Ok, I have a confession to make. A few actually.
In case you didn’t read my last post, I am pregnant with baby number 2. I am excited about it, of course. It is what we wanted, and I feel blessed that we were able to get pregnant so easily. I know it is not always easy. It is a cruel trick of nature that when your body is most ready to have a baby – at, oh, the tender age of 13 – nothing else in your life is ready for this baby, including you. Although you probably would share a mutual love of Demi Lovato and pizza-flavored Cheetos with your five-year-old, that alone doesn’t qualify you to raise a child. However, by the time everything else in your life is finally ready, and your finances, mental state, and career are more secure, your ovaries are often shriveled up like Raisinettes, and your body scoffs at your attempts to conceive. Maybe my body is not quite there yet, but I am not getting any younger either, so I feel very happy to have gotten pregnant. But as happy as I am, the truth – and my confession – is that I am not as excited as I think I should be. To be honest (Ok, cover your tiny ears, Fetus) I don’t really think about the baby all that much.
Sure, I think about it all the time in practical terms. I think about all the things that must be done before the new baby comes. I think about the construction we must do, the endless amounts of crap that we must buy, and all the old gear that we need to haul out of hibernation. I make lists and then check them off. I go to my doctor appointments and look at the ultrasounds and am relieved to discover that everything is ok. I take my vitamins, eat my fruits and veggies, exercise when I can, and avoid alcohol and caffeine and sushi and lunch meat and soft cheeses and the long list of everything that I love that I cannot have. I do my job as this baby’s diligent mother. Or do I?
I do worry about the well-being of the baby, of course. That is a powerful instinct that I cannot deny. I think about all the things that can go wrong. I both fear and look forward to the tests that will reassure me that the baby is ok (I hope.) But when I think about the future with this baby, instead of daydreaming of his or her face, I find myself thinking more about how it is going to affect the baby that I already have. What does all of this mean for her? Is this really the right thing? Is this new addition really going to add to her life, or is going to take something away from her? Like me.
Gone are the wonder and magic of the first pregnancy. I no longer read the weekly updates and marvel at the fact that the baby growing inside me is now urinating or that he or she is the size of a Meyer lemon or a navel orange (although this does make me hungry.) We haven’t even thought about names or what the new nursery will look like. The journal I bought to start writing to the new baby, as I did with my first child, lies untouched. Every time I sit down to write, I realize that I haven’t nothing yet to say. I really wish I did.
I know it is still early in the pregnancy. I don’t know the sex yet, nor have I felt much movement other than the slight flutters that may or may not be gas. I am sure that I will connect with this baby at some point, but right now I am finding it hard to connect with this unknown creature when I already have a flesh and bone child that connects back. I distinctly remember feeling a lot more excited at this stage in my first pregnancy. Writing in her journal, reading every book on the market, marveling at my body’s changes and taking pictures each week of my growing belly. Now, it feels a bit “Been-there, Done-that.” And I hate it. I hate to think of my child as a been there, done-that. It is not fair. And I know it.
Ok, tiny fetus, you can uncover your ears now. I do love you and I am excited to meet you. I guess, like so many relationships, ours just needs a little bit of time to develop. Good thing we have till October. And then the rest of my life.