If someone had told me I would give birth to the world’s most laid-back baby, I probably wouldn’t have wept tears of panic the night after I found out I was pregnant last Christmas.
The pregnancy was planned, but the reality of a second child still slapped me harder than the divorce papers that hit Kris Humphries yesterday. Seeing that plus sign on the home pregnancy test was like setting off the metal detector in the airport security line: you know you haven’t done anything wrong, and yet somehow you think there’s still a decent chance you’ll end up at Gitmo.
A few months later when the initial shock of paying for another college education and another wedding (we found out the sex at 12 weeks) wore off, and the fear of having another child to not drop or break subsided, I just hoped for the best: a healthy baby who would grow up not hating me for sobbing the night after I found out she was coming.
Fast forward to her birth on Aug. 31, and holy toledo, did I get more than I bargained for — but in a seriously good way. If I had known this baby would practically never cry, would start sleeping almost all the way through the night almost immediately (and sleeping straight through on long car trips and during entire meals when we go out to eat), and would cuddle like it was her job and she was the star employee, I might have relaxed a little more when I was pregnant. And if anyone had told me that second babies are infinitely easier than first ones (poopy diaper while we’re watching a movie? She’ll live until the credits roll! A toddler just sneezed green mucus on her? Bring on the immunity!), I might have done this even sooner.
Sure, I’m also bright enough to know that Peony is only two months old, and babies can change on a dime. But even if she wakes up tomorrow and starts demanding an Oompah Loompah like her older sister, I’ll at least have the comfort of knowing we had it good for a precious little while.
* I didn’t actually name my daughter Peony. That’s just what my husband and I told people her name was when she was in utero. Like her big sister Petunia (also not her real name) before her, I decided when I started writing about my kids that it would be unfair to use their real names, particularly when I’m talking about them in relation to explosive diarrhea and nuclear tantrums. After all, when they’re old enough to start googling themselves (oh, like you don’t do it?), I’d hate for their names to start showing up next to something like, “And then we assured ourselves after she smeared the entire jar of Vaseline on the rug that the cops would totally understand if we dangled her out the window, Michael Jackson/Blanket-style.”
Were you also pleasantly surprised at how much easier it was the second time around? And did you freak out about a planned pregnancy, too?
Image: Meredith Carroll