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I Was Hoping I Would Have Forgotten More About Having A Baby By Now

2 November 2010 45 Comments
Jill Krause.

Jill Krause

I figured two and a half years would be enough time for the momnesia to kick in. I figured by now I would not be able to recall the pain and discomfort of labor and delivery, the delirium and the sleep-deprivation-induced haze of terrible that took over my life the first few weeks after my first son was born.

Isn’t that what’s supposed to happen? Isn’t that how this species continues to evolve? We look back and are only supposed to remember the good, the pleasant, the warm and fuzzy?

Don’t get me wrong. I had a textbook, med-free labor and delivery that I was very happy with. I had a healthy baby (that is if you don’t classify colic as a life threatening disease, which I might argue it should be). But, you know, it was hard, very hard, and I still remember all of that enough to be afraid.

It’s not that I remember so much in detail, though, because, to be honest, I have blocked much of the first 4 weeks of my son’s life from memory. That really isn’t an exaggeration. I look back and can’t remember solid chunks of time. I just have fuzzy recollections of screams (from both of us), stitches, fevers, a trip to the ER, bouncing incessantly on the yoga ball while praying my kid would quit crying long enough for me to sit in a sitz bath, and rubbing steroid cream all over the contact dermatitis I suffered as a result of using the wrong postpartum maxi-pad.

So now, 10 weeks out from when my second is to be born, I find myself freaking out a little bit. Okay, a lot. I remember just enough to be scared out of my mind of all of that repeating itself.

I tell myself I’m better prepared for it this time. I know what colic looks like. I’ve mastered a mean swaddle and shush. I will NEVER buy those maxi-pads again. I can spot mastitis a mile away, but what about the unknown? What if I don’t have a textbook labor and delivery this time? What if the pain is too much, the labor lasts too long? What if my second isn’t as healthy? What if my firstborn freaks out when we arrive home with his new baby sister?

Sometimes I find myself questioning why I even signed myself up for all of this again, wondering how I’ll get through it all while still having to keep my 2 year old alive. But I know this is just a blip in the radar, that in a couple years I won’t remember much anymore, hopefully, and that eventually I’ll look back and miss the tiny newborn days just enough to convince myself it was a good idea.

Plus, I hear second babies are easier. Right? No, really. Don’t burst my bubble. It’s all I have to cling to the next 10 weeks.

Jill Krause is a blogger and member of the BornFree Mom Panel.

Did you experience “momnesia” before having your second child or were the memories all too fresh? One person who comments will win a BornFree cup of their choice!

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  • Elizabeth M said:

    I was more scared with the 2nd that the first. Ignorance is bliss!! I remembered very clearly the aftermath of giving birth that no one had warned me about. But the closer I got to giving birth the more ready I was and didn’t worry as much. The 2nd was a LOT easier ALL around!!

  • kari said:

    I’m still caring for my infant daughter and I already am experiencing amnesia of this kind! Can’t wait for another (it’ll be awhile!)… I guess the precious moments make all of the tough stuff about caring for a newborn worth it. :)

  • kari said:

    p.s. I’m also a Facebook fan of BornFree! :)

  • Sareh said:

    I completely sympathize with you, Jill! I’m terrified this time around and I had a fairly easy go of it, all things considered. Ignorance was truly bliss in this instance and I miss that!

  • angela tuttle said:

    Momnesia for sure! I had an emergency c-section with my son and was so traumatized by the whole experience attempting another natural birth wasn’t even an option to us! But two day later at home it all came rushing back every once of pain and discomfort I had pushed so far out of my mind, and I found my self asking was it this bad last time? Funny thing is we are done having baby’s but yet again I can’t recall pain or discomfort from birth!
    Ps I’m a facebook fan!

  • Claudia Beal said:

    I remember hoping while in labor with my 1st that it was true what everyone said about forgetting how awful it was. I think the 38 1/2 hours of labor is all a blur but I definitely haven’t forgotten that I wasn’t enjoying it at all!! I agree ignorance is bliss. There are some parts I am so dreading now when I go in to have a 2nd baby that I had no idea about the first time around.

