I’ll never forget the day I found out I was pregnant with my second child. I’d spent nearly all day in bed watching afternoon talk shows with my six month old daughter laying on my chest. I was exhausted and nauseous. The last time I felt that sick, I was pregnant. Oh my goodness, I couldn’t be…could I? Nah. It took us nearly two years to get pregnant with my daughter. There is no way I got pregnant that quickly with a second child. My head was spinning. I ran to the bathroom and puked…again.
I bundled up the baby and made a bee-line to the drug store. As I set the pregnancy test stick near the scanner I watched the clerk look at me…and then the pregnancy test…and then my baby…and then me again. I am fairly certain he was doing the math in his head. He smirked. “Would you PLEASE just scan the freekin test?” I said under my breath.
I walked in the house and threw up again. Boy, this flu bug is killing me, I thought. I was clearly in denial. I set the test stick on the counter and avoided it. If I didn’t take the test, I wouldn’t be pregnant…right? I cleaned up around it. I ate lunch around it. I even considered stirring my coffee with it when I couldn’t find a clean spoon.
It was a bit ironic. I used to love those little sticks. I would anxiously tear them open and…(well, you know what comes next). I would gaze longingly at the little spot where the second little line might appear. On the glorious day it actually did appear, I ran up to my husband and tried to shove it in his hand. He lurched back. (I was so excited that I forgot to clean it off, woops). We are pregnant! I squealed.
This time was different. I didn’t want to be pregnant. I couldn’t be pregnant. I barely figured out how to take care of this one…much less another one. We couldn’t afford a baby and I didn’t want another baby. There was that second line I’d only had the pleasure of seeing once before. It looked fluorescent this time.
I’ve probably taken 50 pregnancy tests and I’ve never, ever seen such a clear, bright line. I puked…again. Only this time, it was due to nerves.
I spent the rest of the day trying to figure out how to tell my husband. Should I buy him balloons, a cake, cookies? Maybe if I turned it into a celebration we would forget how ill-prepared we were for a second child. As I was planning the “we don’t want another baby…but ‘oh-well’ celebration”, my husband arrived home early from work..
I couldn’t stand it. “Honey, I have to tell you something”. “You aren’t pregnant again, are you?” He laughed. “Not funny”, I grumbled. “Yes..WE are”, I replied, sarcastically. He walked into the bathroom. I think he puked too. “Well, we’ll make it work”, he said. He sounded sincere. “Okay then”.
I am not sure if we said anything else that night or for the next eight months for that matter. We didn’t really talk much about the baby even though our excitement started to grow with every prenatal appointment. “We’ll make it work” became our mantra. And we did. My daughter had just taken her first steps around the time my son was born.
While this is the part of the article where I should be giving you tips on how we made it work, I can’t. Quite honestly, I don’t remember much. I remember changing a ton of diapers, pushing around a super heavy double stroller, having back pain from lugging around a toddler on one hip and a bulky car-seat on the other. I also remember getting up between one and five times every night for two years straight to tend to a crying baby. That’s about it.
My son is almost three now and my daughter will turn four this summer. The fog has lifted. Suddenly, I am sleeping again. I know what it feels like to take a long, hot shower again. I can shave my legs, fix my hair and apply makeup now. I even smell good. The other day, I read a magazine, drank a cup of coffee and watched a reality TV show without interruption. Pinch me.
My kids are a bit more independent now and I am enjoying some much deserved “me-time”. They play together. They like each other and they entertain each other. It is great.
If you are reading this in panic mode while awaiting a second baby I am probably going to disappoint you. I don’t have any profound advice, tips or words of wisdom to offer. In fact, I’m not going to lie and suggest that it is easy. Two under two is hard. You won’t get much sleep, you won’t have much time to yourself and you will probably be running non-stop.
That being said, I am LOVING “two under four”. It is fun, it is profoundly easier and I blessed with non-stop laughter at the antics of two preschoolers. Who knows, I might even be ready to try “three under five” soon (just kidding, honey).