[Published by iVillage on 12 April here]
We did it. We made another human!
Of course, we feel unbelievably blessed and lucky. We wanted to have our babies close together so being pregnant now when our first bub is 10-months-old is pretty damn perfect. And I haven’t gone back to the corporate world (yet), and am not getting any younger, so why the hell not. But, amongst the joy are some niggling feelings…
It’s all well and good thinking about a potential second baby in theory. But when that little extra line on the pregnancy test appeared, the reality of it started to bite and sheer panic set in. Three words came to mind – I’m. Not. Ready.
I thought I was prepared. Now I’m freaking the f*ck out.
Two under two, what were we thinking? I’m already exhausted running around after a very active and mouthy ten month old in a two-storey house, what happens when I’m hippopotamus-sized and trying to chase a (probably by then) 15 kg toddler up and down stairs?
There are definite downsides to being pregnant again while already looking after a baby. Changing a very full nappy of a large baby who is well established on protein, carbs and veggies – that’s an experience that would turn any stomach, let alone that of a newly pregnant and very nauseous woman.
And then there was that particularly peachy moment last week when I suddenly needed to throw up and ran for the bathroom, only to have Number One follow me then stand there holding onto my back as I retched. He then proceeded to dirty his nappy in a big way while I was being sick. And I slightly peed myself at the same time – I guess that old pelvic floor never quite did get back to the way it was pre-baby!
Graphic, yes, but it serves to illustrate my current thoughts on women who are pregnant and already looking after children – you are superwomen. If you have more than one to look after while pregnant, you are an angel. People should bottle your strength and sell it, I want some of that magic.
With the sickness comes a multitude of other ‘pregnancy perks’ that I’m just not ready for. I’m not ready for my cankles to come back. I’m quite comfy sitting under my pre-first-baby weight, thanks very much. I’ve just started to enjoy how well my jeans fit. I’m enjoying my wine (oh red wine, how I miss you already), exercising properly, having a sex life back, and that things are relatively sorted on the sleeping/feeding/routine front with our boy.
I’m not ready to be a walking, talking cranky mole (as my husband would put it!) who can’t sleep on her back or front. I’m not ready to lose sight of my downstairs, place an ‘off limits’ sign on my boobs and waddle. I’m not ready to need to pee every 10 minutes, or be best friends with the porcelain throne, or be hoeing down cornflakes straight out of the packet like a woman possessed.
But I was the same with our first baby. We wished for him for ages, but then when it happened I was Freaking. The. Hell. Out. I worried about every little detail, stressed about every niggling pain, and counted down the agonisingly slow days until I gave birth. I now know that’s normal.
I guess the difference is that back then I was entering into the ‘Great Unknown’. Now that I know what to expect from pregnancy (I had a horrible first pregnancy, so this time can’t be worse than that – right?!) I can be more chilled about it… Right? Wrong! Worrywart should be my middle name.
I’m already thinking about how I’ll look after not one but two babies, one being a newborn. Oh. My. God. But I guess no one is ever ready. When it boils down to it, I know that I’ll do with Number Two what I did with Number One – wing it, go with the flow, and just get through it.
I know it’ll be tough. I know I’m going to be even more tired than I am now. I know time to myself will be even more non-existent. But, I also know it’ll be absolutely amazing.
What I am ready for is making room in my heart for another little person, the best parts of my husband and I. I’m ready for the unconditional love, the cuddles, the first moments, the hard moments (okay, maybe not the latching problems – please universe, this time can we please have perfect breastfeeding straight up?!), seeing our little man become a big brother and growing up next to his new sidekick, basking in the warmth of a full house of happy chubby bubbies and making this awesome threesome the awesome foursome we’ve always wanted.
It won’t be easy, but we’ll take each day in our stride and cherish every moment.