Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Born Again

"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new." -Rajneesh

I love this. And I believe this: there are entire parts of yourself that are simply inaccessible until you have a child regardless of how that child came to you. Certainly, I've been through all manner of challenges and opportunities to grow but Ada's arrival is the single-most transformative thing that has ever occurred in my life. 

We are now expecting our second child - the one we prayed for, hoped for, worked for and didn't feel our family would be complete without. Not once did I think that I would not, could not love this boy as much as I love my daughter. No. It seemed to me that nothing else was possible but for the love in our family to grow exponentially. I spend hours imagining Tim teaching him how to play basketball and Ada being nurturing and protective like she is. His arrival is greatly anticipated.


I find myself wondering: is the mother is born anew with each additional child?

I loved being pregnant the first time around. I couldn't wait to do it all over again! I know, some people can't understand this and I get it. It's not for everyone and experiences can vary so widely. But I, for one, loved it. I loved feeling her move, loved that she was always with me, loved reading and connecting with what was happening as she developed and loved that my very capable, strong body changed to accommodate and nurture her. The physiology and biophysics of the state of pregnancy just blows my mind! I spent hours researching and planning for her every possible need. Magical! 

So far, the second experience of pregnancy has been a bit different than I expected. Not in the way that "every pregnancy is different" because physically it's really been a lot the same. The only real difference is that I'm more tired this time around. The biggest difference is that unlike the first time around, pregnancy isn't the single most important thing happening in my life. There is so much going on. Ada demands attention and I want to give it to her. My job (only 1 week left) is sucking me dry. We're about to move across the country - that is a very big, very looming detail. 

At 28 weeks with Ada. And Puppet, the very helpful cat.
At 29 weeks with Widget. Same shirt, same pants, same location as last time. 
I thought the belly was much bigger but I think it's the same. 
I am carrying so much higher this time though. 

At first I mistook this lack of involvement with a lack of enthusiasm. 

That's not quite accurate though. I'm excited about this baby! While I thought I might really hang on to this, my last pregnancy, with great sentimentality it turns out that I'm not. Not at all. Rather, I'd prefer this time around to just get to the part where I have the baby. In a way, it's a relief. I expected to be very melancholy about the fact that I'd never be pregnant again but it doesn't look like I really have to worry about that.

Because of all the distraction I haven't taken a single picture of the belly until last night - I'm quite aware of how I look when I'm pregnant! I'm not spending all of my awake time planning a nursery or browsing name books or researching laundry soap. On the one hand, this is pretty cool. Feeling comfortable and confident when raising kids is great. On the other hand, having less that I need to actually "do" at this point leaves me feeling less than actively engaged and thus less connected. That really bums me out. 

The lime green jammies belong to Ada, not that she'll wear jammies these days. The dark blue one is one that will probably fit Ada's little brother when he's born. He's so little. It's hard to really conceptualize that Ada was that little. 

Last week I blogged about a major change in our plan to move to New York. Remarkably, the amount of relief I felt after making this decision is astronomical. The weight has been literally lifted off my shoulders. My natural response to that relief was to pull out his onesies and footie sleepers, take a quick inventory of what we have and what we need, refold and organize them all and then put them away again. I got online and started looking for a car seat, our one necessary purchase. Then I massaged my belly with oil, a routine that was nightly with Ada but intermittent during this pregnancy. The last act was me laying down in the bed and watching him dance around inside me. 

"Just you and me little buddy!" I thought as I drifted off to sleep in our quiet house - the one we will continue to inhabit for 3 more months. It was reassuring to take a moment to connect with the little boy inside of me. I wanted to let him know that we are so excited for his arrival. And that even if my life isn't revolving around being pregnant this time that doesn't mean that I'm not thinking of him. At some level in my mind I am constantly thinking about him. That is one part of pregnancy I still really enjoy. 

7 Lovies:

Brook Redhead Reverie said...

I love this post, and you look so cute with your little belly. I LOVED being pregnant. Maybe not toward the end when it took me a half hour to walk from the parking lot into Target, but I loved feeling the babies move and knowing they were safe in there.

I also had the same feelings you do now with the second and trust me all my friends who have had more than one, said the same thing. There's nothing like your first. You can nap when you want, you can obsess about names, and the crib and all that other awesome baby stuff.

But with number two or number three...there's always one with you. Tugging, crying, talking, so now your attention is divided. It's doesn't mean that this pregnancy is any less's just busier. And seriously with your impending move across the country I can't believe there aren't moments when you forget you're pregnant because you are so busy.

Best of luck with everything...I know it will be wonderful.

And all those little baby clothes are making my heart long for another one, BUT my brain reminds me what a good night sleep is like. :-)

Have a GREAT day!!!!

Teresa said...

You worded it perfectly! I am 27 weeks with my #3 baby and it feels very special still. I don't think I could ever get bored with being pregnant!

Shell said...

Each pregnancy was so different for me. With the first, I had time to just enjoy and take care of myself. With the second, I had a baby to take care of(yes, still BABY), with the third, I had two toddlers to chase after so I didn't have the time to really just enjoy.

Still loved each newborn the same, though!

AudreyN said...

AH you worded it so much better than I could! I am ready for him to be here already, just ready to move on. And I am not that upset that this is the last time I am doing it. (not just because I don't like being pregnant)

Brandy said...

Beautiful post! My second pregnancy was just like you're describing--wonderful too, but not the center of my universe like my first. Probably because I had a toddler I was already looking after. But I'm just as in love with my baby son as I am with my daughter. That's what matters.

Laura said...

I'm finding that it is now, when the pregnancy is over and Landry is moving out of the newborn stage, that I am feeling a little blue that I will never be pregnant again.

I get a little jealous seeing all of you hit those milestones and the excitement of pregnancy, even though I am 100% certain that our family is complete.

jms said...

As the Grandma I must say I am very excited - I so enjoyed raising boys. I think you are in for such fun! Of course, we have already bought him a new wardrobe!