In November this year I will be welcoming a new baby into my life. A baby brother or sister for Little Miss and a second child for hubby and I. It is terrifying and exciting all at the same time. I want Little Miss to experience the joy of having a sibling and for myself to care for another beautiful little person who I can watch change the world. But are we giving up the relative peace we now enjoy with a toddler to go back to the sleepless nights and exhaustion that comes with a newborn baby?
The truth is that I haven’t even really thought about it that much! Unlike my first pregnancy where all I thought about was the baby growing inside of me: Would it be a boy or a girl? How will my body change? What will labour be like? Will I be a good mum? This time around, I am reminded of my pregnancy when Little Miss asks to kiss the baby before bed each night and when I feel a wave of nausea rush over my body or the familiar twinge of round ligament pain hits. But most of the time, I go about my day without too much thought about the miracle that is growing inside of me.
And it has made me feel guilty. If I don’t even have enough time to think about my baby while it is still growing inside of me, then how am I going to cope when it is here, screaming for me to feed it? I have two hands and two eyes, but is that enough to manage two children? One solely reliant on me for everything in their life and the other an extension of me, sharing a bond that has been two plus years in the making.
I shared my concerns with hubby last week that I’m not really thinking about the baby enough. He assured me that I was thinking enough of the baby and there will be plenty of time when they arrive to shower them with love and affection. I think he is mostly excited to see Little Miss stepping into the role of big sister, one that we both know she was born to do, with her deeply nurturing soul and heart that is filled with love and joy for those around her. And I think he is confident that we know what is ahead of us. We have done this once before and we can do it again. We’ve got this.
But maybe it is the knowing that is the scary thing for me. Knowing how much time I spent with my eyes locked on my baby, unable to tear them away from her for fear that she would smile while I wasn’t looking. Knowing how truly exhausting the days and nights can be when your baby won’t sleep or is suffering from their first cold. Knowing the hours that are spent feeding and changing and settling a newborn to only do it all again mere hours later, day in and day out. But I need to remind myself of the other things I know, the joy that comes when they start sleeping longer stretches. The fun of starting solids and the experience of the world around them. First smiles, first words, first steps, so many firsts that fill your heart and soul with happiness.
The second time around is truly different from the first. The aches and pains that were reserved for much later in my first pregnancy, have already arrived and the memories of the unsavoury bits of pregnancy have come flooding back, reminding me of what I am in for over the next 26 or so weeks. But things are a little different this time. Not only am I not as conscious of my baby as I go about my day but there are other subtle differences I have noticed so far in my first trimester.
Next level exhaustion
With my first pregnancy, I recall the feeling of exhaustion that would hit me at 3pm each afternoon while I sat at my desk at work. I would somehow get through the afternoon before heading home to the couch and an early night. I thought that this was as bad as it gets.
WRONG! With a toddler in tow, the first trimester tiredness elevates to a whole other level. We have had a few afternoons of playing a new game called “lets lie in mummy’s bed and watch kids shows on Netflix”. I am required to exert very little energy other than pressing buttons on a remote control and Little Miss thinks watching Tinkerbell and Doc McStuffins while snuggling with mummy in bed is the best kind of afternoon. Everyone is a winner and I feel zero guilt about it!
Secrets are not a concept for toddlers
We didn’t tell Little Miss about the baby until we went for our first ultrasound. Since that time I have had the daycare teachers ask me “is there a baby in mummy’s tummy?”; hubby has received an email from an old work colleague congratulating him because Little Miss had told her the good news and at a family lunch while talking about babies she piped up with “mummy has a baby in mummy’s tummy”.
No harm done with any of her mini reveals but if you don’t want people to know you are pregnant yet then don’t tell a toddler! On the other hand, when you do want to make your announcement, there is nothing cuter than hearing the words come out of the mouth of a proud soon-to-be brother or sister.
All of the questions
My OB asked me at my first appointment if there was anything I would have changed about my first labour. I loved my labour. It was relatively short, for a first baby, I had an epidural towards the end for pain relief and my prize was absolutely amazing. But on reflection, the only thing I would have changed is to ask more questions. You never nail something in the first go and I had no idea what was really coming and hence didn’t ask many questions which I probably would have liked to. I already feel more confident heading into this birth than I did the first time. You never know exactly what is around the corner but I feel better equipped to handle whatever might be.
Overall this first trimester has just flown by. I have heard friends say that the pregnancy goes much faster the second time around and that seems to be the case. As much as I want to enjoy it I also can’t wait to meet my new little person and welcome them into our family.
Are you pregnant at the moment? How are you feeling? Was your second pregnancy different to your first?
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