Better Than Expected

Belly of a woman in her 34th week of pregnancy.

Image via Wikipedia

When Husband and I started talking about having another baby, Little Miss was about one.  It took nearly another year for us to be financially secure enough to seriously consider actually going for it.  Three months later…voila!  Baby #2 was successfully created.

Once the initial excitement wore off (showing the positive test to Husband, texting pictures of the test results to two friends, squealing over pee on a stick, telling our families, etc.), the apprehension set in.  How could this pregnancy possibly be as exciting as the first?  How could I feel that special sensation of, “wow, I’m growing a human!” when it was all “old news.”  None of it was new.  Plus, I was distracted by caring for and spending time with my toddler.

Before long, I was already feeling guilty.  I felt like I couldn’t love this pregnancy as much – that I couldn’t love this baby as much.  And that made me a terrible mother…didn’t it?

About three short weeks after we found out we were pregnant we decided to take the plunge and move 250 miles across the state so I could take a new job – a better-paying, different-experience, more-responsibility job.  My focus immediately shifted from Baby to finishing projects at work, making lists for my superiors of things that needed to be covered, putting together a procedures manual for my replacement, packing, finding a place to stay until I found a new home for my family in our new city, working logistics with my new employer, putting our house on the oh-so-pathetic market, and saying goodbye to friends.

When I finally arrived at my temporary lodgings and began my new routine at my new job…it hit me that I had kind of forgotten I was pregnant.

What kind of woman forgets she’s carrying precious cargo?!?  What kind of mother forgets about her child?!?  A terrible one, that’s what.  Now I was convinced I was a bad mother.  And I cried (thank you, pregnancy hormones).  I was aware of every single second when I was pregnant with Little Miss.  I’d wake up in the middle of the night and think, “Wow, I’m gonna be a mommy!”  It was surreal and I treasured every moment.  This time I felt like I was cheating both my child and myself of special prenatal bonding, and I hated that feeling.

Then this week happened.

Two days ago I tried on three pairs of pants before finding a pair that fit.  None of my button-up pants work anymore and I’ve officially dug the maternity pants out of storage.  I also came to the conclusion that I needed more long-sleeved maternity shirts (during my pregnancy with Little Miss I didn’t need maternity clothes until my third trimester…which was in late spring and early summer) because I was beginning to have a hard time not flashing people my growing belly throughout the day.

Then, the crowning moment.

Yesterday I attended a workshop for my new job.  I was seated at a round table with several other people listening to the presenter (who was quite interesting) and taking notes.  At one point I leaned back in my chair and just stared down at my belly.  I was admiring its roundness and how I actually felt and looked pregnant, when suddenly – BUMP!  Miss Bennett whollopped on me from the inside, making my belly bulge just to the right of my belly button.  An instant grin appeared on my face, and my heart sped up to what felt like four times it’s normal speed.  I got butterflies in my stomach as I watched to see if it would happen again.  It suddenly occurred to me to tell Husband, so I texted him that I’d just seen my belly move thanks to Miss Bennett.  He seemed excited, too.

Then it hit me.  I am thrilled about this baby.  I am excited to meet her and hold her and raise her and see the woman she’ll become.  I love her no less than Little Miss – and I haven’t even met her yet.

They always say your heart grows as your family does, and that it’s inexplicable and seemingly impossible, but somehow you love each of your children the same…with all your heart.  I know I have yet to experience this fully, but that precious, precious moment showed me that I honestly have nothing to fear.  Yes, this pregnancy is different.  And yes, this baby is different.  But I am not a terrible mother.

And I can’t wait to meet Miss Bennett.

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One thought on “Better Than Expected

  1. I had the same fears about not being able to love another child like I loved my son – we went for 15 years before having another – and that one was a big shocker. It was a different experience the second time around – the second pregnancy I was so fully aware that I had another person inside me – almost an alien feeling. And the feeling when she was born was not that rush of overwhelming emotion I had with my son – but more of a warming and flowering and I am so thankful every day for that surprise, very unplanned pregnancy.

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