Pregnancy: It's so different the second time round
My second pregnancy has been very different from my first. The motions and physical changes and feelings that my body has gone through has been pretty much the same for both, it's just that my circumstances have changed and well, me in general, because now I'm already a Mum.
I remember my first pregnancy was spent pouring over pregnancy books and apps, I spent a lot of time googling every little twinge or niggle worried about what it could mean. I was paranoid about every food that I thought was somewhat suspicious. I had lists of baby stuff to buy and I spent hours looking at baby nursery designs and cute decor. I was working, but only part time, and I was studying as well. Even with that on my plate I still had plenty of time to put my feet up, to watch some movies, to sleep in, to take day time naps, to write my birth plan, to read books and just to enjoy the last of the me time. Joel was always worried about me, if I was lifting too much or standing too long and was always offering cups of teas, running out to the shops to pick up my latest cravings and foot massages. We had deep discussions about our philosophies on raising kids and wondered what life would be like with a baby.
Ohhh how the times have changed.
I'm no longer freaking out (as much) about the labour and birth, I've done it once, I can do it again right. I rarely check my pregnancy apps, I have no idea what fruit size my baby is at right now. I haven't even picked up a pregnancy book and I have not once googled some strange rare pregnancy disorder that I am paranoid that I might have. Sleeping at nights seems to elude me, and then there is a little boy up sometimes in the middle of the night wanting cuddles, he is then always ready to chit chat at 6.00am. Day naps have become pretty much non-existent, for me, and then Ezra has decided that 45 minutes is long enough for him. My birth plan consists of saying, lets get this baby out as quickly and naturally as possible (and as painlessly of course).
This pregnancy I run, not by choice, but I chase down a runaway toddler. I lift, about 11 kilos of toddler, and lug him up and down the stairs. When I have cravings for chocolate I eat it whilst hiding in the confines of the pantry to keep away from tiny prying eyes and little hands signalling they want to share, no Mummy needs this chocolate...all of it. Taking the time to stop and talk and prepare for the new addition is challenging, once all the parenting duties are done, we just are too exhausted. I have to ask for cups of teas these days, there is no time for personal cravings and I'm not sure when I last had a foot rub.
The second pregnancy isn't bad, it is just really different. It definitely has its more challenging aspects when you have another child, especially a young toddler. Your time is no longer your own. You just do what needs to be done, and often surprise myself with what I can accomplish. Other days, I resign to the fact that I need to rest, and battle with 'Mothers guilt' of letting my child watch too much Shaun The Sheep. I have to remind myself that I am already the Mother of two, and I need to make sure I'm taking care of myself and considering the needs of both of my children, not just the one who is making the most noise. With those challenges also comes the confidence of being experienced in being pregnant. I have a greater understanding of the capacity of my own body and I know the signs that I need to listen to. The thought of breastfeeding is no longer a weird foreign concept, I've been through the wars with it, and I won. I have learnt to appreciate every quiet and peaceful moment, because I know what having a newborn means.
I'm so excited about adding another member to our family. I can't wait to kiss her little cheeks. But, she does not occupy my thoughts every moment like her brother did. She will be loved, but she won't be the centre, the focus the only one. She will have to share. Somedays it is hard to imagine how we will have the time and energy to pour into both of our children, but I'm sure we can work it out.
Does this sound like your first and second pregnancies?