Baby No. 2 means new world of unknowns

Published 8:44 am Saturday, March 7, 2015

All my bags are packed, and I’m ready to go.

Except all of the bags I need aren’t completely packed, and I feel like I could use a little more time to get everything totally ready before I actually leave.

With our second daughter due any day now — actually March 15, but that seems too far away, so I say “any day now” — preparations for her arrival are in full force whether everyone involved is completely ready or not.

From organizing and decorating our house to prepping mentally for the care of an additional human being, I feel as though my husband Frank and I have spent some time nearly every day since my first doctor’s appointment July 16 thinking and talking about transitioning from having one child to having two.

Frank is a little — I’m being generous with magnitude here — nervous about having to utilize a one-on-one defensive strategy as parents, as up to now we’ve been able to double team and manage — as much as you can possibly “manage” — our first daughter Olivia.

I’m not saying I’m completely confident about the changes and transitions to come, but at least when they do arrive, it’ll mean I’m not pregnant anymore. And so to me, that’ll be a relief and worth any upcoming struggles.

Whatever the outlook, it’s about to be a different routine and effort around our house, and we’re doing what we can to prepare 2-year-old Olivia for the arrival of her little sister Charlie Marie.

Olivia seems excited about the notion of having “a little bitty baby”, as she says, but we’ll have to see how much of that excitement lasts when someone else is occupying her parents’ time. Luckily, at least I think, she is obsessed with all things “baby,” asks about Charlie all the time and proclaims Charlie’s nursery “so, so cute” at least five times a day (before swiping one of her sister’s diapers out of the diaper holder and proceeding to give Elsa or Ariel or whatever other doll in her room a change.)

Frank and I are each the oldest of five children, so you would think we would have a mental grasp on family dynamics that inclue families with more than one child. However, several of our conversations as of late have centered on trying to wrap our minds around how our new parenting game plan will work and hoping Charlie is as cute as we think Olivia is. Deep, I know.

Other concerns have also come up. When we found out baby No. 2 was going to be a girl, one of Frank’s first comments were, “how am I going to pay for two weddings?”

With umpteen years of schooling and various bills ahead, in addition to dressing two girls, I’m not sure wedding payments are what he should be focused on. However, I let the man have his moment and in the moments since we’ve settled into the idea that our money — just like our lives — are no longer our own.

Taking some time off for maternity leave will be nice, but I will miss telling the stories of the River Region. I look forward to keeping up with developing stories — and possibly even some political announcements — from other L’OBSERVATEUR writers during my time at home.

Prayers for a safe delivery, easy transition and maybe even a little sleep are much appreciated. And if you come across any money saving strategies regarding paying for a wedding, Frank would appreciate those too.

Monique Roth is a reporter with L’OBSERVATEUR. She can be reached at