  • christine said:

    I didn’t have “momnesia” between babies…but I had drastically different labors for all 3 babies, with the 3rd being the worst. Just 100% confirmed our decision to stop at 3! Overall my 2nd labor was the easiest, dilated to 7 painlessly, once I started feeling real pain it was only 1 1/2 hours until delivery. Contrast that with #3, 18hrs of stop and start labor, 6 hrs of pitocin which did nothing!! After 24hrs of labor I was stalled at 8 1/2, I finally consented to have my water broken, ans she was born within 5 minutes. All unmedicated! Never doing that again!!

  • Amanda said:

    Momnesia set in early after I had my first, and I was so ready to have another very quickly (but we decided not to). Now that she’s older (18 months), and we’re about to ttc #2, I’m scared. I had a pretty easy birth and we didn’t have to deal with colic or reflux or other issues like that, but I’m wondering how in the hell I managed on such little sleep! I love the stage we’re in right now, so “starting over” scares me!
    I’m also a fb fan!

  • Elizabeth K said:

    My momnesia is in full-force. I’m also pregnant with our second (congrats to you!) and my first just turned 2. It must be that magic number of years that creates just the right amount of “pregnant-brain” forgetfullness and seeing how much your first has grown. It makes me yearn to hold another baby and cuddle and coo… what? Crying all night and feeding every two hours? Changing 15 diapers a day? It couldn’t have been that bad, right? Or why would I want another one? I think it is partial post-tramtic block-out, because there is a little devil on my shoulder laughing and sneering “Better sleep now before the baby comes! Wait, you can’t! You’ve got a toddler! Hahahahaha!”
    I am a facebook fan!

  • Jacqie said:

    Recovery from #2 was almost nothing! I went home 16 hours after giving birth to him and felt relatively normal. His labor was intense but it was that way because he was born in under 5 hours. I helped push the shoulders out but other than that he was cake. My water broke and he was out 5 minutes later.

    The second delivery was so much easier for me. But we did have colic this time which we did not the first time. Ugh. Good luck!

  • Jacqie said:

    Fan of BF on FB.

  • Erin said:

    I wasn’t as nuts the second time around because I felt like I somewhat knew what to do with a newborn. I did however find myself wondering why I thought one child was so difficult when I left the house with my newborn and 2yr old alone for the first time. Just like the first time though, you’ll figure out how to roll with it and get used to it

  • Katy said:

    My daughter is currently 9 months old. We definitely want more kids and will probally try for more within the next year or so. I can still remember everything like it was yesterday. Even though I feel like I have learned so much about the whole process I’m sure I will also be freaking out when we decide to have another. It is good to read and hear about others experiences. I’m also a long-time FB Fan!!

  • Lindsey said:

    The first was terrifying, I had no idea what I was in for. And it turned out easy, she was born early, but after spending 23 days in the NICU, she was already trained. She napped and ate all at the same time, every day. She was easy, and still is. She sleeps great.

    The second one, also terrifying, but in different ways. I thought, oh my gosh, what if this one is bad, what if she doesn’t sleep? what if I ruin my daughter’s life? will she hate me? So much guilt…it was awful, I think I cried for the last 6 weeks of pregnancy. This child is a different breed altogether. Everything I thought, came true, crappy sleeper, can’t be put down, extremely needy, hates cars, can’t be swaddled…

    good luck.
    I’m a fan on FB

  • Stacie said:

    I guess I had enough momnesia to think it was a good idea to have 2 kids 18 months apart. I won’t lie, those first few weeks were rough (baby girl #2 is 5 weeks today.) The hardest part was how mad at me my first was for not being home at first. And I also wondered if I ruined her happy little life. But the actual caring for the baby part is easier. It’s the balancing the 2 that gets hard. And yeah, not much else gets done. But this time around, I know that this stage will pass (and quicker than I think) so that helps too.

  • Jessica said:

    I definitely did not have time to forget. I got pregnant with my 2nd son when my first one was only 7 months.. It was hard, but at least I knew what to expect the second time around!

  • kia said:

    Best wishes. I just had #1 so don’t have momnesia and don’t want to even as his 4.5 month self fusses and refuses to nap at this moment. However it sounds like I did not have the early road you did with the illness and ER visits. I can tell you from my experience that it is beautiful when they and you are healthy and you are given that space to be in love without medical distractions. My hope for you is that he aftermath of this birth is simpler and more enjoyable.

