When I read this article by Kim Zapata (source www.babble.com) I couldn't believe what I was reading. It was as if she has ripped my heart out with those words and what I have been going through almost everyday for the past few months. Every time I see a brother protecting his sister from falling, every time a girl shares a FB post and tags her sister about the bond they share, every time a see a baby being smothered by kisses by her elder brother, my heart aches. My husband and I again go through the pros and cons and after a couple of days of struggling views, push the thought back, yet again. I am not sure if we'll ever go ahead with the decision, if we'll ever take the plunge, but when I read this today, I couldn't help but share it on my blog to remind me after a few years, in case we don't go for it, the struggles of my heart and mind, the oscillating thoughts and the heart ache of a mom who feels incomplete. Sasha - please forgive me if we are not able to give you a friend in the form of a brother or sister, to help you understand the bonds of a sibling, for the lifelong support that many share and a beautiful family of four that fills many a photo frame.
Dear Little One,
I should probably start by saying that I’m not pregnant with you and I’m not having you. At least not anytime soon. At least not yet.
Make no mistake: I want to have you. For months now, I have dreamed of carrying your little body close - of tickling your toes and holding your little hand in mine. I have spent many hours trying to imagine what it would feel like to conceive you and carry you and hear your heartbeat for the very first time. I’ve puffed out my stomach and arched my back, wondering what I would look like; wondering what I would feel like. And I’ve spent hours talking with my husband (and your father) about why now is the right time - or the best time - to have you.
I’m trying to convince him why we should transform our trio into a family of four.
Yet even though I am “ready” - ready to carry you and nurture you and to have a second child - I am still terrified. I am still scared to death. Because things didn’t go as planned with your sister. Shortly after she was born, I struggled. I struggled mentally and emotionally. We - as a family - struggled financially. Your father and I struggled with our relationship. One day I nearly walked out; one day I asked for a divorce.
Depression nearly destroyed me. Postpartum depression nearly took my life.
And while that, in an of itself, is a damn good reason to be frightened and afraid, it isn’t postpartum depression that scares me most this time around. (Not anymore, at least.) No, this time, the fear is all about me, and my own personal inadequacies.
You see, selfishly I am afraid that if - and when - I have you I will become angry and resentful, because there is not enough of me to go around. Right now, with your sister, there is already not enough of me to go around.
I worry that in having you, I will have to make a difficult choice: I will have to put you in daycare much younger than your sister or I will have to sacrifice my job - the career of my dreams and the career I fought for an entire decade to obtain.
I’m afraid that I’ll be so exhausted and stressed that I’ll take it out on you, or on your sister.
I’m afraid that, if the PPD returns, I won’t be good enough or “well enough” to care of you.
I won’t be the mother you need or deserve.
I’m afraid that your sister’s antics - being an older, outgoing, and a risk-taking toddler — may cause me to miss out on your childhood. I will cover my eyes and count to 20, but when I remove my hands you will be crawling. Before I find your sister, during our never-ending game of hide and seek, you will be walking. And then you will be grown.
I’ll mourn the memories we never made.