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Before I even conceived my second child, I had two unreasonable expectations: the first was to conceive naturally (that is, with no help from the infertility specialist who helped me the first time around) and the second was to deliver vaginally. I did not accomplish my first goal, but I did emerge victorious from my second delivery. Actually, I emerged in ridiculously bad shape, but victorious in relation to my goal to push that kid out mahself. And somewhere during this journey of having two children, I formulated a theory that most rookie moms have fantasies about a “victory baby.”
I have suspected many of my friends and acquaintances of this. Whether they’re thinking “My next baby will be planned.” Or “Next time, I’ll breastfeed.” Or “I’ll choose drug free childbirth!” I assert that some new mamas are anxious to jump right back again on the baby bandwagon to correct whatever part of their first experience disappointed them.
Seeing friends with two children of the same gender go for a third may also fall into this category. Do we really want to create a whole new person just to see if they turn out to be a particular gender?
Yes, much of the time we do.
When a friend with a 2-month old told me she wanted another one pretty soon, I asked her point blank, “Are you thinking the next one won’t have Down’s Syndrome?”
“Yep! she said confidently and unembarrassed.
How about “I’ll stay home longer with the next one. Or, “I won’t have postpartum depression the second time.”
What else? What expectations ”“ within or outside of your control ”“ do you have or did you have?
Keyword: Do you need a victory baby?