two uteri, two mamas pregnant, AGAIN, with baby number two

my damn imagination March 25, 2008

Filed under: ttc — charlotte @ 9:40 am

when i picture the birth of Waffle Recipe, there is a moment of giant happiness. of course it is immediately followed by a strange kind of sadness that the baby will not be put on my chest, will not be put on my skin. the slippery warm feeling of Smarty alive and perfect on my chest is one of those perfect experiences. a moment where i could almost believe in angels and a benevolent god. i want that again. and no, i cannot get into bed with S and have the baby put on both of us. there is no room in the bed of a laboring woman who has just pushed a giant baby out of her vagine (a word from Borat that S and i use ALL the time and nothing makes us laugh harder than saying that after the baby S’s “vagine hang like sleeve of wizard” oh lord).

of course i do not want to feel like all mixed up about the birth. yes, i had my turn at this, blah blah. but that makes it so much harder. when we did this the 1st time it was all either of us knew. this time i know what it feels like to have a slippery baby put on ME. i’m scared that this time it will be less special. that it will feel like her baby. i want to breastfeed. i want to be the one. i’m really scared that i will be partly sad when she is born, which feels selfish and wretched.

it is a bitter ugly feeling, and i had enough bitter ugly feelings while TTC.


10 Responses to “my damn imagination”

  1. amy Says:

    i have the same ambivolence about my partner carrying our 2nd. i had a c-section so i didn’t have the slippery baby, they actually wrapped her up and i got to watch my parnter snuggle with her which was nice but the 14 months of breast feeding was the biggest committment i feel i have ever made and can’t imagine not doing that again. i’m not interested in induced lactation so that’s not an option for me. the end result is really what it’s all about for me but sometimes i get stuck on some of the details which makes it hard.

    good luck to you, i’m sure when you have that little baby girl in your arms nothing else in the world will matter…

  2. i’m glad to read this post. i want to be there for my partner and anticipate her worries so we can find ways to make it special for her. so thanks for writing this.

  3. Chicory Says:

    you know I hear you from a similar but different perspective. I don’t know what it’s like to be the clothed mom at a vaginal birth, so I don’t know how it feels to be the one watching the slimy baby get put on my wife’s chest. I don’t know what it’s like to cut the cord. Are you planning on catching the baby? cutting the cord? In my imagination those are acts (that I never got to do and will never get to do) that are full of important perfection of their own. How did S feel at Smarty’s birth?

    I can say that you’ll be tired, but not as exhausted as S. You’ll be elated. Those adrenaline hormones will be surging. You’ll be totally and completely in love with your wife and your daughter. And there are things that the clothed mom gets to do that the recovering-from-labor mom doesn’t get to do. And those are a whole new kind of wonderfulness for you to explore.

    But it’s ok if images and flashes from Smarty’s birth interpose themselves on Waffle Recipe’s birth. It’s human to have mixed emotions. They won’t stay long. I promise. They’ll be washed away by the present moment and the sheer magnificence of your new family configuration.

    Later… with the bf… that’ll be something else. Are you sure you don’t want to induce just for snacks?

  4. vee Says:

    The bitter and ugly doesn’t just bugger off once pregnancy is achieved? Oh nuts. But you’ll deal – you have thus far. I suspect that “different” will be as it is – not better or worse, just different -amazing.

    And hey, don’t feel you have to be clothed just cos Chicory says so 😉 I’m sure they won’t mind! S might though.

  5. Co Says:

    I was going to mention some of what Chicory said.

    Lo caught our baby and it was such a sweet thing to know that the first arms that ever held our little Jo were hers. She is the one who plopped the slippery baby on my chest. Lo also cut the cord. She is also the one who made all the excited phone calls to friends and family to tell them. So, there are special things that you might want to consider doing this time around.

    But yeah, I can also see how it’s a little sad. I’m sure I’ll feel similarly conflicted in some ways when it’s my turn to be the non-bio mom as well.

