You always hear people joking about the differences between how you prepare for and parent your first child as opposed to your second, third, etc. My mom still occasionally laments about how few pictures she has of my younger brother – her third – as a child. Now that I’m in the middle of my second pregnancy, I get it. Basing things on how completely different this pregnancy experience has been in comparison to my last, I’d say overall, we’ll be more relaxed parents this go around! What’s noticeably different so far? For starters:
I was busy with a demanding work project during my first pregnancy, but I distinctly remember being able to come home at night. I was exhausted after working too many hours plus a long commute, but I could put my feet up and relax while watching TV and eating a bowl of cereal a quick dinner. What I wouldn’t give to be that tired.
I’m still working long hours and commuting, but instead of relaxing when I get home, my evening goes something like this: leave the city, rush to daycare pickup, convince toddler to eat a nutritious dinner (or anything at all for that matter), bathe him, wrestle him into pajamas, read a million stories and then tuck him into bed. Then, it’s downstairs to prep for the next day, scrounge up something for dinner, and do an hour or two of work before I collapse in bed. Only to do it all over again tomorrow. Gone are the days of kicking back and relaxing with a bowl of fro-yo and What to Expect When You’re Expecting.
Documenting the bump.
Throughout my first pregnancy, I took regular “bump shots” and spent countless hours capturing videos of the kicks and waves my son was inflicting on my tummy from the inside. I kept a close watch on various pregnancy apps, following along with how many weeks I was and what fruit or vegetable the baby was the size of that week. This time around, I literally have to check The Bump app on my phone to remember how many weeks I am. And I have a grand total of maybe four bump pics thus far, all of which more prominently feature my adorable toddler. To sum it up, this pregnancy has gone something like this:
Last time around, we had a birth plan written up, had taken Hypnobirthing and an infant CPR class, had hospital bags packed, lactation cookies flash frozen in the freezer ready to bake, and were pretty much prepped and ready to go. This time around, all we’ve thought about and talked about are the logistics for our son – what if I go into labor in the middle of the day and he’s at daycare? We need to make sure someone can pick him up and that means we need an extra car seat. What if I go into labor in the middle of the night? Who can come over and stay with our son until a family member can make it to our house?
I decided I’m taking a day off of work next week so I can catch up on all that I need to do for baby #2, like review my Hypnobirthing materials, get out all of our newborn clothing and gear, dust off that infant car seat, find my breastfeeding and pumping supplies, pack our hospital bags, and buy some newborn diapers! I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
Stress and anxiety.
As first-time parents, we worried about pretty much everything. What would labor be like? Would everything go according to our birth plan? What if I didn’t make it to the hospital on time? Would we know what to do when we got the baby home? How do you change a diaper, really? One major positive of my second pregnancy is not only not having the time to stress or worry, but there’s also a newfound confidence. We’ve already had one child, and things seem to be going ok there (we haven’t broken him yet!). At least we have a sense of what’s coming our way when we get home from the hospital… from what we can remember of those sleep-deprived first few months, at least!