This Baby is Already Being Shafted

I’ve been told by many, many people that baby #2 suffers from not being baby #1. If this baby has a baby book at all, it will have less information in it than Cordy’s did. This baby will have less pictures taken, less attention, and less awe at each milestone reached. They say I will worry less about little bumps or illnesses, and won’t ever think a simple cold could really be bacterial meningitis in disguise.

I’m an only child, so I never got to see this firsthand. Growing up, it really was all about me. Not that my baby book was ever completed, though. My mom worked too much to have time to keep that thing up-to-date.

I’m finding this unintentional neglect to be true already for this baby. This pregnancy has taken up far less of my thoughts than Cordy’s did. I have no doubt that I will love this child just as much, and make sure this child is well cared for, but at times I even forget I’m pregnant. Forget I’m pregnant, for cryin’ out loud! When I was pregnant with Cordy, not a minute went by without my mind drifting to that little clump of cells growing into a person inside of me. I had baby on the brain back then, while now I sometimes have to stop myself and say, “Wait, no, I’m pregnant.” Were it not for the lower back pain, raging hormones, and nausea that is now thankfully easing up, I might forget entirely.

Things that are different so far this pregnancy:

  • With Cordy, I could tell you exactly how far along I was: “I’m 15 weeks, 6 days, although that’s using the standard pregnancy due date calculator. I’m actually 15 weeks, 4 days because I ovulated on day 16 instead of the standard day 14.” Now? I was asked how far along I was yesterday, and I had to stop and think for a few minutes because I wasn’t sure. Without a calendar to consult, I finally said, “Somewhere near the end of the first trimester.”
  • During my first pregnancy, prenatal vitamins were taken religiously. Missing one stupid pink horse pill sent me into a tizzy – oh, God, the baby will have some horrible neural tube defect because I missed this one dose of folic acid, and if this baby isn’t a genius by two I’ll know it’s because I screwed up and missed a vitamin! If that were to be the case, well, baby #2 is screwed then. Taking my prenatal has been a challenge this time. Forgetting I’m pregnant means that I forget to take the pill. I consider my track record of roughly every other day pretty impressive now.
  • And speaking of ingesting things, I’m already back to my caffeine habit. Sure, I’ve cut back, but eliminating soda from my diet just wasn’t going to happen this time. Without that little energy boost in the afternoon, I’d be useless. And eating lunchmeat doesn’t worry me, either, because the risk of listeria is so tiny. Hell, if I had some good soft cheese around, I’d probably eat that, too.
  • Remember the book, Your Pregnancy: Week by Week? Yeah, I read that thing every single week when pregnant with Cordy. I knew what new features she had each week, if she had fingers yet, and when she could open her eyes. All I know about this baby is that it is somewhere between the reptilian-blob-with-a-tail stage and the looks-like-a-mini-person stage. I haven’t cracked a single pregnancy book this time.
  • I did show all of you the first ultrasound picture a few weeks ago, but other than here and showing family at home, no one else has seen the blob’s first picture. I didn’t e-mail it out to all my friends and distant family, and I didn’t show everyone at work. (I’m sure they’re more than thankful for that.) Cordy’s ultrasound pictures were kept in my wallet, where I showed them to anyone who even asked about my pregnancy. This baby’s ultrasound pics are somewhere in our house. I’m not even sure where. (No worries, though, I get new, updated pictures on Monday.)

Poor baby #2. Loved, but not fussed over as much as the firstborn. Then again, maybe this one won’t be sitting in a psychologist’s office some day saying, “My mom just smothers me! And she has put every detail of my life on the internet for all to see!”

Who am I kidding? Of course I’ll blog about baby #2 just as much. Guess I’d better start adding a little more money to that therapy fund each month to cover both kids.

(Those of you who weren’t firstborns – did your parents take less baby pictures of you and never finish your baby books? I’m curious if this is a myth or not.)

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    1. Yes. Whereas my older sister had a considerable amount of pictures taken when she was younger, I had very few. Then again, my family is terrible at keeping pictures. Were it not for me, it’s possible that we’d have no pictures of me as a kid. (At 13, I took the initiative to gather all pictures of me and put it in an album).

      Looking at the album, I have a couple snaps of me as a baby, a couple snaps of me at age one, and then next thing you know? I’m 4. What happened to age 2 and 3? Who knows.

    2. Yay it’s open now. Ok, I am a first kid and my brothers are twins and two years younger than me. They don’t have baby books, but there are a kagillion pictures, which my mom made into scrapbooks last Christmas. I have a baby book which ended the day my mom found out she was having twins. I have two kids though and I promise you that you will love the second as much as the first one but it will be different because all kids are different. And you’ll take a ton of pictures, but most of the pictures will have both of them in it. But that’s okay. I didn’t do the baby book thing, but I have a scrapbook for each kid started already.

