On Honoring Pregnancy With The Second Child
BY DANIELLA RABBANI, HONEST MOTHERHOOD CONTRIBUTOR
I found out I was pregnant with Ness when he was just a shadow in my uterus. The doctor thought it may have been a polyp but since I had sex within I dunno how long he figured we should check if I was preggo. When I got the “congratulations phone call” I was actually confused. I was maybe three or four weeks along. Which makes 40 weeks of pregnancy very very long. I filled my time with work, friends, and family as usual while I slept in, ate all the organic foods in the tristate area, and pampered myself and baby boy to the nth degree. Think daily prenatal yoga classes, hypno birthing visualizations, all of Ina May Gaskin’s books on labor and yes. Massages. So many massages.
I bought the best of the best for my boy. We sang songs to the belly, spoke from our heart of hearts, and planned it so that our lives would be exactly the same but sweeter with him. LOLOLOLOLOL.
Ness is a little over two now and lemme just tell ya that my life looks nothing like it did three years ago. I’m actually laughing while writing this. The absurdity! But how was I to know?
We’re expecting our little girl in September, and at first, I didn’t do much to celebrate her impending arrival. I felt sick, it was a shock (even though I know how this stuff works), my career and life and body had juuuuust started to lift off again... But mostly, I think I was scared. Scared of losing my bond with Ness, scared of the responsibility of caring for two sweet souls, scared.
And then I had a real scare. We thought I may have contracted a virus that could affect the baby at like 12ish weeks along and I freaked. I didn’t realize how truly attached and excited I was to meet this person until the threat of that not happening.
So I decided then and there that no matter what I’d honor the soul that chose me as a mama. And here’s how I’m doing that given my all lack of time, energy, etc.
I stopped comparing this pregnancy to my last. She’s a different person, and I pretty much am too from the previous time. More importantly, I wanna start this non-comparison muscle building now. For me. For her. For Ness. Everyone benefits this way. Reading SIBLINGS WITHOUT RIVALRY drilled that home for me.
I allowed myself a lot of tears around losing the relationship I now have with Ness. I never did that before having kids, and I think it may have been helpful to remind myself that it’s all temporary. And it’s ok to feel sad about that among all the good feelings coming up.
I’m buying florals. And sorting through bins of hand me down ruffles!!!! There is nothing more special or more exciting than other babies loved in onesies!! Also, who knew I’d be so stoked about bows and tutus?!
I’m talking to friends of multiples and even strangers who lovingly congratulate me with that half smile and those terror-filled-eyes that say... “oh God, should I tell her?” And I remind them: I’m not afraid of the dark.
Dan and I named her right away, and we refer to her by her name. Talk to her when we remember. And bring her up in conversation not just with our son but with the whole wide world. Because she’s coming and she deserves to be greeted with grace.
Oh, and everything was fine. I didn’t get the virus. But from that fear came this genuine acceptance and openness. Hallelujah!!
Anything I’m missing here?? Anything you loved doing while you were pregnant with your second? Lemme know, wouldja?
Daniella Rabbani is a Brooklyn based actress and the honest motherhood contributor to the MU community. Her full time gig is mama to Ness.