Here's the best reader email I've received in a while:
Hello my name is ashley and i just had a baby 8 months ago and i just took another pregnancy test and it was positive. Today
Yep, that's all of it-the sum total of Ashley's message and I'm not going to edit, punctuate, or embellish it in any way, because Ashley, I totally get it. It's going to be OK, honey. You're going to be fine. You really are.
It's really, really, hard to put your feelings into words when you have one baby in your arms (and maybe not even crawling yet) and another on the way. It's a mind-numbing, mind-blowing experience that not only takes your breath away it takes the words right out of your mouth (check out what one mom said about it here). But, millions of women, including myself, can say that we've been there, done that, and eventually regained our ability for formulate complete sentences. And one of the first things you need to say is: "It's going to be OK. I'm going to be fine."
Since I don't know anything else about Ashley's life, I can only guess how having two babies a year and a half (or less) apart will affect her. I'm drawing on my own experience and that of my friends who've done it. It goes kind of like this:
· OMG, the condom broke. But, I'm still breastfeeding so there's no way I got pregnant, right? Right? Just say, "right."
· Expletive, expletive…(fill in your own, I think prefer the S-word and said it at least a hundred times over the weeks after the broken condom), I don't feel right. I don't feel good. I know what this feels like, but, there's no way I'm pregnant. I'm just not.
· Please-oh-please-oh-please, make this test be negative. Please…. I'll be the best mother in the world. I'll never say the S-word again. I'll donate all my new clothes (that I just bought because I've finally lost some of my pregnancy weight) to charity if you just make this test be negative.
· The test is positive. OMG. Oh S-word.
Over the next many months, emotions will run the full gamut from shock, to denial, anger, fear, resignation, acceptance, excitement and even empowerment. Eventually, you might even feel delight, though for most of the women, I know, including myself; that took a while. Just keep telling yourself, "it's going to be OK. I'm going to be fine."