Monday, September 27, 2010

The Second Time Around

The second pregnancy is different. Some things are the same: I’m still referred to as the happy, pregnant woman, I’ve still never had morning sickness, I still didnt have to shop for maternity clothes(thanks Amy). God has seen fit to bless me with easy, wonderful pregnancies both times, and I am so very grateful for that. The difference this time is more in how we’ve prepared for Sammy’s arrival, or not prepared.

With Wren we had four showers and the child had more clothes than Dennis and I combined before she was born. We spent $500 on a crib that has now become a glorified doll holder since we co-sleep. We took natural birthing classes for eight weeks. During the first pregnancy, we had time to do these things because we didn’t have a child yet.

Yesterday I bought Sammy clothes. This puts him up to a total of six pairs, more than enough I say until we see if he actually needs the newborn or zero to three months size. Sammy is getting a bassinet from my sister that she received from a friend because we know another $500 crib would be empty anyway since he will be in our room for night feedings and, when he’s big enough, our bed. We haven’t even been able to squeeze in a refresher course for our birthing class, but thankfully our birthing coach from last time has offered to doula if we need her. Between that and reading our birthing book from last time, we’re considering ourselves ready to go.

It’s not that we care less about this pregnancy or this child; it’s just a more mellow attitude the second time around. Sleep deprivation? Been there, done that. Putting together a nursery my child spends no time in because she’s attached to us all the time, which I love? Did that too. I have friends who decorate for fun, but I decorate because people walk in my house and think we’ve lived there for two weeks instead of over two years. It does not rank high on my priority list. If I thought Sammy would be in his nursery a lot, we’d be working on turning the office into a nursery a little bit faster. I know where he’ll be though; attached to me nursing or riding in his baby sling so he can hear my heart and get acclimated to the outside the womb world in his own time.

This time around, I want no showers. Wren’s clothes are now separated into three bins: two are full of clothes that still don’t fit and one is full of clothes she outgrew before the tags came off. I’ve already given away two bins of never worn clothes. When Sammy is given toys, we will have to start using our kitchen cabinets as storage space because Wren’s are already flowing freely out of her room and to every other corner of our house. Plus, most of Wren’s are unisex, so Sammy will have his fair share of toys just waiting. Dennis and I feel like we’ve hit the jackpot because my school has offered us diapers and wipes in leiu of cake and punch, and being second timers, we know how awesome this offer is!

I think for us it comes down to seeing our reality. Despite the fact that Wren has been showered with material possessions, and I’m sure Sammy will be too, it’s not what means the most to her. We mean the most to her. Our time spent working on puzzles, reading books, chasing her around the house, going to the park, is all she really wants. It may just be that she is too young, but so far she has never attempted to take a toy she likes from the store. She plays with it at the store, puts it on a shelf and walks out with nothing more than mine or Dennis’ hand and never throws a fit about it. If we were to detach her room from the rest of the house, I think she would honestly care less. As long as dad’s there to play and I’m there to sing, she might not even notice.

Our reality looks different than I expected because I was more of a boundaries person before we had kids. I thought there would be places in our house that were off limits or grown ups only. I cannot imagine it being like that now. Somewhere in between feeding a child from my body, watching her sleep, and obsessing if her temperature was 99 instead of 98.6, I lost all boundaries. I am like one liquid woman who feels connected and flowing through every member of our house. It’s amazing. Dennis and I were watching her sleep last night and he said he couldn’t imagine her not sleeping in our bed. Me either, and I know the time will come when she doesn’t want to.

I don’t want Sammy to feel like the hands me down baby or like we didn’t care enough to do all the first baby things with him. It’s not that way at all. Like I said, it’s just a mind set difference and the fact that we were so overly prepared with Wren that we can still use what we have to avoid being wasteful. Sammy and Wren are already distinct, unique, perfect little beings on their own, and any difference in how we prepare for them is not a reflection of our love. It’s just us meeting their needs. Every child is different. You don’t prepare for them or raise them exactly the same. It doesn’t mean you love one more than the other or expect more or less from one than the other. It means you are looking at them as individuals and making your decisions accordingly instead of adopting the one-size-fits-all version of parenting. Though I’m sure we’re destined to make mistakes everyday, I am comfortable with where we are now and how we got here. And I can say this: the excitement of adding another person to our family is just as awesome the second time around.

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