confessions of not falling in love

when i was pregnant with river, as most first pregnancies go, i was elated and obsessed. i spent hours reading about homebirth and newborns. i looked at every name book on the shelves. i told john practically every time river kicked or squirmed inside me. i made note of every little symptom and change. i read week by week updates on his development, on multiple websites. i researched breastfeeding and birth pain management and watched dozens of birth videos and browsed the baby sections at every store. i dreamed of one day coloring together and baking together and going to the park and homeschooling and would he call me mommy or mama? it was an absolute, romantic mother-to-be bliss.

and then he came -- my tiny river

as expected, this pregnancy in general has not been as exciting as the first.  the first movements were cool, but i didn't tweet about it and mark it on my calendar. hearing the heartbeat for the first time was special and sweet, but the initial excitement wore off. i was really excited to meet with my midwife, but more so because i was more excited to see her than about anything that had to do with the baby! and i haven't even glanced at baby books...

i was initially excited about the pregnancy. but then these unexpected negative emotions came creeping in. i didn't like it. at about eight weeks, i become sick and irritable and exhausted, and my patience with river was worn thin. there wasn't much i could do, or was willing to do, during the day. our mornings were filled with hours of cartoons, our afternoons held long nap sessions, and i passed him off to a family member in the evenings, and then we went to bed early. occasionally, i would feel guilty enough about our routine and i would read him some books or color with him. because i was so nauseated, we rarely went outside or even upstairs (we were staying in the basement), and practically the only time he left the house during the six weeks i was stuck in pennsylvania were the times grandpa took him outside to play or to run errands. my siblings were a huge help and i relied on them to keep him occupied many days. i felt neglectful and short-tempered, and it was all because of this baby. i was not being the mom i wanted to be to my son. and it was all because of this baby.

at around twelve weeks, things started looking up. i still had bad days every now and then and i still threw up every single day, but for the most part i felt better overall. this pregnancy has placed me in a whirlwind of lovely hormones, and i was (am) easily annoyed and upset. on days when river was being whiny and demanding because i wasn't up to playing with him (or paying much attention to him, period), i would lose my patience and once again, feel like a bad mommy.

then there is the chance that baby is a boy (i think he is). i didn't want a boy. not right now. i need a girl first. i need a rose -- my great-grandmother was a rose, my grandmother whom i was very close to was juanda rose, and my little sister is emma rose -- i need to bring another generation of a rose. my grandma was my mom's best friend. and my mom is my best friend. i want a daughter, whose middle name will be rose, to call my best friend someday. i need a little girl so i can paint her tiny toes and dress her is every color of the rainbow and put her little curls in doggy ears. i knew if my baby was a boy, i would love him just as fiercely as i love my first precious son. but i didn't...want... another boy...

slowly, the thought i don't want this baby... not now, anyway... we should have waited... kept finding its way into my head on my most difficult days. there were moments when i was excited -- whether i was folding one of river's newborn onesies or seeing pictures of friend's newborns, but most days i felt apathetic, and the negative thoughts pushed me overboard. i even texted my mom one day and asked her if, during any of her pregnancies, she didn't bond with her baby or feel that she even wanted her baby. when i was pregnant with river, i thought about him all the time, i loved and wanted him immediately, and i bonded with him and felt he was my child. i felt incredible guilty for not feeling any of these things for this child. on the contrary, i felt that this baby was taking river's mommy away. forget sharing me in nine months -- he was being forced to share me now, and he didn't understand why i was being short-tempered and uninvolved.

it's not that i would have "taken back" the pregnancy. in fact, it took me a long time to look these feelings in the eye and actually acknowledge them, because i was afraid if i did acknowledge them, something horrible might happen and i would feel awful. what if i had a miscarriage? i would feel ...if only i'd loved my baby deeply or appreciated the pregnancy or tried to bond with the baby... if something happened, it would have devastated me.

but it's changing. i write this now because it's changing. i write this also, because i'm sure these emotions during a second pregnancy with a little one toddling around are common, and i think that's okay. eventually, i knew it was okay when i was feeling it, too -- because i knew it would change, and i knew there would be a time when i would get excited, and above all, i knew i would love my second baby just as much as i love my first baby. which is an insane amount of love. physically, i feel so much better and have a lot more energy than i did a month ago. and i love my baby. i love every tiny kick, and the sound of his or her tiny, fast-beating, strong heart through the doppler. i still really want a girl... but i am prepared for a boy, and supposed that if god can trust me to raise two crazy, wild boys, then i should be honored. i am excited about my second child coming into this world, and i can't wait to meet him or her. this is something i can write about now, because i am falling in love... finally.

this was taken two weeks ago. river's showing his baby bump too. :) 


  1. so awesome! congrats on falling in love!

  2. You'll be fine. The baby will be fine. It's ok. I DIDN'T bond with all my babies during pregnancy - in fact I used to find it odd when other women did. And then I wondered if I was the odd one. Oh well. You WILL bond. Once you go through that hard work (labor) to get him/her into this world....and caress that fuzzy little head (which will be so much notably smaller than the little head you're used to right now), and s/he nuzzles against your breast to fill his/her tiny tummy, and River kisses his/her little cheek....you will realize that everything is just right. You're not a "bad" mommy....you're just much, much busier this time around! :) I love you!

  3. BTW, the pic of you and River both showing your bellies....priceless! <3



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