on having another

“You can handle it,” He whispered into my soul “Because I can handle it through you.”

To be honest I’m not sure I fully believe Him, even now. I tell myself that it’s hard enough with one. That things are just getting easier, why am I messing that up? That I’m not cut out for this. The worry and the accusations play like a broken record in my mind when I let them. If I allow myself to sit there, listening to the accuser, in those dark moments there has even been a whisper of regret.

It doesn’t make sense, Allison.

Don’t you remember last time?

What have you gotten yourself into?

Thankfully, there is a point – there must be a point – at which logic and reasoning end and the reality of an uncertain future begins. Where faith begins.

That point is exactly where I’m standing today, a good day (of which there are more every week). On faith. DanO and I decided to try for another baby because that’s the image of our family that has been put on our hearts. We knew we weren’t done. Beyond that? This is a leap of faith.

If I have said it once I’ve said it 1,000,000 times: you cannot be fully prepared for motherhood. This is true for the first time and I believe this is true the second and all subsequent times. It will blow your mind, and likely your gaskets with awesomeness and challenges. I cannot wrap my head around what it will look like to be the mom of two under two. Me, the one who ran crying into the night wearing her house slippers because she couldn’t take it anymore.

I don’t know, I cannot know, what my hormones or my brain chemistry will do this time around.

And that scares me. It scares me to my core.

But there, in my core as the fear seeps in, it meets something stronger. It meets the One who has not given me a spirit of fear. It meets the One who is giving me the faith to be confident in what I cannot see.

And with a quiet strength, when I let him, He holds me and the fear dissipates. It melts away with the worry and the anxiety and the trying to grasp things that I cannot yet comprehend.

And it is replaced with a peace that surpasses that understanding.

It is replaced with faith.

47 Responses to “on having another”

      • AllisonO

        O mamas. I pray you get there too, although I’m not sure where there is. This peace comes in glimpses and breezes and then it vanishes for days and hours. I dare say I had not even felt it before TTC. It has come as a matter of necessity as I cling desperately to hope, in faith.

  1. Jamie (@va_grown)

    How lovely! I felt that way going from one to two, and from two to three (only 13 months apart!) and when people look at us and shake their heads and say “how do you do it?” I just smile and say lots and lots of answered prayers.

  2. Dawn S

    I am bookmarking this entry to read when our time for #2 comes along….regardless of how near or far that is! I know we want at least one more baby, but I’m also so scared of changing our blissfully happy family we have now! Thank you for this reminder!

  3. Heather of the EO

    I don’t really know why I’m choosing now to say this. Maybe to preface the rest of this comment, to encourage you:

    I hate it when mothers of many (usually 3 or more) laugh at these thoughts. Or snicker amongst themselves anyway. I’ve had it happen, when I was pregnant with Asher and some mothers of 2 rolled their eyes at me when I talked about a hard day with Miles…they were all “you think it’s hard NOW? pfffft.” Then they looked at each other and started laughing…and I forgive that and I understand their perspective, but I think it’s really unfair. Because as you said, we can’t get prepared for all the changes in every way no matter the number or the timing, etc. Each of our situations is different and each brand new human being is a very serious layer of new. And when that feels a little scary, that’s normal and even good. Because it reminds us that we can’t do it all on our own and we shouldn’t do it all on our own, no matter how many kids we have. So I think we can allow ourselves those natural feelings without shame or comparing. I used to look at moms with 4 or 5 or more and wonder how in the world I had any excuse for being so tired and stressed a lot of the time? But that’s comparing and it isn’t helpful. Hard is hard and it’s all hard and beautiful at the same time.

    You, my friend, are one stellar (yes, I said stellar) human being. You will continue to find your strength and you will carry all that you’ve learned so far and you’ll use it, and by golly, it may even be easier in some respects because of that. I relaxed a little with Asher and I really really needed to do that. And then God taught me, through almost a year of screaming cries and then his hydrocephalus and surgery, that I am not meant to go at motherhood as if the world is on only my shoulders and if I drop the ball of perfection my kids are going to suffer forever and puppies will be yelping everywhere….(that was a joke) (but that’s how much pressure I had put on myself). But rather, I am meant to take motherhood day by day, without getting caught up in perfectionism and trusting in my progress instead. Much like sobriety.

