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Pregnant and Trapped

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Guest blogger Jessica Katz: During my first pregnancy (just a year ago), I was in heaven. I was sick and tired and worried every moment, but I had been waiting to have a baby my whole life. I couldn't wait to find out what gender he or she was, buy maternity clothing and start shopping for everything baby. I was proud at the first sight of my bump. I spoke to my unborn baby every day, kept a detailed pregnancy journal and lived for ultrasound days.Now I am pregnant again -- a bit sooner than expected. And I am miserable.

pregnant woman
I feel trapped. Nothing about this pregnancy excites me or makes me happy. I can't bear the thought of wearing maternity clothing again, I am not in a huge rush to find out what gender the baby is and I have not purchased anything. My bump just looks like a blob.

I never thought I could feel so unexcited about a pregnancy. To top it off, my best friend has been trying for months to get pregnant, so I feel like a monster for feeling this way. The first time I even felt a glimpse of hope was at the 12-week ultrasound, when it actually looked like a baby. I got tears in my eyes.

I truly feel like I am suffocating; like a second baby is a life sentence to parenthood. My first child (a girl) is so easy and sweet, and I wonder why I messed with perfection. Instead of waiting for this new arrival with excitement, I am petrified and anxiety-ridden about what to do with a second baby. Where to put it. How to handle sleepless nights. To be honest, due to mommy amnesia, I don't even remember what to do with a newborn!

I feel like there is no escaping. You are a mom for life. If I wanted to leave my husband, I would have to leave with two kids. I'll have to pack for two kids for any outing. If there's an earthquake, I will somehow have to escape with two kids. I am very overwhelmed.

My husband mentioned feeling trapped because we never go out past 6 PM anymore, and I laughed. "You feel trapped?" I exclaimed. "At least you can walk away. I have this baby in me! I have to recover from this baby and the birth, lose the baby weight and try to gain a life again. I am trapped in this pregnancy!"

I have been told that many women are less excited about their second pregnancy because it isn't new and shiny, and that feeling trepidation about having two kids under 2 is normal as well. My doctor told me that most of what I am feeling right now is perfectly normal during pregnancy -- which makes me feel relieved.

Moms, any advice?

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20 comments so far | Post a comment now
sarah December 29, 2010, 5:33 AM

I just had my first child, a perfect son, and when he was 3 months I found out I was pregnant again. I would have 2 babies under 1 year! I had many of the same feelings you just described and couldn’t imagine the stress of 2 in diapers, 2 in car seats, 2 in strollers… waking up at night for 2 years or more without a break… Yesterday we found out that we lost the second baby. The sadness is overwhelming, more than the stress had been. It made me realize how special that little life would have been. It made me feel so guilty for any negative thoughts I had had during the baby’s brief little life. (Like how could I possibly love it as much as my first child, my new son that I’m still in awe over?!) Focus on the positive and be grateful. Just like with your daughter, once the new baby is born and you get to know esch other, you will not be able to imagine your life without him or her!

MR. X December 29, 2010, 9:40 AM

maybe you shouldn’t have gotten knocked up again

Diane December 29, 2010, 3:16 PM

Wow, Mr. X. Happy holidays to you too. What’s a jerk like you doing trolling a site for moms? GO AWAY.

Anyway, Jessica, take heart. It’s all very normal and some of it may even be hormonal. I got pregnant earlier than expected with my second baby, and I literally cried when I found out. I felt overwhelmed and, as you say, trapped. But what you don’t realize yet — because your daughter is still too young — is that you do get your life back, pieces of it anyway, as your kids (yes, more than one) grow up. I was truly panicked with baby #2 coming and didn’t enjoy the pregnancy at all. I even felt a little like I was cheating on my first child, because she was losing her mommy to this new intruder. But all of that goes away, and you do love your second baby just as much as your first. And you learn to navigate the difficulties of having two small children, plus there are some distinct advantages: they make wonderful playmates for each other and they are “into” many of the same things at the same time; fewer problems with one child who thinks Sesame Street is fabulous while the other child rolls her eyes and says she’s bored; many of the same toys and devices are useful for both kids; and I think 5 straight years of diapers was easier to swallow than being done after 2.5 years, only to have to drag them out again a few months/years later. Hang in there, and enjoy the baby who’s here in the world while you quietly wait for the other one to come. It won’t be as bad as you’re imagining, and you can’t get this time back.

