When my first baby was just eight months old, I found out I was pregnant. Again. As soon as I saw those two little pink lines, I went from being eight months postpartum to six weeks pregnant.
Our babies would be 15 months apart–one year, three months, and 15 days to be exact. My first thought? Skinny jeans. My pre-pregnancy clothes were just starting to fit! I sighed deeply at the idea of digging out my maternity clothes. I was finally feeling like myself again–working out, spending more time with my husband, and getting into a routine with my daughter. After our new reality sunk in, we were both very excited to have another baby, even if it was sooner than we expected. My second thought? How to answer the awkward question, “Was this planned or a surprise?” As my daughter likes to say, “Uh-oh!”
I didn’t want to tell people I was pregnant…again.
Why did it feel so weird to tell people we were going to have another baby? Lots of people have babies close together, and I’ve never thought anything of it. But once those skinny jeans no longer fit, how would I respond to the, “Was it planned?” question. Honestly, “No.” But that didn’t sit right with me.
I didn’t want to answer that question.
It’s an innocent inquiry, I know. But it made me feel like I had to explain myself and justify the pregnancy. It didn’t offend me when people asked, just frustrated me. I didn’t know what to say. I wanted to say, “What difference does it make?” Instead, I tried a variety of responses ranging from, “No way! I don’t know what we’ve gotten ourselves into!” to “Oh, it’s a happy surprise!” And the sarcastic me wanted to say, “Yes! My husband is an excellent mathematician and we planned to have our children exactly 472 days apart.” Every answer I offered felt inauthentic.
So, how about this? Instead of asking if I planned to have another baby so soon, ask me if I’ve picked a theme for the nursery. (I love to decorate!) Instead of questioning my method of birth control, just give me a hug or high five. And hey, a simple, “Congrats!” is always welcomed.
Now I’m in the third trimester with my eye on the baby prize! I am excited and nervous. But my husband and I will figure it out just like we did with baby number one. No, this baby wasn’t planned. But that’s okay with me. And in the grand scheme of things the answer to that question doesn’t matter.
Originally published April 2017