Friday, July 15, 2005

We're Having Another Baby

The first time the Mrs told me she was pregnant I literally jumped for joy.

She’d planned the surprise carefully. She handed me a book wrapped in Christmas paper, and told me it was an early Christmas present. I opened it up and saw a copy of The Expectant Father. It took a few seconds for the message to sink in, then I leapt off my chair, jumped in the air, span round 360 degrees and hollered.

The second time my response was much more muted. When the Mrs told me we were going to have another baby only fourteen months after our son was born, I was very happy and very surprised, but not ecstatic. I was worried about what this meant. Why didn't I feel the same rush of emotion I'd felt the first time round? Did it mean I didn't want to be a dad again?

I think now that my reaction was different because my life had already been changed so much. The prospect of creating a new life and bringing a baby into the world is so utterly incredible the first time; the second time it's something you know can happen. Also, you know this time round what it actually means to have a tiny baby: hard work, sleepless nights and all the rest.

I think I was also worried that I couldn’t possibly love a second child as much as Jack. He was such a gorgeous little baby boy, bright, independent, funny – he meant the world to me. How could there be room in my heart for another person? How could I love Jack as much with another child around? Later I discovered that my wife shared the same worry with me.

I'm not sure when we started loving baby number two. It was a gradual process and it happened almost without us noticing. As we'd decided that we'd only have two children, we began to realise that this was our last chance to experience some of the amazing things that happen in pregnancy: ultra sound scans, feeling the baby kicking and, of course, the birth.

By the time our daughter was about to be born, we were just as excited at the thought of seeing her as our first baby. The birth itself was an incredibly emotional experience and as soon as we saw Nancy we both fell in love with her.

Jack is two years old next month, Nancy will be eight months.

Last night I arrived home early and I could hear them laughing upstairs. They were in the bath together, both smiling up at me when I walked in. I hadn't seen them for a couple of days and seeing them again was just fantastic.

It seems as though there's no limit to how much love you can give or feel for your children. You can love your first baby with your whole heart, and your second with your whole heart too. They will both mean the world to you.


Anonymous Wood said...


Our first is due in October, and I'm taking notes from your fine blog (your sister's a regular contributor to my own blog, and she sent me here). I've linked you, anyway. Great blog.

5:58 pm  

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