Second time moms are deemed “been there, done that” moms, because, well, we have already been there and done that when it comes to this whole pregnancy thing. However, as I make my way through my second pregnancy, I’m learning that knowing what to expect isn’t always the case, and it isn’t always a good thing. I’ve learned a second pregnancy is far different from the first, but not necessarily for the reasons you would assume…
Exhaustion :: This may sound like a given. In fact, several second time moms warned me about how tiring it is to be pregnant while chasing a toddler, but I just shrugged it off. In my first pregnancy, exhaustion was the worst thing I experienced, so I couldn’t imagine it could be worse than the first time around. Oh, but it can. And it is. When 3pm rolls around every day, I am ready for bed. All I want is to take a nice warm shower and go to sleep. The time between then and bedtime is an eternity where I might as well be a character on The Walking Dead. In my house, anytime after 3pm means mommy is operating in full zombie status.
Paranoia :: A second pregnancy means just that. You are pregnant for a second time, so you should know the drill, right? Wrong. My mind is in a constant swirl of “What is this feeling? I didn’t have these cramps last time. Shouldn’t I be able to feel the baby move by now? Surely I could with the first. Why does my head hurt? What does this mean? I don’t think I ever had this feeling when I was pregnant before. Do I need to call the doctor?” It’s almost as if knowing what has happened before is both a blessing and a curse.
Pregnancy Brain :: Oh man, this is in full effect right now, but in a completely different way. The first time around, I forgot little things. I’d get to the store and have no idea what I needed to buy. I would walk into the kitchen and not remember why I wandered in there. But now, I completely forget that I’m even pregnant. With my daughter, pregnancy was on the forefront of my mind all day, every day. Before I took a bite of anything, I quickly ran through the forbidden food list in my head, and before I stepped foot in a new place, I assessed the risk – was there fresh paint? slippery floors? the nearest bathroom?! I slept exclusively on my left side because that’s what “they” say is best. Now, I run around all day and forget there is a tiny human growing inside of me. I wake up on my stomach and wonder if I slept like that all night. I lift my daughter more than necessary. At only half way through, I’m strongly considering ditching the whole “no raw fish” rule and digging into some sushi. People ask when I’m due or say “congratulations,” and my instinct is to be offended – until I realize that I am, in fact, pregnant.
Showing Earlier :: This is something else that is pretty widely known. With your second, you start to show sooner, so I am not sure why I was so surprised when my clothes became tighter shortly after learning I was pregnant. Finally, at 16 weeks, I sucked it up and made the switch to maternity shorts. I may never go back, even after baby comes. I’m not sure why I dragged my feet so long, but oh the relief of an elastic waistband! I am slowly but surely embracing my rapidly growing belly, but it’s taking a lot more mental strength this time.
Denial :: When I learned I was pregnant with my first born, I often found myself getting lost in the baby section of any store I happened to enter. I picked up tiny diapers and ogled over how cute they were. I held cute little pink onesies up to my belly. Now? Now, I see diapers and cringe at the thought of having to start over again, since my first is already potty trained. I see tiny little onesies and have flashbacks of the endless rotation of wardrobe changes that babies go through. It’s not that I am not excited, because I am absolutely thrilled to welcome our little boy into this world, it’s just that the idea of starting over, when I feel as though I’ve accomplished so much with my daughter, is a bit daunting.