Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The second time around

Being pregnant the second time is vastly different from the first.

For beginners, no one really fawns over you like they did the first time. It's kind of like getting pregnant the first time was an amazing emotional accomplishment and this time is more like the predictable movie sequel.

You're much (emphasis on the much) more tired because you already have a toddler to take care of. And if they're anything like mine, they insist on a game called "run mommy, run!" all. over. the. house. The first time you got to rest whenever you wanted because the only person you really had to take care of was yourself, and all that really meant was eating and sleeping. And getting pedicures because there was plenty of time and no way you could feasibly reach your toes yourself.

The first pregnancy you anxiously read emailed baby updates every week and thumb through "What to Expect When Expecting" daily relaying the most interesting and shocking tidbits to your husband, parents, friends, etc. You take pictures of your growing belly every week documenting its growth to the day. The second pregnancy no one really asks how big the baby is this week or how you're feeling, and you're so busy with your already child-filled life you realize at nearly 20 weeks you haven't taken one belly picture.

The first time you plan the nursery months in advance, playing close attention to every detail, safety precaution, product recall, and SIDS warning. Today I realized I'd rewritten "choose nursery paint color" on my to do list for the third week in a row because I just haven't had a chance to do it. And it would probably take me 4 minutes.

The first time you wouldn't even think of touching caffeine, excess sugar, (wine, ahem), or lunch meat. The second time you enjoy the occasional glass of red, you eat feta, and you suddenly subscribe to the mentality that a little caffeine never hurt anyone. It's like once you've been blessed with a healthy baby you become incrementally less worried about the next and just assume everything will be fine. Though I don't think my current consumption of candy corn is helping anyone.

You're also more emotional. Like, a lot more emotional. Because the first time you're excited but you have no idea what being a parent means, or the emotional connection you'll have with your child. This time you know exactly how meaningful it is and how deep an impact it has on your life which makes it even more amazing and awe-inspiring. And tear-inducing. When I saw our little boy on the screen a few weeks ago I immediately started bawling so badly the technician had to stop what she was doing and get me a tissue. I never once cried at one of Madelyn's ultrasounds. I didn't quite get it yet. Now it just blows me away.

I'd say the second time I feel much more lucky, because I realize what a tremendous honor it is to not only be Madelyn's mother but also what it will mean to parent our sweet baby boy. I'm more relaxed, because I don't have the extra energy to stress and worry. And I'm trying to cherish every minute because I see how quickly Madelyn has gone from a baby to a little person, and I know with two it's not going to get any quieter around here :)

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