When we found out we were pregnant with LP everyone was so excited. Family, friends, colleagues – even strangers in the street! Pregnancy makes everyone go a bit funny – happy, excited, emotional – new life, a new baby on the way!
During my pregnancy I was inundated with well wishes, everyone would call, text or email to find out how bump and I were getting along – any cravings, any sickness, any news at all. When I shared the pregnancy announcement on Facebook it was as though the world and his friend ‘liked’ the photo and when the 20 week scan photo went online too everyone was excited, all asking if everything was ok and if we’d found out the sex. So much interest!
When you’re pregnant the baby, and bump, are public property. Everyone touches your bump – whether they’ve asked to or not, and everyone wants to know every teenie detail of every stage of your pregnancy. When LP finally arrived so many people congratulated us, friends of friends, long lost family. Everyone sent their love, sent a card or present and contacted us to find out the nitty gritty of the birth story. LP’s birth was more public property than the pregnancy had been – especially as we’d had a home birth, everyone wanted to know about it.
The weeks after LP’s birth we had non stop visitors. Two, sometimes three lots every day. Everyone came to see us. Cousins, colleagues and people we hadn’t heard from in ages. Baby’s bring everyone out of the woodwork!
Roll forward to my second pregnancy. Throughout my pregnancy with Little Man there was a lot less interest. ‘Oh, you’re pregnant AGAIN’, half the time there wasn’t even a congratulations, it was as if it was old news purely because we already had a baby. It’s only exciting the first time around.
When Little Man arrived things were completely different. Hardly any visitors and a handful of New Baby cards. The well wishes and love were a lot less second time around – even the birth announcement on Facebook had a lot fewer ‘likes’ and comments on it!
There is definitely a ‘Second Baby Syndrome’, as I thought this was just us. But having spoken to friends I now realise this is normal. Everyone knits for the first baby, buys the first baby presents and comes to see the first baby. By the time you have a second – or subsequent babies, everyone presumes you have everything you could possibly need for the new baby and so they don’t knit and you get a lot less gifts. It’s true though, you have everything you could possibly need.
That shouldn’t stop people coming to visit a new baby, shouldn’t stop them sending a card or even a congratulations text message. Second babies are just as important as the first baby and second babies deserve to be welcomed into the world just as much as the first.
There shouldn’t be a Second Child Syndrome.