I think I glided through the vast majority of my pregnancy happily ignoring the real concerns and fears that go hand-in-hand with welcoming a new baby. In some ways, I figured “Been there, done that” so I didn’t spend too much time mentally preparing for baby’s arrival. It was a nice change compared to my first angst-ridden pregnancy when I was alarmed at every odd twinge or sensation and I obsessed about things over which I had no control. Nonetheless, after baby arrived and the reality of my life as a mom of 3 set in, I had some very real new mom / post pregnancy concerns.
Big Family. I realize in the scheme of things a family of five doesn’t really qualify as big, but the change from 2 to 3 kids has presented some logistical (3 car seats in our car!) and emotional concerns. My one consistent worry about a new baby wasn’t so much the nuts and bolts of raising a baby, but the more difficult struggle to find the time, energy and ability to meet the very different needs of each child and my husband. I obviously have enough love to go around but am I expressing it the way my kids need? Do the older two still know I love them even though so much of my time is spent caring for the baby? Can my husband and I handle being outnumbered?
Body. At some point late in my pregnancy, as I was laughing about the fact that I gained more weight than I had previously, a friend pointed out that it would mean more weight to lose after baby. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I honestly hadn’t thought of the weight as anything but a funny, growing number until reality hit at that moment. I have tried not to focus too much on my postpartum body, knowing that it will take time to get back to normal and that my mid-thirties-post-third-baby-bod may require a new sense of normal.
Breastfeeding. Even though I breastfed my first two kids for nearly 3 years combined it was still one area of concern. Here’s the thing: I have one breast that just doesn’t produce much milk. My son gave up the right breast at 9 months. My daughter at 5. Crazy, huh? From the moment I started nursing Max I have worried about the milk production on that side. And for good reason, as it still seems to be a dud and produces only a fraction of what my left does. Thankfully, Max is still growing and thriving and if I have to nurse him on only one breast, I will.
Balance. It’s no surprise that I enjoy blogging. I love connecting, sharing and learning with other moms. What started as a hobby has grown into a job I love and I cherish having an outlet. Yes, I blog about my kids and family but I do it for me and not for them. I worry about finding a new balance between working at home and being present for the kids. We had a good routine going and clearly a baby has thrown that into limbo, but I’m hoping we find a good balance again soon.
Bonding. This one is a bit difficult to admit, but there was a period of time after Max was born when I worried about whether I was really bonding with him. I specifically remember the day we came home from the hospital my husband said, “I love him so much and I can’t remember what it was like before him.” And all I could think was, “Really? That’s weird.” Because I totally didn’t feel that way about my new son.Isn’t that awful? I knew I cared about Max and I was caring for him, but I definitely didn’t feel an overwhelming “Ohmygodhe’smybaby.I’msoinlove.Foreverandever.” emotion like I did immediately with my first two. Looking back, it was obviously a touch of postpartum depression that had me in an all around funk. Luckily, I’m not worried about bonding any more. Because Max? He’s all mine and I am so in love, forever and ever.