A Toddler View

The new adventures with this pregnancy are those that really just failed to occur to me before this point. The nausea is the same, the sleepiness is the same, etc….but what is different is I have a new little partner-in-crime (P.I.C. because we’re gansta…..okay I am the furthest thing from gansta that there is).

I never thought about what a second pregnancy would be like with a toddler. You just think of these isolated pregnancies like pristine little deserted islands in the middle of the ocean. But they aren’t isolated…they are a continuation. And you have to see them differently, otherwise you might worry your second baby is missing out on what the first one got – you’re undivided attention.

I remember laying on the couch for hours on end rubbing my belly and just imagining what life would become. This time life is happening, there is not time to lay and wonder. I was so eager to document every single little feeling, thought, change, etc. This time I am like ‘oh hey, eventually I should think about taking a weekly belly pic’. I am trying not to hold myself to too high a standard. I knew baby v 2.0 would be a different experience. So let’s embrace what is happening and celebrate it, rather than worry about what I am not doing this time, etc.

Anyway, as so many things in parenting go, I am winging the whole “toddler involvement” thing. Our first midwife appointment was just over a week ago. Even when I dropped Jack at daycare that morning, I had not decided if I should go pick him up before the appointment or wait until after the appointment….I just wasn’t sure. The appointment was during his normal daycare naptime, so there was a risk of keeping him up and causing an epic, appointment-disrupting, meltdown….but then I wanted him to be there too….to see what was happening. To get used to the idea of people talking about his brother/sister and engaging him in the process.

As a compromise, I decided it was worth the tantrum risk and had Andy go pick Jack up shortly after the midwife arrived. This gave us a few minutes to catch up and look at cycle dates and histories (I sincerely feel bad for my midwife, I couldn’t just be an easy patient who had consistent cycle lengths the last 2 or more cycles….oh well, it’s like olden times up in this bitch), but then Jack came home and was able to observe her taking my blood pressure and my pulse and listen for the heartbeat.

He was super shy. He stood across the living room and just watched with big doe eyes. I tried to get him to come over and sit on my lap, but he just wasn’t sure about what was going on.

Karen hasn’t seen him since he was just over a year. So of course he wasn’t going to respond to “Jack this is the lady who delivered you” and like run into her arms or anything. But I was happy with how he dealt with it over all. He never did want to come closer, but when she found the heartbeat (Man, was that a beautiful tiny sound) and we said “Jack do you hear the baby’s heartbeat?”, he nodded and pointed and said “baby’s heartbeat”.

After about 20 minutes he settled in and started showing Karen his personality. Giggling and dancing and showing off for her. Still keeping a good distance away, but warming up for sure. I thought it was a huge success and it warmed my heart to have him there.

A week later I scheduled a 12w ultrasound, and again, I wasn’t sure what I should do. Andy had a crazy work week, just insane really, and I decided it was more important he get some good rest than come with me to the u/s. But then going alone?….that just didn’t feel right….but then could I take Jack on my own?

Obviously I knew he wouldn’t remember it, but just growing up knowing he was there would be cool. The risks of course were that I was going to be laying on a table occupied: would he sit still? Would he be scared of what was happening?

Again I didn’t make the call until the day of, as I was driving home I figured ‘what the hell, if I don’t take him I will wonder if I should have’. So I picked him up and off we went. You already know the nap/poo story from before the appointment. And of course when we arrived at the office, he was still asleep. So I had to wake him up. Which resulted in some sadness.

But once he woke up more, we went inside and SCORE, on the reception desk was a giant basket of dumdums. He was sold. After 3 suckers, the doctor came out to get us. He was a very sweet old man and tried to talk to Jack. Jack was having none of it. He was shying back and getting fussy. We assured him that we were there to take a look at mommy’s tummy and not do anything to him. We went back to the exam room and he was still very clingy and worried. I set him in a chair next to the table and kept reassuring him that it was okay and we were just going to take a look at mommy’s tummy.

photo 1

The fast moving object is a sucker.

 The first 10 minutes we couldn’t get him to look at the screen to see the baby. He was just quietly sitting in the chair staring at me and then the doctor and then me, but not looking at the screen at all.

The baby was facing downward (and moving up a storm!), so we couldn’t see the nasal bone. The doctor had me get up and go to the bathroom to see if maybe that would flip him/her over. So I took Jack to the bathroom with me and he started to warm up to the office. He wanted to wash his hands and throw the paper towels away, etc.

