thejoysofparenthood

9 Ways That Pregnancy is Different the Second Time Around

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I am really good at being pregnant. During my first pregnancy I was a champion student— I read every book and article, I took every class and I hung on to advice given to me by those mothers who came before me. Just a few of the topics every pregnant woman is sure to find herself Googling include:

When does morning sickness end?

Can I eat _____?

Signs of Labor

What does a real contraction feel like?

On the research front, I had it covered. Then, I had my son and had to learn a whole new skillset: Parenting. These learning moments come in waves and I just recently (after 2.5 years of toddler bliss) started a new one: Parenting While Pregnant. Holy moly things are different this time around. How did I have time to read so much about mucus plugs and pre-eclampsia before? They say every pregnancy is different and that is the truth! Here’s all the ways that pregnancy is different your second time around.

1. You Will Look Pregnant 5 Minutes After Conceiving

Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch. But that bump comes fast when your uterus already knows what to do. During your first pregnancy you stare at yourself in the mirror at 16 weeks pregnant telling yourself that there’s no way it’s gas bloat and that you do have a bump. At 16 weeks your second time around, you look (and may even feel) like you’re 22 weeks.

2. You Will Eat Whatever You Please

Everything in moderation is a good motto to go by, but when you’ve already been through this rodeo you know that obsessing over every single thing you eat doesn’t have to be your norm. For my first pregnancy, my body was a temple that no soft cheese, sushi, coffee, Diet Coke or lunch meat shall enter. This time, the recommended caffeine intake is something I follow religiously (yes, I ration out my small cups of coffee throughout the day to survive), I realized Diet Coke helps my morning sickness, and if I want to eat something, as long as I’m getting it from somewhere that doesn’t have a B Health Grade or from a gas station, I’m good.

3. You Don’t Sweat the Body Changes as Much

With my first pregnancy I gained 40 pounds and stressed about swelling, stretch marks and varicose veins. This time around, ehhhh not a big deal. It took me a while to lose the weight and feel comfortable in my skin again, but it did happen so I’m not going to stress out.

4. You Treasure Sleep More Than Anything

Okay, you treasure your first born and your partner, but if your first-born kid is like mine, then sleep is fickle and far from reliable. I’m with you on missing that much needed sleep at night. Also…

5. You Really Miss Pregnancy Naps

Like, really. I napped A LOT when I was pregnant the first time around. This time, if my husband takes the toddler to play so I can get some mid-day shut eye it’s like my own personal version of a party.

6. Your Symptoms May Be Different

No two pregnancies are cookie cutter, so it only makes sense that your symptoms are different the second time— unless you are like my unicorn friends who manage to “feel great” their whole pregnancy, but that’s another story. For example, I never experienced a migraine in my life until I was pregnant with Baby #2 and HOLY. CRAP. Ouch.

7. You Don’t Worry About the Birth That Much

So, I realize this one is really subjective, if you had a stressful birth experience prior to this pregnancy you may have prenatal anxiety, which is totally normal, but if you are like me, and you had a positive birth experience the first time, you know it’s going to hurt like hell, but it is SO WORTH IT (you also already know how awesome mesh undies and adult diapers are).

8. You Realize the Baby Crap You Don’t Need

First pregnancies are exciting for many reasons and one of them is that you get to buy (or be bought) a ton of baby stuff from toys to swaddles and from things like The Windi or a Pee Pee Tee Pee. Seasoned mamas know what essentials they need, all of the clutter that doesn’t even work and the reality that your kid doesn’t need much but mommy and milk for the first 6 months anyway. *However, if something amazing came out since my baby was a baby, then you’re right that I’m going to definitely buy it

9. You Know Mother’s Love

Having a baby is the craziest experience ever, becoming a mom is one of those surreal, magical things that can’t be put into words. You feel so connected to this little person that you grew inside of you and reciprocally, they love you more than anything in the world right back. I had a lot of anxiety the first time around about being a “good mom” and whether I’d be doing things “right.” I can assure you there have been days where I’m not a good mom, I definitely don’t do everything right and my kiddo still loves me nonetheless. I just can’t wait to share that love with another baby— and watch my first born (hopefully) fall in love, too!

