Baby daddy: take two

I was scared of comparisons

This second time around.

A second baby,

With a second father,

A second husband.

A man who’s done it all before.

I would ask him questions

About the pregnancies and

Births of his two first kids.

A lot of it he said he didn’t remember.

But some things he’d describe:

He was a long-haired 21-year-old

Making big decisions,

Trying to do the right thing.

He said after his daughter was born—

The only Packers game he’d missed

Since he started watching football—

He came out in the waiting room

Where his parents were,

Tried to tell them it was a girl,

Started sobbing.

This time around,

Three months pregnant,

Touring the L&D ward at Regions Hospital

Joe started telling me about

How nice

The hospital was where his

Kids were born:

Wood floors,

Homey furniture,

Decent food.

Comfortable pillows.

Tears gathered in my eyes and

I snapped at him:

“That hospital isn’t covered by our insurance.”

He looked at me in surprise.

“You keep comparing.

I’m scared of you comparing,”

I said.

“But I’m not comparing,”

He said, mystified.

“It just feels like you are,”

I said, crying a little,

I’m sure not the first

Expectant mom to

Cry during the tour of the

L&D ward.

“Okay, I’m sorry,”

He said,

Ginger with me.

I wasn’t an emotional wreck during pregnancy,

But there were a couple topics that got me flared up,

And “comparison” was one of them.

This was a man whose

First wife heroically gave birth

Twice

With no pain killers.

With my first son,

I had asked for every pain killer they had:

Gas,

Local topical anesthetic,

Epidural.

I wanted to try for

“Natural”

This time around,

But what if I couldn’t make it without

Pain killers,

And Joe would compare

This birth

To his older kids’ births,

And I would fall short?

As it turned out,

I did have Rocky with no pain killers

In a steadily progressing,

Eight-hour labor with

Twenty minutes of pushing.

(It’s funny to think of me

Worrying that I would be

Concerned with comparisons

During labor and delivery;

I had forgotten how completely

Consuming

The process of giving birth is.)

I didn’t dream

As a little girl

Of having

Two

Baby’s daddies

And a husband with

Private memories of the

Births of his first children

That I’m not a part of.

But now that Rocky’s born

The comparisons aren’t as scary.

The story’s been amended.

The tension of pregnancy

Released.

Life is good.

Life is peaceful.

Our family has taken its shape:

Yours,

Mine and

Ours.

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