So much about the start of this second pregnancy has been different. Mostly it has been good different. I was less distrustful of the fact of the pregnancy, I was more prepared for what the first trimester would be like, I had some belly-friendly clothes already lined up.
But I wasn’t prepared for the guilt.
The first two weeks after I found out I was pregnant were really rough. Ezra was teething molars, and he was miserable. I blamed myself. As he whined and pushed while nursing, I thought he must be sensing some kind of drop-off in my milk supply. I cried, feeling like I had cheated him out of some of his allotted nursing time. It was still supposed to be his turn, and here I was, stealing his precious milk and somehow feeding it to his unborn competitor.
When, a few days later, he stopped yelling all the time because his teeth stopped moving around, I realized my milk supply was fine and that Ezra was planning to keep nursing for as long as I’d let him.
By then, I was on to feeling guilty about his birthday, worried that he would sense some subtle shift in attention away from his momentous milestone. Because I was so anxious about making his special day just about him, I resolved not to tell anyone about the pregnancy until much later.
As the weeks passed, I felt guilty about being so tired, for sometimes not wanting to nurse, for eating all his cottage cheese, for anything I could think of.
Yet, as I’ve gotten more used to the idea of this pregnancy, and as I’ve talked to more and more friends with kids close together in age, the guilt is beginning to ease a little, and I find myself more able to put things in perspective.
Is it possible that Ezra will be really confused and hurt and angry when he discovers a new baby in his house? Sure. Will he learn to love being a big brother? Yes indeed.