“You’re crazy” is a statement we have come to hear a lot since we announced our second pregnancy!
Watching people’s faces as they work out that yes, Aria was only 7 weeks old when we conceived our second baby, and yes they will only be 10/11 months apart, has become somewhat of an amusing sport. Especially when Aria accompanies us to our various growth scans and consultant appointments at the hospital. But perhaps the most amusing part, is the puzzled look on their faces when we tell them it was planned. Because who an earth would want pregnancies and babies so close together?
Well, we did!
Even after a somewhat complicated and stressful pregnancy with Aria, it is easy to see why people were shocked when we announced that we were due again in July. But to us it made perfect sense. Around 5/6 weeks postpartum, I couldn’t help but feel I would love to do it all over again, a surprising realisation for someone who had never planned on having a family… The idea of Aria having a sibling to play and grow up with filled me with happiness, and to be completely honest the idea of actually having a planned pregnancy that we could enjoy from the start, had a massive appeal. I also wasn’t prepared for the ’empty’ feeling you get once you have given birth, nobody ever mentions it, and of course you have a gorgeous newborn to keep you occupied, but you miss those little nudges and just the special bond between you and your unborn baby that nobody else can see. At the time I was going through a lot of self-discovery and this was a topic that needed some serious thinking about, a baby is after all a life changing thing.
So my mind was made up, now I just had to talk to my partner. Understandably, he was at first skeptical.
We were still finding our feet with Aria, I was due to go back to work the following September and how would everything work out? All valid questions! However, he was loving experiencing fatherhood with Aria, we were in the process of deciding what my future entailed and everything would work out in the end, just as it did with Aria. So after much discussion we simply gave ourselves a deadline, it had to happen in the next 8 weeks, and simply said if it was meant to happen it would.
After around 4 weeks I began to feel the rumblings of similar symptoms that I experienced with Aria, so full of excitement we decided to take an early detection pregnancy test that can apparently test before a missed period. Negative. My heart sunk and we both felt deflated. I was sure of what my body was telling me and yet there was that single line mocking me. We still had another 4 weeks but I began to feel like giving up, maybe it wasn’t meant to be. But the symptoms only got worse, I felt sick, had headaches and anything that touched my chest felt like razor blades. We had one test left, which my partner suggested taking the following week to give the hormones longer to increase. That week was an agonising wait! When the 7th day came I was almost too nervous to take the test, this time for the complete opposite reason than in my first pregnancy. I feared that dreaded singular line. Anxiously I waited, then decided I couldn’t face looking on my own, so retreated to the bedroom and told my partner he could go and find out in 3 minutes then come back and tell me the result.
I now know how he felt the first time, it was the longest wait of my life and I felt sick to my stomach as he came back into the bedroom, with a face that could win a World Series of poker. Casually he climbed in behind me, I was trying to keep myself occupied with Aria ready to brace myself for disappointment. “So are you ready to have another baby?” He casually asked. I couldn’t believe it! I was shocked into silence and he simply beamed back at me. We were both so happy and lay there, in a mix of excitement and shock. I hear stories of couples struggling to conceive for years, and yet here we were being blessed with a second pregnancy within a year! Now how would we tell everyone? We knew people would judge our choice, but at least this time we had sound reasoning behind it and they could either like it or not, we were happy and that’s all that mattered!
I couldn’t wait to welcome our newest member into the household, to watch Aria grow and learn with her sibling, to go through life’s stages together. It felt perfect and meant to be. I’m sure other parents who have had babies so close together will understand our reasoning. We will still be used to waking during the night, we won’t have a toddler to manage as well as a newborn and they won’t know life without each other, thus minimising any chance of jealousy. It also meant that if I did choose to apply for PhDs or job in the museum I could do so once the new baby was 3/4 months old.
For us it was perfect timing.
That’s not to say it hasn’t been challenging! This pregnancy is no less complicated than my last, and with a young baby to care for it has been tough! But this is something I will discuss in next weeks post. We are now only 10-13 weeks away from meeting our second baby and starting our family of 4 and couldn’t be any more excited!
Has anyone else had back to back pregnancies? What were your experiences?
Written by Amy Kingston for her blog, Growing Up With Nature.