I've been doing this fairly frequently recently (contemplating my navel, that is). The baby's movements are now easily visible from the outside, and whenever appropriate, I get the biggest kick out of pulling up my shirt when I feel the baby moving and watching my stomach ripple and bump. I used to wonder whether my fascination with the life growing inside me would be any less with my second child than it was with my first, and I now know the answer: a definitive NO.Yesterday I was sitting on the floor with Spencer when I started to feel the baby move. I pulled up my shirt to watch and then said to Spencer "The baby's moving!" He came over, pointed at my stomach, said "Baby!" and then went back to playing with his toys. And two minutes later, he pulled up HIS shirt, looked down at HIS stomach, looked up at me, and then proudly announced "Baby moving!"
Speaking of Spencer, Andrew and I have also been spending quite a bit of time recently contemplating him. Already having a child adds a whole new dimension to pregnancy which obviously doesn't exist when you don't yet have any children. Andrew and I want to make sure that Spencer doesn't feel at all that he is being replaced or usurped by the baby, a concern which we are presently dealing with regarding sleeping arrangements.
I must sheepishly confess that we are guilty of leaving Spencer in the crib probably a bit longer than we should have (he's now 27 months). He has always been very happy there, has never shown any inclination to climb out at all, and having him still in the crib definitely makes life easier for me and Andrew, so we haven't been in a rush to move him to a bed. However we now obviously need the crib for the baby, so it's time for Spencer to make the move to a "big boy bed" (as we're telling him). To avoid Spencer feeling that he has been booted from the crib by the baby, we felt that this change should happen well in advance of the baby's arrival, and we pick up his new bed this weekend. In theory at least, Spencer seems very excited about getting his new bed, but it will be interesting to see what happens in practice.
We're also realizing that some of the toys, books, blankets, etc., which heretofore have belonged to Spencer are now going to need to become the baby's and be moved to the baby's room, and we're not too sure how to go about this. Do we involve Spencer in this selection process, thereby hopefully acquiring his buy-in (an assumption of which I am personally quite skeptical, given that just because Spencer picks out his clothes himself the night before for the next day is no guarantee at all that he will actually want to *wear* those clothes come morning)? Or do we just do it ourselves and present it to him as a fait accompli, an action which also seems loaded with the potential for disaster? Given that Spencer is a typical arbitrary two-year-old, I'm quite certain that whichever route we choose will have its own unique set of hazards, so we probably just need to pick the option that we think makes the most sense and then go with it.
On a much more serious and sad note, I spoke this week with a friend of mine here who is expecting twins, and she told me that one of the babies has died (fortunately the other twin seems fine). This friend is due two weeks after me, so is four-and-a-half months pregnant, and the baby probably died when she was about four months along, i.e., after the first trimester when you don't allow yourself to get too attached yet to your unborn child because you just don't know what's going to happen. She was putting on a brave and upbeat front, saying how thankful she and her husband were that they had two babies to begin with so that they still have the healthy one; however, you don't need to have experienced pregnancy and parenthood yourself to know how they are hurting.
This sad story reminded me once again how miraculous and amazing and wonderful it is that so many babies ARE conceived and brought into this world with no problem, and how fortunate I am to, touch wood, be carrying what is, according to the doctor, a healthy and normal baby who is developing as it should be. Certainly if fetal movement is anything to judge by, this baby is not only healthy and normal but is in fact in line to win the gymastics gold medal in the 2020 Olympics. Nonetheless, this incident made me that much more anxious for the arrival of the second part of October and, with this time, our baby.