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Pregnant... With Children

Katlyn Joy |17, February 2013


Remember being pregnant with bundle of joy number one? Everything was dainty pastel outfits and pats on belly. You were focused on baby's birth approximately 96% of all idle moments. Visions of an angelic cooing infant in your arms filled your thoughts. You imagined the big day and daydreamed of the ones to follow only a little.

Fast forward to now, your angelic infant now a slightly sticky toddler with a pull-up full of poo, crying to be held while you struggle to stir the pasta during a call to the repairman. Your toddler is fascinated with the baby in your belly but has no concept of the harsh reality to come. You, however, know what lies ahead.

They say mothers have a special type of maternal amnesia that enables us to undergo labor and delivery again. It must last longer than just for birth though. Otherwise I fear we'd all be, and have, only children.

Understand, I'm not a bitter mother who generally always looked at children with a mixture of fear and suspicion. Rather, I was a skilled preschool teacher who grew up with foster children and surrounded by kids from all backgrounds and ages. I love being a mom. I love kids.

But I am, like the rest of motherdom, imperfect. I have imperfect moments with a high frequency. You know the ones. Going to bed and blanking on when you last brushed your baby's new pearly teeth or when you last shaved your legs. Returning from the grocery store to realize you bought denture adhesive and 9 volt batteries because your baby is a grabber and you neglected to check the cart before paying!

Becoming a mother for the first time requires some idealism and perhaps some dim-wittedness. However, become a second-time mom takes something far more; bravery. You have endured colic, cutting teeth, immunizations and stomach flus complete with projectile vomiting. You know what breastfeeding does to your nipples, how long it takes to get baby to sleep reliably through the night every night, and how many times a two-year-old can scream, "NO!" per day.

So maybe you encountered a spell of mothering amnesia and now found yourself overwhelmed at the prospect of multiple little ones. You wonder how in the world you will keep track of them both, since you struggle now with one in the toddler years and the other captive in your womb. What will you do when the youngest is free as well, and horrors, mobile?

Well, rest assured this time you won't be so incredibly silly as to actually teach your baby to walk. You will let that take its own sweet and hopefully slow time. This time you probably won't stay up nights trying to find the absolute best recipes for homemade baby food either. The baby book will contain the most elemental of entries. No more daily diaries on baby's every uttered consonant and whether at 27 weeks baby prefers hand-mashed steamed apricots to peaches.

This child will not have two volumes of baby's first year photos. But you will be sure to snap at least one on all birthdays and Christmases.

Yet, rest assured, this baby will have something that big bro or sis does not. A more experienced, down to earth mother whose mind is not full of romantic motherhood daydreams. This child will grow up not in Neverland but in a very loving, if not always immaculate, home. This baby will be born to a family, not a nervous couple. The little bundle of joy may wear jelly fingerprints and chocolate kisses on cheeks, and will likely not wear anything brand new except on outings, but still will be blessed. Blessed with a realistic mother who knowing exactly what storms brewed ahead, still trudged on bravely to add to the family.

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