As I sat in Liam’s room rocking him last night, I noticed how big his toddler body is. I remember rocking him when I could hold him against my shoulder with one hand. It seemed bittersweet to feel his weight against the new baby growing inside me, and I nearly teared up thinking about Liam not being my only baby. At the same time, I’m thrilled to be expecting, and I am so happy that we are having another son and giving Liam a brother to grow up with.
Like most moms, I often find myself comparing this pregnancy to my first pregnancy with Liam. Here are a few things I’ve found.
I was/am much more nervous about the baby this time.
I had an even harder time believing I was pregnant this time. I think it was mostly because I remember the last part of pregnancy the most clearly–feeling the baby kick constantly. I was very fearful about this baby. I think that since having a baby, I’ve heard many more miscarriage stories.
Oddly, though, we announced the pregnancy earlier.
Nearly a week after the first positive pregnancy test, we told most of our family members. After our 13 week ultrasound, we announced the news to friends and on Facebook. Last time, we waited until 10 weeks to tell anyone and until 22 weeks to post it on Facebook. This is because we were planning to quit our jobs as teachers and move last time, and everything felt very uncertain. This time I realized that if something happened to the baby, I would want family and close friends to know anyway.
The nausea has been worse; the fatigue has been better.
I remember reading that being distracted by a job made the nausea better for some moms. That was definitely the case for me. Teaching all day helped keep my first trimester nausea much lighter. On the flip side, though, teaching all day made me totally exhausted (mothering a toddler does not compare to the exhaustion of my teaching days.). So this time, I have tried to keep myself as distracted as possible for nausea’s sake. But I do feel a lot less tired even though Liam is still up often at night (or maybe I’ve just come into a state of permanent exhaustion and now remember nothing else.).
I wasn’t as anxious for the bump to grow.
Last time, I wanted a bump so badly. This time, I was excited about the bump and about showing but okay with taking my time getting there (and still hoping to avoid those dresses that made me look gigantic last time although maybe I just was gigantic).
As most moms say, the bump seems to grow faster the second time. However, I feel like it has evened out now. I was super excited to pull out maternity jeans this time–the button trick that worked for a while last time lasted all of two minutes this time.
I am much more excited about meeting the baby (I can picture it more easily).
Last time, since I knew the baby would come eventually, I was in no rush. I went to forty-one weeks and had no urgent feelings about giving birth. We had just moved and finished our year of teaching, so all the time to rest before the baby came felt good.
This time, I know how much fun it will be to have a baby and meet him, so I just can’t wait! I also feel both more confident and less confident. I feel more confident because I know a little more about babies (and have to buy very little!), but I also realize each baby is so unique and there’s no predicting what will happen.
I don’t have to worry about becoming a stay-at-home mom this time, though, because I already am one. I think that was a much harder transition than I expected. Also, moving right before the baby came was intense.
I’m more relaxed about life with baby.
Last time, there was such a focus on stuff we would need. I remember being stressed about getting a crib and mattress before the baby came, even though Liam didn’t sleep in his crib at all for months (and still not through the night). This time, we already have clothes, seats, cloth diapers, strollers, a carseat, etc. I hope to get a bassinet and we may eventually look into double strollers, but I realize now that stuff is so secondary and you can get it quickly after the baby comes.
I am failing at the bump pics.
I vowed not to be a mom who stopped documenting after the first baby. But I definitely have not kept up with weekly bump pictures. I think part of this is because I’ve already seen my bump grow weekly (also the first baby means my computer storage space is quite limited). Also, though having a toddler is not as exhausting as teaching was, it does consume most of my daily hours. I’ve also only written one letter to this baby, and we’ve bought only one thing (a penguin bath towel Liam picked out to go with his own monkey one).
Preparing for Birth
One of my greatest fears EVER was giving birth. I ignored it for my first trimester last time. But then, I started researching and reading and became interested in a natural birth, which made me much less scared. I did as much as I could to prepare my body and my mind.
Even though I had to be induced after my water broke and my body did not go into labor, I was able to labor without drugs (mostly because the thought of a needle in my back was AT ALL TIMES worse than the pain of labor itself) and deliver without a C-section, which was what I had hoped. I know that all births are different, and there is no way to predict what will happen. I think I hold my hopes more loosely this time.
At the same time, I want to do everything I can to prepare for a healthy birth (and I would love it if my body went into labor on its own this time!).
I’ll share the things I’m doing to prepare tomorrow.