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Pregnant Apologies to Future Baby Number Two

By teresastrasser |

 

My most recent ultrasound photo is somewhere in my glove compartment, most likely glued to the back of an old parking ticket with a combination of Triple Paste and Crystal Light dust. My point is, that thing isn’t exactly laminated right now.

Sorry, Baby Number Two.

It’s not that I don’t care about you, it’s just that this is no longer my first time at the rodeo. The good news is this: I will probably be a much better parent this time around, one who won’t schlep you to the pediatrician for every bright red cheek rash and off-color bowel movement. Really, this is a good deal for you all around. You won’t be looking at me like, “Who is this fool?” as I attempt to swaddle you and end up in a frustrated heap of sweat and tears. Baby Deuce, you will be enjoying one of those shortcut Velcro swaddle things, cause what am I trying prove?

There will be no shower in your honor, your fetal photos will not be distributed to family and friends, nor will they even be regarded at all after the doctor pronounces you basically normal looking. I won’t be investigating your tiny, embryonic face for my nose or my husband’s brow or thinking it’s AMAZING when you suck your thumb in utero. I mean, it is pretty cool, but mama has stuff to do now.

Baby Number Two, while we’re leveling with each other (in what admittedly is a pretty unilateral Come to Jesus session here), you probably won’t be wearing any new clothes.

There, I said it.

Look, dude, if you were a girl I would have had to buy you new stuff, but you will be crawling around in what were once your brother’s $12 American Apparel cotton baby karate pants. They will be lightly stained, but otherwise clean and hygienic. You will have a sailor suit or two that your brother didn’t ruin, but adorable new Osh Kosh overalls or teeny-tiny checkered Vans? No can do, Number Two.

There is a good chance I will cry after you’re born, because the whole miracle of childbirth never really gets old, not to mention the relief I know I’m going to feel if you are healthy and safe. I’m going to get the old Pottery Barn changing table top out of the garage and will seriously consider hitting it with some Pledge before sticking it back on the dresser in your big brother’s room.

While we are getting things all out on the changing table, even your birthday week won’t be your own. You are due exactly three years after your brother. It turns out, your parents really enjoy New Year’s Eve and aren’t that original about conception dates.

You may or may not go to Mommy and Me music classes and movies and discussion groups, depending on how lonely and bored I get. If the other moms start to drive me nuts, see you later, Mommy and Me yoga. Namaste.

With the first pregnancy, I knew every day whether your brother was the size of a poppy or a lime or a mango. I was reading all the books and consulting cell phone apps. Now, not so much.

If it makes you feel any better, I’m not exactly non-alcoholic-wineing and dining myself, either. No pre-natal massages, no staring at myself in the mirror, no taking an endless series of baby bump photos, no slathering myself with expensive stretch mark cream. No relaxation tapes to prepare me for your birth. Make no mistake, I am hoping to birth you the old-fashioned way after your brother was breach and had to be sliced out, but I don’t really have time to meditate about it.

Last time, I had a selection of pregnancy pillows and maternity clothes and pricey vitamins and acupuncture. This time, I have a toddler. And some jobs. And a long and winding commute to daycare.

The dirty little secret is that on the first go-round, it wasn’t just that I was inexperienced and so everything was magical and new and terrifying and awe-inspiring and precious. Those things are true, and probably obvious to anyone who is currently pregnant for the first time. The secret is that I made a tacit, unconscious deal with the universe, one that is only becoming clear now. The deal was that if I worried about every single thing that could  go wrong, it wouldn’t. If I never took it for granted that I would have a healthy baby, that I would deserve him and know how to care for him, if I was fraught with terror and anxiety, the universe would know I wasn’t getting cocky about making a human life.

This time, I know that bad things can happen. My worrying has almost no effect on the world. My worrying is about as effective a talisman as a rabbit’s foot. I’m not opening Pandora’s Diaper Genie and seeing what kind of nauseating crap flies free. I’m just plowing ahead. Without laminating.

You see what just happened there, kiddo? I was totally talking to you and I got sidetracked and forgot all about you.

