Disclaimer: this blog post is super ranty and whiny and does not, in any way, shape, or form, represent my feelings toward my soon-to-be-born second child.
I’m a little over 34 weeks into my second pregnancy, and all I have to say is this: it has been a huge struggle.
My sister, my doctor, my mother, my aunts, my co-workers — basically every woman I know who has experienced multiple pregnancies — have assured me: feeling this much physical discomfort and pain during my second pregnancy is completely normal. Which, I guess, is supposed to be a comforting sentiment.
But, admittedly, my increasingly disgruntled (and, therefore, increasingly pessimistic) self just can’t help but grumble: this sucks so much.
I’m sure I’ve shared this with you all before, but I’ll say it again: I’m honest with myself and know that I’m not one of those women who particularly enjoys being pregnant. Granted, I love my children, and I’m so thankful that this nine-month journey ends with a little being that I somehow simultaneously love so much and can’t seem to love enough… But the journey itself?
Yeah, I’m not a fan.
Just like my first pregnancy, I’ve been struggling with body acceptance this time around: embracing these necessary physical changes, seeing the beauty in how the female body so readily adapts to the developing baby’s needs… Yes, it is a miraculous thing, but I still grimace whenever I see myself in the mirror.
And, unlike my first pregnancy, I’ve been experiencing a slew of new symptoms. Thank the Lord, no extreme swelling this time around: I’m still able to wear my wedding rings and all my shoes. But I had bad nausea and food aversions during the first trimester. Now, Braxton Hicks contractions every night and increased pelvic pressure as my third trimester progresses. And, right in the middle, I’ve had to get monthly bad draws to monitor an abnormal antibody (most likely a result of the blood transfusion I had to get after my first C-section) and to deal with glucose intolerance.
Plus, this second pregnancy has taken an extreme toll on my emotional and mental health. There have been a couple of times when I’ve had to seek some additional treatment to cope with prenatal depression and anxiety.
I don’t think it helps that this second pregnancy was a surprise. This might sound horrible, but I confess: I was not that excited to find out I was pregnant again.
Most likely, that’s probably because my son Micah was only 10 months at the time — definitely not the age I envisioned he’d be when I wanted to try for a second child. Also, because I was nowhere near where I wanted to be physically or mentally as I started another pregnancy.
I took that at-home pregnancy test on a whim. It’s kind of a funny story, but Reggie and I came home from a little family dinner out (where, yes, I had a couple of cocktails). I spotted my slightly bloated belly and jokingly said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if I were pregnant?”
So I took out a test I had stored in the medicine cabinet, peed on the stick, then immediately balked when two bold pink lines showed up on the results window.
(To offer further clarity: Yes, at this point, my menstrual cycle had already returned after I delivered Micah. No, it had not regulated, so I wasn’t actively tracking the date of my last period. Months had passed between cycles, which is a completely normal occurrence post-pregnancy.)
Sometimes, I joke around and say that this second pregnancy is karma at work: I teased my sister incessantly when she was pregnant with her second daughter so soon after her first. Turns out, Micah and this baby will have an 18-month age difference, just like my sister’s kids. Go figure.
I also can’t help but think that this is a perfect example of the increased likelihood of getting pregnant when you’re really not trying. I suppose the lack of stress really does make the body more fertile. (The postnatal vitamins I was taking probably didn’t help either.)
So, yes, this second pregnancy has been an ongoing challenge. Physically and mentally and emotionally. Now that I’m just a little over a month away from my due date (and my scheduled C-section), my anxiety is mounting a bit more.
Not even necessarily because of the baby’s pending arrival, but because I’m so concerned that this baby will arrive early: I’ve been so overwhelmed with dealing with these drastically different symptoms (and also taking care of a toddler, managing a home, and working a full-time job) that I don’t feel like I’ve allocated enough time to prepare for this baby.
But, as Reggie always reminds me, it’ll all turn out fine. No matter how stressful or uncomfortable or hectic this time leading up to the baby’s arrival has been, it’ll all turn out just fine.
I just have to keep reminding myself as the due date creeps closer and closer. There’s a light at the end of this tunnel. A light and a little bundle of love.