BillyT December 29, 2010, 3:41 PM

Hi Jessica, I hope some thoughts from a Dad are okay.
-You sound in a real spin and are beating yourself up over it. Grab hold of your hubby, he may be feeling the same but won’t say so.
-life mostly doesn’t follow a script but it’s your life just the same
-the second time I jumped from a plane I asked myself what the bloody hell am I doing? I did it anyway.
-Hate to mention but feel I must; have you considered the possibility of a brush with post-natal or postpartum depression? My wife had more than a passing visit from this unwelcome guest. Better picked up sooner rather than later.
That’s it; Mums will know best how you feel. Good luck

BillyT December 29, 2010, 3:46 PM

Oh, forgot to mention, Mr X’s 20/20 advice is about as helpful as a wart on your bum. BillyT

Anonymous December 30, 2010, 2:54 AM

Get an abortion and then go to a family planning clinic. They can teach you how to use a condom or can refer you to a doctor who can prescribe the pill. These are great ways to avoid pregnancy. Good luck. I hope you, your husband, and your daughter are happy together.

Pamela December 30, 2010, 8:43 AM

Seriously with all the negative comments?? Sweetie, just ignore them, they are probably sad lonely people with a family that cares for them.

As for what you feel, is perfectly normal. Life has it’s emotional rollercoaster of ups and downs, it’s very understandable to feel trapped when you’re the pregnant woman, but the thing that matters is what you do with these feelings, and in these case I think you’re taking positive steps by talking about your “problem” and not ignoring it; but if you continue feeling this way maybe you should talk it in a serious matter with your husband or doctor.

Hope all gets better soon…

MJ December 30, 2010, 10:02 AM

I became pregnant with our second way before I was ready as well. I was scared the entire pregnancy. All I can say is enjoy your daughter and try to focus on her for the time being. The time to really focus on the new baby will come when he or she comes. It’s definitely a process but you will get through it and you will find yourself happy as a mother once things settle down. I’m sure those pregnancy hormones aren’t helping right now but you will be okay!

mountainmommy December 30, 2010, 4:37 PM

WOW, what a couple of JERKS on here, responding to you. IGNORE.

I have two kids 16 months apart. They are now 3 & 4 1/2. They are best buddies, they play together all the time and stick up for each other on the playground. Its really wonderful!! The first year is hard, but its so worth it, and you’ll fall in love with that baby the second its born. trust me.

Kitty December 30, 2010, 8:25 PM

I’m just about half way through my second pregnancy too, and yes - I’m absolutely less excited about it. My births will be only 14 months apart, but this will (hopefully) be my first living child as my son was stillborn in March 2010 at 39w.

I think the doubts and Holy sh!t of being pregnant, as well as the feeling of ‘what are we doing?’ is normal whether it’s your first, second or fourth. No matter how planned (both of ours were) or not, pregnancy and the prospect of becoming parents is terrifying. (Not to mention the roller-coaster two back to back pregnancies has both on our bodies and our perception of self. It is so much harder than I ever expected.)

I think Billy’s comment regarding PPD is right on the mark - especially when anxiety and depression during a pregnancy is a definite marker for PPD later on. Can you talk to a Dr about getting some therapy / help right now?

I presume if you’re comfortable talking to a community like this, you’ll be in good hands to talk to a professional about how to develop coping strategies and deal with the challenges now and in the future.

pregnantandscared January 15, 2011, 11:27 AM

“the second time I jumped from a plane I asked myself what the bloody hell am I doing? I did it anyway”.

BillyT, thank you! There words moved me deeply and infused me with a new sense of courage. I’m presently in the middle of some “OMG what did I do and what have I gotten myself into?” crisis (it’s my first pregnancy, and a very desired one). I’ll still be scared shitless, but when I feel that I just can’t do it, I’ll remember your words.

NikkiG January 30, 2011, 3:51 PM

I have 2 lovely children-a boy and a girl. My son was born on October 28, 2003 and my daughter came on November 2, 2004. It was not planned. I did not even realize that I was pregnant the second time around (co-worker suggested I might be). I was 9 weeks along when I went to the doctor. I worked the entire 9 months and only took 20 days off(sans weekends).When I told my husband he said , “oh sh*t”, as he had lost his job early in the first pregnancy. We sat down and figured out how it would work. We got a double stroller and my mother and mother-in-law flew up from Jamaica to help me, spending 6 months each time.

I was past tired, during the second pregnancy and still worked for the 9 months and took only a month off again. I was back in the classroom teaching.I took the bus and subway to work from Brooklyn to the South Bronx as I cannot drive.

They are now 7 and 6 and every day people ask if they are twins.They are each others company. I have thrown away the strollers and have tied my tubes.

The second pregnancy was not the same as the first, but I was still grateful to be having kids. I went along with the different cravings and the clothes not fitting much faster- and these were maternity clothes now.

Try to enjoy and if the feelings get worse, get back to your doctor and make him listen. Best of luck to you.

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