I spent my childhood preparing to be “Mommy.” I played house. I practiced fixing boo-boos. Heck, I even gave birth to a Cabbage Patch doll in my bedroom. I had it down. I had mastered the art of child-rearing. That alone (not to mention my natural instinct and intuition) was sure to make me the mother I always dreamed of being.
One who fell into the role of motherhood with simplicity and ease.
One I could be proud of.
Not one who helplessly rocked her first baby for endless hours throughout the night. Not one who locked herself in the bathroom crying as she faced ultimate exhaustion. Not one who was spiraling into depression, questioning her worth and fearing the arrival of her second (surprise, but very much wanted) child.
I thought I was prepared for number one—but I wasn’t prepared for what people fail to talk about. For the breastfeeding hell, the torturous sleepless nights, the loss of my identity. I wasn’t ready. And I wasn’t ready to relive the experience, not so soon.
But now, I’m sitting here on my couch, feet up, staring at our number two.
Not number two in my heart. Number two in the order of coming into our world.
And man, has this experience been different.
I was afraid. I was terrified. I was by no means ready for number two. But he was determined. He had other plans. He insisted on being here.
And thank you, baby. You saved me.
He’s allowed me to take all I’ve learned in mothering my first and apply it a second time around without fear of failure.
And what a gift that is. To mother without fear. To be OK with formula, to be OK with self-care, to be OK to ask for help. It’s a gift.
These first three days—cracked and bleeding nipples, husband changing my diapers (bless this man, seriously), recovering from an unwanted C-section, cluster feeding ALL night long—these three days, they’ve been incredible. They’re familiar (except for the C-section) and we’ve fallen into routine with the ease and simplicity we didn’t experience with number one. Because it was new. Because no one talks about the hard stuff. Becuase we didn’t know it was okay to not know exactly what to do.
But this time around, we got this. For now.
Even if it’s just for a moment. Even if it’s just until number one arrives home and we’re thrown into the chaos of managing the heart and souls of both of our babies in unison.
It will be what it will be.
We’ve got this.
This post originally appeared on the Facebook page Grown Up Glamour.