Second Baby Guilt: How I Am Working Through It

Second Baby Guilt | Baby Chick

Second Baby Guilt: How I Am Working Through It

Note from the author: I’m getting a little bit deep and raw about something that’s personal to me: second baby guilt. There may even be a tad TMI here and there, but hey, we’re all adults. I hope that this article helps any moms out there that are struggling with the same issue to realize that it’s completely normal, and you’re not alone because, after all, that’s what this platform is all about…inspiring, connecting, and uplifting each other. Thanks!

I’ve struggled with whether or not to write on this topic for a variety of reasons, like feeling guilty for feeling guilty. Or I am feeling like I’m throwing my “baby-making” success in the face of others who may be struggling—fearing backlash from readers, friends, or family. And that big one of actually admitting these feelings to myself. That’s a hard one.

But then there are the reasons FOR writing on this topic: like having a therapeutic outlet for myself, seeking advice from moms who have walked the same road, and normalizing these feelings for those walking the same journey.

So here it goes—my big fat second baby guilt and how I’m getting over it, slowly.

Second Baby Guilt

My husband and I knew we wanted our kiddos about 2 1/2 – 3 years apart. So it didn’t come as any surprise to me when we started having the conversation in the spring about when we would actually pull the goalie, so to speak. I got off birth control in March because my hormones were at a terrible imbalance causing everything from dramatic weight and muscle-mass loss (to the point where I had co-workers asking if I was sick). I also had headaches, dizziness, loss of libido, and decreased energy.

We knew we needed to be careful after I stopped birth control. It had only taken one shot at getting pregnant with our first, and we had three incredibly special weddings coming up that I did NOT want to be sick during. (Okay, I also wanted to guzzle some champagne with my besties. Shame on me.)

To avoid an “oops baby,” I began tracking my ovulation immediately with the app Ovuline. We made it to July, through the weddings and other random events I hadn’t wanted to miss out on, and then husband was ready to start trying. I’m not saying that I wasn’t ready; I was. I was just also beginning to feel an overwhelming sense of sadness. My son, Fischer, had been my everything for the past two years, I’d never felt so complete. But this is what we had planned, right? If I got pregnant in July, the kids would be as close to our 2.5 year age difference as possible.

My husband didn’t understand why I was hesitant. I told him I would like to wait until August. I thought I would be ready by then. Not to mention that I knew I was going to be out of town during the time I was supposed to ovulate, so I thought I had the perfect sabotage.

‘THOUGHT’ being the keyword, folks. We did the deed on July 3rd, the day before I left, and one week later, I KNEW. Having been through a series of interesting ailments throughout my life and struggling with an autoimmune disorder that frequently strikes with a vengeance, I am particularly aware of the goings-on inside my body. So I just knew. Two weeks later, I saw the first of multiple pregnancy tests (only 4 this time! last time it was 9!). My husband was shocked, but should he have been? Probably not.

I cried. And I cried. And I cried some more. Honestly, they weren’t tears of joy. They weren’t tears of joy for some time, and that PAINS me to write. I would never want this new baby to think that they weren’t wanted. Of course, I should have been ECSTATIC about this new little life, the growing of our little tribe, the partner-in-crime for Fischer. But I couldn’t get over the feeling of loss that seems to go hand-in-hand with this addition. Funny, right? Adding and losing at the same time…it’s not supposed to work that way.

baby fischer

So what do I think I’m losing, exactly?

I guess my 100% commitment to Fischer, the maternal bond with my ONLY child. He’s been my whole world and my best little friend for the past two years. I couldn’t imagine loving someone else the way I love him, and I fear there just isn’t enough to go around. He’s losing the spotlight and, at two years old, is so not ready to share my love. I fear that my child will resent me, and I can’t even handle the thought of that.

For a couple of weeks, I was losing my mind with grief. For his birthday every year, I vowed to write a letter in his little journal that I had made especially for that reason. Last year the pages were stained with tears at the realization my baby was turning one. This year, the hot tears of guilt left streaky pen marks. Oy. I hope one day we look back and laugh.

I tried talking to my husband about this, but he didn’t get it. They never seem to understand these things. Luckily, two of my very best friends had just recently become second-time moms, and so I reached out to them. In fact, I had reached out to them months ago to voice my fears and concerns, and I was relieved to hear that they had gone through the same sorts of emotions.

