by Susan Jackson
The economy was collapsing all around us, the fate of our country hung in the balance of a critical election, and what did my husband and I decide to do? Make a baby, of course! Thanks to the blessings of the great fertility gods, we had no trouble getting knocked up for a second time right away. Now I’m just a few months from being a full-time working mom of – gulp – two.
I’m amazed how different pregnancy, and the expectations of impending delivery and motherhood, feel this time around. Physically, I experienced zero morning sickness (last time the first trimester was a nauseating blur) and have gained only a reasonable amount of weight. I’m tired more often and easily than normal, and I have the occasional heartburn and back pain. But for the most part, easy peasy.
Beyond my body, my mind is in such a different place. I’m much more practical and less sentimental than I was as a first-time mom (perhaps taking care of a preschooler while going through pregnancy can do that to a person). I don’t experience the highs of dreamy new-mom fantasies or the lows of utter panic that this will be too hard and painful and what was I thinking?! I simply am enjoying the remaining months of having only one child (poor thing doesn’t grasp what’s coming for her) and trying to be as prepared as possible for doubling the juggle (including juggling rooms in our small home, which is going to have to do until the market picks up).
One thing that helps immensely is having a solid, reassuring plan for child care. Last time, we really had no clue what we were going to do. We talked about my husband watching the baby while he worked from home (which he ended up doing, miraculously, for the first year). But we didn’t know how that would go. And I didn’t know how it would feel to leave my baby at home while I headed off to nine-plus hours of work each day.
Now, I’m heading into this with my eyes wide open and the proper plans in place. We are fortunate beyond words to have a loving, capable babysitter who currently watches our daughter full-time. Once I return to work, she will take on the additional duties of baby #2, as well as haul our daughter back and forth to preschool each morning. Just knowing this is our plan gives me so much confidence that we can do this, I can go back to my full-time job again and all will turn out OK.