I always thought my pregnancies would be at least related to each other, but instead, they're like perfect strangers sitting across from each other on the bus, avoiding all eye contact. They have been so, so different. Mostly, it's the dramatic difference in my life that have made these pregnancies so unique. The first time around, all I thought about was baby. I was completely consumed by it. This time around, I pretty much forgot I was pregnant until I was too big to forget anymore.
It's so different being a second-time mom. You have the whole, "Been there, done that" attitude, and your life is such a crazy wonderful insane whirlwind of motherhood that, quite honestly, you don't have time to notice the little things like you did the first time around. And that's ok. You kind of float through your pregnancy, and you know this baby will be born, and you already know how much you are going to love and adore it, and that it's totally going to change your life. Only, this time, you're not scouring the baby books or deciding on your parenting philosophies. (Should we co-sleep? Cloth diaper? Baby wear? ). No, this time around, your only real plan is to throw open your arms and say, "Welcome to our chaos!" and love that new little baby with all your heart. Cherish every night-waking, diaper-exploding second of newborn, because this time, you know how fleeting and precious that time really is.
I guess things are different the second time around in more ways than just my lifestyle, if I had to be honest. Physically, it's been challenging. But also, less challenging. I'm a whopping twenty pounds lighter this time (yes, it's amazing what not eating Philly cheese steaks and fries every day will do for the scale), and in many ways, I am so much more tremendously comfortable this time around. However, I've also been thrown a few curve balls. I've been dealing with chronic pain this pregnancy that is only getting worse as the baby gets bigger. I have the added challenge of entertaining a most rambunctious two-year-old, one who is not at all content to sit on the couch with me all day, like I want to do. I remember wondering last pregnancy how on earth I would manage to be pregnant and care for a toddler at the same time. Now I know. You kind of get through your days winging it, with some seriously slacker parenting. You let things slide. You don't go anywhere, really. Everyone gets cabin fever and goes a little crazy, but at the end of the day, if your kid has all four limbs in tact and has eaten anything other than cheese, it's a good day.
Collin, blessedly, has been toning down the crazy acting out we've been seeing around here lately. He's better during his waking hours, but I think that's mainly because he's channeling all his anxiety into bedtime. Let me tell you, it's been a bedtime s***storm over here, every night. We start the bedtime routine at 7:30, and so far he hasn't actually fallen asleep any earlier than 10:30. There are monsters, and clowns, and raccoons, and skunks that are just waiting for him to be left alone in bed. I can understand the monster and clown fears, I even get the skunk fear, but the fear of raccoons is beyond me. So basically, he has an absolute PANIC attack if you leave him in bed alone and sobs and pleads with you to come back. It's pretty much the most heartbreaking sound you'll ever hear. I feel for the poor little guy, I really do. I'm not comfortable with leaving him to cry himself to sleep, so things have been a little tricky around here lately. I keep wondering how this is going to work out when the baby comes, but I have to remind myself that this is just a phase. This, too, shall pass (hopefully before the baby comes home). Everyone in our family has needs, and everyone deserves to have their needs met. That's what I tell myself.
Aside from all the differences in my pregnancies, there are a few similarities. I stomp around a lot in a hormonal, pregnant rage, just like last time. I crave cereal every night, just like last time. I think homicidal road rage thoughts every time I'm in the car, just like last time. See? It's not all different.