What’s different about pregnancy with your second child? In a word: everything.
Why? Two words: the toddler.
After that second embryo takes hold… the giggling, twirling light of your life fades into the distance and re-emerges a daunting powerhouse of strength and agility, whose primary purpose is tearing your drawers apart, flinging crusty food across your kitchen and evading attempts to be buckled into the car-seat.
Those 1st trimester naps? Over. After finishing your workday, you’re on deck for playtime, bathtime, dinnertime, storytime and hopefully bedtime …hopefully.
Forget about perusing pregnancy magazines and skimming your daily progress in What to Expect. Your eyeballs won’t stay open long enough to get through one paragraph.
The larger and clumsier you get, the faster she moves, and the more toys she disperses on the ground for you to bend over and pick up. You perfect toy retrieval using your toes.
The heavier your belly becomes, the more she begs to be picked up, cuddled, and wrestled to the ground, as you used to do when she was your one and only. You long for those days too, but mostly you long for Daddy to come home and make her happy, as you are barely capable anymore, so that you can retreat under the covers and wait for a night of tortured arthritic sleep to begin.
But more than the antics your toddler seems keen on perfecting as your second pregnancy progresses, the biggest difference the second time around is that you know what’s coming. Yes, you know you’re going to get your sleep-deprived butt kicked, but you also know that you will soon snuggle up to a precious new human being, one that your tired exhilarated body made with it’s own blood, sweat & tears. You know that the smell of new baby and the velvety stroke of soft blankets await you. And you know that you’re about to receive the second biggest jolt of love and joy your soul could never previously have imagined.
You know all this because the biggest love and joy your soul now knows, has just escaped your clumsy grip and is barreling naked down the front stairs squealing “no mommy not yet!”. You chase after your toddler with her pajamas in hand and apology ready for your neighbor. And you realize in that moment that no nap, cup of tea or magazine could ever bring you more happiness than this whirling, two-foot cyclone of love who has thrown her bare arms around your neck in final compliance. And you sigh and thank your lucky stars, for all of it.
Autumn Moss Penaloza is Totsy’s West Coast Mom and the blogger behind Mommy Rock Out. She and hubby Sergio are expecting their 2nd babygirl in late December 2012.