3 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me about a Second Pregnancy
My firstborn was 20 months old when I found out I was pregnant again. I did not give much thought to how physically and emotionally different it would be from my first pregnancy.
It would make sense that it WOULD be different, seeing as this time around, I actually had a child to look after. I do wish someone had told me just how different things would be.
Here are three things I wish someone had told me about a second pregnancy.
1. It is physically challenging
When you have a toddler, you can expect to get physical. There will be a lot of lifting, whether for practical reasons or for play. There will be a lot of getting down and getting up off the floor, when he wants to play cars or blocks or puzzles. There will be the uncomfortable act of trying to fit into his single bed when you're putting him down for a nap and he wants to cuddle first. As your belly grows, it gets harder. I'm still amazed I managed to lift my 30 pound child around up until I was nine months along.
The plus side is I managed to stay fairly fit with all this physical activity!
2. It gets emotional
This really hit me in the second trimester: the reality of bringing a second child into your cozy unit of three; the mind-boggling idea of juggling two young children; the fear that your heart may not love another child as much; the apprehension that your firstborn may have trouble coping with the idea of a baby who will take mommy's attention away from him. I admit, sometimes the anxiety swallowed me whole. I had to remind myself to breathe and know that I could and I would get through it.
I can tell you now that I know I can juggle two children under three, I can love another child just as much, and that my first son loves his baby brother fiercely.
3. Take time for yourself
When you have two children, you will marvel at the fact that you used to think you were busy and had no time to yourself. Truly, when there is one child to care for you actually will be able to carve out time for yourself and you absolutely should. Now with two children, it's still doable but more challenging if I need to take some time to myself to run errands, or just do something nice like get a pedicure.
It's easy to get overwhelmed when you're pregnant and caring for child. Pregnancy itself is exhausting and emotional. Couple that with the day-to-day commitments of life and making sure you're looking after the needs of your firstborn, it can all seem too much. Do remember you need to look after yourself and your baby. Ask for help. Take time for yourself. Sleep as much as you can. Eat well. Enjoy the one-on-one time with your firstborn.
Most of all, remember that you can do this!