Dear Baby Number Two,
Lets get this out of the way: I really love you.
Just because you're my second child doesn't mean my feelings are in any way diminished.
And Im doing a lot of the things the same way as when I was pregnant with your big brother. Tracking your growth via fruits and vegetables on an iPhone app, for example. I also gave up coffee (and once you know me, youll know how hard that was), unpasteurized cheeses, and deli meat. Rest assured, your mom is watching out for you.
But I am also failing you in so many ways.
The last time I was pregnant was also the first time Id ever been pregnant and I attacked the process head on. Twelve-week-long birth classes, dozens of attachment parenting books, babywearing and holistic parenting seminars I was on fire.
I believed that knowledge and stubborn effort were the best ways to guarantee success in my labor, delivery, and the subsequent health of my baby. And it all went pretty well. You brother was born relatively easily and is a healthy, happy three-year-old now. So being such pros your Dad and I decided to do it all again with you. And, well, things are slightly different this time around.
The first thing I dropped was the prenatal yoga. Last time, I vigilantly went to class every week to become a relaxed and kink-free mama vessel, bonding with other slowly swelling women over the course of six months. I remember siting in tailor pose amongst all those pregnant bodies, one hand on my heart and one on my belly, breathing and connecting with the tiny life inside of me. It was truly transcendental stuff.
This time around we cant afford prenatal yoga classes. All that extra money is going towards your brothers private nursery school co-op, not to mention our new car payment due to a larger family vehicle (its a Passat! Youll love it!) and paying off a bad warranty on our last car purchased in 2011. Yes, the wheels were put in motion for failing you even before your big brother was conceived in 2012.
Sure, I occasionally manage to roll out the ol yoga mat and do some stretches, but your brother always jumps on me when I do. He thinks it's especially funny to lay on my back during childs pose claiming hes "a lizard on a rock and hes right; its really funny. But our yoga wrestling makes it hard for me to connect with the child in utero while shielding against attacks from above.
Along with the prenatal yoga goes the prenatal massage and prenatal acupuncture that I so believed in the last time around. Again, youre probably thinking, Mom, wasnt that stuff for YOU? but I assure you it was for US. Your brother and me, I mean.
I cant afford to do that with you. Although, I can get your dad to make a fist and rub my lower back once in a while when hes not busy taking care of your brother or making dinner. It doesnt feel good exactly, but its something.
Then there's the body pillow. This is a C-shaped pillow made for pregnant women to sleep in the best possible position (on their side) for both their own comfort and the comfort of the baby within. Ive read that the body placement supported by the pillow is crucial for achieving the optimal birthing position of head down, feet up.
Well, your brother took the pillow. He likes to wrap it around himself and call it a nest. I tried to take it back but its hard to get him to sleep as it is, so I just let him keep it. Sure, Im uncomfortable at night but at least you finally stopped being breech at 30 weeks! Thats all you, girl.
It certainly wasnt a result of the 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day recommended for moms-to-be, because Im not doing that. I dont have time between working 40 hours a week and then taking care of your brother while your Dad makes me dinner. I swear Ill make it up to you! Not sure how, but I will!
How would you like a nice, natural birth for example? Your dad and I were so great about prepping for your brothers birth. We practiced contractions and relaxation exercises almost every night, studied the labor process from the medical angle, and hired a doula to help out with the birth. We arent doing any of that this time. Shit. Failed you again.
Look, Im doing a lot of things right by you. Did I mention giving up coffee? And the soft cheeses and deli meats? Okay, okay, okay Ive eaten a little deli meat. But I microwaved it first! And one time I accidentally drank a milkshake made with soft serve without thinking. And yes, that week I was on Cape Cod I ate fish a lot more than recommended because of mercury levels but other then that Ive been a saint! Or at the very least a good mother!
Being the second child has got to be hard. I get that. Youre faced with hand-me-downs, split attention, and possibly getting bitten out of jealousy (so Ive heard). But there are some benefits, too. A confident mother who has an inkling of knowledge about newborns, for example. Isnt competence worth a few yoga classes and slices of ham? You also are getting a pretty great older brother. He may be a pillow thief but he's also funny, sweet, cuddly, clever, and very, very excited to meet you. Your dad is pretty great too (did I mention he makes dinner every night?)
And between you and me, because you will be my second and last child, youll always be my baby. Whether thats a good or bad thing Im not sure but Im pretty sure thats not a fail.