We’re only 13 weeks into our second pregnancy and my second child is already getting the shaft. By this point in my oldest daughter’s life, I had purchased a domain name, started a blog, created social media accounts and written several posts detailing our excitement. We’re no less excited this time around, but there does seem to be a lot less spare time for Daddy blogging when you’re busy actually being a dad.1
So let’s try to make up for lost time. Surprise! We’re having another baby! Come the end of April 2018, it will be time for Maddie to make room in her life for a sibling and for her parents to make room in their schedules for the care and feeding of another new human being. As several people have pointed out, we’ll soon be instituting a man-to-man defense—one parent for each child—and things are going to get a little more complicated.
All that said, we couldn’t be more excited to have another baby on the way! Watching Madeline develop and loving her along the way has already been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done with my life, and I imagine that feeling will only grow when this new baby arrives and shows me just how much more love my heart can hold.
While Maddie’s existence was certainly a shock to us when the pregnancy test revealed a plus sign, we were prompted to take the test by the usual cyclical irregularity that prompts most people to invest in a test. With #2, it was a little bit different.
Theresa–who was still breastfeeding at the time–was having some incredibly sharp pain in her boob that we were trying to diagnose with Dr. Google. When the pain got too intense, she went to the doctor, who prescribed some medication. When she went to Walgreens to pick it up, the pharmacist thankfully decided to ask if she was pregnant, as the medication had a risk of birth defects. We had no clue if Theresa was pregnant yet but we were actually trying, so we decided to take a test to be on the safe side.
We took the test in the evening on August 23, and I can still remember standing in the bathroom joyously and incredulously yelling “Pregnant!”2 when I saw the news that we would be adding to our little family. Just like the first time, I wanted to shout it from the rooftops, but we still wouldn’t announce it for several more weeks.
The first time around, the reveal was completely unexpected3. It was no secret that we were going to try to have more babies though, so it’s likely that some people were already subconsciously expecting an announcement like this.
We tried a reverse order for our second child, letting Theresa’s family know before mine. On our last trip to Newburgh, we were ready to spread the news with a fresh “Big Sister” shirt for Maddie ordered from Amazon. When we put her in the shirt, however, Theresa’s family just didn’t seem to get it. Some people thought it was a joke4 and some people thought it was just a random shirt we had her wearing. Obviously everyone was happy for us after we made it clear that we were, in fact, expecting, but it didn’t have the impact of the “Future Cubs Fan” shirt we employed for our announcement of Maddie. I’ll have to buy some fireworks for the next one…
We waited a few weeks to tell my family—which was excruciating—because we wanted them all to be together when we broke the news and that seemed impossible to arrange for a while. As I outlined last time, my Mom’s side of the family has a longstanding tradition in which a pipe is pulled out to signal that a couple is expecting. This time I decided that Maddie would pull the pipe out of her diaper bag and start playing with it. She did so, but once again the familial response was subdued at first. They all seemed to know what the pipe meant, but none of them wanted to be the first to assume its meaning out loud. Everyone awkwardly looked at each other, until someone finally said, “Wait…really?!” and then they all went up for grabs.
Sorry, #2. I guess we should have tried to be more creative or been more explicit in our reveal. On the upside, our announcement came on the heels of or preceded pregnancy announcements from more than a few other family members and friends, so at least our second child won’t be short on same-sized playmates. It’s very exciting to be able to share the pregnancy journey with people who are close to us, and even more exciting to think about our kids growing up together!
“How is Theresa Feeling?”
So far everything is going really well, and I dare say better than last time, if only because we have been through this before and have the wisdom of experience on our side. If we hadn’t found out that we were pregnant via a test, we would have figured it out pretty quickly from Theresa’s morning sickness, which resumed right on cue. This being our second rodeo, however, we were able to immediately request a prescription of Diclegis—the tiny little life-saving pill that at least makes pregnant life more livable, if still not stellar.
I have resumed my part-time duty of delivering a morning snack to Theresa’s bedside on occasion, though my bigger contribution comes in the form of taking care of Maddie on weekend mornings so Theresa can concentrate on the hard work of having a human develop within her. Oftentimes that work looks a lot like an extra hour or two of sleep.5 The return of new fall television episodes and the Cubs’ return to the playoffs6 have been timely distracting developments, perfect for parents who are now trapped in their home on weeknights by two children—one of them asleep in her crib and the other percolating on the couch with us.
The First Ultrasound
We had our first doctor’s appointment a few weeks ago, and everything is looking great. Baby #2 seems to be developing on track and even did a dance for us on the ultrasound screen. If I recall, Maddie usually played harder to get on her ultrasounds, so it was a treat to have such a clear view of our dancing Baby Groot on the first shot.
Returning to the OB/GYN’s office was a bit surreal, as it doesn’t feel like that much time has passed since we were there for Maddie’s appointments, hearing her racing heartbeat every month, showing up a day early with premature back labor pains and ultimately experiencing the moment that changed our lives and officially introduced us to Madeline.
I’m sure your next question is “Will you find out the gender?” and the answer is a resounding YES. We found out for Maddie and it was honestly a crucial way for me to really bond with her before she was born. We were able to call her by name once we had settled on that, and able to try to imagine7 what life would be like once she arrived. I will appreciate having that same luxury this time around, especially since I now get to include Maddie in my envisioning of our future as a party of four.8
There are still lots of unanswered questions for us, as the reality of having two kids continues to settle in. Do we break down our guest room so that they can sleep in separate rooms and not disturb/awaken each other every night? How will Maddie react to having a new person here demanding so much of our attention? How will Theresa adjust to having two kids to deal with while I’m at work? What should we name this person? Little things like that.
Much like during our first pregnancy, I’m sure the next six months will feel alternately like a blur and a slog, depending on the moment and how excited we are versus how much we still have to prepare.
Also like our first pregnancy, it is still difficult for me to actually picture the world that we are careening toward, but I’m incredibly excited to meet this new person and see how our lives will be transformed, reimagined and turned upside down again. Wait, wouldn’t that put us back to right side up? I guess we should shoot for an even number of kids so that we land on our feet.
If you’re a parent of multiple children, what advice do you have for successfully adding baby #2 into your life? Leave your wisdom in the comments!
- And the Cubs being in the playoffs eats up a lot of time, too!
- We invested in a higher quality test that actually has words on it instead of math signs. My kind of test…
- especially so given the relatively recent end of my cancer fight
- why would that be a joke?!
- Theresa said I could include this joke. I would not want to trade places with her for any amount of money.
- More on that here
- Ha! My mental images were so quaint!
- Four. Wow. That escalated quickly.