Saturday, February 18, 2012
A Waiting Game
When close friends were expecting their second child, the husband complained that there was nowhere near the same amount of fuss made when they announced their pregnancy. He felt as if people somehow cared less. I haven't noticed that at all, and if anything I've appreciated the fact that there's been less unsolicited advice this time around. People assume, because you've done it all before, you know what you're doing and they let you get on with it. After J was born I looked at friends who were having their second or third babies with awe and admiration. The simple fact that they had been through it all and were willing to do it again seemed worthy of high praise (either that or they were completely mad - it varied depending on how much sleep I'd had). It's the thought of facing all of the feeding and crying and sleep deprivation again, and trying to manage a very loveable but headstrong toddler, that keeps me awake at night, praying that I'll get a few more days. I clench every muscle in my body and chant, "don't come out tonight, don't come out tonight," over and over. I'm physically feeling about as ready as I'll ever be, and can't imagine I could be more uncomfortable than I am right now, but despite 38 weeks of preparation, I am far from ready mentally and emotionally, and that's quite a crucial part of the process me thinks.
As much as you prepare and plan and talk to people about it all, you can never fully grasp just how amazing, exhausting, beautifully overwhelming and utterly all-consuming having your first child can be, until they're there in your arms, taking over your home, and so completely and effortlessly stealing your heart. I'm sure we have a few shocks in store for us, as we learn how amazing, exhausting, beautifully overwhelming and utterly all-consuming having a second child can be, and I simply cannot wait to see my J as a big brother, but we know what we're getting this time around, and to me that makes it even more special. I don't mean that we know we're getting a boy or a girl, and we have no way of knowing what kind of person this little one will be, but we know what it's like to create a child and we remember the joy of that first meeting, and how precious it is to watch them grow - with every day bringing something new and different. We don't know how we managed it, but our son is an awesome human being, and every day he does or says something that blows us away. The fact that I get to go through all of that again is what excites me the most, and if anything, it makes the anticipation of BITO's arrival even greater.
At this point in my first pregnancy I had put on 20kgs, I was 4cm dilated and I had been told by my obstetrician that our baby would arrive "any day." He was still defiantly 2 weeks away but we were so desperate to meet him that we did everything we could to get him out. This time it's me, defiantly hanging in there, not yet ready to surrender to what my body will inevitably do with or without my compliance. I want to give my son more time as my one and only, and I want one more chance to have dinner alone, out somewhere with my husband, I want to keep the appointments for a massage and a haircut that I have this week, and I want to sleep for 10 hours straight as many times as I possibly can before our world is changed forever once again (I'd also like to avoid having a baby on the 29th of February if I can...). Then, I'll be ready to take on everything wonderful, and not so wonderful, that lies ahead. So, dear baby, you will be welcomed with love whenever you arrive, but Mummy would like it if you would kindly wait a few more days.