I’ve been asked lately how this second pregnancy is going and how it differs from my first. Here is what I said (coming from a slightly scattered pregnant brain).
There is less wondering.
By the end of my first pregnancy, I found the wondering to be exhausting. I was speeding towards a cliff, looming on the brink of the unknown. So many questions. Boy or girl? What would we be like as parents? How would the delivery go? Would breastfeeding work for me? When would I feel like myself again … look like myself again? How would I function without sleep?
This time, I feel more at peace. I know myself as a mom. I’ve learned things about how my body recovers from pregnancy and delivery. I am adjusted to the routine of staying home and taking care of Evelyn. While I know that adding a second baby will bring hard moments and a string of sleepless nights, there is comfort in this role that I already play.
I have more support.
My mom was my lifeline after having Evelyn. As I learned to take care of my brand new daughter, she took care of me and my recovery, as only a mom can. I couldn’t be more grateful for her loving support and advice. I also leaned on my close friends who could vividly remember those early newborn days. They talked me through the postpartum hormones and painful days of healing. They told me their stories and that it was normal to feel all the things.
This time, I’m so glad to also have a husband who won’t be in the middle of busy season. He’s excited to be Evie’s best friend and be more present for the early days. I also feel buffered in by this gorgeous online community of dear friends – whose encouragement and advice is so REAL – even if it comes through the crazy interwebs.
It is going faster.
I didn’t gain weight initially, thanks to nursing Evelyn, so the first four months flew by without me even noticing most days. As I’ve hit 30 weeks, time is beginning to creep along more slowly, but still I know the baby will be here before I know it. My body feels the aches and pains – especially in my lower back – but it is comforting knowing I can get back to “normal.” Last time, I wasn’t convinced I would ever get my body back.
We found out the gender.
We didn’t know whether we were having a boy or girl last time. We really didn’t care either way and were excited for the Christmas-morning-type surprise in the hospital. While it was sweet, it wasn’t as motivating or special as we dreamed. Exhausted from 3 hours of pushing, I didn’t care what IT was, as long as the pain stopped. Zach’s thunder got stolen by a nurse who announced the gender before he had a chance to. So….
This time, we found out at 20 weeks. For me, it was helpful to know boy and a girl vs. two girls for planning. This pregnancy was a bit of surprise on its own, so we were more comfortable finding out the baby’s gender ahead of time. For Zach, it has helped bond and connect him more with the baby during the pregnancy. While we have settled on a name, we can’t bring ourselves to use it. We still just call him “the baby,” since it does feel strange to use a name before meeting our little buddy.
I know about the love.
As our family grows, it does seem mind-boggling to think we can love another baby as much as we love Evelyn. But I know we will. I know the love will grow and escalate, often gradually and sometimes in overwhelming swells. I am curious how a little boy will be different from a little girl. I wonder if the love will feel the same or unique. I can already feel the spot in my heart that is ready for this baby.