But I was happy to hear how the additions to each of their families were NOT a loss but a huge, huge gain. They told me there was more than enough space in their hearts to welcome this second little love. And that they adored seeing the first sibling accept the second. They told me their families became even MORE “complete” when they laid eyes and hands on their new little person.

baby Fischer

And yet they were also brutally honest about the changes, and I thank them for that. (And for the continued harping I’ve been doing about this transition.) Yes, you’ll lose time with your first baby, and it’s hard for them to understand. Yes, you’ll feel guilty about it. But in those moments, guess who gets to step up? Daddy. My friends told me that to see the bond grow between their partner and child was something altogether more special. Yes, it’s hard to manage schedules with two babies, and it’ll drive you a little batty. In this way, your first baby suffers a little bit too because sometimes you’ll be too exhausted to go to the park. Yes, you’ll forget to take one million photos of the poor second child. Yes, you’ll be dead tired with the round-the-clock feedings for the new baby and trying to keep up with the high energy toddler. This went on and on.

But, and they’ve both been emphatic with this BUT, your heart will swell all over again, and you won’t be able to imagine life without BOTH little loves.

baby fischer

So, where does that leave me?

It took us a few weeks to begin telling people we were expecting again. Our friends and family were obviously so excited for us. I wanted to be excited, too, and didn’t want to fake it. So, until I had begun to reconcile my feelings, we kept the news close. At 6 weeks and 4 days, we had our first prenatal appointment and (thankfully) heard the heartbeat. I was able to capture this on video and even got Fischer to say “Baby” at the exact right moment. I think it was after this that my heart started to make a turn, and I actively began to imagine life as a family of four instead of three.

At our next appointment, I was by myself and got to see an amazing ultrasound of a very, VERY active little Brussels Sprout (the current size). I cried like a baby. This time they were tears of JOY. I sent the video to husband first, then to quite a few other people, and they all shared in the happiness and welcomed anticipation I felt and continue to feel.

fischer

Do I still feel guilty?

Sure, sometimes. Okay, a lot of times. Hey! It’s still pretty new!

When Fischer and I are cuddled in his chair reading books, and I know it won’t be long before this belly is too big to snuggle so tight, I get sad. And then I remember that one day he’ll fit again. When he begs to be held, and I know that my hands will be full with someone else, I get sad. And then I think that at times there will be space for me to hold BOTH my babies. When he cries out for me, and I know that I can’t go running because someone else will have my attention, I get sad. And then I know that daddy will be there to run instead and that their bond will grow strong. (Okay, that one tugs at my heart in a way that makes me a little sad.)

When Fischer doesn’t understand that he has to share the spotlight, I get sad. And then I realize (and hope) that there will be double the FUN in the spotlight for Fischer and his best pal. I also know that as Fischer grows up, he’s also growing away and will need me less and less in the way he needs me now. That realization is both a comfort (for the current situation) and a complete nightmare as I never want my baby to grow up!

And then I wonder how can I feel THAT guilty when I know how much spoiling will be done between now and March? Let’s hope Fischer doesn’t end up TOO rotten at the end of this because I see a lot of trips to the zoo, museums, toy stores, ice cream shops, pet stores and more, in his future!

family of (now) four

Our first “selfie” as a family of four!

So, THANK YOU, friends, for letting me vent and share this. Again, it was a struggle for a lot of reasons. As moms, we are supposed to be “superhuman,” right? And superhumans don’t harbor these types of feelings. But, well, we AREN’T superhuman, and we DO have a huge range of emotions, each one as valid as the next. If you’re in the same boat as me, let yourself go through it. The grief, the excitement, the anxiety. All of it, because it’s 100% normal.

About the Author /

Lanie is a wife, mother to her two boys, and has a huge passion for maternal health, nutrition, and fitness.

