborn (at least in my opinion!). Y’all are wonderful parents and your two littles are blessed!

  45. December 20, 2017 / 8:53 pm

    I tell anyone who asks about first time motherhood and any related trials or tribulations that there IS a grieving period for your “old life/self.” I was very much like you — played with dolls all my life, could not WAIT to become a mom. I’ve always known it would be my greatest, greatest gift. But I remember crying to my husband when my first daughter was a few days old — “I just want to go to the movies!” That doesn’t make sense to those who haven’t been through it, but I bet it does to you! As you said, usually over time and as raging hormones even out, those anxieties lessen as they did for you and me.

    The night before having my second daughter, I sobbed. SOBBED. This time it was because I loved my first baby so ridiculously much, so fully, that I was afraid I was messing everything up — I couldn’t grasp how I could love anyone as much as I loved her, if that makes sense. Of course I loved the baby in my belly, but I hadn’t met her yet — I didn’t understand. But, oh. The next day I had ANOTHER best day of my life as she was born and my heart brimmed over with love. And when you see the two of them together — forget it.

    Some things will still be hard with your second, undoubtedly. But those first time feelings and anxieties likely won’t be what they were then. You’re already living this mom life, now just adding to it. You will be wonderful, and the gift you’re giving Watson in a sibling will go down in the books as the best decision you’ve ever made. 🙂 Best wishes!

  46. Meredith
    December 21, 2017 / 12:57 pm

    I didn’t have much of the baby blues with my first son, who’s now 3.5… but it was a REAL big adjustment going from one to two. I think the hardest part for me was when my older son would cry/tantrum etc while the baby was finally asleep and happy. I would get SO UPSET like it was all his fault when he was just being his age of 2.5 at the time. I think back to those days when I would be crying from frustration at him and it breaks my heart! I know he doesn’t remember but i hate the memory for myself. He was going through a huge transition with having a baby brother and not getting me to himself just as much as I was having two kids to care for. When I was pregnant I remember thinking how impossible it was going to be to love another baby the same as I loved my first but WOW. I feel like I could FEEL my heart grow the moment they put him in my arms.
    You’ve got this mama! Enjoy those tiny moments!

  47. Caitlin
    December 22, 2017 / 10:19 am

    Thank you for this post Megan! I have never commented on any blog but I felt I had to today because I can relate to every single thing you said. I have a daughter and son that are 21 months apart. My daughter is now 5 and my son is now 3 but that first year/year and a half after my second child was born was the hardest year of my life. Just know, it gets easier!! And before you know it they will be the best of friends (and entertain each other). Best wishes!

  48. January 1, 2018 / 11:55 am

    Could not have said it better! I didn’t have to go through an 8 week kitchen reno, but I still had the same feelings. I’ve wanted to be a mom my whole life, and when those feelings didn’t come I was so lost. Thank you for sharing, I know it must have been hard! And mom’s like me appreciate it. I’m 34 weeks with my second baby girl and am glad to know i’m not the only one with these feelings. Can’t wait to hear about life as a mother of two! You got this!

  49. Kasey
    January 8, 2018 / 4:20 pm

    Thanks for this post. One thing I was not prepared for with Baby #2 was the overwhelming GUILT. I might just be the only one but my first was tough – everything you said mainly about learning to be a mom and it not coming naturally. And all the work sometimes felt like it was just between me and my little girl. We were a team. Once my son came and she was a little over 2.5 I didn’t get to pay as much attention to her. I was constantly having to tell her “just a minute” or “i’m holding the baby right now”. I was not at all prepared for all the guilt I would feel about paying less attention to her and how it would affect her. I wish someone would have prepared me for that and told me that it would be ok and we would all figure it out together. 🙂

  50. Tracy
    January 14, 2018 / 9:13 pm

    Thank you for writing this post. I am pregnant with our second and my first is 4. I am excited and scared. I went back to school for my nurse Practitioner when my first was 2 months old, and I am finishing 1 month before this one is due. Your honest is refreshing to know that others feel the same way. I can’t wait to read about life with a second little.

  51. Emily
    January 17, 2018 / 4:03 pm

    You put my exact feelings into words. Thank you for your honesty.

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