    Sorry I wrote a book in your comments. Just thinking out loud with you about things you already know.

    Love you.

    • Lisa

      Agreed! And honestly (for me, anyways) #2 is easier in a lot of respects because I have already been through it once. I am much more laid back now about things and have realized that there is no “perfect.” A lot of the fear I felt with #1 was based on the fact that I had no frame of reference, or past experiences to fall back on. Now that I have that, for the good and bad, navigating the ups and downs of motherhood is a much smoother ride! And of course, the grace of God is always in full supply!

  4. Kimberly

    Oh I needed this post. PPD has definitely put a shroud of darkness over the thought of TTC again. Will I be able to handle it? Will it get bad? Will I be strong enough?
    Thank you for writing this.

  5. Criston of My Hand in His

    “But there, in my core as the fear seeps in, it meets something stronger. It meets the One who has not
    given me a spirit of fear. It meets the One who is giving me the faith to be confident in what I cannot see.

    And with a quiet strength, when I let him, He holds me and the fear dissipates. It melts away with the worry
    and the anxiety and the trying to grasp things that I cannot yet comprehend.

    And it is replaced with a peace that surpasses that understanding.”

    Allison, these words you shared were a very big encouragement to me in my own struggles of today. As I’ve said before, having two miscarriages and losing 3 children has been so painful, and I know the last thing I want is to go through that again my next pregnancy – I am afraid it will happen again. I am afraid to my core as well, that I’ll never get to meet my babies on this earth…I am afraid of what God’s plan may be – what if this is a struggle I’m supposed to deal with for all my childbearing years and not have a living child at the end? Thanks for your reminder that God is in control.

    I wanted to share a verse with you that was shared on another blog I frequent this morning (because it applies to both of our situations):
    “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.” 2 Pet. 1:3

  6. Sarah

    Yes! What He calls us to he also equips us for. You have such beautiful eloquence. I love the courage with which you write.

  7. Mo

    What a great post. I too fear TTC again. How can I handle a toddler while vomiting day and night? How can I handle a toddler and a new baby? How can I function on less sleep than I am already getting? All of these questions, and fears, you have to let them go. God has a plan for everyone, and we just have to let Him lead us down our path. On good days, it is so easy to have faith, on bad days it is almost impossible. Keeping faith through trying times is so hard, but so important. I know I try to use those bad days to deepen my faith, instead of weakening it, but thats easier said than done.

    Again, really great post, so well written, and so inspiring! This post, this is the reason I adore your blog!

  8. Erin

    I didn’t struggle with PPD, but I have struggled with doubts and fears and CRAZY nightmares every time we’ve added to our family. And every time it has turned out to be an unbelievable blessing. Going from one to two is a huge challenge. But it’s going to be so good. Those two little ones are going to be such great friends. And you’re going to do great.

  9. kim

    Allison, because you face your fears, because you acknowledge them, you will be able to fight them more forcefully. Yes, you are at a higher risk for PPD the second time around b/c you fought it the first time around. But you FOUGHT it. And you WON. You also will know the signs sooner and get help sooner. You will accept help when you need it sooner and you will ask for help. All of these things make such a huge, huge difference. Draw strength from the Lord, and know that He provides you with strength in return.

  10. Michelle

    When my husband and I began trying for our second child I was excited, I couldn’t wait to become pregnant. A few weeks after discovering we were pregnant the fears and doubts came flooding in; what in the world were we thinking, why would we want to have another child when we already had one perfect child and how am I going to juggle two children at once?!?! My second pregnancy and the feeling were completely different, though I LOVED the child I was carrying the emotions weren’t the same as the first time; as much as I hate to admit, the first time I held my second child the emotions were completely different as well, I still felt overwhelmed with fears and doubts. It wasn’t until I was released from labor and delivery when I fully felt connected to my newborn son; we stopped to drop him off at the nursery for his exam/tests and I burst into tears, my arms wouldn’t let me release him to the medical staff, I begged for them not to take him. It slammed me in the face; my love for Benjamin (my oldest) hadn’t lessened any; my heart grew to accommodate the new love I had for the little one in my arms. Everything was going to be alright; all the worries, fears a concerns went flying out the window.

