When I was pregnant with Oliver, I felt like the clock was ticking down the days until my life would be ruined. And really, when he was born, it did ruin my life. Nothing turned out how I imagined it would be. I lost friends. I was suddenly a different person. My life plans were derailed. It was hard. The life that I thought I wanted and needed was ruined. But somehow, when I gave up mourning for that life I found a new one. And this new one? It's easier. Less self-conscious. More of a reflection of who I really am.
Lots of times I reflect on these things before taking my afternoon nap. How, really, our whole family came together out of the need to care for Oliver. How everything was rearranged and changed and got put back together more efficiently. We edited out the distractions that we didn't need, and we focused on the parts of our relationship that needed improving. The resulting lifestyle that we've built for ourselves isn't flashy, but it serves us well in its simplicity. There is beauty in the plainness because its just who we are - not what who we thought we should be. I don't miss the drama and the pretending one bit. I wish I could have seen this point of view while I was feeling lost. It would have been a great reassurance.
In ten weeks, we're going to change things all over again with the new baby. Right now, I don't feel any real love for the person I am growing inside of me and haven't yet met. I feel a need to protect, to nurture it... but not really love.
That was how things were with Oliver - I didn't, couldn't love him until I got to know him. He was just a stranger, just a responsibility until I came to know him. It wasn't like the nurse placed him in my arms and I suddenly loved him. It took me caring for him and becoming comfortable with him for that bond to grow. And now? I couldn't imagine not loving him.
I'm sure that's how it will be with Two-bie. I know I will come to love him, but I worry that it will make my love for Oliver less. Or that the love for Two-bie will be different. Or that Oliver and Jared will see me differently. Even though we want Oliver to have a sibling and we want him to have that togetherness, I worry that he will get pushed aside. I worry that he will feel less important or less loved. I feel guilty for all of my attention and time that he will not get.
I don't know why I worry about this. I know that every parent worries about this. Everyone says you just can't understand it until it happens, and on that I am pinning all of my worries. I am trying to remember my mistakes from before and be open to the manifold unforeseen possibilities, not just my projected images of how things "should be."
If you see me clinging to the way things are now, please remind me to let go, to trust, to adapt. Sometimes I forget to step back and look around. I'm sure if I did, I would see that my life has a long way to go before it could be ruined. And maybe, if I am really lucky, I could glimpse the fringes of the not-ruined life I will have that is going to be so much better.
It's just ten more weeks until we get to upgrade our lives again. I can't wait.