  6. gypsygrrl Says:

    i dont have anything to add to what everyone has said so far ~ i just wanted to thank you for writing honestly about your feelings in this journey. even the bitter and the ugly. it helps those of us who will face things like this, and unlike this, down the line.

    just this week, there has been something unexpected in my future-ttc path, and its making me rethink my potential family configuration. its a lot rattling around in my brain…

    anyway ~ no need for me to spew that all here ~ thats what my blog is for – i just wanted to say THANKS!

  7. indigoscot Says:

    like co said, i think i’ll be a little sad when it’s dp’s turn to give birth. there are times now when i look at baby indigoscot and really want to be pregnant again but on the flip side i’m excited for her to be pregnant too and experience all that i did. we’ve already decided that if she has twins i’ll induce lactation but if it’s a singleton i won’t. i think that will bring on more sadness if i’m not breastfeeding baby #2. however, i will look forward to cutting the cord and making all the phone calls. hang in there, i think it’s only natural to have these feelings.

  8. jfkoll Says:

    Thank you for this post. It really got me thinking about how different it is for you ladies. I have always been actively enraged by the injustice of birth certificates, adoption papers and wills (that we hetro people get,) but this post gave me a glimpse of emotions I never imagined.
    I can tell you that it would make me very sad if I didn’t get to birth my babies, but it doesn’t pertain because my husband wouldn’t want to be pregnant.
    Sorry…I am just thinking out loud. Please know, that I know, that I have no idea of what I am talking about, but I come from a place of loving interest.

  9. dlvc Says:

    As usual, you say something raw and profound and get beautiful responses. Like Lo, I caught our daughter, announced that she was a she (we didn’t know), and placed her on my wife’s chest. I know people get very serious about the initial chest time for getting a good nursing start, we were too, but consider getting some skin to skin yourself early on. After all of the nurses/doctors cleared out, my wife suggested I hold our daughter on my chest. She was initially upset at being moved but then I began to sing to her, as I had for the entire pregnancy, and she immediately settled and snuggled in. I’m tearing up just thinking about it. I also wore the baby skin to skin a lot early on…i.e. if she wasn’t nursing…so maybe a a quarter of the time 😉 She responded well to wearing and it was nice to develop a non-nursing soothing trick. Re: inducing lacation as Chicory mentioned, I did not for a variety of reasons, but if my wife gave birth again, I likely would, again for a variety of reasons. I did comfort nurse minimally, from about 3 to 9 months, which is another option if full induction seems like too much work/frustration.

  10. Laura Says:

    I hope I don’t upset you by saying this. Although these sorts of feelings seem huge now and create an ache beyond words, it is likely your experience will be so incredibly special that you won’t have time to feel that you have missed out. For one thing, you will have all the emotions of birth – overwhelming elation, love, wonder, etc. without the distractions of pain/hormones/etc. Yet because you have done it once before, you can truly empathize with all of it. This experience will transcend that of a partner who has never given birth. You can draw upon all the memories of your son’s birth and build upon them to actually “feel” your daughter’s birth in a new way. You’ll notice and be able to memorize sights, sounds, and smells that you may not have been aware of the first time. Much of this will be intimately personal to you but you will also play a HUGE part in reconstructing and retelling your daughter’s birth story later. Your partner may not have been able to do this for your labor since so much was terra incognito for her. This will be a first again for you both.

    I echo the comments of others – Why does the women who has a c-section mourn her inability to have the initial chest-to-chest time? Who says this is the perfect birth experience? Where do these expectations come from? Every labor and birth is truly unique, even for the same woman. Why can’t we celebrate the differences rather than forcing birth “plan” ideals onto the upcoming event?

    Your role will be beyond special. Huge doesn’t even begin to describe it. It will make you believe in the light again. You will see and love your partner in a new way.

    As for breastfeeding – perhaps you could look into being a co-nursing partner? It might not work, and some people find the experience quite frustrating, but if it’s important to you and you are willing to keep an open mind, you can always give it a try. Good luck!

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