Two nights ago I had a complete breakdown- the kind where you are crying so hard you realize you can't breathe, and you don't really care. It was 11PM, Grant and I had just finished watching the dumbest movie (Something Borrowed- all the characters were kind of losers so you didn't really want anyone to end up together) and I went in to check on Purslane before I crawled into bed. She was sleeping peacefully wrapped around her sock monkey Tom, and I could just see the fading red mark on her forehead.
We had gone for dinner at some friend's house that evening and she fell off a plastic chair onto the grass. I was sitting right there, but due to my overall large body habitus just couldn't get to her. She had been chewing on the heel of a loaf of french bread and couldn't cry because her mouth was full- all I could see was tears running out the side of her eyes and her little arms reached up for me. My heart literally melted. I picked up my daughter, took the bread out of her mouth and she sobbed into my shoulder for a minute. She was fine, just a bump on the head, and was running around in no time. I however, was left with the terrifying realization that in about 6 weeks she will be at even more risk for getting hurt because I won't just have a large belly, but another child in my arms.
Grant and I try to be laid back parents when it comes to childhood injuries. We don't rush to Pursy's side when she trips and falls and unless there is obvious bleeding or something that needs checked out or cleaned- we are big "rub some dirt on it" or "no big deal-shake it off" sort of people. The exception is my paranoid fear of the concrete steps into the backyard- she has been known to literally throw herself down them in order to play with Elliott or get to her kiddie pool. There have been lots of scraped knees and face parts.
So somehow this falling off the chair got to me- even more so the realization that we are about to have two children and I will still only have two arms. I began to get angry at the child growing in my belly because he was going to take attention off of the child I have spent the past 16 months protecting and enjoying. She is a fantastic kid and I love hanging out with her. And so at 11PM, I laid in bed and sobbed. And I admitted out loud to Grant that I did not want another baby. I don't know what was more upsetting, the fact that verbalizing these feelings made me feel like a horrible person or the fact that there isn't a damn thing I can do about it. This baby is coming.
I have since talked with other Mamas about their experience with a second child, and everyone assures me this is normal and will pass. I will find that I am "capable of loving two children equally" and "your love doesn't divide, it multiplies." (Thankfully, these sentiments did not come from my friends directly, as they know better then to toss pithy epithets my way.) But I still have the lingering feelings that we did Pursy wrong by having another baby this soon- that she should still be the center of our world and deserves my undivided attention. We are blessed to have gotten pregnant twice, blessed to have a gorgeous healthy babe and more blessed with a healthy marriage that has been strengthened by the addition of children. We are lucky. So why is my blessing feeling like something that could tip the scales to a bad place? Telling me this is normal isn't helping me right now... but then again I have never been a big fan of normal.