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First of all, we think all moms are incredible. 💕 Today’s shoutout goes to the career moms. We know the struggles because we are you. May this weekend bring you all rest, peace, and joy. 🥰 Sending out all of the love and respect! 🙇‍♀️
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If you are there now or about to enter this stage, it’s a yummy, delicious, snuggly stage. But for me, it has always been one of the harder ones, every time I go through it. So I see and feel you, mama! It’s physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting. Hold tight, though, because it doesn’t last forever.⁠
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Daddy Chronicles: Breastfeeding 💙⁠ by @chroni Daddy Chronicles: Breastfeeding 💙⁠
by @chroniclesofdaddy⁠
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I've been asked so many questions by men about fatherhood. So I figured I'd drop some knowledge on my fellow Dads and soon-to-be-Dads. Here's what it looks like for the first few weeks or months after your child is born. Yup. If mom breastfeeds they pretty much are tucked like this and at times you'll wonder "what is there for me to do?" Here are my top 5 tips for any Dad after your child is born.⁠
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1️⃣ For night feedings. When mom wakes up in the middle of the night, you get up and ask if she needs any help or water. The truth is most of the time she will say no but just the fact that you offered will go far.⁠
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3️⃣ Don't put a time limit on how long mom breastfeeds the baby. It's not just about feeding your child it's about them bonding as well. I know everyone has a different length of time they will breastfeed and as a Dad, it's hard to fully understand. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT try and rush this process. It's not our place and it's not safe. You will open yourself up to a fight you can't win.⁠
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4️⃣ Be patient. I know as a Dad the first few weeks we are equally excited and yet not as important. Your time will come faster than you know. Babies grow fast and the stronger and bigger they get the more Daddy Time will be coming your way.⁠
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5️⃣ Paternity leave! If you have it TAKE IT. The early stages of a child's life are not just for moms to enjoy. I know as men making the money especially after having a baby it's hard, but trust me. You can always make money but there are no instant replays in life. It doesn't make you more of a man to not take the leave. It's equally as important that you as a Dad get to be a part of the early development of your child. ⁠
If someone needs this info tag them ❤️⁠
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Absolutely love these tips from @chroniclesofdaddy. 🙌
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What are some strange things you do as a #boymom or #girlmom?
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Potty Training Tips! A step-by-step guide 🚽⁠ Potty Training Tips! A step-by-step guide 🚽⁠
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1️⃣ Look for signs of readiness:⁠
- Diaper dry for at least 1-2 hours.⁠
- Pulling at their diaper when its wet or soiled.⁠
- Hiding or fidgeting when going pee or poo in diaper.⁠
- Interest in others using the potty.⁠
- Waking up with a dry diaper after naps.⁠
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Potty training is much quicker if your child is showing the above signs, but you can start before this.⁠
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2️⃣ What you will need to buy:⁠
- Toilet seat insert to place on your toilet⁠
- Steps⁠
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3️⃣ Getting yourself and your child prepared:⁠
- Talk to your child about using the potty, maybe take them into the bathroom when you go and talk them through the process (e.g. wiping, flushing, and washing hands, etc.)⁠
- Practice pulling pants or shorts up and down.⁠
- Look on YouTube with your child at some potty training stories (e.g. 'I Want My Potty' and 'Pirate Pete's Potty')⁠
- Involve your child in choosing and buying everything you need - choosing character-themed underwear is usually very exciting!⁠
- Sit your child on the potty at every diaper change, first thing in the morning and just before bed to get them used to sitting on the toilet.⁠
- Teach your child the correct vocabulary or signs needed to communicate when they need to go potty.⁠
- Make sure you have plenty of spare clothes.⁠
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4️⃣ Let's get toilet trained:⁠
- Get your child to choose a pair of underwear and put them on.⁠
- Talk to them about using the toilet and communicating when they need to pee or poo. You can sit them on the toilet at this point if you wish.⁠
- Take your child to the toilet every 15/20 minutes. Say "let's go to the potty" rather than asking "do you want to go to the toilet" - if you ask, they are likely to say no! Also, look for signs like moving from side-to-side or hiding. These are normal signs that they might need to go potty.⁠
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(Continue reading in the comments!)
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“You are my reason.⁠ ⁠ You are the reason I “You are my reason.⁠
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You are the reason I get up each morning.⁠
Even though my eyelids are as heavy as a five-ton truck.⁠
Even though all I want is to sleep in, a coffee and breakfast in bed.⁠
You are more important.⁠
You need me.⁠
For you, I would do anything.⁠
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You are the reason I am finally comfortable in my own skin.⁠
Even though I am a size bigger than I used to be.⁠
Even though my boobs cannot be described as 'perky'⁠
You relied on my body.⁠
You gave it purpose.⁠
For you, I will always love it.⁠
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You are the reason I now know the importance of patience.⁠
Even though I sometimes miss the fast-paced life.⁠
Even though I still get frustrated when I feel inefficient.⁠
You need me to go at your pace.⁠
You are the priority right now.⁠
For you, I slow down.⁠
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You are the reason I worry more than ever.⁠
Even though I know it won't change anything.⁠
Even though it's not your fault.⁠
You are precious.⁠
You are vulnerable.⁠
For you, I will worry forever.⁠
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You are the reason I am now filled with gratitude.⁠
Even though I get sad when things do not go my way.⁠
