When looking back at my second pregnancy, I believe the recurring theme will be, “I forgot I was pregnant.” Now that I’m in the same scenario again, here are the major differences between pregnancy number one and pregnancy number two:
1. You Could Be the Size of An Avocado or An Alligator. Sorry Kid, I Have No Clue.
Your first pregnancy is all about research, research, research. Every week you watch your apps in awe of how your cute little fetus develops, envisioning that little cluster of grapes or cumquat in your stomach. (I hated when they used random fruits like cumquat or rutabaga and I’d then have to google what the hell those things were.) Anyways, you are completely in the know. You know what’s going on inside your body, and are preparing for everything that’s about to happen outside your body.
Cut to the second pregnancy, now with a toddler. You are a zombie. A zombie put in charge of raising a child. A zombie who’s racing mental mantra is, “When is it naptime? When is it naptime? Fifteen minutes early? Eh, close enough.” Your only goal is to make it though the day.
So unlike the first time around, where after a long day of work you could head to bed at six o’clock during that first trimester, this time around you have no choice but to power through bath, bottle, and bed. And then do it all over again. Sorry my little alligator, I may not be the best at keeping track of what week you are, but while “playing dead” and letting your sister use my nauseous, lifeless body as a human jungle gym, I do try to block her from kicking you. See, I do remember that you are there! Most of the time…
2. “Let Me Buy That New, Shiny, Expensive Baby Gadget!” - Said No Second Mother Ever.
My registry consumed many months of my first pregnancy. I asked all my mom friends what products they recommended and would then scour the Internet for ‘Must have’ items. Is it cute? Is it a pretty shade of gray? Is it safe? Those were my top concerns. And in that order.
Now guess what? All of that cute, gray shaded baby gear has s!@% stains all over it. That goes for every piece of clothing I owned for the first six months of her life. My daughter was the blowout queen and I have no doubt her sibling will follow in her footsteps.
Therefore, this time around I’m all about borrowing anything I don’t have. No more new, nice stuff. Bring on the recycled shat covered hand-me-downs. You only use them for a couple of months anyways. We bought a nice Baby Bjorn bouncer (gray of course) for my daughter. We were then gifted a rickety looking bouncer. Guess which one she preferred? Babies are bargain shoppers from day one, and you should be too.
3. Think You Want Out Of the Newborn Stage? Think Again.
All I kept hearing was that I just needed to survive the first three months. Get through those and you’ll be okay. But as I’ve learned, there are pros and cons to every stage of a child’s life.
While yes, in those beginning months you are up at night and a constant feeding machine, the kiddo just lays there. You can walk away and not worry about them climbing into the fireplace; ripping off every piece of baby proofing material you just spent hours putting on, or rummaging through bathroom cabinets to find their new favorite toy – an old box of tampons. Point being – it’s a different kind of exhaustion.
I will be the first to admit that I wasn’t very present or connected with my newborn the first time around. I was too shell-shocked with what had just happened to my body and the huge transition I was going through in life. But the second time around, I’m already in ‘Mom-mode’ and know what I’m in store for.
So my little baby alligator, although you may feel like an afterthought right now, know that I cannot wait to meet you. I cannot wait to snuggle with you. I cannot wait to see your ‘Milk drunk’ face after a feeding. I cannot wait for all of these things, because I now know how fast it goes by. Pretty soon you’ll be pushing your head off of my shoulder and playing with my Super Pluses like your sister.
But for right now my little baby alligator, you are still mine. All mine. And when you come into this world, it doesn’t matter that you were number one or number two, there is still a special place in this world… just for you.
Oh and just in case you were worried little alligator, I plan on re-washing everything.