Pregnancy: the second time round
You may have noticed that I haven’t blogged in quite some time. You may not.
I haven’t given up and have no intention to – I still have plenty of parent related issues to moan about and critique. The simple reason I haven’t blogged is because I’ve been too tired. No, not tired. Exhausted. Fatigued. Completely, totally and utterly knackered!
Work is crazy, family life is busy and there always seems to be something to do, but that I can just about manage.
The reason I’m so exhausted is that my energy is being slowly but surely drained and stolen by a parasite, sucking the very life out of me.
That’s right – I’m pregnant!
It’s wonderful news. We were lucky enough to get one healthy little baby and now we’ll be blessed with two. I’m grateful, and wouldn’t want to ever take for granted how fortunate we’ve been – loads of people would love to be in our situation and I know we don’t necessarily deserve it.
Unfortunately, it’s sometimes difficult to remember that because the old wife’s tale – that if you remembered how tough it all was to have a baby, you’d never do it again – turns out to be true. Being pregnant second time round is crap. And here’s why…
- The exhaustion
Before I became a mum, I thought I had a busy life. Then I had a baby and wondered what the hell I’d been moaning about. Then I got pregnant again and wanted to travel back in time and punch my twenty-something childless self in the face. The early months of pregnancy must be some form of natural endurance test to make sure you’re up to motherhood, making you constantly shattered and confused, but adding in the awkward fact that no one understands why. At least when you have a baby you can excuse the giant bags under your eyes with the simple phrase ‘night feeds’ or ‘teething!’, but when you haven’t yet had your scan and are trying to keep it quiet, you just look like you’re falling apart. It’s all bad enough the first time round, but when you have to go through it while working full time and coming home to a toddler demanding that you do jigsaws, play racing games, let him help with the cooking and entertain a small stuffed monkey, all while you continue to run a semi-functional household, it’s all you can do not to fall asleep flat on your face in the middle of the street and allow worried passers-by to carry you to the nearest hospital just for a bit of a rest!
- Everyone knows
While you put all your energy into hiding your sickness, baby-brain and total exhaustion, it’s all a massive waste of time. Turns out since you last popped out a sprog everyone’s been desperately waiting and anticipating the next arrival. While revealing the news that you’re about to be a parent first time round is one of the loveliest and most heart-warming experiences you can have – greeted by surprised shrieks, happy sobs and ecstatic hugs – second time round you’re more likely to be met by smug smiles, knowing shrugs and comments like ‘I had a feeling’, or ‘We wondered when you’d tell us’, or worst of all ‘Oh, we’ve all known for ages!’ as if through some magical prescience your friends and family were able to foretell the arrival of your next child from the very moment of conception. Why you ever bothered putting on a brave face through those early months is now a total mystery.
- Being massive!
Of course hiding your pregnancy is hardly made easier by the fact that your body has already been well and truly ruined by your first child. While first time mums wander around with neat little bumps gradually poking out as the later months approach, your existing sprog has already stretched your muscles to buggery so even though the baby itself is only the size of a pea you’re walking around looking like you’ve shoved a cushion up your jumper from the day after the test showed up positive.
- You hate all your clothes
The problem with getting big so soon is you are quickly faced with the prospect of maternity clothes. If your friends are anything like mine they’ll have offered helpful advice during your first pregnancy like ‘Don’t waste money on maternity clothes you’ll only wear for a couple of months – just buy bigger clothes from Primark and a couple of really cheap maternity dresses’. Great advice, thanks. It was bad enough feeling so frumpy for a few weeks back then, but now I’m faced with months and months (because who knows when you get your figure back after a second when you don’t have the pressure of an OK magazine cover to spur you on!) of looking like I’ve escaped from my shackles at the kitchen sink and crawled through a bargain basement reject clothes sale.
- No wine!
The shining light at the end of the tunnel – apart from the vague recollection that there is a period of pregnancy respite before the horrendous heartburn and permanent discomfort of a giant bump begins – is that all the rubbish is worth it to get the baby at the end. In a feat of what I can only assume is a rare moment of nature’s kindness, my psyche is currently shielding me from remembering how hard that bit is.