    I’m not going to lie to you, as I’m sure you’ve already experienced, you’ll have your days when you want to call it quits, rip all your hair out or have a temper tantrum right beside your children; but there will be soooo many more heart melting moments to make up for those days! My boys are 2 years and 18 days apart, they’re already best of friends and I know deep down they would protect each other if and when a situation arises. First thing in the morning Benjamin asks “see Hayden”; he’ll burst into his little brother’s room after naps with a giant smile on his face and loudly saying “hi Hayden”.

    These are the moments you have to look forward too (http://www.tripleedged.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=16335); this picture was taken when Hayden was just days old. Hayden was lying on the floor; while I wasn’t looking Benjamin rolled Hayden on top of himself just so he could hold/hug his baby brother. I knew I had to tell Benjamin he can’t do that since Hayden was very delicate but I HAD to get a picture first…I had fears running down my face as I was taking this picture :).

    After my long winded comment; your fears are natural, you’ll be okay…God gives us amazing strength. You’ll find creative ways to take care of two children and you’ll make time for one on one with each of your children.

  11. Alissa

    I just want to share, as an only child I was freaking out while I was pregnant with #2. I had no idea what to do with 2 kids or even how they would interact. I was worried my oldest, who was of course perfect in my eyes, would misbehave. Why did we turn his world upside down? Guess what? I can’t remember life with one child! And I’m sure my oldest can’t remember life without his baby brother. You will get through, I promise. :-)

  12. Karen

    I love your honesty. Don’t ever be afraid of letting us hear it or read it. It gives us all hope of coming clean, of opening up to others, of being real to each other as mothers. Even as an older mother, I was too afraid each time and both times the fear subsided until the next new thing came to happen……even now as they are nine and five……new things continue and new stages come in to their lives and I am fearful but I rely……….I rely on my Lord for getting me through, as you do. Don’t try to hide the fear but don’t let the fear hid you either. You are blessed and he…HE ….knows what he is doing…giving you another blessing that will carry on his name! and yours! Thank you!

  13. kate

    I can honestly say that 2 is not as hard as it sounds. It takes a couple weeks but once you get comfortable and into a routine it is easy. And it is great to watch the kids grow up together and become playmates and friends as well as siblings. Now 3… well thats a different story :)

  14. R's Mom

    I don’t have two (yet) so I can’t comment on that…

    But, your grace and your faith and your strength make you an amazing mother for OBaby, and will make you an even more amazing mother of two (or more). I’m sure there will be days that are stressful, but you will be fine. And I think that you will be more aware of the signs and symptoms of PPD, because you’ve been through it. And whereas the first time it maybe snuck up on you, now you will be looking for it and will jump on it the second it might rear its ugly head (if it does…not saying that it will).

    Like you said so eloquently in your post, just have faith, and you and your beautiful family will grow and love and prosper.

  15. Becky

    There have been so many times I have read your posts and said to myself, “how does she do it? How does she know EXACTLY what I am thinking and articulate it so well into words?” You most certainly did it again with this one. God has blessed you with such an amazing gift of writing –continue to let Him speak through you on here!

    I had PPD with my now almost-8-month-old. And as of late, I have really been wanting to be pregnant again. But just a few months ago, in the thick of the darkness of PPD, I never wanted to have another baby again. Not a chance. So when I think I want to be pregnant again, the same questions run through my mind. But you’re absolutely right… “Thankfully, there is a point – there must be a point – at which logic and reasoning end and the reality of an uncertain future begins. Where faith begins.” I feel like God has been speaking to me lately about an area where he wants to challenge me in my faith, but I just didn’t know what the area was. Now that I have just read what you wrote and as I’ve been thinking seriously of another baby these last few weeks, I feel like this might be where He wants to challenge me.

