My husband and I are expecting our second daughter and we couldn’t be more excited. I always dreamed of a large family, having grown up with two brothers. A sibling is something I’ve wanted for my daughter all along. My husband, an only child, also can’t wait for the liveliness of a house full of kids.
When we announced our first pregnancy, everyone was thrilled. Friends crawled out of the woodwork from every corner of our respective pasts to offer congratulations and follow our pregnancy journey. Our families were both over-the-moon, checking in almost daily to see how I was feeling and offer help along the way. Two baby showers were thrown and well-attended. When our daughter was born, people clamored to get to see her.
This time around, not so much. While I couldn’t care less about Facebook, I did notice that only about half as many people commented on our post announcing the pregnancy and even less congratulated us on the happy news that the baby is a second girl. My friends have all but forgotten about me, and those who do text, call, or want to get together rarely if ever mention my second pregnancy.
My sister-in-law, with whom I’ve always been super-close, was one of the first people to hear the news of the baby. Yet in the nearly six months since we told her, she has not reached out even once to ask how I’m feeling. Even my own parents, who love us like crazy, have seemed very distracted and disinterested in this baby. I rarely get a check-in on mine or the baby’s status, yet with my last pregnancy I was asked to send weekly bump photos and everyone wanted to know where I was and how I was at all times.
We decided to do a gender reveal party this time, and I was expecting joy all around no matter the sex of the baby. But sadly with our family and close friends gathered around, and the pink smoke bomb went off, there was an almost eerie silence. My husband and I already knew it was another girl, but in the photos we are the only ones looking surprised and excited. I’m tempted to wonder if the lack of interest in this pregnancy stems from it being another girl, but truthfully it started long before we announced the sex anyway. Now, it’s just gotten more difficult to ignore.
At 7-months-pregnant, I’m sporting a noticeable waddle and having trouble keeping up with our 2-year-old daughter. I grew faster with this pregnancy, and at this point my bump is in the way of a lot of the things I need to do, like picking up the house or getting our toddler in and out of the car. I’m exhausted, and the sciatica that plagued me in the final five or six weeks of my first pregnancy set in way sooner this time. I also had the dreaded morning sickness until just a few weeks ago.
But still, our friends and family expect me to drive all over the place for various events and obligations, and once I arrive there’s no mention of the baby or how I’m feeling. No one has asked after baby names or nursery decor, and even my best friend has all but forgotten I’m pregnant. When it came time to plan a little sprinkle, my husband and I decided to go ahead and do it ourselves.
While I’m not seeking gifts, I did create a small registry (mostly to get the discount myself when I purchase what we need for the baby). But of the 20 or so close friends we invited, only five plan to attend. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t hurt, mostly because I would think they’d at least want to just come and see me before I have a newborn and it’s tough for me to get out and about.
I can’t help but feeling bummed by the complete lack of interest in this pregnancy and baby, especially from those closest to us. I was a second-born child myself, and it feels unfair to my unborn daughter that no one around us seems to care much about her.
I get that the most important people to this child are my husband and myself, and all that really matters is that we are excited about her arrival. But I could use some love and support from those around me. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, but it sure isn’t easy.
It makes me really sad to feel like I have no support system this time around, especially when this pregnancy has been so much more difficult than my last. Also, our close friends and family know there was a time my husband and I were told we’d likely not be able to conceive at all. Shouldn’t they be excited for us?
I’m sure that my pregnancy hormones are compounding the feelings of sadness about the general lack of interest in baby girl #2, as my husband’s attitude is much more, “That’s their problem. Screw ’em.” I just wish I had the support and love around me that I give out. To be honest, it’s bumming me out and making it more difficult for me to enjoy the pregnancy, which sucks.
Whether it’s the first baby or tenth, I’m always excited for my friends to have babies. And I show up to every shower, sip-and-see, birthday party, and so on — gift in hand and smile on my face. It is my belief that every life is precious and should be celebrated and cherished. I just wish our loved ones felt the same way.