Pregnancy is so different the second time.
As a mom who is blessed with many mom-friends, I expected that my second pregnancy would be different than my first. Even so, I was unprepared for how significantly different my experience would be.
I’m carrying so much more this time. Not just in the literal sense of toting around a 40-pound 4-year old from time to time, though there’s that. I mean the depth and heaviness of emotions that
come not only from hormones, but also through experience. This time, I have a deeper sense of worry and a more profound awareness of how much our lives will change. Now I know how precious each moment is yet how hard it can be to get through the days. I know the joy and fear that go hand in hand with having a newborn, and the way it feels to love something so much that it actually hurts.
Sometimes I grieve the time that I’ll lose with my daughter. Many people have told me that they didn’t think they could love anything as much as their first child, until of course, they did. I still didn’t expect the sadness that washes over me when I realize that I won’t have as many moments with my daughter, or that it won’t be “just the three of us” anymore. Trust me, this doesn’t mean that I am not over-the-moon excited. I am very aware of what a gift it is to have another child. I just can’t imagine spending any less time with my daughter because she is all I know right now. Our world circles around her.
I forgot I was pregnant. Only during the first trimester, and only momentarily, but it happened. Sometimes people would say congratulations and it would take me a minute to process why. I promise I am not an ungrateful, cold-hearted monster. It’s just easier this time to be caught up in the thick of parenting, working, providing, managing schedules, and just living. I am so thankful now that I am feeling movement and more actively experiencing the pretty amazing miracle that is taking up a home in my body.
I just don’t have time. Last time, I napped after work, didn’t worry about cooking dinner if I was too tired, napped on the weekends, took prenatal yoga classes, and exercised regularly. And did I mention that I napped? This time, I inevitably go to bed later than I want and drag my tired bones out of bed later than I intend. At 22 weeks, we keep telling ourselves we need to talk about baby names, and haven’t even started the process of moving our daughter into the bigger room so we can set up the nursery for the baby. (But at least we have all the stuff!?)
It’s a completely different kind of amazing. There’s no question that it’s harder this time. I am older, have less energy, and a whole mountain of additional worries that never existed pre-kiddo. Most days I feel like I am juggling a million things, and just hope that I am doing something right as a parent, wife, friend, or professional. But now I know how lucky I am, and how fulfilling even the tough parts of parenting can be. I know exactly what kind of partner my husband will be, and that we will drive each other crazy and lift each other up. I know the community of support we have around us, and have learned to ask for help (most of the time).
Yes, I am carrying so much more this time. But the gratitude I feel makes light of any burden.