I have always been that mom that dreaded the question “When are you having another child?” I didn’t seem to be able to avoid the questions being asked time and time again. Whether it was from family and friends, or even complete strangers. The question felt intrusive and judgmental. What was wrong with wanting to have only one kid?! “I’m ONE and DONE” was definitely my motto.
To be honest, I am not that woman who dreamed of getting married, living in a huge house, and having children.
After having my daughter in 2008 I was not even sure being pregnant was really for me. I did not enjoy being pregnant, even though I had a relatively “easy” pregnancy. It felt so alien. I mean, your body is creating a human being … inside of you! Then there was the postpartum depression that I experienced which lingered longer than I realized. Knowing what my body went through both physically and mentally, I was convinced that I didn’t want to go through it again. But here I am today… a mother of two!
Both the fear of having to battle postpartum depression and shock of the 7 year age gap took their toll on me. I made the decision to not tell my friends and family I was expecting baby #2. I was scared by the news of my second pregnancy. Quite honestly, I wasn’t ready to hear “Congratulations!” My second pregnancy came at a difficult time in my life and I wasn’t exactly ecstatic about it. So many fears flooded my mind: Will my daughter be jealous? How will I balance my life with two kids? What will happen with my career? When will I ever have time to finish my degree? How will I recognize if I become depressed again? When will my body be back to normal? The reality that this new little life was about to make things a little more complicated threw me for a loop. I made what I considered a brave and honest choice.
I told myself “Stop beating yourself up. Life is happening, and it’s a beautiful miracle so embrace it and choose happiness.”
It took me a little over over 5 months to be ready to let out the news. Obviously, my body was changing and I couldn’t pull off the “I had too much to eat” look any longer. But more importantly, I had empowered myself to be happy, positive and to look forward to this new chapter in my life. I know I’m not the first woman to have had children with a big age gap or the first to face some challenging times and battle their fears. Especially with postpartum depression. But I liberated myself by choosing happiness. Yes, there have been some challenging times with this parenting gig, but it’s nothing I can not handle. I have embraced every moment thus far and am looking forward to what is to come. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I would have a third child. However, I have a new found respect for myself and confidence in knowing that I am stronger than any of my fears. For now, “I’m TWO and THROUGH!”
If you are experiencing postpartum depression, please seek help. You are not alone.