Monday, November 19, 2007

second banana

I can't seem to remember that I am pregnant. I have heard of this happening, but it is really surreal. I don't like it.

When I was pregnant with Andrew it was all I thought about. I could have been in the middle of a busy classroom of 5 year olds all needing my attention and I still knew. It was always there. But, this time it is different.

I definitely had times when my first pregnancy seemed more real than other times. And I had times when the pregnancy seemed separate from the baby himself. I had a clarifying moment when I did the first load of Andrew's laundry, before he was born. Preparing the clothes. I realized that I would be washing them again. But after they were worn. He was really coming.

This time I am asking Dave all the time: Am I really pregnant? Are we really going to have another one?

And although his words and my little belly and my swinging emotions assure me we are, I still don't get it. I worry that I won't be enough for two. I wonder how I could love two. Will I be able to love the second like I love Andrew? What if I can love the second like I love Andrew, but then can't love Andrew that much anymore? Who will get shafted?

And when logic creeps in, it provides comfort. When Andrew was born I was awash with love for him. Out of nowhere. There it came. Watch out. It will happen again. And I see my friends with two kids and they love them both tremendously. I can do it too.

But I have moments when I worry and wonder how it will all shake out.


Firefly said...

I am curious about Dave.

Does Dave worry about loving one kid more than the other? Does he worry about loving the kids more than you? Does he worry you'll love the kids more than him? Do you worry that you'll love the kids more than him? Or that he'll love them more than you?

When I think about my parents' marriage and its failure, I think part of it had to do with worries about who loved whom more than whom. I think my dad felt like my mom loved her kids more than him. I felt like she did, too. I think my mom felt like my dad didn't love the kids enough. I felt like that, too. I think all of us kids felt like each parent loved some of us more than others of us. I think we all spent a lot of time worrying there wasn't enough love for everybody.

I was reading the story of Jacob and Esau recently--that is the story I always think of when it comes to parents loving certain children better than other children. This time I was reading about the siblings re-encounter with one another as adults and how elaborately Jacob prepared for their meeting--sending all of these gifts and servants and everything in advance. And then it seemed like Esau was so chill when they finally meet up. But I always wonder if he would have been that chill if Jacob hadn't known all of the elaborate rituals to pave the way toward reconciliation. Sometimes I am jealous of cultures that thought ahead enough to make up elaborate rituals to compensate for human lack--it seems like it makes it so much easier for people who messed up to make amends when there are directions to follow.

thedanceofthegates said...

I like how your photographs often show a detail and then expand out to show the larger picture. I like how your writing will do that to.

Melissa said...

I have to go cuddle in bed with my sleeping infant, so I can't comment as much as I would like to. But I have so many thoughts in response to your post and COMPLETELY understand everything you are saying. Just like having your first was a crazy, intense, unexplicable experience, having your second will be all new to you.

I remember holding Atticus while he was sleeping a few times at the end of my pregnancy with Enzo and weeping. Weeping for how big my baby was but also saying goodbye in a way to the time that Atticus and I had alone together. And there is something to be said for that special time with your first. But there is also something (dare I say more special?) to be said for the new family that you'll be and how much richer you will be as a mother, Dave will be as a father, and the new big brother will be as your son and as a brother.

Okay- I wasn't going to say a lot, and I just did. But, anyway, if you feel like you need support or have questions about having a second child, I am here. I am still very new at the whole thing, but I have found that we have settled in quite well at this point.

Okay. I'm really done now.

Firefly said...

In case anyone was interested, I got an email from Dave in response to my questions. Dave's email said:

Robyn showed me some questions that you wrote about me.

For the answers scroll down:


Firefly said...

All night long, I kept re-opening Dave's email to read it again, til finally my mom called from the other room, "Why do you keep guffawing?"

Anonymous said...

When I was getting into the car to go have my third baby--I said to Dad "what if I don't love this one; we already have the perfect family" He reassurred me that of course I would love this one and of course I did and do!

Seeking La Loba said...

Eric worries about there not being enough love to go around when we have children. But he comes from a family that divorced with contentious lines of division.
I feel like it's bound to work out. But I felt like my family just expanded with joy each time we got a new family member. (Though from the stories, I didn't feel like that about Jim-my middle brother-at first. I asked my parents when we were taking him back to the hospital.)
And I definitely think you and Dave will have enough love and energy to go around. But it makes sense to me that these thoughts come up.

Goes On Runs said...

they don't shake out... they are pushed out :)