I remember when we told everyone we were expecting our first child. It was spectacular. Everyone was so happy. And not just feigned happiness either, I’m talking zippety-doo-da, nitrous oxide overload happy. The plethora of reactions when you tell loved ones you’re pregnant for the first time include just some of the following:
THE SORORITY SCREAM: This (usually) happens when the expectant mother tells her female friends she’s pregnant for the first time. The result is an ungodly, shrieking, shrill sound that only women seem to be able to produce. They hold hands, hug and then jump up and down screaming like friggin’ banshees to the point where you need to block your ears for safety reasons. It is heart-warming, yet truly frightening all at the same time.
THE WATERWORKS: You’ve all seen this one. You tell someone you’re pregnant with your first kid and they immediately break down in tears of joy. The faucet gets turned on and there’s no stopping it. They cry, they hug you, they ask a few questions, they cry and then they hug you again. It’s actually very cute.
STUNNED SILENCE: This one is probably my favorite, if only because it elicits what I feel is the most genuine reaction of them all. You tell someone you’re pregnant and they’re so taken aback, they have absolutely no idea what to say or do. It takes a good 2-3 minutes for them to realize what it is you’re telling them, and still they have to ask you 3-4 times “Are you serious? Seriously??”
Whether they scream, jump up and down or give you 5,000 hugs, it’s always momentous and it’s clear that what’s happening is a big freaking deal.
But the second kid? Not so much.
Seriously, no one gives a shit that you’re pregnant for a second time. I mean sure they care and they’re happy for you. But they’re not thrilled. They’re not orgasmic with joy over your impending bundle of same. It’s more like “Nice, congratulations” or “Cool. Good for you guys.” But when you’re used to all the fanfare, it’s a marked departure from the first time.
And I guess that makes sense. It’s like a football team that surprised everyone and is just happy to be playing in the Super Bowl, compared to the squad of seasoned veterans who have won the big game in the past. Act like you’ve been there before.
And perhaps the funniest thing was my two co-workers getting drunk one night about a month ago (before we announced the news) and telling me how “fucking crazy” I was for even thinking about having another one. It’s OK Jake and Steph, I had similar thoughts myself.
Not to mention when you think about it, it’s more than a little creepy at how excited everyone gets for a pregnancy. Really. People are congratulating you and saying “Nice job buddy.” Essentially they’re giving me props for having functional sperm, and praising MJ for her ability to produce an egg that is capable of being fertilized. And they’re openly cheering us for having sex, which I think is a little personal. They might as well be saying “Yeah! Nice job on ejaculating inside of your wife and depositing your sperm in such fashion as they infiltrated her fertile egg.”
I’m getting off track.
I realized my biggest worry is that I’M not as excited as I was the first time around. I know what to expect this time. I’m a grizzled veteran. I’ve been through the OB/GYN appointments, the ultrasounds, the big belly, the mood swings and the actual birth itself. And yes, I know a monkey wrench can be thrown into the process and that no two pregnancies are ever the same. But that’s for the mom. Here in DadLand we have a slightly more hands-off role until the baby is born. And while I know this won’t hold true, I just can’t imagine loving anybody or anything as much as I do Will.
Parents of more than one, did you have similar feelings? And what was it like when the second one was born?