“Oh, if my second child had been my first, she’d have been my last.”… “My second go ’round was a nightmare!”… “Our second, well, lets just say if he was first, he would be an only child!”
…these are among the wonderfully encouraging things I have been told, sixteen weeks into “baking” bun number two. Though I try not to refer to this baby as “number two,” for what I assume are obvious reasons. However, we have yet to find out the sex of the baby (January?), and so #2 seemed to be a more favorable epithet than “it” or “the parasite.” Anyway…
It seems as though many of my friends, acquaintances, what-have-yous, did not have the most pleasant of experiences with their second pregnancy/infant. Why they feel the need to shower me with this confession/revelation, I don’t know. But it has led me to really think about the differences between my first pregnancy and this one. I was blissfully healthy and happy during my first pregnancy… not the first upchuck. Rarely a hint of heartburn. And I thought I was so damned cute… All 41 weeks. Though I only have 16 weeks to compare thus far this go’round, I am finding it to be a much different experience, both physically and emotionally. Not worse. Just different. I should expect this though, right? When I got pregnant the first time, I was a carefree twenty-something. I’m in my thirties now. And before I had Zac, I had no Zac to occupy my every thought, minute and ounce of energy! I focused solely on myself and the miracle I was creating.
My original plan was to write this in a cutesy then vs. now format, all organized and pretty. But me and organized just ain’t getting along these days.
So here it is, in no particular order…
With my first pregnancy, from the very moment I saw two blue lines, I was consumed entirely with the fact, notion, and feeling that I was creating life. Every nano-second. And only this mattered. Every morsel of food I consumed, every milligram of caffeine I allowed myself, every notable physical change I experienced was cataloged and reported. I journaled every day, complete with weight tracking and menu-planning. I napped every day. I power walked every day. I photographed my stomach every day. The word “obsessed” may have been whispered amongst my family members and friends a couple of times… I’m not mad. So this time around, I am finding that the words of Sweet Brown are the only ones appropriate to express the main difference in my focus.
All pregnant people are tired. (And by the way, that doesn’t improve in the second trimester… or third… or after the baby is born… or turns two.) But with my first pregnancy, I felt “normal” tired. Oh my goodness, my body is working hard tired. Wow, it sure takes more energy to rake the leaves and pick up the yard than it used to tired. But now…. I am finding myself to be cry into my dinner tired. Cuss the alarm clock tired. Go to school with a wet head tired. Stare and mumble tired. Attractive right?
Speaking of attractive… I began my first pregnancy just after my 27th birthday, a lean 135-140 pounds, wearing a size 4. I began my second pregnancy… differently. End of paragraph.
One of my favorite rules of pregnancy is “Don’t lift anything over 20 pounds!” And during my first pregnancy, I’m fairly sure I would call someone in to lift the toilet lid for me. This time… aw hell, my two-year-old is pushing 40lbs! Do I feel it in my round ligaments and in my back every time I break the rule? Yup. Don’t I know better? Uh huh. But can I eliminate lifting this time around? Good luck explaining to my boy that mommy can’t hold him.
So basically I can feel everything in this pregnancy more (aches, pains, exhaustion)… and I acknowledge it less. Simply because I don’t have time to slow down. I still take my vitamins and drink healthy smoothies. I still try to be as active as I can. (I consider grocery shopping with a toddler exercise, no?) And I am doing my best to maintain a positive “vibe.” But this time is harder. And I don’t get to take care of myself as thoroughly as I could before. And that makes me feel guilty. Is baby #2 (ugh, I did it again) getting the shaft already? Is this going to be even worse when I have two live people to care for? Just little lovely thought turds that I push out when I am lying in bed, recalling what some friend said that day about the horrendous birth of her second child…
But in an effort to be fair to myself (and “it”), I’ve decided not to worry about all that. Instead, I am focusing on the positive similarities to my first pregnancy, which (did I mention??) was AWESOME. I am healthy, free of nausea/sickness, and physically able to work and carry on as normal. I had no trouble getting pregnant, which I know is a blessing and a miracle in and of itself! I have very few discomforts, and none that are unexpected or out of the ordinary. And my blood pressure has never been above 110/70. (Seriously!) I’ve got this baby-makin’ stuff NAILED. So at the end of the day, when I leave the remote control in the fridge and place my lunchbox on the TV, and stagger to bed, I know little #2 will be just as lucky and loved as my Zac-bear.
What were the main differences you noticed with your second (or 3rd… or 4th…) pregnancy?