When my husband and I decided to try for another child, I was prepared for the possibility that it would take us awhile and that there would likely be a few false starts before we got one to stick. After all, getting our first child had been quite the journey. However, I also thought that the pregnancy itself would be a breeze. In my mind, I’d done it all before, so I’d know what to do.
Well, folks, as it turns out there’s a lot I’d forgotten about in the 5 years since I’d last experienced a viable pregnancy and a whole host of new things I hadn’t experienced with the first.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was 25 years old and dealing with a lot of changes. Between changing jobs and losing my grandmother, I chalked up most of the tiredness to life. For the first several months we lived with roommates, and I had plenty of time to rest. This time around, the exhaustion has been intense, but I have nothing to really blame it on but the pregnancy. Sure, I’m still trying to keep the household running smoothly, get as much writing in as I can, and deal with the demands of my daughter, but it’s definitely the changes my body is going through that is making me nod off in the middle of the day. Luckily, my husband remembered this particular symptom and has been extremely understanding. If I didn’t have him to pick up the slack, this house would be nothing but chaos!
2. The Laundry List of Aches and Pains
Tender breasts, back pain, headaches, hip pain…seriously, I forgot about how uncomfortable this whole growing a human process is. This is especially true the further along I get. The “morning” sickness has still not let up entirely and we’re only a month away from my due date, which I was definitely not prepared for. On the plus side, the lack of appetite has made this a “belly only” pregnancy, so there’s that.
3. The Crazy Hormones
I don’t remember being particularly hormonal with my daughter, however I’m sure my mother, husband, and best friend would all disagree. This time around, it has been quite noticeable. Beyond the typical weepiness over seemingly everything from a touching moment on TV to not being able to find my shoe, there are those moments when it seems like I’m experiencing 800 different emotions at once. Those moments are both fascinating and terrifying. On the one hand, being able to feel so much is kind of cool, but man, the intensity can be a bit much!
4. All The Icky Stuff
Holy cow, there’s so much grossness that comes along with pregnancy! At first it was the constant morning sickness that got me down. Then came all the other yucky stuff. Constipation, peeing nonstop, and all the other “fun” things that all us mommies know all too well. I feel like I’m constantly Googling “is this normal?” I guess our minds shut that stuff out so we aren’t so leery to do it again!
5. The Excitement
The idea that there’s a tiny human growing inside me is crazy. Before long I get to meet this amazing little being and I can’t get over the giddy feeling. Every little kick reminds me that our hearts and lives are about to become that much more full (cue aforementioned weeping). I’m constantly imagining what she will look like, what her temperament will be, and all the new adventures our family will have. The anticipation is beautiful.
6. The Fear
This one surprises me. I honestly thought that I would be less scared with the second child, but I’m actually more nervous this time. There’s fear about how my daughter will take the changes to our daily lives, fear about whether or not I can really handle another child, fear about how it’s going to affect our finances, and a host of other worries I didn’t have with the first. There’s also the usual anxieties about the health of the baby and, of course, about all the things that could go wrong during delivery. Oh, and there’s naturally the worry about how The Princess will handle having to share everything, including her parents. I know that it will all be fine and that we will find our new normal soon enough, but man…I didn’t expect this particular ingredient of the emotional cocktail!
7. All The Rules
Don’t eat this. Don’t move like that. Sleep on your side…no, not that side! Don’t clean the litter box. This medication is unsafe. Seriously, it gets to feeling like pregnancy is one big minefield and any misstep can end in disaster. Of course the big ones, like giving up wine, were obvious and never escaped my mind, but there are so many little things that I entirely forgot or didn’t know the first time around. Again, I feel like Google has been my best friend as I try to figure out what is safe and what isn’t this time around, which isn’t always helpful. There’s definitely a lot of critical thinking and judgement making to this whole growing a person thing!
As I type this, I am truly amazed at how much I didn’t recall from my first pregnancy. I’m also amazed at how different it has been this time around. All these differences really make you appreciate how special pregnancy really is. No two pregnancies are alike, just as no two people are alike. It really is a whole new journey!
I can’t wait to share the next phase of this experience with you all, as I’m know this little lady’s grand entrance will be quite different from her sister’s as well. I look forward to the many changes about to come our way and can’t wait to see what lessons are hiding there. After all, I’m not only bringing her life into the world, she’s bringing me a whole new life as well.