Please welcome our favorite guest blogger, AVM, who will be filling in for Duff during her maternity leave.  Thanks, AVM!

I remember my first pregnancy well.  As my husband and I basked in the glow of the anticipation of parenthood, we would relax each night, rub my belly, feel the little kicks, discuss potential names for our little one, and envision the three of us walking hand-in-hand at the zoo, the beach, the carnival.  I routinely took my little one’s ultrasound photos and placed them into the baby book I carefully chose.  I wrote down when I felt the first kick, my first baby dream, all the love we felt already.  It was a blissful time (amidst the aches and pains and swelling I suffered through), the kind of warmth that can only be felt by parents-to-be who have never been up all night with a fussy baby, who have never had sweet potato puree thrown at them, and who have never heard their daughter scream, “NO!!” one hundred and twenty-six thousand times in a row at the top of her lungs. 


Fast forward three years. Pregnant again, and I’m really not feeling the glow.  Those aches, pains, and swelling seem magnified tenfold.  My husband and I don’t sit around wistfully imagining what life will be like when this little one arrives.  If we’re sitting around at all, it’s because we’ve collapsed, exhausted.  I have no baby book for this baby.  No documentation of first kicks.  The ultrasound pictures are shoved into my day-planner at work.  What can I tell you?  We’re tired.  Our daughter has taken the romance out of the situation.  We adore her – she’s a great kid – sweet and smart, a natural leader.  Still, we’re petrified to add another person to the mix, and it’s showing.  I fear this new kid is getting the shaft already, and I don’t know how to turn things around.  It doesn’t help that the fanfare by people surrounding the impending birth of a second child wanes exponentially (and I imagine it decreases accordingly with third and fourth children).  No one’s expecting a parade, but everyone just seems less jazzed about the whole thing this time around.  Perhaps they’re taking cues from me?  Perhaps. 


And yet, I have my moments.  A few stolen minutes in the car by myself when I feel the thump, thump, thump below my hand resting on my belly.  I say, “I haven’t forgotten you little one.  I can’t wait to see your sweet face.” That’s our time.  The guilt washes over me.  Is this normal?  Am I just too busy chasing a two and a half year old around that there’s just no time to enjoy this pregnancy?  Do all moms feel this way?  I don’t have the answers, but I believe – I have to believe – that when I see this new baby’s face I will refocus.  All the moms I know who have two or more children promise me that there’s enough love to go around.  I’m holding you to it, ladies.  Ok, time to get in the game.  Off to buy a baby book.