My second (and more than likely, final) pregnancy has been fascinating.
Yes, it’s pretty common knowledge that no two pregnancies are the same – even with the same mother. Symptoms you have with your first may or may not appear with your second. Your first baby could be a week past their due date, and the the second could arrive a month early. One might be perfectly healthy, and the other might not. You just never know what to expect. And, for lack of a better word, I expected that.
Yet here I am, marveling over how wildly different I feel with Baby C2 kicking away in my belly.
I am relaxed, with far less anxiety. I’ve had a greater number of pregnancy symptoms, yet none have been as severe as the few I experienced with my first. I’ve gain less weight so far, I’m carrying differently, and I believe I look smaller than the first go-round. I lose track of the weeks and months easily. None of that surprises me.
What is most interesting, to me, is the loneliness I feel.
I mean “lonely” in the most positive way, truly. I don’t feel sad or depressed, but I do feel alone. Isolated, perhaps, with my new baby girl. When I was pregnant the first time, my world celebrated my daughter. I was a first-time mother, and Dorothy was our first baby – and those are two things people get really excited about. There were baby showers, friends and family constantly checking in on me/us, and the ever mounting anticipation for her arrival. My husband was on pins and needles for the weeks surrounding my due date, just waiting for the moment we would need to run out the door (which never happened, FYI).
The second baby is just… different.
All of our loved ones are absolutely thrilled that another baby will be joining our family soon, obviously, but the build-up pales in comparison to just three years ago. Dorothy was everyone’s baby – she was the first grandchild for two sets of grandparents, the first niece, one of the first children in our friend circle – everyone shared in the excitement and newness she brought to our lives. In fact, I wasn’t even the first person to hold my baby; I was barely the third. Everyone just loved Dorothy so intensely from the moment we announced she was on her way, and gratefully none of that has changed.
Along the same lines as waiting to share our pregnancy news with the public, I feel like C2 is my worst kept secret. I almost enjoy that the rest of the world is just moving about their lives, and I seem to be the only one making quiet preparations for the changes to come. Some days I place my husband’s hand on my belly to feel her kick because I begin to think she’s only real to me. C2, just like every second child I know, is old news.
I’m bonding with her, in a way that I never could with my first.
As I spend these last weeks with my daughter in my belly, I find myself cherishing this time with her. I’m the only one who notices when she’s awake, or when she has the hiccups. There is no fanfare counting down to her arrival, simply because our lives are still moving forward at the rate of toddler. Right now, for a short while, she’s my baby – no one else’s. It’s nice, for a change.
It’s just you and me, C2.