Monday, August 26, 2013

Five things nobody will tell you - pregnancy the second time around

In the third trimester, it is often easy to complain about the physical aches and pains of pregnancy, but that's what everyone goes through.  I'm here to tell you about all of the things that people either DON'T tell you about pregnancy after you've already had a kid, (because they think you're a pro and you've been through it before) OR because you honestly don't hear what they say as you're too busy chasing after your toddler to let anything informative sink in.

I'm pretty sure when I was pregnant with Calvin, my manager at work said to me, "Enjoy putting your feet up at the end of each work day during this pregnancy, because it's the last pregnancy you will ever 'enjoy.'"  She had a point and was only hinting at some of the fun surprises I'd discover the second time around.

All that fatigue, nausea, and food aversion you experience in the first trimester, yeah those still happen only now you have a guaranteed 6am wake up call... your oldest child

It's true, I can admit it - I had it so easy with Calvin that I barely knew I was pregnant during the entire first trimester.  Go ahead and hate on me, I can take it.  It was easy the first time around but this second pregnancy I got walloped with 3 weeks of nausea followed by 3 months of food aversions.  The nausea was the worst (always is, right?) and there is nothing worse than bending over to pick up 33 toy cars off the floor and truly believing you are going to throw up at any moment.  Not only do you have to chase around your toddler while feeling completely gross, tired and sick, but then your favorite foods (like coffee) are completely ruined.  I couldn't drink coffee anymore - it tasted like soy sauce. Seriously?  I never experienced food aversions before -- it's no fun having all of your favorite foods immediately seem repulsive.

Your first child will step, jump, pounce and attack your belly

It's a good thing there is extra cushioning already built in (or building) to protect this baby because Calvin frequently decides it's fun to jump on me, like old times.  I was reassured by my midwife that the little one is completely safe inside, but it still freaks you out a bit when it happens.  I had to teach Calvin to be careful and to respect my new "state" and not deliberately climb on me.

The first-born still wants to be held, carried and cuddled
This one depends on the age span between pregnancies, but in general, if you have your kids close together in age, this will hold up.

When this new baby is born, Calvin and his sister will be 2.5 years apart.  That's a pretty healthy age span and means that Calvin is fairly independent and can do things on his own... for the most part.  Thankfully, he listens to instructions, but he still requires periodic carrying and demands lots of snuggling. After consistently refusing to ride in his stroller, I decided that a shoulder carry was my best non-stroller option as my belly was preventing my usual hip-carry hold.  I can't tell you the number of looks I received from strangers as they watched me trudge up the steep hill to my house with a 2 year old on my shoulders and my very pregnant belly sticking out.  

Second/third trimester kicks, rolls and jabs are now painful
I remember feeling Calvin's kicks and hiccups with fond memories.  "Oh, isn't that sweet? S/he is moving around again."  This time around, it is downright painful and uncomfortable 99% of the time.  "OH MY GOD! Is this a human being or a wild beast inside my belly?!?! Owwww! Get out from under my ribs!"   I'm not sure why or how, but this has been verified by other seasoned moms -- those lovely little kicks and punches you experienced with baby #1 are 5x more painful in subsequent pregnancies.

You care much much less
I mean this in the nicest way possible but it still has to be said.  Maybe this isn't something that nobody will tell you, but it is something that still caught be my surprise.  I'm not even really paying attention to this pregnancy.  I mean, I am -- I'm still taking weekly belly pictures -- but that's about it.  Thankfully my pregnancy app reminds me of each milestone because I'm too busy chasing Calvin, working or cleaning the house to think much about how large my baby's legs are or what her lungs are doing at the moment.  With pregnancy #1, I was enthralled in every detail. I read all of the books and watched informative documentaries.  The silver lining to already "neglecting" my second born in-utero, is that I'm much less stressed out. I'm not thinking about all of the things that could go wrong so I'm enjoying this in a different way.

...all that I've said above, I still have it pretty easy.  I'm very lucky that even though this pregnancy isn't as smooth sailing as my first, I don't have any major complications or issues.  Calvin is super independent and happy to play on his own, as long as I am watching ("Momma come! Come here Momma!'.  He has adjusted to me not carrying him as much as I used to (because I simply cannot do it) and he is getting excited to meet his baby sister.

I'm sure there will be many things that I will learn once the baby is born that nobody could prepare me for.  I am looking forward to see how our family dynamics change with the introduction of a new personality.  More fun times ahead!


  1. Many more fun times ahead! AND:
    Food aversions stop almost immediately after birth. Don't be surprised if you wake up maybe the second or third morning after delivery and think "gosh, a cup of coffee would taste great!" I knew I was pregnant when I realized that coffee didn't smell or taste good. Mustard, either, and a few other strong smells that I usually love.

    All the pokes and pushes go away at delivery. There are new discomforts but they are easier to bear when the new baby is there!

    "Not paying so much attention " is a GOOD thing, as you noticed. Don't worry, you'll love this baby equally, but differently. Did you ever hear the candle analogy? I read it somewhere long ago... about a mother who uses a Hanukkah candle to demonstrate how much she loves her children... you can light the new flame from the old one and it burns just as brightly. I like that.

    So exciting! These last few weeks are tedious and not much fun -- but I guarantee it will end soon!

    much love, Grandma

    1. I like the candle analogy ... the love for a second child doesn't diminish the love for the first. "Love is like a flower, it just blooms and blooms"


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