The differences between the first pregnancy and the second are astounding. First, it’s a totally different experience in that it is not as all- incompacing as the first time and also I feel sick almost constantly. But more than that are the reactions from people. Family seems barely aware of the new pregnancy most of the time. I feel like I can’t complain or milk it in any way. The first time, people are really excited but the second time people act like you’re in a dysfunctional relationship that you keep going back to over and over again and they’re sick of hearing about it because now you’re just asking for the drama and what the hell did you expect to happen? Maybe that’s my hormones talking.
But the biggest difference is from friends and acquaintences. Sometimes I get a ‘congrats’ on its own but I almost always hear some kind of judgement or questioning of my mental health. To be fair, a cursory glance at my family’s mental health history warrants the questions but somehow I don’t think that’s what everyone’s getting at. I understand when people who don’t have kids think I’m “crazy!” or “insane!” or “completely insane!”’ or “crazy insane!” for having another so soon but I can’t believe how many people with kids say it? Are their kids terrorists? Are they in a dysfunctional relationship? I mean, is it so crazy to have kids 18 months apart? Or is it crazy to wait so long that you’re starting all over again, forgetting the things you managed to do right, and having babies and toddlers for years and years, stretched out so you never feel like you’re out of that phase??
You know what is crazy? Two summers in a row without one mojito.
“I don’t know why you let me go to University. It’s like taking me to the top of the mountain and showing me the world, and then marching me back down, and saying, “That’s what you can’t have Benny, you silly great fat article. Here’s what you can have: Knockglen for the rest of your life and married to Sean bloody Walsh!” I’d rather be married to a bloody lizard!”—
Bernadette ‘Benny’ Hogan, “Circle Of Friends”, 1995
In the desperate race for winning my love my only ex-utero child is slipping behind. Sad to say. She had been sleeping in until 8 or later for the last couple weeks but yesterday and today she was up at 6. Shame on me. Shame on me for trusting a good pattern to last. Have I learned nothing in the last 11 months?! Anyway, as I lay awake in my bed, bitterly disappointed that Spawn was yelling my name, I was reminded of this scene from Cirle Of Friends.I hear you, Benny. I feel your pain.
As I held my sleeping child and stared into her beautiful visage I thought: I wonder what she’d look like with a coat of mascara? And then it hit me: baby portraits! A little rouge, a little lip stick and some pearls? Why stop there? A little shiner and baby sized baseball glove? A bloody medical coat and a mini stethescope? Some five o’clock shadow and pint size brief case??!! You get the picture. I think this could really go somewhere. Drunken Sailor? Starbucks Barrista? Bearded Lady? Who wouldn’t want this for posterity? And who wouldn’t want to look back at themselves at ten months, posing as a secretary drunk at her Christmas staff party? My daughter will thank me.