Second baby, first pregnancy? What? How?
Surprisingly, it seems like everyone knows someone who adopted and then … BAM! … got pregnant. Like me.
I joke that it happened because my daughter gets everything she asks for and she started asking for a baby. She still seems very excited, so fingers crossed she doesn’t change her mind and eat him. Likewise, I warn that prayers for children to join a family often get backlogged; you have to be careful. Infertility can be followed by multiple multiples.
But all jokes aside, I find myself in a weird place, so I thought I would share with you what it looks like here: with a second baby and first pregnancy.
This isn’t my first time hearing a heartbeat before it’s out in the world and feeling my own heart stop at the sound. But, it is my first time looking down at my tummy and waiting to feel something I’m sure is a person.
I’ve so far acquired lots of parenting skills, handling my toddler with one hand knowing she is coloring on something that it isn’t paper by pure instinct. In my other hand, this material on vaginal tearing and c-sections and postpartum depression are new nightmares, something doctor’s offices often forget. You have to tell me things!
This isn’t my first time making a registry and setting up a nursery. But, it is my first time adding products for breastfeeding and worrying if I’ll be able to get that magic latch.
These aren’t my first sleepless nights, excited and afraid about bringing home a new baby. However, these are my first sleepless nights getting up to pee and/or vomit multiple times.
This isn’t the first time I have fallen in love with someone before they were born and wanted to hold them more than I wanted to breathe, but it is the first time I’ve felt them with me everywhere I go beforehand.
I came to terms with never getting this pregnant. Then, we were blessed with the most flawless, joyful adoption. We got to be a part of things from appointments to birth, stayed at the hospital with her, and took her home from there. I didn’t have hormones and baby blues to contend with, blood and gore, or stitches to deal with as we carefully placed her in the car seat. I didn’t have baby weight to lose; people constantly complimented my figure with a newborn. I had a perfect baby and a full night’s sleep to start.
Fortunately, both birth parents were 100% on board and stay in touch respectfully. We felt a special confidence that came from someone choosing us to be parents and by preparing so much, perhaps. I never had any of this “what do you do with them once you get them home” panic.
Plus, friends, family, and coworkers gave us three separate showers. They even got to meet her there! My husband’s work gave him lots of leave. Adoption costs stayed low too – which is possible!
Meanwhile, I watched friends make it through hundreds of days of miserable pregnancies and survive traumatic births, and my envy of this organic process faded away. I looked forward to another adoption one day so happily.
Suddenly, my plans changed again. After eight years of nothing, I got pregnant without any outside assistance.
This time, things are different. I’m pregnant, and due to an autoimmune disease it’s high risk. Also, I’m a military wife so I’m experiencing a lot on my own. But it’s just as amazing as our first experience.
I’ve seen baby five times before the anatomy scan, and I’m having at least two of those. Due to extensive genetic testing, I found out the sex early and that I don’t have to worry about lots of unhappy surprises. Luckily, instead of pregnancy symptoms putting me in life threatening danger, so far I actually have improved my health. I feel great even with the later trimester sickness. He has grown strong and big, instead of undersized, and is very active. I am so impatient to meet him, yet I worry he’ll come too soon.
At the same time I am trying to learn and relearn so much, and waddling around like a penguin, I’m also working on potty training and preschool. Part of me feels relief. I’ll know what to do with an infant. Terrible twos are unpredictable.
Then again, what if this one won’t sleep? My first baby slept. What are the odds on this? Do I even want to know? Will he grow even faster, or will the early days blur as I focus on healing?
Honestly, none of the articles out there speak to me. I’m not a first time mom, but I’m not experienced at this whole pregnancy and delivery game. Articles I come across tend to address one group or the other.
So, to all you second baby, first pregnancy mom and expectant rainbow moms out there, I’m with you. We are not alone. We are just have two unique blessings. In fact, it’s hard not to feel like the luckiest person in the world.