It’s 5:00 in the afternoon on a Monday and I’ve been laying here since 3:00 deciding which bridge I’d like to throw my body off of. I’m kidding! Kind of. All jokes aside my daughter has been what one would call “indifferent” the last week or so. I’m going to chalk it up to teething because… I’d hate to think she just doesn’t like us anymore.
When my husband and I talked about having a second child I genuinely didn’t think it would happen so quickly and so easily. And while I am so unbelievably grateful and beyond blessed to be able to experience the wonders of pregnancy all over again, let me just say this…
Having a small baby in the mix while gestating a new baby is some next level shit!
When all is said and done my kids will be 15 months apart. It has always been my dream to have my children close in age. When I was growing up my siblings and I were all so far apart that we never got to truly appreciate or enjoy one another. And honestly, after we received Ella’s Down syndrome diagnosis we decided we wanted more kids immediately to help challenge her, inspire her, take care of her and most importantly to advocate for her.
I went into this process thinking I was basically a seasoned pro because I’d been down this road before. This is one of those “if you wanna hear god laugh tell him your plans” moments. Because boy was I wrong. Sure I’d been pregnant before, but my previous pregnant body wasn’t also trying to raise a 9 month old.
I guess looking back I was so fortunate I was living with my mom for most of my first pregnancy. What I lacked as a wife and basic human being she made up for. She cooked and cleaned and nurtured me through the whole process. Looking back I don’t think I realized how grateful I should have been.
This go around I’m juggling my daughter, my husband, my pregnancy insomnia, my doctors appointments (because I’m still high risk, I see multiple offices) pediatrician appointments, weekly therapy appointments, three dogs who have made it their mission to eat anything that smells like baby milk, a part time job, a social life (play dates), work emails, phone calls, texts, Facebook messages… you fricken name it.
And I swear I’m not complaining. I mean maybe a little but don’t judge. I just didn’t think it would be this hard. So if you haven’t already been down this road to truly appreciate what this post is all about. Allow me to enlighten you.
The morning sickness is worse. I take that back because I don’t think I’ve ever been as sick as I was with Ella but man does it feel worse. When I was pregnant with my daughter I at least had the opportunity to relax, lay down, take a break if I needed to. This time… you don’t have the mental capacity to even process that you’re sick. You’re spoon feeding your kid Greek yogurt and next thing you know you’re running to the sink to throw up the frozen waffles you just spent 2 minutes inhaling. Then quickly brushing it off to go tend to your 9 month old whose now screaming because you quit feeding her mid bite. Even at work, when I was sick with Ella I at least had the leisure of taking my time booking clients. Now only working two days a week I struggle to give myself a break because I’m trying to cram as much into an 8 hour day as possible.
You sleep less. And by “less” I mean you basically don’t sleep. Like, ever. We decided about 2.5 months ago that it was time for my daughter to make her way upstairs into her big girl room because she had officially out grown her rock n play and bassinet. What I thought was going to be the best thing that ever happened to our sleep life, quickly turned into a joke. Turns out my daughter sleeps like a wild animal when there’s room to roll around. She tosses and turns all night long waking herself up. She then cries out in frustration which then echoes through the baby monitor that’s on our night stand. Which then wakes us up. This happens about 3-4 times a night. And just when you finally fall back asleep… it’s 7am and she’s ready to play. It’s all a sick joke really. Did I also mention that being woken up in the middle of the night for long stretches makes me hungry? And if I don’t feed the beast here comes the nausea!
Pregnancy symptoms come on harder and quicker. It may be the lack of sleep that’s to blame here, but good god I feel like I’m 40 weeks pregnant already! I haven’t gained a single pound thus far but my body feels so heavy and so out of shape. I can barely make it up a flight of stairs without having to sit down and catch my breath when I get to the top. If I’ve got my daughter in my arms while ascending these 17 steps? Forget it. I have to take a break half way through. And let’s not forget my swollen legs. But who could forget? They throb at all hours of the day. This particular “pregnancy symptom” didn’t come on until about 28-30 weeks during my last pregnancy. I developed some pretty gnarly varicose veins in my legs that hurt and itched like nobodies business. They quickly disappeared after I gave birth but have decided to rear their ugly head again pretty early this go around. This particular subject adds to another reason I don’t sleep at night. Throbbing legs that have to be propped up and elevated on stacks of pillows… super comfy.
Personal appearance takes a back seat. This one doesn’t have to do as much with being pregnant as much as it has to do with just being a mom. I say this all the time but truly I’m lucky to brush my teeth in the morning. And would you believe me if I told you I DID put on makeup this morning and somehow managed to make my face look worse? Saturday-Wednesday I basically look like a slum with my hair in a bun and yoga pants on deck. I noticed just how “out of it” I looked when Ella’s therapist pointed out last week that I “was finally starting to look better!” Because I had my hair and makeup done and had clothes on that didn’t resemble sleeping attire. Ugh, if it comes down to putting concealer on my face or playing with a baby whose hollering for my attention… guess who wins? Not my dark circles that’s for sure.
Your house suffers. My poor house. I had such high hopes when we moved into this pretty yellow home. I had visions of what each room would look like, the fixtures I’d buy, the paint colors id put on the walls. Nope. Instead it’s become a breeding ground for stuffed animals and things that squeak. My pretty hotel inspired bedroom has become a pet paradise where my pillows have accumulated endless amounts of dog hair and slobber. My dish washer smells like something died in it, my shower hasn’t been scrubbed in months, the laundry piles are 3 weeks old and it all goes completely unrecognized until you decide to invite a guest over to your home and realize you can’t allow them to see the way you really live.
And finally… why pregnancy the second go around is so much harder: you’re already raising another human, duh. Raising a child at any age and being pregnant at the same time is hard no doubt. But dealing with a 9 month old who so desperately craves independence and constant movement but hasn’t quite mastered how to do it all for herself is so frustrating! For her and me! My sweet girl is just that, sweet. 90% of the time anyways. The other 10% are reserved for the days when she’s screaming every 5 minutes because she wants to be held, she wants to be outside, she wants to be moving. My husband and I agreed pretty early on that we wouldn’t allow a tv to be a baby sitter for us. Not now anyways. We want our daughter to be exposed to as many experiences as possible. To be a sociable, well rounded little girl. We want her to be outside, to experience new places, new textures, new adventures. So because we’re so dedicated to giving our daughter all of these things, this is why days seem so long and so hard some times. Those days when all I wanna do is lay in bed and binge watch some trashy show on bravo my daughter is there to quickly remind me that I need to get my shit together.
So there it is. For all those women that told you their second pregnancy was “so easy” they’re probably lying. Or they forgot. Cute kids tend to make you forget all the hell you endured leading up to their arrival.
Namastay. In bed. But that’s not going to happen… ✌🏽