    Thank you again for sharing your journey with your readers. I will be praying right alongside you (and for you) that God will give strength that only comes from Him and faith that can move mountains.

  16. Morgan

    The idea of more babies has been on my heart a lot lately. I wonder if I can handle it. I’m not pregnant yet but I just started having a cycle again so the possibility is there. The question is wether or not we should be trying to prevent it or leave it up to God. I really appreciate your honesty-you say exactly what I feel.

  17. Andrea

    I thank God that He has made you to rise again, and I’ll be praying for you. You’re right–there’s no way of being prepared for this whole motherhood thing. But that’s when we realize just how truly amazing God is!

    Thank you for this beautiful article.

  18. KTG

    Amen for the peace. It’s a daily tapping in to the right supply.
    I have a 5 month old and a 2 year old and my best days are when I live by faith as you describe. Their cuteness helps get me through fatigue or doubt a lot of times.
    Thank you, as moms we need to lift each other up the way your posts do~!

  19. Brandy

    You can do it, Allison. He can do it through you.

    I wasn’t sure if *I* could handle 2 … … and our oldest was FOUR when we got pregnant again. We had been trying for three years to get pregnant again, so we were definitely thrilled. I actually cried … something I didn’t do the first time around.

    It takes awhile to get used to {having 2 children} for sure. Hannah’s 2 now and I feel I’ve got a pretty good grasp on things {which is why we’ve decided to try for a third!}. There are up days and there are bad days …. there are days one will be in a terrific mood and the other will be in a horrible mood … there will be days that you want to rip your hair out … but there will be many, many, many days that you sit in amazement at the beauty and wonder and AWESOMENESS of having 2 children. Especially when they start playing and interacting with each other more.

    I’ve been praying for you, Allison … and I’m sure many others have as well. :-)

  20. Rinny

    The angel said to the two Marys.

    “Do not be afraid. You seek Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified. He has risen; He is not here.”

    We trust in a God who has died and risen again victorious. Do not be afraid. He has taken that fear away.


  21. Michaela

    The amount of love and respect in these comments fill my little heart to bursting point. Nothing but the best of wishes and hopes!

  22. MamaC

    I also have 2 under 2. Both actually were a surprise.
    I never asked God for a child.
    However, He saw fit to give me one, then another.
    With the first I went through hell. Whether I had a PP issue or not I don’t know. I never talked to anyone, never actually examined what was going on until I was out of it.
    Then when I was out of it, I was pregnant again. Another whole time of physical, emotional, spiritual, issues.
    After my second was born I was fine. Husband even called me super-mom. But then that dark cloud came again. This time I sought help. It has lifted, I think.
    The Lord has been my rock, but I haven’t always been able to build upon Him.
    In real life our faith sometimes fails. He waited though. He was a gentleman. He never pushed me to come back to Him.
    Anyway, I just needed to share. You can be afraid. You will be afraid. It will be weird b/c you may not know how you are going to love the 2nd like you love the 1st. You may not know how you are going to handle things. You may not know if you are ready, but you do know Him and that is enough.

  23. Laura

    Reading this post brought tears to my eyes. Your strength, insight, and faith inspire me to draw closer to the Lord as I navigate my own way through young motherhood. Your last post discussed this blog as a ministry–and it is. Be encouraged by the Lord’s faithfulness: at a recent Bible study I attended, the point was made that God brings us through adversity not to show our strength and faithfulness, but to show His. He will hold you and sustain you as you and DanO grow your family, no matter what that journey brings.

  24. Kristen

    (Yay! Jamie Ivery #11 is reading your blog! Love her)

    So . . . yeah. I think we had very similar experiences with post-partum and I will say this. Knowing what to expect (a sh!tstorm of crazy depression and anxiety) really helped. I just sort of expected I would feel crazy. So when I did, I was like, oh. YOU AGAIN. And it just didn’t have as much power over me, because I knew it was coming. There were no lofty expectations like the first time around, there was no shock and sorrow at being blindsided by depression. It just made it all a lot more bearable.

