“Every pregnancy is different,” so I’ve heard, and have now experienced. When pregnant with my first baby, everything was new and exciting, curious and magical – and also terrifying. Now, 38 weeks into my second pregnancy, I sure don’t remember being this uncomfortable (or big-bellied) the first time. I’ve been nauseous and beyond exhausted the entire first 12 weeks this time. Was I that nauseous with the first? Could it be because I’ve been chasing around a one-year-old and moving from Connecticut to North Carolina during these 12 weeks?
With my first, I had an ultrasound every six weeks, due to the bleed that I had at week six, and therefore was considered high-risk. While that bleed was scary, having an ultrasound every six weeks gave me the fun opportunity to see my girl growing with every new visit. I have pictures of her giving a fist pump during the first trimester, picking her nose in the second trimester, and sticking her tongue out in the third. With this current pregnancy, I’ve had one ultrasound to confirm that indeed I was pregnant. It’s just a blank picture with a tiny circle labeled, “yolk sac,” and just one more at week 19 for the anatomy scan. Since then, I only have been able to imagine what Baby Girl is doing inside or what her personality will be like. This poor kid has already gotten the shaft and she’s not even born yet! Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not complaining that this pregnancy has been so smooth, rendering extra ultrasounds unnecessary, but I feel like I knew Noelle when she was placed on my chest for the first time. With this baby girl, I only know her by her kicks and stretches concealed inside me.
My wise mother shared with me her fears about having my sister. I was her firstborn, so how would she ever be able to love another child as much as she loved me? But she said that as soon as my sister entered the world, my mother’s love was not divided, but multiplied. I know this to be true in my head, but I still worry in my heart. My 21-month-old girl has had my attention exclusively. I read her stories and play on the floor with her. We go out to lunch (just the two of us) and have fun grocery shopping together. She’s my little sidekick. How will she handle having to share her mama? How will I create that bond with number two without making number one jealous?
There are pictures of me as a five-year-old holding my brand new baby sister. My face disguises nothing. I’m clearly annoyed with this crying, red-faced intrusion, and sadly held on to that grievance for several years. My sister and I are thankfully friends now, but it definitely took a while. (Gosh, that must have broken my mother’s heart.) It is my prayer that my girls love each other fiercely from the start. That in our home, love would constantly multiply and that in our hearts, grace would conquer guilt and resentment every time.
Miccah Marie Kent is a mother of two girls, ages 22 months and one month. She is an avid baker and writer, and is passionate about her family and consumer health and safety.