Pregnancy the second time round is definitely different, it’s, how can I say, a bit more ‘down to business’. The rose tinted glasses you wear at all times on the first round to get through the fear and unknown are now a bit worn out. They’ve got a few cracks in them and have a bit snot smeared up the lenses, they don’t seem to be working quite so well anymore. There’s no surprises this time round, you know exactly what’s coming. It’s not that its not special and all lovely like in round one (yes its ok to liken your pregnancies to boxing rounds ok?), it is still special, but its just not such a big deal. When we found out I was pregnant with Phoenix (aka round one), suddenly everything in our life changed. The way I felt about myself and our relationship and life completely changed. At that point in time, life was about to go mental (quite literally, I’m still waiting for the mentalness to end?!). We spent every moment talking about the baby, buying things, moving house, getting everything ready. Every week I was on that app looking at what the baby was doing inside me – when it could hear, when it had finger nails: it was an obsession, in a good way of course. This time round, I have that same app, I glance at it, but to be honest every time it sends me an alert to say its another week older my initial reaction is ‘argh crap, it’s coming for us!’ This pregnancy is going SO quick its crazy, I felt like I was pregnant for bout 4 years last time and this time its zooming. I suppose the big difference in round two is that this time nothing really major is going to change in lives, we’re already parents, we’re all set up for babies, we know what we’re doing (ahem), so many things will be much the same in a way….I’ll simply do everything I do now, but also have a baby (oh christ, what are we doing?!) There will be some adjustments to be made having an extra little person to care for, but its not like they’re a new species unfamiliar to me – although on the flip side I seem to have managed to forget everything about babies which is handy.
I found out I was pregnant just before Xmas. I was delighted, but unlike last time where we instantly suspended in topsy turvy wonderland of joy and emotion, I had breakfast to make and a child to convince to use the potty. Until the scan, Ben was pretty much in denial. I can see second time round there is less sympathy by men. All you want to do when your expecting is nap – I could nap on demand I really could. But a nap is like the holy grail of parenting – you’re kind of not really allowed them, and if you do get one then your going to owe one back to your partner – they WILL be cashing that back in. At least its rare they come without a debt in our house. So of course, I have taken huge enjoyment in Ben desperatley trying not to show annoyance if I’ve needed a sleep or demanded a massage – it really have been great fun.
One thing I had forgotten all about was the general public’s somewhat weird reaction to pregnant women. One of the nice things about being pregnant is people are nice to you, but some people are really weird and don’t really know how to act. Sometimes people act like they’ve never seen or spoken to a pregnant last before and kid of act a bit like your trousers have just fallen down and there’s an embarrassing moment happening between you. Plus people choose the oddest expressions to describe you. Let me explain more – second time round you pop out early, I googled this because I was in shock when I started showing at just a few weeks. To check I wasn’t growing some kind of giganticourous I looked on some forums where loads of mums were writing the same thing. I poured through 100s of posts of astounded women on round two looking at their early bump in disbelief at just a few weeks. As I did the same I was able to sum up the outcome of all my research in one single statement: “your stomach muscles are now fucked. Welcome to your subsequent pregnancies, enjoy.” Excellent, delighted to be here I thought. So when people have asked me how many weeks along I am, and I have replied with a number clearly they weren’t expecting, they have chosen from a list of the following interesting exclamations either in combination or single word usage:
Oh my god – huge – twins – massive – what are you going to do? – wow – whats in there? – woah – ooooooo – big isn’t it? – giant
I mean seriously? Really!? Is there any need to describe anyone, let alone a woman overflowing with hormones who is susceptible to punching someone in the ear at the sheer mentions of these words?? The same also goes for the opposite of these words – tiny, nothing there etc, also equally scary and annoying although I have no experience there to draw on there with my ‘huge, massive, giant thing that I don’t know what I’m going to do about’. So as a general rule, if you take away anything from this blog, do not refer to a pregnant lady as huge or other such terminology. Obviously she is allowed to describe herself in this way, but if she says ‘oh my god I’m so huge aren’t I?’ you quite simply just say, nah, you’re perfect, all bump, you must have a really happy healthy baby in there’. Then smile nicely and give her a cake. And then another one.
Phoenix knows there’s a baby in my tummy, which must be such a weird concept for a toddler. He likes to listen to the bump and say ‘no I can’t hear it, maybe I’ll come back when it’s a grown up’. I don’t think I’ll be hanging onto it in there for that long however cute that is. He would like a sister called Paul or Oliver and wants to know what toys it will have, its good he’s got the important things all sorted out. I will start reading some books about it when I get a bit bigger. I hope he will be ok, I think it will be good for him, he’s so demanding of my time and attention at the moment and will be good to learn about sharing within cruel reality of sibling-dom! Although he told me he had curtains for dinner today so I don’t think he thinks that deep just yet. He really does just want to know what toys are coming and more specifically if they are cars. He’s pretty much there on the potty now which is awesome and I’m trying to help him do more things independently before the baby comes like change a nappy, use the steriliser and puree fruit (joke…!).
One thing that is unique and cool about round two, is the thought of getting a family in place. Obviously we’re already a family, but now there’s another one coming it does feel like its been me and ben and phoenix for the last couple of years whereas another one will really be like a big family. Its funny how one more does feel like loads more. I haven’t even had the baby yet and I already feel like I have millions of children all of a sudden!! Hmmm I might just give the rose tinted glasses a little scrub and clean and soak up some of the convenience having just one child brings!