    Thank, and my willingness to get on the meds a little quicker. :)

  25. keli

    I had horrible PPD with Emma … like I had to call my husband to come home several times because I was afraid I would hurt her. But with Lucy? I’ve never had those thoughts, and I’m not on medication this time around since I worry what it will do to my breastmilk.

    Even with a 3.5 year old who is pretty independent, it is HARD. Some days, I hide and let them both cry. Some days, I cry. A lot. But Lucy is 10 weeks old today, and it is getting easier. Reminding myself that this day would come helped me get through the first 10 weeks. Hearing others say that it DOES get better helped.

    Just think of how much fun they will have when they get older … being so close together, they will be lifelong playmates. :)

  26. Michelle

    And when the fear and anxiety comes, just keep speaking truth to yourself. You’re a great mom all ready. God has everything under control. You’re right where God wants you to be. God only gives you one day at a time and prepares you ahead of time, so when your new precious baby arrives, you’ll be more then ready! You are loved, precious one.

    May you feel small and safe in the palms of His hands!

  27. Molly

    The first step is reliance. The realization that you need God’s help and provision…and girl, you’ve done it. You have humbled yourself and He will certainly lift you up.
    I am 12 weeks pregnant with #2 and my baby just turned 1 this weekend…so I will also have 2 under 2 (19 months apart). While I’m nervous, I know that God doesn’t make mistakes and He will lead and guide my mommy heart to keep it all together.
    You are loved.

  28. kk @ the mom diggity

    I can so relate to being in this place. For me – pregnancy was so incredibly brutal, and even now 7 months post partum I’m still a physical mess. But we are trying for another, and then another. Because God has called me to be a mother, and HE is the Healer. The One who will make it all perfect.

    So excited for your journey mama!

  29. Jackie

    Thank you for this. I find comfort in your words. I feel less alone. I have a 15 month old little girl and I am 24 weeks pregnant. I often stop and think, “What have we done?” This was a completely planned pregnancy. We were trying, but as soon as I became pregnant all the fears hit me. Faith reminds me of my blessings every day, but there is no replacement for someone saying, “I feel the same way.”

  30. Melissa

    I’ll repeat what Nicole said “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle”.

    I will also tell as a mother who suffered horribly from PPD with her first, the second was nothing like it. For one, I knew what to expect both from a baby and from PPD and at the first intrusive thought we were able to get help and that makes all the difference.

    I’ll be praying for you, have a great night!

  31. Elaine

    Hey Allison, these feelings are completely natural, which I’m sure you know! And you know, I had PPD after my first and I’m not sure what all steps you’ve taken to curtail yours, but once I got on an anti-depressant for a while things were good. I’m not sure if that is your “thing” but IF it is, go ahead and get on them again BEFORE baby is born because it will help you adjust even before you hit that wall of “newborn and toddler” all at once.

    And of course yes, prayer and faith will help too. And a support system in your family and friends (including us!). I hope and pray that the adjustment goes well for you all. Thanks for sharing with us so honestly… xo

  32. Christina

    Allison are you okay? It’s just we haven’t heard from you in a week and I hope that everything is okay. Praying for you and your beautiful family.

  33. Suzanne from pretty*swell

    You are awesome. I have had these EXACT SAME THOUGHTS … going through PPD once was hard enough. Not sure I’m ready to face it again. But, you are right. My faith will guide me. Thank you for writing this!

  34. Erin

    So, this is my first time reading your blog, and I totally love it!! Let me say, as a mom of 2 less than 10 (YES 10) months apart, it’s hard. No lying, it’s hard. For awhile. Then, it’s the absolute BEST thing in the world. My kids are best friends, and can’t imagine life without the other (they’re 3 and 4 now). I know that they’ll go through rough patches, don’t we all with all of our relationships, but I totally believe that they’ll be best friends for life. Having them close together is awesome. BTW – our 2nd was a “surprise,” so we were toally not prepared. I think I cried for 2 weeks straight (our first had cholic so had not yet stopped screaming). God knew what He was doing though, even though we thought He was crazy for awhile!! : )


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