I Feel Like A Crap Mom – And My Baby Isn’t Even Here Yet

pregnant with toddlerMy second pregnancy is whizzing by. I’m almost eight months pregnant. This huge belly has appeared out of nowhere and I haven’t bought a single thing yet. Not one thing for the new baby.

I know you may be thinking, you have time – and you would be right. But it’s not just the fact that I have purchased absolutely nothing in preparation for the new little one about to come into my life. It’s the fact that this pregnancy has been so distinctly different than the first. 

What can I say? With the first pregnancy I was sort of a woman obsessed. We had been trying to get pregnant for so long that when it finally happened I was consumed with all things baby. I spent hours on the BabyCenter message boards, meticulously comparing my development with other pregnant women out there. I charted my baby’s development week-by-week. At any moment I could tell you what fruit my child most closely resembled and what his new in-utero milestones were. He has eyelashes now! And he’s sucking his thumb!

This time around – not so much. I realized this the other day when my visiting sister asked me, about how big is she now? I thought for a minute and honestly couldn’t believe I didn’t know. Um, I think she’s about as big as a honeydew. My sister looked at me, confused.

This question sent me into an introspective tailspin. How big is she? Why don’t I know this? I should check BabyCenter. Oh, she’s a butternut squash. Totally not a honeydew. I walked into the guest room of my other sister’s house, where my family is staying until we get settled in our new home state of Florida. Hanging from a tiny hanger on the closet was the most adorable little lime-green girly dress. It hit me that I hadn’t purchased even one of these cute little things since I became pregnant. Why am I ignoring my fetus?

I have to admit I was hit with a little pang of guilt. Was I already being a shitty mother – even before she was born? The Doppler that I bought to methodically check the heartbeat of my first born sits in storage somewhere – unused. We’re not having another baby shower, so so much for poring over registries for hours on end. Apart from the times when I feel her little kicks – I’m not really spending much time thinking about this little girl that is about to be born. That sounds awful. But seriously, compared to my first pregnancy – I’m damn near being neglectful.

You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
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    • Kathryn Eaton

      I’m in the same boat – I have a toddler and am due with my second in April. I noticed the same things that you talk about in this article – I haven’t been as busy on Baby Center, and I still haven’t purchased a stitch of clothing for her (my firstborn is a boy). This pregnancy has been vastly different from my first, which was completely easy and uneventful. This time I have been on bedrest for the last 14 weeks, and even still, I’m not as obsessed about the pregnancy. I don’t want to say it’s “been there, done that”, because that’s not it. I am not really sure why I’m not as fixated, except that I feel more relaxed about being pregnant because I know now that having the baby inside my belly is the easy part. I feel most of my trepidation about after she is born and I am trying to wrangle a baby AND a toddler. Yikes!

      • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Guerrilla Mom

        True. I’m terrified!

      • StephKay

        Mhmm, I’m I’m exactly the same boat. Due April 6th, been on bed rest (so unable to do nesting and baby shopping even if I wanted to) for 8 weeks, the toddler child is a girl and fetus child is a boy. I feel awful that A. I have to let my daughter go mommy-less while I’m on bed rest for my son and B. Being stuck in bed is the most I’ve really done for this baby, no Lamaze classes or shopping sprees and nursery painting. Nothing at all unrelated to the complications. Still, I too am WAY more concerned about the aftermath of the pregnancy than the pregnancy itself. Having two three and under does not sound like a vacation to me. In the meantime I just keep looking at my daughters newborn clothes and thinking “would it really be SO bad to just put him in dresses for a while?”

        PS: how excited are you to be this close to April? I still can’t wrap my mind around the idea that in seven days I’ll be 37 weeks and allowed to get out of bed. I don’t know what I’ll do with myself, bed rest has felt so permanent. I think I’m more excited to get out of bed than I am to have the baby himself! Congrats on making it 14 weeks, you’re a rockstar.

      • Kathryn Eaton

        I can’t believe April is almost here! I am so excited to get off bed rest, but I have a feeling it’ll be an uphill battle to keep up with the kiddos after being sedentary for so long.

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      Awwww. welcome to being a mom who has more than one kid. :) This is totally normal and trust me, when she arrives you will be utterly consumed by her so enjoy just having an only child while you can.

    • Kay

      Yeah, this is just normal! I’m pregnant with my 3rd, and already have a boy and girl, so I really don’t NEED anything – this baby will get a new ‘coming home’ outfit, but beyond that… I’m too busy for the message boards and constant daydreaming that came with the first. I don’t feel bad though! This baby will get tons of love and attention when it arrives – not just from me, but from some excited, adorable siblings!

    • http://www.facebook.com/houde.veronique Véronique Houde

      Even if every pregnancy is different, the second time around, you kind of know what you’re getting into. Like you said, you have a toddler to run after, a move to coordinate, a job, a husband. Your reaction is totally normal! I don’t think you’re turning into a robo-mom ;).

    • Blueathena623

      Give yourself a break :) maybe, just maybe, you subconsciously realize that babies actually don’t need a ton of stuff when they are first born.

      • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Guerrilla Mom

        So true. We gave almost all of my son’s newborn clothes away – unworn (before we knew we would be having another!)

    • AP

      I think you sound very down-to-earth and normal! The description of “normal” sounds kind of like an unhealthy obsession or even extreme anxiety.

    • lea

      Oh geez, now I’m worried. I don’t know how big my baby is or what his/her milestones are and this is my first! (I mean, sure, i read the week by week update I get to my phone, but then I forget it promptly). I haven’t bought a single thing for the baby, although it is early-ish days. Does that come later?

      • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Guerrilla Mom

        I think you actually deserve an award for not obsessing!

    • Edify

      I’m 6 months along (I think! I forget) and feel much the same. Between a toddler and a full time job, there isn’t much time to be all consumed by pregnancy. I think the fact you know what is going to happen both birthing and in the aftermath as life becomes normal helps. Yes, there is room for surprise in number two but you get the basic premise and you know you can actually manage to keep one alive. I just hope the excitement picks up before June.

    • Pam from Viva la Cottage

      Don’t feel so bad for not stalking your fetus. You probably don’t even have time to blow your nose. Your little girl know she’s loved cause she feels that connection to you. And welcome to Florida! Check out the College Park Farmers market when you can…and Dexters. Yum-e! :)