  • Regina H. said:

    28 weeks pregnant with #2. #1 is 22 months old. 1st delivery was a nightmare (while my birth plan was pure bliss!) ending in a c-sec after 20+ hours of pit with no epidural. General anesthesia. And post-op sepsis. Followed by 16 weeks of packing my open wound. I’m nervous about this delivery, but figure everything that could go wrong already did the first time. So we should have smooth sailing this time around!

  • Julie A. said:

    I had my first baby at the hospital and decide to have a homebirth with the second one. I was scared and felt like I had never been in labor before as so much of my first labor was a blur since I had drugs. I knew I could do it and was given that chance two days when my baby girl arrived in the comfort of our home. Wow, what an experience, but an amazing one.

  • Ella said:

    Despite the 20 hours of labor, 6 min long contractions, 5 hours of pushing, 1 c-section, mass amounts of lost blood and being ripped down to my bladder (didn’t get it!) I do have momnesia 3 months later. I don’t remember making my husband count until the contraction was over (he says he hasn’t counted sense), I don’t remember the pain of getting in and out of the hospital bed, I just remember my sweet baby being handed to me that first time, asking if he was healthy, seeing my dear husband hold his first born son and the joy of having our baby home with us. So cliche, but so true.

    I love momnesia!

  • Joni said:

    Although I’m still on #1 and only 4-months in, I’m counting on momnesia! I know I want a second but I can now see why mom’s stop after the first. I created a beautiful birth plan … none of it usable as I was forced to endure a c-section from high blood pressure and a breech baby. (Let me know if your in need of an unused birth plan!) And then once we got home had issue BF’ing, then acid reflux and now teething. Sheesh! But it’s funny how it all goes away when my son smiles or laughs.

  • Joni said:

    I’m a FB fan!!

  • Amanda D. said:

    My second child was a a surprise, and I had no plans of being pregnant when my 1st child was just 9 months, but these things happen right :) ? I think momnesia does kick in even when the kids are so close together. You don’t remember the stitches so much, but then you start freaking out about having a small child and a newborn! I have to say having the first one around walking and make me laugh got me through some of the hard days when nothing seemed to go right. When the house was a mess, toys where everywhere, trash need to be taken out, my Bella could still make me laugh. Oh and my husband bringing over a pizza is always the best!

  • Kristy said:

    I am still waiting for the momnesia to kick in too, my son is 13 months old and I still remember the horrible delivery and first few months like they were yesterday. We are only planning to have one child, so I guess I don’t have to be too scared about bringing home a second!

  • melissa said:

    I am pg for my second one. They will be 17 months apart. I did have momnesia but not anymore. That day is flooding back & I think I am crazy!

  • melissa said:

    I’m a facebook fan

  • Emily said:

    I got pregnant (accidentally) when my older son was nine months old, so, no the momnesia had NOT set in. At all. I spent my whole pregnancy absolutely dreading L&D and the newborn days. Luckily for me, my second son has been way, WAY easier than the first one – he didn’t have colic, he nurses like a champ, he’s almost always happy, and he SLEEPS. Regardless, I still feel physically ill when someone talks about their L&D experience or newborn problems. I’m not sure that’s ever going to go away for me. It’s also why I will never have another child.

  • Vanessa said:

    I feel ya. Luckily for me everything was SO much better the 2nd time around. It’s like I was a pro (LOL) and all that experience swooshed in to save the day. I sure hop eyour 2nd time is easier on you!

  • Tamara said:

    I remembered everything from my first birth, the 3 day labor, the episiotomy, hemorrhoids, the months of healing, the postpartum depression. Yeah, I couldn’t forget if I tried. That’s why it took me until my daughter was almost 4 to get pregnant again and I was still kind of scared. I made up my mind that this time it was going to be different though. What I didn’t know was how pleasantly surprisingly different it would be. My son is now 5 months old. He weighed in at 10 lbs. 5 oz. and I had him totally natural. Yeah, you read that right, I had him totally natural and didn’t tear, didn’t have an episiotomy, didn’t get hemorrhoids, went home 6 hours after he was born, stopped bleeding in a few weeks, had no postpartum depression. Yeah, number two was WAY better. I mean, I’m not trying to sugar coat it, there is an adjustment period as you would expect. But at least this time you know what you are going into for the most part and it’s just adjusting to having a little one around again. I wish you the best of luck and hope that your second is as easy as mine has been!