We all have our own parenting experiences, pregnancy experiences, birth stories, battle scars, parenting styles and philosophies, but I think it’s safe to say it’s different for everyone the second time around. Now, I’ll get back to you if we ever decide to do this for a third time.

The 7 Poo Encounters of Parenthood

It was a Saturday afternoon. My husband was at work and I was home with our little guy. We were playing with blocks and reading books when all of a sudden I smelled it, my kid had done a number two and I had the honor of changing his diaper for the 437th time. It looked…weird. So what did I do? I snapped a photo and sent it to my husband asking “Does this look normal to you?” His response was a very nonchalant “Yes.” I was a woman on a mission who wanted a second opinion so I consulted with Dr. Google who confirmed my husband’s “Yes” and I went on with my day thinking about what led to this questionable poo in my son’s diaper. I then realized the brutal reality of parenthood: your life begins to revolve around feces.

It all starts during pregnancy and evolves from there. I’m about to get real with you.

1. Pregnancy Poo

Pregnancy is like 90% beautiful and 10% disgusting. There is just a deluge of weird, gross, and questionable things that happen to pregnant women, especially in the last month or so. And this is the shit that no one tells you about in baby books. You are going to feel like you have to poop like all the time because you have a small human the size of a watermelon crushing your bowels and punching you in the butt (literally). You will long for the days of having to do your business and swiftly completing the task at hand. Poo during pregnancy is no joke and if you’re not careful you’ll get the dreaded big H (it rhymes with shemorrhoids).

2. Poo During Delivery

If you have ever been a pregnant woman you have worried that you will shit yourself during labor and delivery. Let me tell you something, you probably will. And you know what? You will give zero f*cks. When you eventually get to the pushing stage of labor you are going to be so hell bent on getting that baby out of you that you literally won’t care. You won’t care what you look like. You won’t care about amniotic fluid on your socks. And you really won’t care when you poop in front of an audience, because it’s the beginning of many poop assemblies you will experience. Welcome to motherhood!

3. Postpartum Poo

I told you that you should get used to an audience. This is because you will probably have one when you decide to forge ahead in an act of postpartum bravery: your first postpartum poop. I legitimately think I would rather go through labor twice over than to experience that again. Natural birth, epidural, C-Section…it doesn’t matter. In that moment we are all sisters in being quite literally scared shitless.

Helpful Tip: Make sure your partner or someone is home to watch the babe for you. Grab yourself a big glass of wine, knock a few Colace back, and bring Netflix with you. It could be a while.

4. Meconium: Black Tar Poo

In the same week not only do you get to experience the sacrilege of the postpartum poo, but you also get to experience the joy of meconium. Meconium is a fancy word for really sticky newborn baby poo. It has the consistency of super glue and the color of black tar, but luckily it doesn’t smell and it only lasts a couple of days!

5. The Poo on Google

I bet you never thought you would Google poop as much as you have now that you’re a parent. Maybe it’s just me, but I have Googled “Baby Poop” multiple times now (always with the intention of making sure my kiddo is healthy) and with each search it gets a little less weird.

6. Poo Logging

I already find it funny that couples (especially the one’s who don’t have kids) will not go to the bathroom in front of their significant other because once you have a baby you are up for some next level poop discussions with your partner. Not only do my husband and I discuss whether the baby has done a number two yet while eating our lunch together, we also openly discuss the size, color, and consistency of aforementioned poo. Yes, it’s disgusting. Yes, it’s all part of the beauty of parenthood.

7.  Longing to Poo Solo

Ah, I remember my pre-mom days, when I didn’t have to put on an episode of Sesame Street and bribe the baby with a cookie just to go to the bathroom alone. Remember that whole audience thing? (See #2) My son not only follows me into the bathroom and attempts to re-decorate with toilet paper or grab the plunger, but sometimes he demands to be held (bonus points for you rock stars who have nursed while on the pot-- desperate times, y’all.) Not only will you develop the prowess of entertaining a small child while going to the bathroom, but you will also develop the skill of holding said child and pulling up your pants with one hand.

There are two things that are certain in parenthood: you will have an unspeakable and unconditional amount of love for your children, and you will have a new found acceptance and tolerance when it comes to poo. So, when you find yourself stressing about the possibility of delivery table defecation or when you are frantically Googling baby poop, just remember one thing— you’re the shit.