Even though I sometimes lose sight of what I have.⁠
You are my constant reminder that I am blessed.⁠
You are the light at the end of every tunnel.⁠
For you, everything is worth it.⁠
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You are the reason that my heart is full.⁠
Even though I am grateful for our life before you.⁠
You have shown me a love like no other.⁠
You are remarkable.⁠
For you, my heart explodes.⁠
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You are my reason." ❤️ Words by @hangingwiththeheaphys 💕⁠
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Have you noticed that your child is complaining of stomach pain and headaches? Or perhaps they seem tired and irritable despite getting the correct amount of sleep? Perhaps these things are simply coincidental, but maybe they’re not. Did you know that even children suffer from anxiety disorder? In fact, the most common mental health condition in children is anxiety disorder. If you are sensing that there may be something else going on, keep reading. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading this mom's personal journey with child anxiety disorder.⁠}⁠
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Few of life’s events can have you bursting at the seams as much as “we’re making a human!” will. Sharing this news with those you love, like, or just tolerate, has become easier and more instantaneous than ever with the advent of social media. These days, most moms-to-be want to share their pregnancy announcement with as many people as possible . . . and the cuter idea the better!⁠
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Here are some fun and unique pregnancy announcement ideas for you to share your incredible news. Whether you like to use humor, romance, or a sweet surprise, these ideas are some of the most picture-worthy around!⁠ ⁠{Click 🔗 in bio to see the pregnancy announcement ideas!⁠}⁠
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Article by: Rachel MacPherson⁠
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Pretty sure my mouth and nose are covered too. 😑😂⁠
📷: @thedecentmother
I am a big advocate for breastfeeding. There are s I am a big advocate for breastfeeding. There are so many AMAZING benefits for the mother and child. But you know what I am an even bigger advocate for? A mother's well-being -- her physical, emotional, and mental health!!⁠
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Sometimes we make plans and God laughs. Some of us plan to breastfeed our babies for 3 months, 6 months, a year, 2 years. Some of us meet our goals and some of us don't. (🙋‍♀️ My goal was to reach a year and made it 7 months.) Breastfeeding can be a lot more challenging than many of us expect. There can be complications along the way, the baby could have allergies, and sometimes breastfeeding or pumping can take an immense toll on a mother's mental health.⁠
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It is my firm belief that we must care for and support the new mother just as much as we care for and support the new child. 💕 While I feel there is so much value in breast milk, in my opinion, if it compromises the health of the mother, it is not worth it. As long as the baby is being fed, cared for, and loved, that is all that matters. And for the mother to grow and thrive in her new role as a parent to continue caring for her child, she needs to do what she feels is best for herself and her family. Sometimes that is not breastfeeding or pumping.⁠
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No matter your feeding experience or preference, you are a good mother. Whether your choice was made by you or made for you, you must do what is right for you and your baby. Your health (mentally, physically, emotionally) matters. ❤️
Being a Stay-At-Home Mom Was Harder For Me Than Be Being a Stay-At-Home Mom Was Harder For Me Than Being a Working Mom⁠ 😬⁠
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Being a full-time, stay-at-home mom of small children is a lot like being the CEO of a corporation. But without anyone working under you and without receiving payment for your efforts. Kinda crazy when you think of it like that, huh?⁠
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I smile as I write this, but that feeling was sometimes true for me. Of course, there are different ways to frame our choices as mothers. Such as looking at stay-at-home-motherhood through the lens of sheer fulfillment that comes from spending quality time with your kids and teaching them the ways of life. For me, what I eventually realized after my second child was born was that I needed to create a lifestyle that filled in the gaps where I felt something was missing. Specifically, I needed someone to help me manage my kids and my household. And I needed to be earning some money myself.⁠ {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading this mom's story!⁠}⁠
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Article by: @kristen_vhmiddleton⁠
📷: @thegoddessher⁠
CC: @herholisticpath
Pretty much what summer is going to be like. 🤦‍♀️😑⁠
📷: @realamericandadass
Chick Picks: Best Baby Swings and Baby Bouncers⁠ Chick Picks: Best Baby Swings and Baby Bouncers⁠ 👶⁠
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In the womb, babies love when you move and walk around because it rocks them to sleep. 🤰💤 When they are born into a cold and bright world, all of that change is a shock to the system! 😱 This is why babies love being cuddled and rocked by you. Your warmth, your scent, and that motion calms them and makes them feel right at home. However, it's unrealistic to think that any parent can constantly rock and bounce their baby. Your arms, shoulders, and upper back will ache! 😫 This is why baby swings and baby bouncers are a thing and why many parents swear by them. 👍 But what are the best baby swings and baby bouncers on the market? 🤔 We are sharing our favorites -- also known as our Chick Picks! -- so that you can look at the best ones and determine which is the right one for your baby. 😍 {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
📷: @_aalina
Wishing that your day looked a little like this. 💙⁠ Someday soon we will all be united. 🙏
Dad giving a bottle to his baby, and a bottle to his baby, and a bottle to his baby. 🍼😂 We love dads!!⁠
📷: @nicolemacklephoto
Cheers to the good fathers. Today is your day. We Cheers to the good fathers. Today is your day. We don't thank you enough for everything you do every day for your family. You are appreciated more than you know by your partners and children. We hope today you feel that love and gratitude.⁠
Happy Father's Day! 💙
Happy Father's Day 💙 Sending love to anyone who Happy Father's Day 💙 Sending love to anyone who needs it today. ⁠💕⁠
📷: @gmf.designs