When I found out we were expecting again I was over the moon. Not just because we had wanted a second baby, but because I was ACTUALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO BEING PREGNANT. Writing those words now makes me sound, at best, completely deluded.
Because this is the thing.
Being pregnant with Penny was possibly the happiest, healthiest, loving-the-world-est I have ever felt. Crazy, right? I guess it must have been the hormones, or the fact she was so very wanted and waited for, or just feeling like I was somehow connected to a timeless human experience. Or something.
So I logically imagined that second time round would be just like that. What the hell, it would be even better! I would be even healthier, even stronger and fitter, even more relaxed, even more in love with my pregnant body.
Errr, no. Instead, I was 10 things. 10 totally unexpected things. Brace yourselves, mums of one. This is what it’s really like.
1. It’s going to be NOTHING like your first pregnancy. So bring to mind what happened first time round, and then think of the opposite. There you have it.
2. There is no second trimester. Yep, no energy surge and happy hormones this time round. You will go straight from the miserable sickness of the first trimester (which will in fact lasts more like 4 months), to 5 months of third trimester. Ok, so maybe you’ll have one or two days where you feel ‘alright’. Hold them tight and be grateful.
3. At least once, you will actually believe you are having a heart attack while running to catch a bus, be on time for a meeting, get your toddler to a music class, any excuse really for your heart to trick you into thinking you are going to die
4. No one will care. Apart from possibly your closest friends, your parents and your partner (when he remembers – “I keep forgetting you’re pregnant, haha.” Not funny) And even then, most of the comments you will get will be along the lines of “I can’t believe you’re having another baby!” as if nobody ever had more than one child, ever in the history of families.
5. You will eat everything and anything. Mostly your older child’s leftovers. Lots of sushi. Quite a bit of soft cheese.
6. You will drink almost more than you did before you found out you were pregnant again. I mean, you’re expecting a second child, that’s reason enough right?
7. You will in no way be fitter than you were first time round. It’s just not going to happen. Partly because of points 5 and 6, but also because when are you supposed to exercise, exactly? Unless you have a full-time nanny AND no job – in which case you have no excuse.
8. You will soon be SO OVER pregnancy. Suddenly, you are no longer an earth mother with a personal, intimate connection to the socket of life; you are just TIRED and you sigh a lot, and hope you won’t be too overdue.
9. Once you sit down, you will NEVER, EVER want to get up. It’s as simple as that.
10. You will come up with the most boring baby names, your baby name-picking ability is now a shadow of its former self. Because fundamentally you don’t really care, you just want it to have a name – any decent, normal name, really.