Well, here we are, past that oh-so-arbitrary point of “viability” (not that I’m eager to test it!). I’m about 25.5 weeks now, and the time remaining feels both short and long. If all goes well, living child #2 will be here before we know it, although when I think about everything I need to do between now and then it seems like a lot.
It’s been an eventful few weeks for our family: my husband’s parents visited for two weeks, in the middle of which I went to two conferences for a week. Then, we transitioned S out of his crib and into a big-kid bed (so that we wouldn’t have to buy another crib), and this week he has his first case of croup. Poor little munchkin’s life is all topsy-turvy. But he’s recovering this weekend, and hopefully will be back to normal soon. I missed him like crazy while I was away at the conferences, and I’m glad I won’t have to go on any more long (>1-night) trips before the new baby arrives.
I think that it’s pretty common to feel this way, but my husband and I are both feeling the bittersweet nature of the coming transition: eager to meet the new baby, but also worrying about having less time for S and disrupting what has been a really, really fun stage of his young little life. Despite what everyone says about the terrible twos (and despite the occasional tantrum), we are still finding every age more fun than the last, and it’s hard to imagine giving up our wonderful little family of three — especially thinking about going back to the difficulties of the newborn days. Even though it’s clearly what my husband and I both want, quite strongly, and even though we want our son to have a sibling. One thing that made me feel better about this ambivalence was reading this article about how your first child fills your whole heart, and your second child makes you grow a new heart. Kind of corny, but there are lots of corny things that speak to me during pregnancy and parenting.
The good news is that this pregnancy has definitely been easier than my pregnancy with S, anxiety-wise. When I think back to my emotional state during that pregnancy, I think I must have scarred S for life somehow (presumably cortisol-mediated) — I was in a constant state of panic and worry. This time around, even though three of my previous four pregnancies have ended poorly, I have at least one normal, healthy pregnancy under my belt, which makes me more relaxed. Unlike my pregnancy with S, I now have a much better sense of what’s normal and what’s not — when I was pregnant with S, I only had the one train wreck of a pregnancy with my daughter to compare with, so everything that happened during that pregnancy, normal or not, was suspect. This time, if it happened during my pregnancy with S, I figure it’s probably fine. I definitely have my moments of worrying that making it this far in the pregnancy will mean that it’ll be all the harder if it all comes crashing down the way my first pregnancy did, as well as moments of remembering my daughter and wondering why she had to die, but overall I’m just much more even-keeled this time around than I ever was during my pregnancy with S.
And oh, is S ever a great distraction! I feel like I should be writing down more of the adorable things he does. Some of them are already gone — for example, he used to call our dog “Bubba” (her real name is Goldie), which was one of his first jokes, but now he just calls her Goldie. I love his babyish pronunciations, like “Naka-WEEN” instead of “nectarine.” He has such a great sense of humor, and is really into knock-knock jokes (his favorite is: Knock knock. Who’s there? Boo. Boo who? Don’t cry, it’s only a joke!). He has picked up some adorable expressions like “No way, Jose!” and “Oh dear!” and one of his favorite words is “cockeyed” (courtesy of his grandpa). He’s also been really into song mashups, and will often launch into epic renditions of “Rain, rain, go away, Old McDonald had an itsy-bitsy spider E-I-E-I-O!” and then laugh himself silly.
Anyway, he is a riot, and he’s also a total mama’s boy right now. I feel a bit bad for my husband, who handles it really well despite clearly having to hide his frustration once in a while, but it’s definitely a double-edged sword being the preferred parent. I get more of the “Mama, mama, mama!” and more of the “I wuv you mama” endearments, but I am also required to carry him around all the time, can’t take a shower some days without wailing outside the bathroom door, can’t drop him off at daycare without a meltdown most days, and often have a toddler on top of me half the night if he’s had a bad dream or just needs snuggles (like he did when he had croup this week). My body is his happy place, clearly. I have no complaints, and I am generally happy to savor the snuggles while they last (it already makes me teary imagining when he’s a teenager and wants nothing to do with me), but I do worry that it’s only going to make things more difficult when he has to start sharing me with his little brother. Yesterday, out of the blue, he said “Baby sleep in S’s crib?” which we thought was very generous of him since he just transitioned to a big-kid bed last week and still clearly has mixed feelings about the situation. Those were also the first words out of his mouth this morning, so it’s already on his mind. I hope he doesn’t have too much trouble adjusting to his new sibling — my mama guilt is already pretty strong.
And that’s the rambling update on where we are right now. There’s a lot to do in the next three months, from replacing our expired infant car seat to moving my husband’s home office and converting the room into the new nursery — we’re planning to tackle some of it during our week of August vacation, since I’d like to get as much done as possible before classes start in the fall. There’s still the part of me that fears assuming that everything is going to turn out OK, but the practical part of me says that it’s better to get it all done while I’m still relatively mobile and not drowning in teaching, and also that we’ve been through the worst once and will deal with it if it happens again (although I really, really hope that it doesn’t). So, onwards! Even if it doesn’t seem possible, I can feel this baby kicking away inside me, getting ready to meet his new family. It’ll be a whole new ball game come November.