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Royal baby #2: The craft of announcing a second birth (+video)

It was announced Monday that Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge are expecting a second child. Royal or not, the announcement of a second child can have more pressure behind it, as many parents aim to up the creativity.

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    This file photo taken Wednesday, July 2, 2014, and released Monday, July 21, 2014, to mark Prince George's first birthday, shows Britain's Prince William and Kate Duchess of Cambridge and the Prince during a visit to the Sensational Butterflies exhibition at the Natural History Museum, London. The Duchess of Cambridge, wife of Prince William, royal officials said Monday, Sept. 8, 2014.
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Prince George is going to have a sibling. Royal family fans were subject to a second royal baby announcement on Monday from Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge.

The second royal baby announcement came by way of a tweet from Clarence House shortly before 11 a.m. local time.

It was retweeted by more than 2,700 global fans within the first six hours since it posted.

Among the coverage of the news, the Guardian newspaper even live blogged the announcement, from the first tweet to initial reactions on social media and early bets on the baby’s name.

Fans of the royal family and Prince George, who celebrated his first birthday in July, have already eaten up every ounce of detail they can get their hands on, including keepsakes celebrating his arrival.

From the collector’s china plates to Christmas ornaments among the initial memorabilia related to Prince George’s arrival, the celebration of the little prince seems to still be at a near fever pitch, with magazines like Vanity Fair and others devoting their August covers to his first birthday celebration.

I can only imagine that this announcement feeds the voracious fans a little more, and helps keep George extra cute as he enters into toddlerhood (and its related ups and downs) with the prospect of palling around with another royal tyke. 

While the royal couple chose an understated, though tech savvy announcement – so many parents – particularly those involved in social media, have taken the announcement of a second baby up to a new level of creativity – or competition, depending on how you look at it.

From Vine videos, to Facebook posts, to Instagram photos and more, the pressure to announce a second baby seems to be growing for parents who wants to make a splash among friends. That is, if they aren’t already put off social media by all of the pressures around sharing news about your firstborn.

What to share, when to share, how often to share, and who to share with are the latest parenting concerns to partner along with teething, potty training, and eating solid foods.

I will admit that I am not among the people who embrace the creative second baby announcement for my own family. I commend those who take the time to undergo a more choreographed announcement, but even the idea of juggling that, alongside chasing a toddler and, oh let's say, maintaining basic grooming habits, leaves me winded.

In the case of announcing a second child, Pinterest can be a parent’s best friend, or worst enemy, depending on their level of excitement to share their news creatively, or their absolute burnout on social media oneupmanship.

Simply searching “second baby announcement” pulls up hundreds – if not thousands (I didn’t care to keep loading search results after scrolling for five pages) – of suggestions for announcing a second pregnancy. From small children holding eviction notices, to marking off checklists of to-dos, including “become a big sister!” parents have a bevy of choices.

And, as Buzzfeed puts it, among its tips for creating a successful baby announcements, “Mocking pre-existing children works every time.” 

I have taken a kitschy mom-to-be photo to announce an impending birth, only to tuck it away for posterity and not show it to friends. Shortly after finishing the 2011 Boston Marathon, I had my husband take a picture of me holding a sign over my belly reading “future marathon runner.” It was cute, but we decided not to use it. Why? Because above all, it seemed like a picture only captured part of the story. It was much more fitting to use the good news an opportunity to connect with friends, and not only share our update, but listen for the good news in our friends' lives as well.

I feel it’s important that for expectant parents, be it baby one or beyond, that we don’t expect our expectant news to be on a scale of royal importance. Keeping that in mind, I think it is fine to choose whatever kind of announcement you want.

I commend the royal couple for not bowing to pop culture (OK, bowing only a little by using Twitter), and keeping their announcement understated and simple. That is classy, as the royal family should be.

And for those who want to take the Pinterest route, I respect your choice (and your energy!), but I’ll leave it to you to put the creative kick in life's special moments.

One thing is for sure, even if Prince George remembers enough of this announcement at his young age to feel a pang of envy for the attention paid to his future younger sibling, he can always take heart in the royal birth order and its obvious benefits – by tradition, he will make it to the throne first.

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