1) No one seems to really care. It’s kind of a been there, done that thing. No one sends cards or gifts or wants to throw you showers. They assume you have everything, especially if it’s the same gender. Your first child certainly doesn’t seem to care because he still needs all of your physical and emotional attention. Your husband doesn’t seem to care as much bc he is busy getting ready for the baby to come and therefore misses the fact that you need some downtime. And your body doesn’t seem to care. It’s completely out of whack from the first time so everything is much more painful this go-round. But I care.
2) You don’t really have the ability to rest like you did the first time around because telling your almost-three-year-old “mommy is sleepy” just doesn’t cut it. The doc even recognizes this when I list a myriad of pains in her office that I didn’t have the first time around. “You need to rest but I guess you can’t really with number two.” Yep, pretty much. My son is learning that I can’t carry him as often though or as far so we’ve gotten to be good at hand-holding.
3) You don’t keep up with it the way you did the first time around. I can’t tell you how many weeks I am or what size my baby is this week. If I had to guess from how I’m feeling I would say he is the size of a watermelon. But I know I have three more months so logic and reasoning tell me he’s probably about the size of a banana or something. I think grapefruit isn’t till the later weeks. But I just don’t have time to read my What to Expect book, (thank God for the App) and somewhat don’t care what’s happening to my body this week bc I feel it. So there’s no secret when it says “you’ll prob gain weight this week.” No shit.
4) I’m not as scared of labor. But I do know all deliveries and pregnancies are different, so I probably need to crack open the WTE book around month 8 to relearn the signs of labor and all that jazz. My son came three weeks early on his own through a slow drip of water breaking, so I wasn’t even sure I was in labor until the nurse said, “nope, you’re not going home. You’re six cm dilated.” And then the contractions hit so I couldn’t really deny it much longer. Yep, this time around I will be more prepared. I hope. But it doesn’t mean it will be easier or better. But I have heard it goes faster so who knows, I could get lucky.
5) I seem to be more relaxed though, probably because I don’t have the time to focus on it. Or I’m just exhausted and being anxious is too much emotion to couple with being tired, so tired just overtakes me, numbing other emotions or feelings.
6) People seem to think that because it’s the second or third time around, that I have this down and know what I’m doing. That I won’t need as long of a maternity leave and will not need to bond or figure things out as much. In some ways I think it will be the opposite. I know how to handle one kid but I have no idea what to do with two!
7) Money is no longer around like it once was. Not to say I was ever rich but before I had my son, I think we must have been millionaires as to how today compares. Daycare tuition is like one of those really hard-to-get-off suction cups that keeps draining my bank account. But I do relish knowing my son is safe, smart, learning valuable skills everyday and fed and all that stuff that goes along with watching him all day. I may not even be able to do all of those things if I were a stay at home mom (I highly admire stay at home moms) so I’m grateful I can pay someone to do those things for him. Thankfully, we DO have most of what we need for baby number two and I’ll have a few glorious weeks of only paying one daycare tuition so I will relish in my few hundred bucks leftover every month until time for number 2 to go to school.
8) I’m more excited though, than I was the first time. I don’t have the anxiety nor the wonder or fear of whether or not I can be a mom and keep a child alive. So far we’ve made it 35 months with my little munchkin and he’s not slowing down anytime soon. Sure there have been some parenting fails (Hey kid: remember that time I let you eat spicy salsa bc I forgot to check it and you screamed at the Mexican restaurant? Or the time I didn’t realize you could crawl and you went upstairs but thankfully our dog was protecting you one step at a time while I had to pee?) but for the most part, we’ve done a good job. So this time around I’m excited to witness so many of the things that are fun about babies.
9) I know it’s my last, so I’ll try to savor it. The first time around I was so stressed I wanted to wish away the newborn months and just get to a point where I felt like me again. I had no idea what all these weird hormones were. I thought we’d be stuck in eternity at the six-week-reflux-screaming-stage for forever. I didn’t know there was light at the end of the tunnel. I hadn’t yet experienced those baby giggles and chubby legs and kisses. I hadn’t heard my son say Mommy yet or I love you or sleep through the night. I only knew when I put him down, he screamed bloody murder because his poor chest was on fire from the reflux. His little 5.5 lb body was just trying to gain some weight and I was hoping I could remember which boob I’d fed him last from. It was all such madness that I know now really will not last long. So this time I will enjoy those coos, those gassy smiles that aren’t really smiles, the first steps and the repeating Baby Signing Time videos bc as annoying as they were, they have nothing on hearing 5 little monkeys on repeat 24/7 that my son watches, sings, listens to on every device possible. And when he is void of an electronic device, he sings it in multiple languages (thanks YouTube) and inserts it into books that have nothing to do with monkeys.
10) I feel like I have a secret. I feel like while no one else is really caring out there, I am. I am trying to take care of my body and know that this little greatness is being created inside of me. I know through all the aches and pains and tired yawns, it will all be worth it. I created this baby with my love for my hubby and he (baby) was very intentional and wanted. It wouldn’t be fair to start off already jaded and unexcited about this baby. I will try not to compare him to my first son, will try to recognize his own unique talents and abilities and encourage his personality to shine through that of his big brother. He doesn’t know it yet but he has quite a charismatic older brother who is going to be hard to outshine. So if anything, I will try even harder to make sure he isn’t left in the shadows. He will always be my youngest, my baby, and therefore always have a special place in my heart. I cannot wait to meet him!