Let me just start off by saying that I am NOT a Pregzilla. And it’s not just me saying it- I have friends and family that can vouch for me, too. I’m 34 weeks along now, and I haven’t had a single prenatal massage, or even one entire-box-of-Girl-Scout-cookies-in-one-sitting binge (‘Tis the season!), or any fantastic ugly-cry public meltdowns that I later blamed on “the hormones.” If we’re being totally honest, I’ll admit that I did spring for a mocktail at Orsay during my Jax Mom Boss holiday meet-up- but When in Rome, right?
But- here’s the thing- I am still pregnant. With our SECOND baby. Making her a totally different, completely separate, born-almost-two-years-later, tiny human who will in no way be the same child as her big brother. 2014, 2016. Boy, Girl. Bedrest, so far so good. In fact, pretty much the only similarities between these two pregnancies are the deployed husband, the horrific, soul-crushing heartburn, and the fact that each of them began at the Florida Institute For Reproductive Medicine at Baptist Health downtown. And maybe that’s the root of my issue here- the fact that, to even achieve this second pregnancy, I had to be poked and prodded and medicated and monitored and timed and tested. (Thanks, chronic illness. Appreciate ya’.) So, in my mind, #babydubsdos is already Kind Of A Big Deal, when, to the “normal” girls, her existence is a little more any given Sunday… provided that Sunday was in their ovulation window because, you know, science.
A fun fact about second pregnancies? I’m quickly finding out that Nobody. Cares.
Maybe it’s because our first go-round was so recent (I deliver #2 in April and Mac’s second birthday is in June), but most people can’t be bothered. Gone are the daily screenshots of things friends saw on Pinterest that they thought “the baby just HAS to have” and the sweet “Awww! When are you due? Is this your first? How exciting!” has most definitely been replaced with a doubtful, “You’re due WHEN? Guess you’re gonna have your hands full.” I have at least two people per week tell me, “Oh. That’s right! You’re pregnant again.”- like it totally slipped their mind- when they mention some future plan I have to decline because of either my impending newborn or the fact that whatever they’re inviting me to would in no possible way be any fun sober.
Some of those same friends (and family members!) didn’t show up to my sprinkle, either- with excuses so painfully rude that I can’t even type them here. Like that one person who didn’t RSVP her regrets, didn’t show, and then, when I ran into her a week or so later, said, “I’m totally mailing you something from your registry! And anyway, I was at your REAL shower, the one for Mac- and we really wanted to take the boat out.”Um, WHAT? Even my OB, at my final every-two-week appointment before I switched over to weekly visits, snuck out of the room after 5 minutes with a wave of his hand and a casual, “You know what’s going on here. Let’s just have this baby.” No. Not you, too!
Not that I can fully blame them. A lot has happened since Pregnancy #1- not the least of which is our now toddler-aged tornado. If you’ve had toddlers, then you know what I’m saying: Total Survival Mode. Newborns are hard? No, Toddlers are hard. Newborns want to eat, sleep, and be changed. Only God and Wallykazam know what toddlers want- but don’t worry, they’re still screaming about it. Probably in public, and probably without their shoes and/ or pants. I’m still at the point where I feel accomplished getting mascara on while Hurricane Mac is launching blueberries from his highchair, let alone approaching anything close to the hand stitched burp cloths and agonizing month long discussions over which shade of grey to paint the nursery that were So Important when he was the baby-on-the-way.
I guess what I’m saying is, I’m still so preoccupied keeping #babydubs alive, that I sometimes forget I’m allowed to be excited I’m pregnant with #babydubsdos, myself. And I sure as hell know my husband does, when he’s getting off some overnight watch just in time for Mac to wake up, singing at the top of his lungs for milk and a Dora fix. Not that we weren’t busy two years ago, but we’re BUSY now. Too busy for maternity pictures (Mac had a fever that day. And on the day we rescheduled). Too busy for a 3-D ultrasound (That money will be better spent paying for summer camp, I’m sure). Definitely too busy to cut out all the sugar and caffeine (“Hi, Erin! Are you getting your decaf grande no whip mocha today? With a straw?” Um, yes, thank you, Amanda at the Roosevelt Starbucks drive-through, I am.)
So, basically, we second and third and fourth-time moms need you to stay excited for us! We need you to be just as supportive (If not more so- like I said, TODDLERS) for those next babies as you were for the first- because a baby is a baby, no matter whether they’re the oldest, the youngest, or one of three in between. And babies are the best.