I’ve always thought that 2 years is a nice age gap between siblings, and it looks like we will get to experience that firsthand- baby 2 coming almost exactly 2 years behind baby 1!We were pretty casual with telling people about this baby. I would just kind of announce it in conversation, enjoying the jerk of surprise from the other person before I shrugged and smiled and said “Second baby.” Because second babies just don’t get all the fanfare of the first. We are so excited about this baby, but I don’t expect as much excitement or surprise from anyone else. Once you have one, people just kind of expect you to have more, so I just decided to beat them to the lack-of-fanfare in my cool delivery.
And then, at 12 weeks pregnant, in the “clear” to start telling the wide public, I woke up covered in blood. I choked back sobs and called the doctor, shaking James awake and telling him that we had lost the baby, a ridiculous expression, but one apt all the same because I knew where that baby should be, but I was so sure that they couldn’t both be there, and be creating the horror I was seeing. We rushed to the ER, and for 3 terrible hours, we waited. Waited for tests and needles and samples and that interminable roll down corridors. Waited for the ultrasound tech to arrive. Waited as she rolled the wand across my belly, clutching James’ hand and willing her to find something.
She did. James and I sat in the dark crying as we saw a ridiculously squirmy and teeny tiny little person wiggling across the screen. We saw that rapid heartbeat and the life where we had expected none. We saw the screen light up too when they scanned the womb, saw the colors change around what the doctor would explain as some concerning bleeding behind the placenta. He was frank about how this complicated things, and I let myself read one very academic article online about how it changes odds and raises complications.
It’s been a couple weeks of more doctor visits, ultrasounds, tests, holding our breath at that tiny heartbeat. Things are stable at the moment, and we have every reason to think they could stay that way. Unlike Henry’s pregnancy, where I ran a half marathon at 12 weeks and did barre classes until 37 weeks, I’m not allowed to exercise or lift things over 10 lbs, including my 30 lb toddler (though yes, I did hold him for all of 2 seconds for this photo). And then there’s the fear too, the worry that wasn’t there before, the knowledge that things can go wrong, a knowledge that we were mercifully spared until now.
I don’t feel as casual about announcing this second baby now. It feels like the greatest of gifts that I still get to do so. 15 weeks and 3 days of this tiny life. Every day is a blessing to be carrying this kid, this being that has left me feeling miserable from approximately conception. If I am not actively eating breakfast food, tex-mex (or that perfect combo of both- breakfast tacos!) or cream cheese rangoon, the nausea is overwhelming. The exhaustion is debilitating, and dragging myself out of bed to teach, write my dissertation, and chase Henry has felt impossible so many days, though I have no choose but to get up. This pregnancy has been awful.
And I am so thankful that I am still getting to do it.
Second baby, we love you lots. PS: Apparently being pregnant also makes me incapable of not weirdly hiding behind a veil of hair? I promise- I still have a face. It is probably busy eating a breakfast taco at any given moment. And as you can see, after we asked Henry to “point to the baby!” he promptly tried to remove my dress and expose my belly button.