Number 2

>> Monday, June 16, 2008

"So, are you ready for #2?" a well-meaning friend asked me at church yesterday morning. What a loaded question. Feeling caught off guard and not exactly sure of what to say, I simply said "Oh, I am really not sure." Which is true. Her immediate reply was that she didn't blame me for being apprehensive. "One was hard, two was REALLY hard, but my third was easy so maybe that gives you some hope." It is conversations like these that leave a mama like me feeling completely unsure of how to feel.

The first reason this type of conversation (and trust me, this is not the first or even the tenth time I have had to answer this exact question) is particularly tough for me, is that this is not my second baby. My second is a bossy little two year old who constantly asks questions and wants to know what animals like hippos and wallabies eat. How does he even know what a wallaby is? But I digress. This is my third baby. And I know that may not be on the forefront of anyone else's mind but it is constantly on mine. And I also know that the reasons people tell me their second was really hard are probably the same reasons that will make my third really hard but is still feels awkward to carry on a conversation under those assumptions when reality to me feels very different. I have many friends who are also pregnant right now, all due a couple months behind me. Friends whom I love and am so excited for. But friends who still say "how fun that our second babies will grow up together." True that we will have another set of kids that will be very close in age. But again, this is not my second. It is not their fault. I do not expect people to know what to say 'cuz I don't really know myself. But, it doesn't take away that moment of sting when for convenience sake I smile and say "yeah, it will be fun."

The second reason these conversations are awkward for me.... I am truthfully not all that scared. I was. And I still have some doubts about how I will be able to handle a toddler and a newborn, some apprehensions about what life is going to look like in just about 7+ weeks. But I am not scared. Being scared to me looks a WHOLE LOT different than this. I am actually feeling excited. I can't wait to hold this baby in the sling and cuddle him around while I talk about lawnmowers and carwashes with Lucas. I am excited to tackle nursing again and begin that adventure. I am ready to meet this little guy, to introduce him to his family and start living life with him part of it. But that never feels like the answer that people are looking for. So the people-pleaser in me doesn't let them down. Then after the conversation has moved on, I am left feeling like I betrayed myself and this baby a bit by pretending to not be ready for this step. Granted, I have yet to clean out the closet in the boys' room or get out any of our newborn clothes or tackle any number of projects I would like to get done before he arrives. But emotionally and mentally speaking, I am ready. I am ready for him to be born and to bring him home and start loving him and bonding with him from the outside.

This is not an issue of pregnancy discomfort, although comfortable sleep is getting more and more elusive these days. It is an issue of all things being relative. I spent the first 20 weeks of this pregnancy being scared out of my mind. Scared that I wouldn't get to keep him and scared of what I would do if I had to. So now, my thoughts of him joining us in a few weeks do not feel like fear. Nervousness? Yes, a bit. But also excitement. Looking ahead to the unexplainable joy that will be when I am able to look at his face and kiss his cheek and tell him how much I have been waiting for his arrival.
I am sure that this is how all mothers feel when they are preparing for baby's arrival. These emotions just feel a little more pronounced for me in comparison with all that has preceded them. I am not unique in being anxious, a little nervous, for my baby to be born.

But I am a little unique in how I got to this place.

I am a little sad that Lucas will have to accept my divided attention as his only real option for awhile. I am a little apprehensive about how me and my high-intensity toddler will manage that. And maybe that is what my friend meant today and I have just made this into something it isn't. But I just felt the need to speak what is truly in my soul, churned up by the short conversation this morning- I am excited and ready for baby #3 to be born!! I am not afraid, finally, of what lies ahead! I know it will challenge me and deprive me of sleep and take me to my mental limit and any number of other things.... but I sit here feeling like God has already taken me to the edge of despair, twice, so now my minor apprehensions feel more like being immeasurably blessed with one more boy to love and cherish and nurture. And maybe it took all that has happened to get me to this point. But I am grateful to be here and ready to face whatever is next.

3 comments:

TwoSquareMeals June 16, 2008 at 9:37 AM  

Oh, Farrah, I think about this every time I think of you. I so wish we were both expecting to bring home a third baby. I also know I can't imagine how different pregnancy is for you than for me. I have the typical (hormonally induced?) fears of adding another little person to my family, but I cannot know what that first half of pregnancy is like for you. I love you!

Adventures In Babywearing June 16, 2008 at 4:11 PM  

Oh, you do have such a different story that I imagine most people don't realize, and it would be so nice if they did without you having to explain. I know you must be thrilled to hold that baby in your arms. Me, too. This pregnancy has been wonderful, but not-so for many of my friends that were pregnant and now aren't, due to losing their babies. More than I'd like to acknowledge. So, the every day I am pregnant, I am so thankful. And when I am finally holding my baby alive and well I will be so very relieved. It is exciting! SO much to look forward to!

Steph

Heather June 18, 2008 at 10:32 AM  

Farrah, it's so hard to know what to say. You know I can relate.

Recently, someone asked when we were planning to have another. I said, "we aren't." I cannot go thru another anxiety-ridden pregnancy. We have been criticized for making that decision, some even assuming that Ladybug is an only child and how "unfair" that is for her. She's not an only child, nor will she be raised as one. She doesn't have to compete for attention with her sister, but Susie is very much a part of our daily lives, even if she isn't here.

My heart aches with you. {{Hugs}}

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