First Kid vs. Next Kids

So, here we are, 30 weeks into our third pregnancy, and somehow, we have defied all odds and done absolutely nothing to get ready for this baby girl. *pats self on back for much-enjoyed laziness*

The upside? It’s awesomely relaxing being the Pregnant Lady Who Doesn’t Care.

The downside? The kid is due in two months and the only effort, to date, I have put into welcoming this little creature is the unwrapping of gifts of baby clothes from other people at Christmastime. (Super tough, tearing all that tape and paper to get to the gifts.)

And it got me to thinking, there is a world of difference between a mom (or dad’s!) mental state for their first baby, versus their second or any subsequent child. Anyone with more than one kid can attest to this, and I like to think this laissez-faire attitude is God’s gift to my twisted little hormonal mind that allows me to fool myself into enjoying a few more weeks of rest before the shit hits the fan. Thank you, God. I knew you were real.

On that note, here are a few points of comparison I’ve noticed on the journey of this third pregnancy as I compare them with my previous ones. I present to you…

First Kid versus Subsequent Kids: A Primer on Giving a Damn

***LEVEL OF PREPARATION***

First Baby

Four to six months before due date:

“This paint color is perfect for the nursery! Wait, is it low VOC?”

“Honey, we only have five months before he gets here. Can you put that crib together already?”

[Walks past nursery, pops inside and grabs onesie from drawer, inhaling delicate scent of Dreft, daydreams longingly about the little person that will soon be wearing this outfit.] “We have to pick up a few more bottles of this detergent before he gets here.”

Subsequent Babies

Four to six months before due date:

“Damn it—why did I throw away all the infant clothes from my first baby?? Oh well. I have a few months.”

Two months before due date:

“When is he going to grow out of his crib and start using a big boy bed so we can use the crib for the baby?? Screw it. Let’s order another crib.”

One month before due date:

“We have to actually put this crib together before the baby comes. Oh, and how late is Target open? We still need clothes.”

Baby comes home:

“Shit. We never ended up washing those new baby clothes. Oh well. Put ‘em on. She’ll live.”

***LEVEL OF REST***

First Baby

At 16 weeks:

“I’m feeling a little sick. Let me go lay down for a few hours.”

Subsequent Babies

At 16 weeks:

[Vomits into kitchen sink.] “All right, who’s ready to go to the park?!”

***LEVEL OF SOCIALIZATION***

First Baby

At 12 weeks:

“No need to cancel dinner plans. I’ll get a glass of wine and just pretend I’m drinking it. Plus, it’ll be nice to see everyone.”

Subsequent Babies

At 12 weeks:

“Call Domino’s. The Lorax is on Disney Jr. again. I bet we can get a good 45 minutes of actual butt-on-the-couch time in if we start it now.” [Phone rings. Hits Decline immediately.]

But of course, the level of preparation, rest and socialization doesn’t translate directly into how much you love your second or subsequent babies. I remember wondering how my heart could love a second child as much as my first, but unlike the damn toy box in our living room that is always spilling over, somehow your heart finds extra space for love.

Parenthood. The great, exhausting paradox.

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