I should start by being upfront about the fact that I HATE being pregnant. I truly believe that those women who tell you they could stay pregnant forever have some sort of mental disorder. If I could get the baby without the 9 month waiting period (my husband has reminded me several times that this is called adoption or surrogacy) – sign me up! It is not that I am ungrateful for the chance to grow life because I feel blessed everyday to take the journey to motherhood that many are not able to but that doesn’t mean I have to love the experience of getting that beautiful life into this world.
There are a lot of things they don’t warn you about with the second pregnancy and this is in no way a comprehensive list…
Exhaustion: Sure, you were tired the first time around. But if you thought you were exhausted and impatient the first time try doing it while chasing after a toddler. Dragging them out the house screaming feels like a whole new level of torture when you are growing a life inside your womb. Wiping their butt for the tenth time in an hour when you feel like your back cannot stand for you to bend down one more time will make you want to scream at your child for pooping (your crazy mom is showing). It will make the first pregnancy look like a walk in the park.
Healthy Living: So you tracked the amount of protein you ate, made sure that you drank the recommended amount of water, and regularly went to the chiropractor the first time around…all I have to say here is HA! Forget regularly remembering to take the prenatal vitamins – you are too distracted in the morning shuffling a toddler out the door and at night your head hits the pillow and you forget your own name. Better set that phone alarm and get a good app to help you keep up.
Classes: This time around if someone asks me about child birth classes or a birth plan I have to look at them with a blank stare as if I don’t know what those words mean and hope that they do not press the issue. There is no pregnancy yoga the second time around either (even though your back could use it). Classes are for beginner schmucks anyway right? *Grits teeth*
Guilt: They also don’t mention the immense amount of guilt. One minute you are holding your sweet toddler and suddenly you are wondering if you have destroyed their life by having another baby. Will they feel forgotten or left out? What could you do to combat that? Will they hate the baby? Will this traumatize them for life and lead to so many unforeseen issues that they will forever blame on your having a second child? And the list goes on…
Bladder Control: Since I know you all want to know about bladder control – forget it, it is nonexistent. For those of you who are oblivious, you pee ALOT when you are pregnant the first time around. Then, after pushing something the size of a watermelon out, you pee every time you sneeze, jump on a trampoline, or if the weather man calls for a slight chance of rain. But if you think that is bad just wait until the second time around when you have to pee every 30 minutes even though you are only half-way through your pregnancy because this time your precious peanut has their butt shoved against your bladder which you no longer control because of the aforementioned watermelon.
The Fear: Everyone says the second child gets the shaft so you would think your fear is nonexistent because you don’t have time for it, but it is there and very overwhelming on an already hormonal, emotional pregnant woman. You fear for their health, you fear that you will screw them up because you can’t possibly be a great parent to two kids at once (I am barely surviving one!), you fear that you will not love them as much as your first, you will lay awake at night with all the fears inside your head…just like the first time around. But here is the kicker – that is what means you have what it takes. You definitely have your work cut out for you, but that fear will drive you to be the best parent you can (even in the moments where your partner is unavailable and you are outnumbered).
While I am overwhelmed with love for this babe and can’t wait to see his sweet face, I wish I could just skip this part and meet the next love of my life. For now I will just hunker down with my snacks and try to curve the level of crankiness I feel for the sake of my angelic husband who has only threatened to move me in with his grandma once so far (in my defense, the air conditioner went out on a 95 degree day and that would have made me cranky without the extra furnace who has taken up residence in my womb).
Not today, but someday, when my two boys are playing chase through the house after I have told them not to run at least twenty times, my heart will soar at the sound of their laughter and the knowledge that they will always have each other and I will know that it is all worth it.