I was talking to a friend today, one who is pregnant for her second and was one of the ones who got pregnant right after I miscarried the first time. (It’s very strange to look at her son and think that we should have a kid who is just a little bit older than him). Anyway, she’s about two weeks ahead of me. I’ve been picking her brain a lot during this pregnancy, as someone who has similar philosophies and parenting styles as I do.
Today I was asking her about the difference between being pregnant with #1 and #2, and whether this one is more real than the first one. She said something that really resonated with me, in that she said that during the first pregnancy, she was very bonded with the pregnancy itself and less so with the baby, so that when he was born, he was totally new and she missed being pregnant and all. She said that this time, she’s more bonded with the baby rather than the pregnancy, so she feels differently about the result of the pregnancy.
I’ve been wondering if I would feel more excited about meeting our baby if it were a girl, since that’s what I wanted in the first place and would still very much like to have one day. It’s not that I’m not excited to meet him… but I just can’t really seem to wrap my head around the idea that we’ll actually have a baby out of this. The pregnancy itself has been such a major focus, with first it taking us so long to achieve, and then wanting to enjoy every second of it because I so very much wanted to experience all this and am so grateful to be able to, plus not being sure if there will ever be another one. (oh, for that time machine!).
After talking to her, I wonder if that’s just a natural result of not having been through this before and not being able to fully picture in any meaningful way how this squirming belly is someday going to translate into a baby. I mean, obviously intellectually we know that it (hopefully) will, but to actually wrap your head around that very abstract-at-this-point idea is a bit difficult. It could be partly because of our past issues, but my mom commented that expecting me was very different from expecting my brother because they actually believed the end result, having seen one through all the way already. They could much more easily translate the internal stuff into a real baby that they could picture.
I am excited to meet our baby, but I feel disconnected a bit from the physical reality. I’m a bit concerned that that will translate into not feeling connected when he’s born like you sometimes hear people taking time to bond with their baby. I always pictured that I would immediately recognize him and be bonded with him the second he was born after all we’ve been through to get him, but I’m not sure if it will be that way. Sometimes I picture taking one look at him and feeling like, “oh, there you are, finally!” and sometimes I picture looking at him and seeing… a baby. Not necessarily feeling that he’s *my* baby right away. Either way, I expect the rest will follow.
I guess just like all the rest of the stuff that’s unimaginable to me, I can’t fully appreciate the love you feel for your children. I love the idea of the baby in my belly, but it’s pretty hard to fully love something you can’t really imagine in the same way you can once it’s fully real.