Monday, April 23, 2012

What to Expect When You're Expecting Again

During my first pregnancy, I found that people are really forthcoming about their experiences. By "people," I mean family members, friends, and strangers. And by "experiences," I mean horrible labour stories and a lot more use of the word 'vagina' than you’d like out of your mother or person you’ve literally just met. But whether you want to hear it or not, you can learn a lot from other people’s stories. You’ll either be prepared for the shit-show that pregnancy and childbirth bring or will be pleasantly surprised because you didn’t have it near as bad as everyone else.

For those readers who have yet to experience pregnancy, I compiled a short list of things I learned the hard way or by listening to someone else complain.  This is by no means a comprehensive list, but you’ll get the idea. You should expect:

  • one or more of the following to ruin your sleep long before anyone places an infant in your arms: back ache, heartburn, your bladder, nausea, irrational fears, or rational fears
  • to have to pee every five minutes, even when you haven’t consumed any beverages
  • to pay way too much money for maternity clothes, you know, because it makes sense for people to charge women $60 for one T-shirt that will only be worn for nine months
  • your boobs to look like they belong to a porn star
  • to develop a love-hate relationship with: bras, Tums, hot showers, other people’s opinions, sleep, greasy foods, and standing up
  • to become a raging B, a crying mess, and an over-sensitive worrier (sometimes all at once)

But see, I’ve come to realize that no one really talks about what to expect during your sophomore pregnancy. Sure, I hear a lot of people say that you’ll get bigger faster and that labour will be much quicker (though, fingers crossed, it will still allow me time for an epidural). I also often hear about the changing dynamic in your family – what the addition will mean to you as a parent and of course to your oldest child. That’s all well and great, but there are some things I’ve discovered that would’ve helped in preparing my mental state this time around. I created a list so that the rest of you will know what you’re getting yourself into. In addition to what’s above, you can:

If you could bring me some McDonalds, that would probably help.
Photo courtesy of
  1. Expect for everything to happen really fast. You know all those things we just talked about, that happen to you at a leisurely pace during your first pregnancy? They will happen right away and all at once during your second pregnancy. In fact, it all happens so fast that by the time you’ve finished having sex, your boobs will have outgrown your bra by ten sizes, you will be craving Big Macs, and the pregnancy rage will cause you to punch at least the first four people you see.
  2. Expect to actually forget that you’re pregnant. The first time around, everything is new and everything is a novelty. You’d never forget about the bun in your oven because you cannot think of anything else, ever, even when all your non-parent friends tell you you’ve turned into that preggo. The second time though, you not only have pregnancy-brain-turned-mommy-brain-turned-pregnancy-brain, but you have a toddler to look after. So yeah, you’ve got other things on your mind and sometimes you will wonder why the hell you’re peeing so often or why you seem to have perma-heartburn only to look down at your belly and go, “Oh. Right.” Hopefully this does not continue once the child arrives.
  3. Expect strangers to not touch your stomach. I know it sounds weird because with your first, everyone wants to touch your belly, even when you’re death-staring them, hoping they'll spontaneously combust. But my theory, and it’s all based on speculation, is that toddlers are people repellent. Think about it; toddlers are unpredictable. That sweet smile can melt into unmitigated rage faster than Disney can send a pre-teen princess into rehab. Nobody wants a piece of that, and so as badly as someone might want to rub your stomach for good luck, they want to avoid your little crack head even more.
  4. Expect to miss alcohol more than you did last time. Again, because being pregnant was a novelty the first time, you don’t really miss not being able to drink. Your friends might be doing shots sipping a fine Pinot Noir before going to the bar at a very classy dinner party, but you’re all like, “I’m a mother now! I don’t need a drink!” This time, as your toddler is running circles around you and your belly, and you're counting down the minutes until Daddy is home, you’ll be like, “I’m a mother now! I need a drink! Or seventeen!”
  5. Expect to still not be used to the feeling of a baby kicking inside you. Yes, you may be able to identify earlier what it feels like when the baby kicks, but that doesn’t mean it will feel any less like a foreign creature trying to bust out of your stomach like in those Alien movies. This is especially scary when the kicking interrupts one of those moments when you’ve forgotten that you’re expecting.

Maybe I didn’t get told about any of this because I should have just known, but still, a little heads up would have been nice. Now, if you plan on becoming pregnant for the third time, you’re on your own. I’m tapping out after two.


1 comment:

  1. Another awesome post! And you're right about pretty much all of it. Your tap out is gracious, a little boy rounds out your million dollar family. I'm definitely going to try for round three with the funny confidence that i think i finally have it all figured out and that this pregnancy, birth, and child raising will go so much better then attempt #1 and #2!