Why I felt guilty when I fell pregnant with my second child

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One pregnancy test.

Two pink lines.

An abundance of mixed feelings: nervousness, excitement, elation.

And then one I didn't expect to feel.


That night, I watched my first born sleeping, soundly and peacefully. Suddenly, I was overcome by an all-consuming guilt, the kind that stuck in my throat and made it hard to breathe.

Here was my son, still so young, so dependent, my wild, crazy, beautiful angel. The absolute love of my life.

I felt guilty that he would no longer be able to have my undivided attention all day, every day. I felt guilty for having felt a lingering feeling of incompleteness for a couple of months, that I wanted so much for a second child, a sibling for him. That falling pregnant became my obsession once again. I felt guilty that it might have meant I didn't love him enough.

I felt guilty for this new tiny being growing inside of me. So very wanted and instantly adored the second the two perfectly parallel lines appeared.


And yet… would my heart grow big enough to accommodate this new member of our family once he or she arrives? I can't imagine ever loving anyone as much as I unconditionally and completely love my son. Will this new baby and I have the same unbreakable bond my son and I have? What if we don't? Will he or she receive the same amount of love and attention that my first-born did and still does from our family and friends? Will my husband love this new baby?

A mother's guilt. It was nothing new to me, but it wasn't at all what I expected, holding a positive pregnancy test in my hand earlier that day.

I expected excitement. I expected for it to feel "right". I was excited. It did feel right. So why was I feeling guilty?

We had always planned a sibling for our son. We had always talked about a small age gap. Now that it was real, though, there were unlimited questions tumultuously filling my mind and making me anxious. What if it wasn't the right time? What if my son rejected his new sibling? What if they didn't get along?

Then, I remembered. I am the eldest in my family. My husband is the youngest. The best thing our parents could ever have given us was the gift of our siblings.

I can't wait to see my little boy turn into a big brother, no doubt leading his sibling astray and getting into all kinds of mischief. I can't wait to see my second baby looking up to their big brother, admiring, copying, loving. Fighting, laughing, playing, sharing inside jokes and making memories.

Hopefully one day they will sit around a table at a family dinner, reminiscing and laughing at all of the crazy antics they got up to on holidays, in the backyard, at school, behind mum's back, all of it. Just like my siblings and I do.

I tucked my sleeping son in nice and tight, slipping his beloved teddy under his arm. I remembered all of the doubts, worries and questions I had before he was born, and how they simply disappeared the moment he was placed on my chest. I just know it will be the same when his brother or sister arrives.

I've heard the saying many times: when a baby is born, a mother is born too. In seven months' time, another baby will be born; so will a big brother. I can't wait.