      I think the true thing is that we’ve been there, done that the second time around, so it’s not that you’re not fussing, but that you know what is going on and you know it’s all okay. So you are more relazed about it. Also, the second time around you are busier, cause you also have a toddler who wants your attention. Instead of weeks and days along, I told people months and then when the ones who were on their first kid asked for more info., I’d say, hell it’s the second one. As long as it’s healthy nothing else matters. And the truth is that the second time around we know that too be true.

      We kept the ultrasound pic, but my husband had written BOY!!!!! on it, cause he was so excited. Turns out the doc was wrong and it was a girl. So her pic in her scrapbook says BOY!!!!!

    3. I’m a first born, and a few years ago my mom had to discreetly unload a whole bunch of baby pictures she had on me because she felt guilty keeping them in the house when my brother barely had any.

    4. Yep. It sucks.

      No week by week photos of the belly growing…



    5. Definitely true that there are more pictures of the first–in both my families (one where I’m a second born; one where I’m the mother of two). In some ways, the second gets shafted, but in others, it’s easier for the second. Yeah, you’re not as intense about every little thing, but then again, you’re not as intense about every little thing. Know what I mean?

    6. I’m the 3rd and final child of the family. My baby book still sits unfinished. There are a lot of pictures of me during the first few days of my life, then it skips to when I’m at least a year old. My mom swears they have pictures of the time in between, but I have yet to see them. Needless to say, I think I’ve turned out fine. I understand that my mom was a busy woman and that she didn’t have time to mark down what day I got which teeth.

      Of course, I still give her hell about it, but I don’t really mean it.

      I don’t think #2 will mind, either. You will love him/her just as much as you do Cordy, so that’s all that matters! And I think it’s kind of a relief to not be so pregnancy obsessed. I hope it’s that way for me if I get pregnant again!

    7. I’m the oldest of two and there are more pictures of me than of my sister, but not by much. Once we were both in high school, she definitely had more snaps than I did.

      I just had baby #4. I haven’t even BOUGHT her a baby book.

      Now what did I do with the therapy fund information?

    8. Oh yes. I am the oldest of 3. My book is mostly complete. My brother’s (kid #2) has his name and birthdate in it, maybe a few other stats, and a lock of his hair (one perfect golden circle). My sister’s (kid #3): still in protective plastic wrap.

    9. You sound exactly like me when I was pregnant with P. Totally different experience and less of everything in terms of documentation. The upshot is that you actually enjoy your second one more and worry less :)

    10. I was the fifth. My mom told me almost tearfully a few months ago (I’m 45 and she’s 80) how sorry she was that she never filled out my baby book.

      I told her she was a terrible mother and that I never got the attention I deserved.

      Joking. I said “Ma!! You had FIVE kids!!”

    11. What’s my daughter’s name again?

    12. The whole picture thing was true for my parents. My youngest sister hardly has any of her. I am finding that with a digital camera the ineqality between the first born and second born is non exsistant. Harry is at a cute stage where he hams it up for the camera while Evan won’t sit still for a picture. Guess who gets more pictures taken of him? When you don’t have to worry about film you tent to take more pics in general.

    13. Ah….the second baby! Your post reminded me that I actually lost my twins’ first ultrasound (somewhere between my house and my part-time retail job). I never did find them.

      I am no. 3 of 5 children, and yes, the babybook doesn’t get finished (hell, I didn’t even know what a babybook was!) BUT the satisfaction your child will receive from having a big sister will totally make up for the lack of time you devoted to them in utero. Trust me on this one.

    14. Mommy off the Record says:

      I’ve heard that when people get pregnant for the second time they really don’t focus as much on their pregnancies as they did with the first baby. But it makes sense. I mean, with your first pregnancy everything is new so of course you would be more interested in reading up on it. And also, now with a toddler, it’s hard to focus as much on yourself. I know I will be the same way when I get pregnant again. But we still love our kids the same and that’s what counts!

    15. I think it’s inevitable. After all, when you were pregnant the first time it was all about you and this new life inside you – now you have a toddler running around who thinks EVERYTHING is all about her. How can something the size of a bean compete?

      Don’t sweat it though. With my first I wrote him a letter on the eve of his first birthday to be given to him at some future milestone. My second son is 2 1/2 and I still haven’t finished the one I started writing to him :)

      And if you have a third, be warned. My sister, who is the third and final baby in my family, doesn’t even have a baby book :)

    16. It’s not a myth….I’m the oldest of four children. My baby book is complete. I have several albums of baby pictures. My brother Nate has a half completed baby book and every picture of him has me in it.

      My sister Rachel’s baby book was started and her pictures have Nathan and me in them.

      My brother Frankie has no baby book, very few pictures (I’d say 15 tops) and he feels jipped! Because of this, my mom and I are putting together a scrapbook of his high school years to make up for it!

      I fear that if I have more children I’ll fall into the trap my mother did –no time– but I am a scrap-a-holic so hopefully I’ll break that tradition of not being as good on the documentation of my other children!

