Planning a family takes a lot of work and forethought. How many children do you want, how far apart and so on. It can be a rather joyous time in a parents life to look forward to their own little (or big) family. With your first child everything is so exciting it doesn’t seem to matter how difficult the experience is. Nausea, no big deal. Heartburn, it can be lived with. Not being able to take cold pills, spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol, etc…worth it. You usually sleep pretty well up until your last few months when you are too big to do anything comfortably.
With your second pregnancy though, you may have a toddler to take care of. All the things that seemed easy to deal with now seem like just one more thing to push you over the edge into the insanity pit. It seems to me that everything this time is harder.
Let’s start at the beginning
Conception itself is difficult, trying to find quiet time when your toddler is not in your bed – for us it took nine months of patience. Telling your family, no matter how creative you try to be, the good news is just not received the same as with your first. They are of course happy but no where near the excitement. Then with your second baby you don’t quite have the ab muscles you did with your first so you show a lot earlier and it seems like everyone is asking if you’re pregnant from like 1 1/2 months on. With Madison it seemed like all the stores were adding a nice maternity section, and with this one they took it away and put it all on the internet (at least in my area).
Really? The internet? Pregnant women already have awkward bodies in all shapes and sizes, do they really think we want to have to order, try on, and ship back what doesn’t work?
Your baby feels more heavy this time, especially when you also have a toddler who wants to occasionally be picked up and carried, therefore you are much more tired. Although you may be wishing for a decent night’s sleep after your exhausting day, someone will be keeping you up. Whether they get in your bed, need to use the restroom, are sick and throw up all over leaving a mess for you to clean up, or just plain want to get up with the sun. Reaching the car seat is not so easy now with your tummy in the way either! Your chores have more than doubled from your sweet little midget running around touching things with sticky fingers, eating 12 snacks a day, playing with every toy they own and some they don’t. After your day of cleaning up you are only allowed to take Tylenol, which in my opinion is like taking a sugar pill. You stop and think to yourself “this seemed so much easier the first time” and that is because it was. If you’re “lucky” like me your toddler will also decide to stop taking naps when you need them most and although their bedtime is supposed to be at 8:00 they really never fall asleep until you are.
With your first baby, you may have watched some of the pregnancy shows and design shows to help you pick names, decide what the room would look like, and what birth would be like. Now you get to watch Dora the Explorer instead, while you are scrubbing stains off your carpet. When you were pregnant the first time you may have still gone out to eat with your husband and enjoyed it but now when you go out you spend your entire time telling your toddler to sit down, eat their food and stop staring at other people. Oh well, you would probably just end up with gas and bloating anyway from all the salt.
Every time you sit your weary body down your toddler will need something right away.
You may be tired, but teaching your toddler to color and sing ABC’s is quite fulfilling. Knowing that they are going to soon have a little sibling to play with and sharing the baby kicks with them is the most perfect thing in the world. Maddie has loved going to my Dr. appointments and hearing the heartbeat. She then comes home and gets her toy stethoscope and pretends to listen to my tummy. Precious. She recently developed more interest in her baby doll, feeding it a bottle and putting it to sleep.
So yes, being pregnant with a toddler is a lot of work but nothing makes your heart smile like your little one getting involved with the pregnancy. Maddie has helped us pick out outfits and paint colors for “my baby” as she calls it. Thinking about having another baby made me realize that Maddie’s baby years are practically over and it has made me slow down and cuddle her more and cherish what little baby is left in her. We have to remember that when things are hard we still have to enjoy every moment because soon those moments won’t be there any longer.