Today is our due date for baby number two. As yet, Sunny seems quite happy to stay put for the time being, thank you very much, and although I’m dying to meet him or her, I’m not rushing anything. It will all happen soon, that’s for sure.
However with the arrival looming and the wonder of maternity leave and a napping toddler upstairs, I got chance to reflect a bit on this pregnancy and realised just how different it has been to my first one…
Obviously every pregnancy is different and if I’m honest, I’m hanging on to the thought that every labour will be too as I’m not ready for another 27 hour one with four hours of pushing and panic buttons at the end, but that’s another story. But I think even so, there is no way your second pregnancy can quite live up to the first in lots of ways.
Don’t get me wrong, we’re just as delighted to be expecting again, and I’ve no doubt whatsoever that we will love Sunny just as much as we do Lottie from the minute we meet him or her, but here are the ways things have been different over these last 40 weeks to when we were expecting this one’s big sister.
- You never know how pregnant you are – Until the last month, I answered the ‘how far along are you?’ questions with a very rough estimation. ‘About six months’ or ’20-ish weeks’ were the standard responses. First time round, you tick off the weeks on the calendar, your app, your diary… This time, you don’t even know where your diary is (check the toddler’s toy box if in doubt, that’s where I find most lost items).
- There is no time for resting – When I was pregnant with Lottie, I worked in an office. I got home around 7pm every night and then did pretty much nothing. Mr M would cook, I might wash up if I was feeling energetic enough. Once a week I went to a lovely pregnancy yoga class and I often saw friends, went for a walk along the river, a swim in the outdoor pool, etc etc. Maternity leave just made whole days of that instead of evenings.
This time, once Lottie is in bed at 7.30pm, I start working (I now work from home). If she napped in the day, it was time for more work, or a super speedy clean and tidy of the house. I’m up before she is in the morning to get the horse done before Mr M needs to get ready for work and our entire lives are like a game of tag in childcare, work and household. Maternity leave has seen me spring clean the house, re-decorate the spare room for Lottie so the nursery is spare and do a rather last minute ‘get-everything-ready-for-the-baby’ sprint.
- It goes so much quicker – Probably because we have been so busy with everything else, but I can’t believe 40 weeks is already gone. I used to get so annoyed with people who told me Lottie’s pregnancy had flown by, as for me, it seemed to have gone on forever, whereas this time, I’m nodding along with them.
- Your partner takes SO much less notice of you – remember the first pregnancy where you weren’t allowed to do the hoovering? When he ran baths for you? Massaged your tired feet? Treated you like a princess? Not this time lovely, I’m afraid. Mr M is great with looking after Lottie when he is here, but that generally means he has no time for any TLC for me.
- Everyone takes SO much less notice of you – It’s kind of a running theme. I’m sure people just think ‘Oh right, up the duff again are you?’ You know what you’re doing this time, it’s not a novelty. Hell, you won’t even get a baby shower. Not that you’d probably have time for one anyway! Be warned though, everyone will start to take an interest at about 39 weeks, which is a tad annoying. If anyone else asks if I’ve had any twinges this week, I’m not sure I’ll be able to muster a polite response.
- You’re much calmer about your symptoms – You’ll remember the twinges that occur throughout and that they don’t necessarily mean anything is wrong, so you are far less likely to have daily chats with the maternity unit this time. (Even though a few of my latest symptoms have made me think labour was imminent, in reflection, I may have just been getting my hopes up!)
- You feel much better prepared – You know what you need and you’ll already have most of it from the last time. The nursery is likely to be ready made, along with lots of the newborn clothes, the car seat, the steriliser, pram, etc, etc. Get a few nappies with the supermarket shop, get the baby clothes down from the loft and wash them and you’ll be pretty much ready to go on the newborn front.