    17. this was so funny and honest – who the heck can blame you for not being hyper-aware of what’s up with #2 – you have a toddler to chase after for crying out loud!

      if it makes you feel any better, i am baby #2 (out of 4 – my parents were mental), and you are right – there are way less pictures of me, and almost none of me without big sis; i did not wear any clothes that my sister hadn’t until i bought them myself, and i almost never had my mom to myself. but, who cared? i didn’t – i didn’t know a world that didn’t include my sis, and trust me, i idolized her from minute one.

      i think having baby #2 around was infitely more of a concern over how baby #1 was feeling (i’m told that she was just fine – my ‘rents were just sure to always include her in the babe’s world) it’s the first that must deal with a change. baby #2 won’t know any different.

    18. I have 4 and it is sad but true. The last one hasnt even had a professional picture taken yet and he is 18ths. I feel bad, but the thing is it gets so hard to keep up with everything and the kids.

      I have although taken more pictures of him myself and tried to write things down more.

      UGHHH if only there was more time.

    19. So, you’re going to change your profile picture to include your second baby?

    20. I was baby number three of three. My baby book contains the following information:

      Date of birth
      Eye Colour (it says blue but my eyes are dark brown – I guess my parents weren’t expecting them to change?)
      Name of my first visitor.

      Seriously. That’s IT!!

      To be fair, my mom went back to work, and had two other children (including one just 22 months my senior). Now that I have a child who is rapidly meeting milestones without her baby book getting updated, I’ve forgiven my mom!

    21. My babybook is mostly finished. My brother, eight years younger, doesn’t even have one. HA! LOVE IT! WOO OLDER CHILD! GO ME!

      That said, due to Munchkin’s placement, I’m overly anal about documenting everything. I wonder if I’ll be the same way the next time we have a little one.

    22. Puhleeeze…. I’m the youngest. I never got the Sears Studio portraits that my older brothers did. I am the only girl, as well as being like an “accident” (my bros are 8 and 10 years older than me), but even that didn’t warrant anymore attention in terms of baby memorabilia. I think my mom was sick of all that by then.

      Your description of this pregnancy is EXACTLY how my second went last year – lunchmeat? not a problem. Caffeinated Iced Tea? Bring it on. Chocolate? Couldn’t get enough. And I also read the same prego book, too. It collected dust somewhere in the basement where is has yet to be found. And as far as organizing Andrew’s first year of life in pictures (which is what I did for CJ in a separate album), poor kid doesn’t have any equal representation. And now that he is on a bottle, I do a MAJOR NO-NO that I swore against ever doing with my first: I prop him in his highchair with the seat reclined when he wants a bottle around dinner time. He started holding the bottle himself around 6 months so I’ve been doing it ever since. I know, I know. Shoot me!

    23. My mother always talks about how my younger brother’s baby book is empty:)

    24. That is SO not a myth. I am the youngest of 4. My #3 sister and I do not even HAVE a baby book. Our oldest sister’s book never got finished, and our brother (#2)’s book just barely got started.

      As for the second baby getting the shaft – it’s really not all bad. I am finding that with #2 she is more laid back and I think part of it has to do with the fact that she *has* to be. Sometimes I lament that she doesn’t get as much holding, one-on-one play, etc. as #1 got, but I honestly think she’s going to be just fine. She loves what attention she does get, and most often amuses herself when we need her to.

    25. I am a firstborn. The difference is that in all my brother’s pictures I am also there.

      My kids were born two minutes apart, so I really don’t have a first and a second. Just two firsts or two seconds.

      Neither have a baby book. When you have two infants you just don’t have time for that garbage. I’ll get someone to print up my blog for them.

    26. I’m the third of three and yes, it’s true. I have a baby book but it’s blank. Ok, maybe it has my name, birth weight and birth date on the first page but that’s it. Seriously.

      But I got perks in other ways. My older sibs broke in the parents, so I got a much easier ride in my teens. Being the baby, and knowing this was the last time they’d see first smiles, first temper tantrums, etc. my parents may also have spoiled me a bit more. So it goes both ways.

    27. I’m so glad I’m not alone here – #2 really is different, isn’t it.

      My brother refused to do a baby book for his #1 because in his (faulty) memory, his own #2 baby book was not filled in at all. He’d rather do none, then risk alienating #2. Meanwhile…we checked his baby book recently and he’s wrong. There’s a ton in there. Issues? Hm….

    28. You know it’s funny. My brother always thought he was adopted because there weren’t as many pictures of him as there were of me….really there were quite a lot of pictures, he just seemed to think there wasn’t as many.
      I can’t wait for baby number two. I’ll probably be able to realte in no time!

    29. I run a website, Babes in Blogland, that lists ttc, expecting, and parenting bloggers to help us all find one another. I’ve added your site to the blogroll. If you need me to correct any information or if you would like for me to remove the link, please let me know.

      Thank you and congratulations.

    30. In my family it’s opposite – I am the oldest of 4, and when my parents had me they were fairly poor and couldn’t afford to take many pictures. I have a few, but my brothers have more pics, because they could afford film and developing. Also, there is a gap between my youngest 2 brothers and me, so I took pictures of them when I was given a camera, and they have those pics too.

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