My insouciance about you, your innate and powerful and kickass ability to thrive, nurse, sleep, survive any ineptitude on my part, sustain the slings and arrows and rashes and viruses of babyhood, that is the very thing I am loving most about you right now, 23 weeks into your life. Or is it 24? I forget.

Second-timers: Do you miss that old laminating feeling? Or do you embrace being a salty, old (that’s just me) veteran? How is it different?

Read more from Teresa Strasser at ExploitingMyBaby.com!
Follow Teresa on Twitter!

 

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About teresastrasser

teresastrasser

teresastrasser

Teresa Strasser is an Emmy-winning writer and an Emmy-nominated television host. Her first book, Exploiting My Baby was published in 2011 to excellent reviews and became a Los Angeles Times Bestseller. The book is based on her popular website, Exploiting My Baby which was voted by Babble as a Top 10 Funniest website in 2010.

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17 thoughts on “Pregnant Apologies to Future Baby Number Two

  1. Nikki says:

    Oh, how I love this. My sentiments exactly. There was a brief time when I actually felt guilty for not giving this second baby (who by the way still does not have a name when his older brother had things embroidered for him by now) enough attention. But then I realized, this kid is not going to come out any different just because I haven’t read the entire Jane Austen collection to him in utero. But I do have to say, he will be experiencing some kick ass baby gear that I thought was overrated the first time around, that now I know will do us some good. Way to go number two, your getting a bumbo!

  2. M.C. Silver says:

    I wish my mom could’ve leveled with me like that about being baby #4, and being an older mom. Instead, she dodged all my pointed questions about how there’s hardly any pictures of me in my younger, Shirley Temple like curly headed, days. A girl needs to know these truths, instead I pay therapist to get to the root of my issues with feeling like I never got enough attention. This all sounds very healthy T.

  3. Ann says:

    I think this is why #1 children turn out to be the responsible, dependable ones and #2 turns out to be the troublemaking rebels. LOL, it just seems that way in my family at least, with all my relatives. I’m noticing it as well with friends’ kids. The second one is the terror. Trying desperately to call attention to themselves!

  4. Ashley says:

    I think your sentiments are fairly common to moms expecting number two. It just is what it is, and why wouldn’t it be? Think about all the time you had before baby number one was in your world…you could fawn all day over yourself, and your growing belly, and sleep when you wanted, shop online all day for baby gear, read books all night, consult websites and message boards and spend hours agonizing over which glider you want and then drive the hour to go purchase it (because your local Babies R Us didn’t have it in stock). Now, not so much…as we are all aware, it just isn’t about us anymore, because your toddler or child always comes first and they sure do have a lot of needs! I don’t mind though, as I am embracing this pregnancy as it is and enjoying the differences this time around. There are many things I just don’t worry about, because I know they don’t really matter in the end (I’m talking to you vibrating and musical pack and play). I am trying to spend this time soaking in the one-on-one time with my son and doing things as a family of three, before our world is changed forever come September.

  5. DL says:

    Maybe I’m in the minority here… I know I won’t be the crazy fool I was with my first, but I’m about to undergo IVF for the second time to have another baby and if it works, I intend to show the u/s photos to EVERYBODY, announce the pregnancy in a super fun way to family and friends, scour the u/s for features, dote over how cute the thumb-sucking is… all of it. Because I am SO excited to be possibly getting pregnant and having another baby. And if it’s another girl, she’ll have my daughter’s hand-me-downs, but I know I’ll buy her some of her own things too. I won’t have as much time to devote to all of a silly things a first time mom does, with my daughter and all, but whatever I have time for, I’m doing it. I am crazy about the thought of another pregnancy and baby!!

  6. LK says:

    This is totally me right now (even the whole two boys thing). Except that I am really trying to make an effort to make time to do a hypnobirthing home study course because, while I had a successful natural birth last time around, that was a seriously intense 21 hours. I have so much more anxiety about giving birth this time because I actually know what I’m getting into!! Other than that, I’m just cruising along, with most of my focus being on the little dude that I have known for the past 2.5 years and who doesn’t just get all he needs from a cord that connects to my body . . .