  • Lindsay Kester said:

    I never did experience ‘Momnesia’ I actually remembered EVERYTHING from when I was in labor and delivery and what I remember of my c-section because I was coming in and out of it due to the pain meds I was on during labor due to the pitocin making it almost unbearable! I went through 22hrs of Labor just to end up in the OR and it NEVER once stopped me from wanting to have more kids! My pregnancies were perfect (minus the MAJOR weight gain)! It does get easier, you know what you’re doing and everything just seems to flow so much easier. No matter how rough things got with my infant, my older son (sons) could always bring me back to reality. All I had to do was just sit down with them and watch a movie or read a book and I knew that everything would be okay.

  • Lindsay Kester said:

    I am a fan or BornFree on Facebook :D

  • Stephanie said:

    I definitely had momnesia, about 2-3 months after having my first child. Luckily my second was a MUCH easier baby!! She’s proving to be a more challenging toddler now though!! They are 2 1/2 years apart and I’m glad I had my 2nd child when I did because it would have been a lot harder to get back into “baby mode”.

  • Colleen Maurina said:

    It’s funny how you forget some things about giving birth and those first difficult weeks and yet other things are crystal clear and I think we will remember them the rest of our lives! I’ve always felt that being so uncomfortable at the end of pregnancy plus being so anxious to meet this baby that we’ve carried for nine months is nature’s way of preparing us for birth. By then we’re ready to do anything to finish the pregnancy and see our babies!

  • Amy Thomas said:

    2nd was so much easier and in fact i think i got more Sleep too!

  • Sarah said:

    I soooo feel you on this!! Currently pregnant with my 2nd, and often wonder what I was thinking!!

  • Amie said:

    It does get easier. And second babies are easier to a degree.
    You don’t usually keep them
    In the big bubble you keep your first in. They do get easier the more you have. However I don’t recommend having them 1 day shy of 16 months apart!

  • meghan said:

    my daughter is only 6 months old. my amnesia hasn’t fully kicked in as I can still remember the c/s recovery. hopefully one day it’ll kick in and i’ll want to do it again. I’m a fb fan too

  • Lanette said:

    We’re almost through year #1 of our 1st. He’s been an amazingly easy and happy baby and aside from some major BFing issues on my part I definitely know how lucky I am; but I’m still scared out of my mind to think of having a 2nd anytime soon. Hopefully momnesia will kick in by the time he’s potty training so we can get this ball rolling of a 2nd or 3rd before age starts becoming an issue. Good luck!

    PS. bornfree fan on facebook!

  • lara said:

    I was scared to have my first child I was young I didnt know what was happening it went way to fast. We got to the hospital in 20mins and 5miins later my son was born. that is why I wainted so long to have my second child 4.5 yrs apart then the three one 7 yrs later

  • melissa said:

    I had a c-section with my second and was up and running after my 2 1/2 y/o 4 days later no time for pain, no time to be tired or hungry you just go for it. All in all I think it was better the 2nd time, I recovered way faster.

  • Heather S said:

    I have total momnesia about the newborn days, in my head they are all clouds and unicorns, but the labor and delivery are WAY too fresh still two years later. I think my biggest challenge is that I know how very different my first two births were and so I’m terrified to see how different this third will end up being. But I guess I still have that tiny bit of hope that it will be different in the super fast easy labor kind of way! No? Maybe?
    I’m a facebook fan!

  • Samantha said:

    The unknown is always scary but you did it once and you’ll be able to do it again. Definitely a lot of ups and downs and different battles with the second but so worth it! Good luck!

    I’m a fb fan too :)

  • Ali said:

    I guess I am odd, I don’t have horrible memories. My labor was easy, not too painful, tolerable – no drugs. My deliveries were quick and easy – no more than 10 minutes each and no tearing, no stitches. My recovery was super fast. And I have 3 children – 5, 3 & 1

  • shawnna said:

    My oldest is 23 months right now. Number 2 is due in April. I can honestly tell you that I can not remember the first 6-8 weeks of his life. I look at pictures and it’s like looking at someone elses life. I remember taking him to a childrens hospital at 4 weeks old to find out if he had acid reflux. He did. Thank god for medication!! But it was all just a big fog.

  • Jill @BabyRabies said:

    You all rock! Thank you so much for all the kind words of encouragement. It’s awesome to hear from so many of you who’ve been through this before, twice, and lived to tell about it.

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