Hello, nice to see you! Since I last wrote, I’ve grown a little more, the baby has grown a little more and I’ve started eating far more than the “recommended” increase in calories. Which, by the way, is totally not actually enough calories to sustain a growing baby. It’s ok, though, because my scale is broken so I only know once a month how much I’ve gained.
Every pregnancy and every child is different. I know this because I’m full swing (third trimester ahhhh!) in a second pregnancy and have friends with multiple kids who have remarked on how they can do everything as similarly as possible with each kid and they still are different – because people are different, obviously.
My first pregnancy, with Harrison, was business as usual – tiring first trimester, a little more energy in the second and into the third, and then uncomfortable and ready for it to be done near the end. Aside from that small breech incident, there weren’t any hiccups to be found. Similarly, my second pregnancy has been just as business as usual – but they’re still different! How are they different? Well, for starters I have a toddler at home that I’m parenting – for the first 16 weeks I was working full-time but have been home with him since. Perhaps using that as a contributing factor, this time around I’m WAY more tired. Everyone tells me it’s because I’m expending energy into BOTH OF MY OFFSPRING simultaneously (a trend I expect continues until I die). Some symptoms I experienced last time that I haven’t this time include seriously stuffed sinuses (I asked the Snuggle Bugz community last time and got some amazing answers that really helped), gastric reflux and constant nosebleeds. This pregnancy I’ve only experienced one nosebleed (obviously at 5am after tending to a sweaty, panicked toddler who was awake for whatever reason). It helps that you know 1) these things are coming and 2) anything goes in pregnancy. I mean, not that you shouldn’t bring up an issue to your doctor or midwife if it’s new but there are so many hidden/unknown side effects of pregnancy that nothing would surprise me anymore. This time around my limbs fall asleep like whoa. It sets in so fast I’m surprised it hasn’t happened while I’m walking.
My thoughts around labour have definitely changed, not that I’m particularly looking forward to it, but I’m aware now that 1) pain relief really is a relief and is (most likely) available, 2) it will probably be shorter than last time, and 3) I can do it. When I got to the point in my first pregnancy that we were actually discussing the birth I remember feeling lightheaded in my appointment. Welp, I managed to get through it and here I am waiting to do it again.
In a surprising turn of events, I was actually more anxious during the first trimester with this baby than with Harrison. I chalk that up to two main things: 1) I’m a mom now, so I spend my time in bed thinking of horrendous and extremely unlikely things that could happen to my child, increasing my all-around level of anxiety (ie. What if I was driving along a road beside some water and some kids threw a pumpkin at my car and I swerved into the lake and had to get my kids out of their car seats before the car sank? WHAT IF? This drives my husband crazy, by the way). That previous scenario actually did happen to someone but he didn’t have a child in the car. And 2) this baby was planned and I am glad it worked out when we wanted it to, but planned means expected, and expected means anxiously awaited. Harrison was a big surprise and so much of my first trimester was spent grappling with that idea rather than this time just watching the days tick by and hoping everything was ok.
I anticipate it being different in the hospital and raising the baby, not just because there’s another, slightly bigger but still very dependent, human who also needs our attention, but because I know it will be ok, and that it may feel like an eternity but it passes in the blink of an eye. Of all the things we went through with Harrison – the sleepless nights, wondering if it was ok if he cried, the 5 week hospital stay, I know now that as long as they’re safe, fed, and loved, it’s all going to be ok.