Love Multiplied?

As the countdown to Baby Meuz Deux begins, many people have asked me if I’m, ‘so ready to be done being pregnant?’ or if I ‘can’t wait to have this baby?’ And my answer is no, with a little bit of yes mixed in. I am truly eager to meet and get to know this new little being. And the truth is, I don’t love being pregnant, but this pregnancy has been physically easier than the first. I attribute that to a better diet and consistent, frequent exercise throughout the pregnancy. Emotionally, well, that’s a different story as I’ve been a bit of an emotional train wreck this time around. Am I looking forward to saying a big adios to the hormones coursing through my veins? Absolutely. Am I looking forward to bidding adieu to the pillow fortress? You betcha. And so is my husband. Am I looking forward to being able to climb into bed without sounding like I just ran a 100 yard sprint, to wearing pants without a stretchy waistband, to running faster than an 80 yr old, to losing the heater attached to my frontside, to drinking wine and eating sushi again? To all of these things I say a whole-hearted yes, amen, please and thank you.

But all of these discomforts or disadvantages of pregnancy are far outweighed by two aspects of post-pregnancy that concern me, for lack of a better phrase. I have been thoroughly enjoying my days with Ben. He is at such a cute stage, toddling all over the place and babbling away in Benjamin-ese, a language that only he and God seem to understand. He’s so curious and fascinated with books, music, art, and anything that Mommy and Daddy are eating, drinking, or using. I have to confess, yesterday he got his first taste of brownie mix w/ a little water stirred in (mama’s guilty go-to when she needs a chocolate fix). I shudder to think of it, but he saw me eating it and started pointing and whining (the whining is not my favorite part of this stage). I caved. I fed my son a spoonful of brownie mix (don’t worry, no raw eggs in it). What was that I was saying about a better diet this time around? Hey, a pregnant woman needs her occasional chocolate! All that to say, we have so much fun everyday. I love watching him discover and master new skills and his curiosity breathes life into my soul.
This not to mention that I love the daily routines we’ve established, routines that I know will quickly fly out the window in approximately 6 weeks. And as you may know, this right-brained, big ole ‘P’ on the Myers-Briggs, isn’t a routine person. That’s not to say that I don’t like routines because I kind of do, I’m just not very good at implementing them. So, the fact that we’ve got some good routines going on, not only means that my son gets his teeth brushed most days, but I feel a little more calm and my brain, a little less crazy. So, you can see why I might feel a bit apprehensive about letting go of those heartily fought for routines.
But the biggest reason why I feel uncertain, nervous, anxious, or whatever you want to call it that I’m feeling about adding #2 to the mix, is because it means I will have two children…two children to love, that is. I’m not as concerned about the work of two children as much as I am about what it will look like to divide my focus, my energy, and my love between two children. Will each kid only get half? Or will it somehow, in a way unbeknownst to me, multiply? I love Ben more than I knew it was possible to love anyone who wasn’t my husband. And I wonder, quite honestly, will I love this baby as much as I love Ben? I want to. But for the last 2 years since we conceived Ben, it’s been all about him. All my kid-directed energy has gone towards him, towards learning about him, getting to know him, and learning the ropes of motherhood with him in mind. And suddenly, there will be this new little person, also of my flesh and blood, but currently a complete unknown, who will clamor for my love and attention. I can’t fathom loving a child as much as l love Ben. Yet I hope and pray that love truly does multiply, that it’s just as natural of a process to love this baby as it was when the love just seemed to well up inside of me and overflow onto Ben. Ben has been, for the most part, such an easy and laid back baby. What if this one is a little terror? I know that sounds awful to say, but I really fear feeling an internal preference towards one child over the other. I pray for eyes to see this new baby for who HE is, all the tiny nuances that make him different from Ben, and that love multiplies in such a way that I am able to love him as much as I love Ben.
All my second and third-time mom friends assure me that this will happen. And I know full-well that just because I can’t imagine how something will work doesn’t mean that it won’t. But this is my process, albeit a bit wandery. And this is my honest answer to the questions I am asked nearly every day, ‘are you so ready for baby #2 to be here?’ No, in the sense that I’m trying to cherish every last moment I have with just Ben, our family of 3, and our sweet little routines that I’ve come to enjoy. But yes, in the sense that deep down, I know that this new little Meuzie is a unique, God-made little boy, who will fill me with wonder and evoke more crazy love in me than I knew was possible. And when I think of it that way, I can’t wait to meet him.