About a month after Sarah and I moved into the city of Chicago we experienced an unexpected life change. Sarah got pregnant again.
This was not planned. This was not anticipated (although I had suspected it for a couple weeks before Sarah officially found out). And now I have spent the last 7 months trying to wrap my head around the reality that we are going to have another baby. Our days of being able to sleep through the night are coming quickly to a close. We have been very blessed by the fact that our first son, Micah, almost always sleeps 12 hours straight without waking up at night. We constantly try to remind ourselves how much of a blessing this is and we try not to take it for granted.
When we found out it was almost humorous. We had given so much of Micah’s old clothes away because we were sure we were not going to have another baby for quite a while. When we moved into our neighborhood we noticed that nearly every woman was pushing a double stroller, or if it happened to be a single stroller she was pushing it while being very pregnant. Because of this, I told Sarah that her pregnancy must have been due to something that is in the water where we live.
We’re having another boy, which in many respects is a great thing. For one, Micah will have a brother very close to him in age, only 18 months apart. Hopefully, they’ll become great friends. Two, we’ll be able to use a lot of Micah’s old clothes and things for the new baby. Three, we know what a boy is like already, so at least we’re working from something familiar.
But there are major differences between prepping for your first child and prepping for your second child. With Sarah’s first pregnancy everyone was so incredibly excited for us. Sarah had multiple baby showers. Everything we needed for Micah was given to us by friends, relatives, and our church family. Even the expensive items, like Micah’s bed, carseat, and stroller. We had so many baby outfits, we barely ever had to do laundry for the kid.
Child number two — not the same story. Instead of statements of congratulations, Sarah has received comments like, “You’re pregnant, again?” We’ve received gifts for this baby from only one person. (Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t EXPECT people to get us gifts for the second baby, it’s just interesting to note how everyone seems to treat it so differently that the first pregnancy).
But before I am too critical of other people, I probably should point the finger back at ourselves. My wife’s and my feelings and reactions have been so mixed with this pregnancy. Of course, a part of us is so incredibly grateful that we are healthy and have the ability to create healthy babies. It’s an amazing miracle. It really is. And knowing so many people who have stories where they either struggle to get pregnant or suffer through miscarriages, we realize the blessing it is to be able to have children like we are. So we are thankful. At the same time, this is terrifying. It’s hard enough keeping up with the one kid that we have. He’s a non-stop ball of energy. What’s that going to look like when we have the responsibility of taking care of another baby at the same time? At the same time my wife and I wonder how we can even afford a second child. My wife is a nurse, and I am a stay-at-home dad. I barely bring in any kind of income. I recently started a web design company with a friend, but that is very minimally financially beneficial at the moment. Here in the States, maternity leave is kind of a bad situation. We’ve set it up so that she will get 50% of her paycheck for a total of six weeks. That’s just not going to cut it. When we moved into the city we took an apartment that was more expensive than we had planned with the thought that we wouldn’t have any major additional expenses coming up. Then we found out about the pregnancy. So now I have to be on the lookout for a job that can bring me some kind of money flow.
So here we are now, about a month and a half away from child number two (if everything goes as planned). Time to enter into our new stage of life: Seaman family, party of four.