My second pregnancy was not the comfortable, wonder-filled event that my first was. I tried to get excited, to envision this little baby who I knew I would (and did!) fall madly in love with, but I just couldn’t get there.
It’s possible that I’m just one of those people, who can’t really get excited about something until it happens. It’s also possible that a whole lot of crazy circumstances prevented me from getting on board with having a bun in my oven.
About a month after I found out I was expecting, my husband Shane, was hit by a car while cycling home. Over the next several months he underwent three surgeries, two to his shoulder and one to his back. The back surgery was just over a month before my due date.
Don’t they say to avoid stress while pregnant?
Things weren’t going so smoothly on my end either. After the morning sickness passed, I developed a common but not oft-spoken-of condition that made me feel like I’d been whacked in the groin with a two by four. All the time. The condition only got more painful as my pregnancy progressed. (Ladies, if you have this problem feel free to contact me for some sympathy).
Maybe if circumstances had been different, it would have been easier to find the joy in expecting a baby. It made me sad that I couldn’t find a way to relish what was sure to be my last pregnancy. I felt guilty for not feeling the way I thought I should, and I worried.
I worried about having a boy, and not liking stereotypical boy stuff, like trucks, superheroes and primary color combinations. I worried about how to care for a penis. I worried that my daughter would not be able to handle the transition from only child to sibling. I worried about not being able to afford a second child. I worried about the lack of sleep.
And then he arrived.
There’s a video from when they plopped him on my chest after a ruthless, un-medicated labor. I looked at him and said: “Hi, hi. It’s okay. It’s all going to be okay because it’s over now.” And then, as if it just dawned on me: “It’s a baby! Look, Shane! It’s a baby!” He won our hearts, just like that. He didn’t even have a name yet.
All of my anxiety evaporated with his arrival, and many of my concerns turned out to be unwarranted.
I no longer worry about the fact that he’s a boy, because he’s not really a boy yet. I mean, he is of course, but for now he’s just a sweet, little, totally adorable baby. He doesn’t run around screaming and banging on things with sticks, he hasn’t shown a preference for garish color combinations, he didn’t come out with a truck in his tiny hand.
By the time he develops an interest in all those “boy things” that I was so worked up about, I don’t think I’ll care, because I’m already madly in love with him. By that time, I might even find that I’ve learned to like trucks.
Oh, and baby penises? Totally easy to care for. Aside from the occasional spray, they require very little effort, and are simpler than baby vaginas.
Not everything has been as easy as the boy stuff though. My concerns about lack of sleep, and the transition from only child to sibling, turned out to be warranted. Anyone who tells you newborns are easy, is either crazy or a much more capable person than I. Probably the latter.
The same goes for the transition from one kid to two. It can be pretty heartbreaking when you have to choose between getting food on the table, and giving either of your kids only half the attention you feel they deserve.
It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been not-easy with a big fat side of joy and love. And it’s the joy and the love that I cling to, when I add another poop and barf stained item of clothing to a pile of similarly soiled items, and realize that dinner should have been ready an hour ago.