Welp, here’s something personal… I’m knocked up with baby number II.
My main reason for sharing is to tell you that OH MY LAWD round two is proving to be a lot harder than round one! My energy is low, my nausea is high, my stomach was popping before i even hit the second trimester, and my back and left hip is aching like it did the day before I last gave birth!
The main things I’m finding harder this time round are:
That, and not having the luxury of being childless.
I am so tired. I’m no different to any other mama. I know there are probably women out there thinking “heh, wait till you have a third or fourth”. But still, I have so much in my life to organise and stay on top of and I really think, this is more exhausting than when I was up in the night feeding a newborn! Some days, I could honestly fall asleep at the wheel (hence my tendency to have the car air con on full blast).
And I fucking HATE my old pregnant self. “Oh woe is me, I’m so tired I’m going to have a long shower and go to bed early to watch a movie and have a 12 hour sleep”.. Fucksake.
These days I’m lucky to get M down for a 7pm bedtime, before getting everything sorted from the day, and for the next day, so I can leap into bed, unpampered, and pray for sleep. I’m going well if I can get 8 hours sleep and I’m still sometimes waking in the night to go settle M (hello, nightmares and/or sickness!), or go to the bathroom. Then, I’m up at 6am warming bottles, preparing breakfast, calming tantrums.
Sigh… looks like this is my last pregnancy, after all. ha ha.
I have these weird pangs of guilt right now! Guilt that M’s life is going to be upended and forever changed. She’s not asking for the upheaval, and I’m not sure how she’ll cope. At the moment, I’m trying to focus on the good stuff, like a new sibling for her to have as a friend, and ally, and also someone she can help raise into our family. Focusing on the positive does seem to help, rather than wasting time worrying that she’ll regress in every way possible when the new baby comes and the dynamics at home are permanently changed.
Still got the fear
I have labour fear, as round one was epically awful, but mostly I have fear about the newborn phase. I know I’ve forgotten a lot, but I do remember it was hard (that trauma stays with you for LIFE). I’m worrying the new kid won’t sleep like their sister, or will have reflux like her too, or my milk supply will be below average, or we’ll have issues that are even more challenging than anything we’ve ever coped with before. I’m fearful because I know what it’s like, and now I kind of think that ignorance is bliss.
But hey, second pregnancies aren’t all that bad. I’m also:
Yes, buying… absolutely nothing! Except for new dummies and new bottle teats, baby II has to reuse its sisters stuff.
Last time I was reading everything I could about pregnancy, and hungrily looking forward to the weekly “baby email” entailing what fruit my baby compared to in size. I also used to study the sonogram pictures, note all of my eating and exercise, google a “normal” heart rate for babies in the womb and inspect my body for new stretch marks. Now? I’m doing none of that.
Hell, most of the time I forget I’m even pregnant until I bump into a door, or take a corner too sharply and realise I’ve got an ever growing stomach! I didn’t take prenatal vitamins once my morning sickness hit (why are they so huge, foul tasting and hard to swallow!?), and I’ve removed all mirrors from my bedroom because NO ONE, least of all myself, wants to see my stretch marks these days.
But really, the best of all is that this time around I am fully aware that life as a mama is tough. And pregnancy is hard. And women are made for labour. But hey, I also know how crazy, scary, primal and mind blowingly amazing it is to bring a new life into the world.
I am fully happy and content that we’re about to expand our whanau, which I can’t say I actually experienced with my first pregnancy. That time, it was fully unknown and I was scared shitless pretending that I was blissfully happy. I wasn’t, and by not being honest I didn’t deal with any of my birth/motherhood fears. This time, it’s still mostly unknown, but I do know some stuff and I’m counting on my instincts a lot more this time. They’ve never failed me yet.
What differences did you notice between a first and second pregnancy?