Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Pregnancy take two

It's with a real feeling of deja vu that I wrap up work almost exactly two years after I did last time, to have a baby due a mere three days before Amotai's second birthday. In many ways, being pregnant again feels very similar, especially as the seasons change at the same rate as I slow down. In both cases, I felt seedy and dehydrated in late summer, experienced the lovely second 'glowing' trimester over autumn and early winter, and am now starting to slow down at the same time that daffodils start to appear. I have now worn my ugly pregnancy coat for a second winter.

There are differences, though, doing this pregnancy malarkey a second time. Of note:

The negative 

1. It really is more tiring with a toddler. 

This is what everyone says, and everyone is right. Amotai is a delight, but is also a ball of energy who loves running, dancing, singing, and "Mum read a book! Read a book!" He is also a toddler who has only reliably slept through for four months of his almost two years, and those four months weren't this year.

I love spending time with him, but I am pooped.  Last pregnancy, I enjoyed nana naps and early nights. This time, they are an essential part of being a functioning human being. Some might even say an essential part of me not turning into a crazy hormonal woman.

"Atai running!"

2. Labour

Last time, I didn't know what labour was like so wasn't too worried about it. Nor did I know that it could only take 4.5 hours. This time, though, I remember the pain. It worries me a bit more than the first time around. 

3. The guilt

Am I ruining Amotai's life? Will he be irrevocably damaged by having a sibling? Will he feel betrayed? And so on and so forth. I know that it will probably be fine, but his disappointed little face when I stopped letting him ride me like a horse did make me sad. I just hope that the Thomas the Tank Engine toy I have bought him as a "gift" from the new baby is enough of a consolation prize, although I suspect it will fall short terribly and he'd rather just be the complete centre of my world.

The positive

1. Knowing I love being a mum and that it's worth it

Last time I didn't know how much I'd love being a mum, and didn't know how much I'd embrace life in the 'burbs. This time I do though, and am really looking forward to it, much more than I did last time as I no longer have those 'what if I am really really bad at it' thoughts. I also don't care about all of things that you give up (albeit temporarily) to start a family, whereas the first time around the idea of not being able to go backpacking for some time worried me a little. As corny and cliched as it sounds, this time I know that having babies really is worth the sleepless nights, nappies and all of the other things that I spent time worrying about when I was pregnant the first time.

2. Better networks

Last time around, I had some great people to talk to about babies, although they tended to people with older children. This time, I know so many more people with young children, largely because of all of the lovely women I've met through Amotai's activities and my antenatal group. Many of these women are now having their second children as well, which is even better in terms of having like-minded people to talk to.

3. Fewer smug thoughts

Like most people without children, I used to always have (secret) smug judgmental thoughts about what  my offspring would and wouldn't do. Drink juice. Watch TV. Have "iPad" in their vocabulary. Take a child out in public with a face covered in boogers. Teach them rude names for celebrities I don't like. Now I know that there is little point in getting worked up about what you will and won't do until you actually live it for yourself.

4. Used to sleepless nights

Yes, this is sort of a contradiction with my above point on tiredness, but I'm going to roll with it anyway. Last pregnancy, when I got to the stage I am now where I couldn't sleep well due to a combination of sore legs/massive bump/tiny bladder, it hit me quite hard. This time, I'm much more accustomed to waking up in the night

Does anyone else have any tips about managing the late stages of a second pregnancy?

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