Whether you recently found out that you are pregnant with your first or fourth child, it’s an exciting and nerve-wracking time as you prepare for the newest member of your family. It’s also a time when you feel full of totally conflicting emotions — busy, exhausted, overwhelmed and thrilled. This time around, the surprise of finding out I was pregnant was equally wonderful, but since the initial shock has worn off, I find myself having a more relaxed mindset than the first two times around.
My pregnancy with Shep had me so sick I lost 10 pounds and was on Zofran for months. It was miserable, but it was also my first so I had no clue what was “normal.” With Beau, I had a really scary subchorionic hemotoma (blood clot) that caused me to bleed through the first and into the second trimester. It was beyond terrifying. Thankfully with this third pregnancy, I’ve been fairly sick, but found ways to cope (organic pregnancy pops are a natural lifesaver!). And after the “normal” first trimester symptoms, I’ve been healthy and thankful for this little dude to come.
Here’s how my pregnancy has been different, and how you may relate if it’s your second, third or 10th pregnancy:
- You don’t start preparing until week 30. And that’s if you are a type A planner. There just isn’t enough time, and by now you probably have a lot of what you need. When it comes to things like swings, toys, bottles, you know that they aren’t necessary to bring baby home. What you need in those early days is lots of coffee, lots of help and precious time to simply be with and get to know your baby. There’s plenty of time for Amazon purchases. As for the nursery, since the baby probably is sleeping in or near your room the first few weeks or months, that also doesn’t matter so much. And if you were picturing a pretty, comfy crib with teddy bears and bumpers, you learned (maybe the hard way like me), that’s not even safe anymore (I couldn’t even return the expensive PB bumper!). Yup, my boys’ cribs have playful sheets and that’s about it. It looks bare, but I know that’s the safest way for them to sleep once they get to a crib (which is usually between 2-4 months in our family).
- You’re exhausted, but with more family demands. The first trimester pregnancy exhaustion is all. day. long. But whether you are watching other kids all day or heading into an office, the world doesn’t stop. So more likely than not, your head hits the pillow at 7:30 pm as soon as your husband helps put the kids to bed because you just don’t have one ounce of energy left. Cue the mom guilt! But don’t — because you know this first trimester of simply surviving eventually ends. And your little kids are too excited about another sibling to know you’re so wiped.
- You aren’t afraid to ask for help. Whether we are talking during pregnancy, the early days with a newborn, or afterward, you’ve learned by child number three that there are no awards for the mom that does it all. You’ve probably figured out the best balance for yourself, when you need breaks and what keeps you going in mom life when sh*t hits the fan. Sometimes it means Friday afternoons are for quiet pedicures or that Monday mornings you need a hand in the kitchen prepping lunches and bottles. I know this time around I will not be afraid to delegate to keep this ship afloat.
- Gaining weight happens, and you have a better sense on how to manage & embrace it. With my first two pregnancies, I tracked weight on a weekly basis because I was so terrified of gaining too much, and pregnancy had actually been a time I probably was eating healthier than other times in my life. But the first trimester this time around was rough. Taco Bell drive-through and cereal kept me alive and kept me from puking all day long. That said, when you have a grasp on pregnancy weight gain, it does make losing it that much less daunting. Looking back, I’ve also seen that your body does what it needs to do. There were some weeks in my previous pregnancies I gained 3 pounds (in one week!) but ate the same as the ones where I gained none. Bottom line, staying healthy and active will help you feel better but nothing is more important than keeping the baby and yourself nourished. I’m trying to work out 2-3 times a week this time around just for the goal of having time to myself, staying active and moving my body. I know it will pay off later!
- You don’t spend oodles of money on cute maternity clothes. Expensive maternity clothes are cruel. They look so cute, but you end up wearing them like twice, when in reality today’s style of clothes can often work well into late into your second trimester. Example: this Free People sweater and this dress have been on repeat for me recently (and yes, I showed WAY sooner than my first or second pregnancies). When it comes to needing maternity clothes, Gap Maternity is my favorite — cute clothes and they have 50% off almost once a week, so I just got these jeans for $40 that I hope take me all through my pregnancy.
How many kids have you had? How different were your pregnancies?