Like most women I found having a second child less overwhelming then a first. I had been there. I knew what to do and what not to do with regards to morning sickness, heartburn and I knew what to do when the time came to fi-nal-ly give birth.
While I was rather afraid and nervous when I went into labour with n°1, with n°2 I was just goddamn thrilled because I knew that it would be over soon. The fact that n°2 was four days late and there was a heat wave, with temperatures skyrocketing into the 35C° – 40C° / 95F° – 104F° scale had something to do with it.
Imagine : you are four days overdue, you have gained 20kg/ pounds, you have a very active 16 month year old running around, who will insist on cuddling and being carried EVERYWHERE and ALL THE M**********NG TIME. In 35C° / 95F° heat! You have been taking ice baths every day for the last two weeks just to minimize the swelling of your legs and feet. Yes, I’m talking actual baths of cold water filled with ice cubes. I tell you when those first ‘feels like I have to make a poop the size of a small baby elephant but oh no wait this is labour’ pains started I was ecstatic. Finally no more pregnant. I was done with pregnant. Two years, two babies. No.More.Pregnant.
I won’t bother you with details concerning the birth. It was quick (6 hours yeah!!!), relatively pain free (epidural, blessed blessed epidural) and not too bloody (good, since my husband can’t stand the sight of blood and nearly fainted when our first was born).
She was an easy baby. Ate well, slept through the night at a mere three months and smiled often. I was more relaxed about her. I knew that she wouldn’t die from diaper rash, that she would survive if I didn’t bathe her every day and that her life would most definitely not be ruined if she missed her nap. Also because that child possessed the uncanny ability to fall asleep e-ve-ry-whe-re.
Like most second children she was sometimes overshadowed by her elder sister. But she gladly played her part in the comedy/drama that is our crazy family life, a happy little shadow of n°1 as soon as she could walk and talk. Seriously, her firsts words? “Me too”. N°1 wanted to ride her bike down the street? “Me Too!” N°1 got an ice cream “Me Too!” N°1 wore a dress? “Me too!”….
Her firsts were not any less monumental because she was my second. First steps, firsts words, firsts tooth,.. they don’t lose their appeal because you already lived through them.
And I don’t think I will ever get used to that “first”-feeling. The little flutter of pride, the unexpected tears that well up, the internal “damnit-get-it-toghether-woman”mutterings.
First are marvellous. But they also make me sad. Especially n°2’s firsts. Why? Because her firsts will also be my lasts.
We do not plan on having any more kids. So she is doomed to be me my baby forever, the youngest of the terrible twosome. But this also means her every first is my last. The day she took her first steps was the last time I saw a child of mine take her first steps, the first time she said “mama” was the last time my heart would skip a beat because “holy**** my kid just called me mama for the first time!”.
And today was another such one. The first time I dropped two girls at school. The last time I got the experience that strange “first day of school rush”.
It feels right, it is right. But really….
Where did the time go?