The Second Time

Hello in there, little one. By now you may or may not have figured out that I’m your mom. You know me. I’m the one that’s been sending down all the spicy food and middling renditions of the Hairspray soundtrack. If that doesn’t ring any bells, I’m the one who set you up that sweet-ass punching bag, though once you’re on the outside you have to call it a bladder like everyone else.

I really am glad you’re in there. I hope you can sense that. What I hope you can’t sense is the absolute pants-shitting terror I feel about your impending arrival.

It must be confessed that I didn’t feel this with your sister, or at least not in the same way. Most of my fears were nameless, shapeless things that lurked in the 4 AM shadows of my mind. With your first baby, you have no idea what you’re getting into. When they arrive, the shock of it is like being pushed into ice cold water. What I didn’t know was that postpartum depression would hold my head underneath. It still keeps me up at night how close I came to drowning.

I was not the mother that I wanted to be, that my baby deserved. I hope I can do better for you. But I have to remember what you are and what you are not. You are wanted, wished for, loved beyond measure, my very last baby arriving on your own terms with your own story to tell.

You are not a do-over or a second chance. I saw your precious face on that ultrasound and whatever name we decide fits you, I promise that Mulligan isn’t it.

Here’s what else I can promise you. Songs. Stories. Cuddles. The certainty that your rugby hooligan sister will probably put you in a headlock at some point. The equal certainty that she will do the same to anyone who tries to mess with you. A dad who will be the best example of a man that you will ever need. A mom who will do her level best to keep her head above water and give you the start in life that you deserve. Your diaper being put on the right way around at least 90% of the time. A family that loves you and can’t wait to meet you.

I’m up for it if you are, sweet baby. When you’re ready, I’ll be waiting. Ten weeks to go.


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