You're down to the final hurdle with this little one you've longed so deeply for. You've done a pretty awesome job at treasuring this time; I know how hard it's been for you to wait patiently after already waiting patiently. Added to that have been some pretty huge other life stresses, not to mention a beastly, record-breakingly hot summer which all make you even more eager to press the evict button.
Patience, as they say, is a virtue. In other words... just hang in there. There hasn't been one yet to stay in forever.
I know just how many hours you've spent fantasizing about the delicious scent of that little head, and holding that tiny body close to yours. This baby thing won't be easy the second time around. You've gotten pretty accustomed to your independent little buddy who sleeps through the night and isn't completely afraid of strangers, whether they actually deserve that title or not. Do you remember the first few weeks of breastfeeding (um, chapped what?!)? Do you remember the crazy anxiety? His current accommodations are pretty cozy, and completely choking-hazard free... I'm just sayin'.
Look, I know that you're already worried about the after. You didn't really bother to lose the weight the first time around, which made lots of sense at the time. Priority? Drinking in as much time as possible with that little lady. And, while we both know it was worth it at the time, that's not going to fly this time through.
But listen: don't hate that post-baby body. Those three little stretch marks that cropped up? Don't forget that they were forged making the two biggest miracles you could ask for. Your squishy places make for fantastic snuggling for tiny bodies. Those giant thighs have hefted you, thirty pounds of baby boy and thirty pounds of big girl, all at the same time. Cut your body some slack, okay?
Finally, the greatest of your worries. How will you balance it all this time round?
I'm not going to lie, there is no easy answer here. You finally feel like you've achieved some balance in your life, and it's going to be thrown right back into chaos. I know you pretty well, and I know that the many directions you'll be pulled in will leave you feeling like you're failing in most of them. Know that it's not true. That myth of "having it all" is just that.
You won't have enough time with Leah. You won't have enough time with Casey. You won't have a clean (or possibly even unpacked) house and nutritious dinners on the table every night. You will lose your temper and feel overwhelmed, and there will be tears from pretty much everyone involved. IT IS OKAY.
Did you hear that? I yelled it for a reason.
This love is big. Really, really big, and it will be more than enough to carry you all through. The little time goes so fast - don't roll your eyes at me, you know it's true - and there will again come a day when all your laundry is folded and put away and you feel "together." Nipples can only stay bloody for so long, and even crying babies have to sleep sometime. And you know that husband of yours isn't going anywhere, no matter how many days in a row you forget to shower. Or shave.
So enjoy these last few weeks, and treasure every moment that boy moves inside you. Don't worry too much about the hour long drive that stands between you and the hospital OR your water breaking in a room full of 8th graders; that will work itself out. Kiss your hubby and rock your big girl a little longer. Nap. Forgive yourself. Take your own advice, and have a little faith.
You're going to do awesome. You'll see.