When we got back into the office I said ‘okay we’re going to find the baby’s nose’. And from that point on he would babble, but always come back to “going to find the baby’s nose?”. It was really cute. We turned his chair a little more so he could better see the screen and this time he was much more engaged. He sat and stared and then pointed and said ‘baby’s nose’. It really was so cute.

After we found the nasal bone he was so excited ‘baby’s nose’…’saw baby’s nose’. My heart swelled to the size of Jupiter and I was so happy that I had brought him. As we sat and waited he kept tell me all the things we saw: baby’s legs, baby’s hands, baby’s nose, etc.

photo 3Here he is showing you where a nose can be found, in case you were confused.

I am so glad I brought him with me. I am definitely digging this whole involving the toddler business though. Which makes me wonder more about the birth. When I thought about it previously, it made sense that Jack should go stay at grandma and grandpa’s while I labored. I am not so much worried about him being scared or anything, but rather just that I will want to focus inward and not want to feel bad about ignoring him.

Pickles’ mom, the old hippie who birthed both her boys at home, told me that during her second birth her oldest was being so sweet and loving and petting her arm. But she was in a place where she didn’t want anyone touching her so she ended up, through gritted teeth, telling her husband to “please get him away from me”. I don’t want that to happen obviously. So it made more sense to not have him home during the birth…but now…I don’t know. Now I am undecided. Huh, well a decision for another day.

photo 2

Nerdy selfie!


4 thoughts on “A Toddler View

  1. Not that you care….but here is my very different experience with all that…. I took Scott with me to every single appointment. Granted, he was a little bit younger and didn’t REALLY have a clue what was going on. He didn’t know what a baby was, much less where his nose might be (he learned that stuff very quickly after, when he had a model to examine! ha! But back to the appointments…..he came to them all. Except for maybe two, when we’d first moved here, when P was still on leave. We’ve (so far) never done daycare, so that wasn’t an option for me. If it were, I’d have used it. At first he was fine. I always kept him strapped in the stroller because he loves to explore and get into cabinets and all that. Toward the end of my pregnancy, he was PETRIFIED of the doppler the OB used to find the heartbeat. He was scared of the sound. The first time he looked at me with big scared eyes, held my hand, whimpered, and huge alligator tears came down his cheeks. The second time he hollered. After that my mom was with me at appointments so she was able to comfort him. I’d decided before, but that just sealed the deal for me that under NO circumstances would he be in the delivery room. I didn’t want him to be scared. I didn’t want him to worry I was hurting. I didn’t want to worry about him when I obviously had other things going on. Annnndddd…..I knew that as our second, Jack (my Jack, not yours! haha!) would be sharing almost EVERY moment of his life with his big brother….I wanted him to have SOMETHING that was one-on-one when I could concentrate ONLY on him. So….there’s my two cents….for what it’s worth. I DO think it’s super sweet that Jack (yours this time) is getting involved and comprehending what is going on. I bet he’s getting excited! 🙂

    • hahah. Yeah I totally get that it is VERY dependant on age. He is definitely to the point now where he knows what a baby is. Today on the way to daycare he was like ‘hey mom’ – ‘what buddy?’ – ‘I need a baby right now’. Bahhaa don’t ask me where that came from.

      I think I will talk to Andy more about it. I sort of agree with you that it would be nice to have those moments alone with the new baby, but then I also hear stories from friends who saw their siblings born and they speak so fondly of it…..although I do think he will be too young to really remember.

      I don’t know. Mostly I was just surprised that I even started considering it! Because a month ago the answer was most definitely no.

  2. Awww, lovely post! I love that he got to share in the experience. Bun Bun came to Bunlet’s anatomy scan, and I was very happy to have her there, though I can’t say it has led to perfect sibling harmony…

  3. This is so weird, I feel all experienced now where as last go round I was just getting started. Any who’s…I have been to several births where the sibling decision was made as they went. So, good news, you don’t have to make a decision until that day. What I would still suggest is someone comfortable to Jack that can be in charge of entertaining and taking care of just him. I’ve been to some where siblings were in the house just not in the room, one with siblings right there, and some with siblings taken elsewhere. If you leave it open to “we’ll see how it goes” that’s fine, if any of you get uncomfortable, even the slightest inclination, he can just go have a fun day and come back to meet his new brother or sister. To be honest, at his age it’s probably going to be more of a him checking on you every once in a while, then looking at the cool stuff the midwife brought, then going to play with his toys, and so on. That’s fine, there’s no pressure to have the perfect plan ahead of time. At one birth, my main job became manning the baby gate so that big brother could come upstairs and check, but not go in the room with Mom (because that’s what she felt she needed). So excited for Jack and for you and for Andy, such a great adventure!

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