I have to admit, it's pretty magical to be pregnant the first time around. You spend hours researching and fantasizing about your little angel child, picking out an adorable coming home outfit, finding the perfect maternity dress that flatters your growing bump and daydreaming about how you'll wear it to your shower, and researching the perfect stroller for hours on end that is both the safest and the most stylish on the market.
You study labor and delivery methods, carefully writing out a birth plan. You talk with all your friends and family about every detail going into the nursery. And you and your husband spend most evenings with his hand on your belly, both of you just waiting with baited breath to feel those adorable little kicks.
It really is bliss.
The second time around? Let's just say it's a little bit different.
- You crack your baby books about once every three months. And that's just the "what's happening to your baby/body" type books - and you're doing it mostly because you feel like you should. You tell yourself you'll take a quick pass through the labor and delivery type books a few days before your due date, but all bets are off as to whether or not that will actually happen.
- You view your prenatal appointments as somewhat of an inconvenience (because you have to find a sitter), rather than the highlight of your month/week.
- You forget you're pregnant all. the. time. Although it's always a good reminder when your toddler flops on your belly like a pillow and your unborn child brings the pain outside in, round-house kicking you in the uterus. These are the first of many physical abuses that second child will take from their older sibling - it's probably good they're already learning to fight back - it's just too bad that it's at your expense.
- Your bladder control is eleventy billion times worse than it was the first time you were pregnant. You thought it was bad then, but you had no idea. Sure it's annoying to have to pee when you sneeze or laugh too hard. But those incidents are few and far between in the first pregnancy. With number two, even going down the stairs with a spring in your step is problematic.
- You tell yourself you've got to remember to set aside special time to think about this baby all in the name of "being fair." After all, your first was all you could think about for nine months straight. This one at least deserves a couple hours of undivided thought before d-day, right?
- You eat soft cheeses of all kinds, deli meats without heating them up, chug coffee like there's no tomorrow and even contemplate sushi. Too far you tell yourself. Too far. Maybe wait for the third child ...
- You never have any idea how many weeks you are. With your first, every day counts, so when someone asks you how far along you are, the answer is, "25 weeks and three point five days, and the baby is the size of a rutabaga." With your second, "24 weeks? 26 weeks? No no, 25. Ish. I think. Probably. I donno. Somewhere in there. Please don't ask me about the fruit thing."
- You throw away the Buy Buy Baby and Babies 'R Us coupons because you figure you have everything you need for the next already since one has already survived under your roof. Then common sense sets in and you dig them out of the trash - there are some things you'll likely need two of.
- You whip out those maternity jeans the moment you find out your pregnant. After all, your stomach apparently akin to a memory-foam mattress: What? Four weeks pregnant? Okay, 16 week baby belly coming right up! Only this time, it's soft and pillow-like, rather than firm and tight. Those muscles disappeared long ago with that first child.
- Weird stuff happens to you and you don't think twice about it. The first time around, you thought you were dying at least twice a month, and you were Googling and researching you beautiful little brains out to abate your fears. This time, weird stuff happens and you just chalk it up to pregnancy. Even if it's not. It's a good excuse, right?
- You gain 10 lbs. in five weeks and don't even give it a second thought. The days of caring about being cute and adorable while pregnant are a distant memory. This ain't your first rodeo. You'll eat what you wanna eat. If you're going to be pregnant, at least you can be pregnant and happy. And we all know the key to a pregnant woman's happiness is the right food at the right time. And the right food usually consists of anything fried, buttered or sugared.
- Rather than plan that nursery from the moment you find out your pregnant, you start working on the nursery about eight weeks before that baby is due. Okay maybe five weeks, fine two weeks ... one week? You figure the pack n' play will work in a pinch or maybe even in the long-run. Who knows? Who cares? The baby sure doesn't.
- You become sad when you think about how the baby hairs on your head your body has worked so hard to grow back after baby number one are going to be lost again with baby number two. You are not looking forward to having the new-mommy-spiky-baby hair-halo around your hair line for another year.
- You understand that a birth plan is essentially writing down everything you don't want to have at your birth, so you don't give a birth plan for this one a second thought. Whatever happens, happens. And you figure you can at least give yourself a shot at having a desirable birth by having no expectations unlike the first time.
- People DO NOT CARE that you are pregnant when you announce it. The first time around, the room erupts in excitement at your news. Everyone's asking if you'll find out the gender, how you told your husband, and what you're most excited for. Second time around: "Cool. What's for dinner?"