  7. Kendra says:

    Oh my goodnes!!! This is exactly where I am right now!! I absolutely LOVE how you put it. Nice work! My husband and I were just saying last night how the first 9 months seemed to creep by and we know this time around is going to be the blink of an eye. I keep feeling guilty that #1 will be missing out on special mommy and daddy time because of #2 and conversely, #2 will be missing out on special mommy and daddy time because of #1. Plus having TWO kids in daycare full time!! Oi. I need a drink… crap.

  8. Monica says:

    This made me feel so much better!!! I can’t explain how much I can relate to this!!

  9. bri says:

    personally i find this very rude and offending! i have 4 children, each of them have a baby book that is up to date, all ultrasound photos in the books and in perfect shape, any pregnancy could end in the blink of an eye with a stillborn, miscarriage, deathly abnormalities some which wont show until after birth why would basically blow off baby #2 or 3 or 12! my nephew was born with a heart defect, he passed away at 6 hours old! a friend had her 2nd baby at 8 months she was a still born, she had to carry the baby even after knowing it had passed for another month before she would deliver it, another friend of mine had a stillborn baby, he weighed 3.16 OUNCES! maybe you all need to experiance the loss of a child before you say s*** like that! every child, every pregnancy is a blessing from god, what if god shafted YOU! oh im sorry, you will never get a good job, loving spouse, home, car, or family you always wanted. why? because the girl down the street gets it all! some people should really consider what others are and have gone through before saying things like this!

  10. Sara says:

    I loved the first bit of the article but by the half way point,not so much.

  11. betz says:

    and you have all the time to write this to baby number two. awesome. Print this and give it to her when she is old enough to read and understand.

  12. Kimberly says:

    I’m with DL…only I never went through IVF. I miscarried 3 times before my daughter, 4 times before my first son and one time before my second son(third child). I treated each pregnancy like it was my first and possibly my last. I reveled in every symptom, bad or good, loved the touches by complete strangers( I considered each of those touches as blessings and prayers for my baby). I enjoyed each day I was blessedly pregnant, knowing my baby had a better chance at survival with each passing day. I didn’t even get to grieve for my last miscarriage as my husband was in basic training and I couldn’t even tell him I was pregnant in the first place, so yes, I treated my last pregnancy like it was my first. I shared the US pics, I had the tickers on my Facebook page, I knew what size my baby was with each passing day. Even bought brand new clothes for him, even though I had plenty of second hand clothes from my first son. I even turned a corner of my room into his nursery, name on the wall, changing table and all. He has his own little place. He is 20 months old now. He may very well be my last baby. That makes me sad….

  13. Shannon says:

    Earlier today I posted a very similar comment on Facebook and my friend forwarded me your blog post. I feel the exact same way about Baby #2. Heck, I thought I was 18 weeks into the pregnancy and realized I’m only 17 weeks tomorrow. With a three-year-old running around I don’t have time to even think about being pregnant. So sad, but so very true.

  14. LW says:

    As a second child, I understand this concept, but don’t agree with it. My brother has a baby book, tons of pictures, and just more. I had no baby book, and few pictures as a baby. I get that the first kid is the most important because it is the first. I have no children, but I want them all to feel like they were just as important and loved. I have no problems with recycled clothes, used equipment, and less pampering, but every baby should be treated like they are special, wanted, and loved.

  15. Wendy says:

    This is great and so true. And now that my 2nd daughter is here, not too much has exactly changed. I can’t rush to grab her if she is crying since I have a toddler to take care of. Hoping this means she won’t be as high needs as my first one was. She already seems to be more of a go with the flow type of baby, although she has her moments. The main thing is that I am so much more laid back and know that every frustrating moment will pass.

  16. stephanie says:

    I will admit baby #2 did not get a whole lot of attention in utero simply because we were in the process of remodeling our entire home… We were able to move in 6 days after she was born and she got all the same attention as baby # 1 now 34 weeks pregnant with baby #3 our son…and i think I am even more excited than my 1st time around maybe ofcourse I have to get all new stuff again for a boy this time. But I would not have put it like this…

  17. LDH says:

    I was a second born child and I am not psychologically damaged by this or offended by 2nd born status/treatment. So my mom doesn’t have a baby book for me, hell, she can’t even remember what time of day I was born! But we have a great relationship and that is way more important then her remembering fetal/baby milestones.

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