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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A Second Pregnancy Primer

By Jenna Ness

As I anticipate a second baby, it occurs to me that I learned some things the first time around that may make me better prepared.

#1 MYTH (at least for me): Busty-R-Us.

As everyone knows, pregnancy is that time in life when even less-endowed gals turn into voluptuous sex-kitten goddesses! I could hardly wait to look like one of the waitresses at Hooters.

Bit of a mistake there. Unfortunately, I looked like one of the male customers at Hooters, small breasts and a big belly. Even after I gained 50 pounds and wore a pregnancy size XL, I could still comfortably fit into my pre-pregnancy bra. What happened to looking like Pamela Anderson? Where is the justice?? Who can I write to about this to register a formal complaint???

#1 FEAR: Childbirth.

Childbirth hurt, but at least it was brief. What I really should have worried about was the six weeks (six months?) afterwards, when sleep was a feeble memory and days and nights were spent in zombie-like exhaustion. There’s no epidural for this. On the plus side, I did get to catch up with the 2 a.m. morning news shows. And 4 a.m. And 6 a.m.

I remember nearly having a screaming breakdown at a well-meaning landscaper who was trying to talk to me about our overgrown trees during a precious half hour when my baby was sleeping. I wanted to yank the trees out of the ground and smash them on his head. Here’s a piece of advice: don’t bug a new mother about anything. Just bring food or, if you’re a true pal, send a housecleaning service.

#1 CONCERN: Am I doing this right?

The first time, I read all the pregnancy books. I tried to follow them. Lots of sleep? Check. Prenatal yoga? Check. But their pregnancy diet plans were outrageous – the kind of draconian regimen I might have tried in my cabbage soup days.

I’m ordered to eat broccoli in my first trimester, when just the thought of it makes me want to hurl? But I’m not allowed to eat the turkey-and-Swiss on whole wheat with sprouts and mustard that I can’t stop thinking about? Crazy! And worst of all, even though we all *know* I’m gonna be gaining like 35 pounds, I’m supposed to avoid the comfort foods that appeal to me in my nausea – just because, heaven forbid, I might gain a little more weight? A MAN must have written this stupid diet!

My wonderful ob-gyn helped me put the advice in perspective. She explained the risks I should take seriously (e.g. no alcohol, no early trimester hot tubs), vs. the stuff that was really just being overcautious (like the .001% chance the deli turkey or sprouts might make me sick). After that, I ate everything I wanted – the turkey and sprouts on whole wheat topped off with french fries and apple pie a la mode. Okay, I gained 50 pounds, instead of 35, by eating everything I wanted. But so what? I lost it all afterwards. Now that’s what I call a sensible eating plan.

#1 NEW QUESTION: How will I manage to do it all?

While there are things I now know to expect, a second pregnancy brings some entirely new worries. For instance, how on earth will I manage to get through the first six weeks of postnatal sleep deprivation when I have a toddler who still wants to play in the park like usual? How will I go grocery shopping when I’m dragging two toddlers who are crying for candy? How will I even manage to leave the house with them both dressed, fed, changed, and ready at the same time? Will I ever write again? Will I ever *sleep* again?

I just have to take a deep breath. Other women have managed to do it and coped just fine. And even if it’s hard, really hard, at first, it’s worth it. It’s so worth it. Motherhood is the best, most difficult thing I’ve ever done. Just thinking of my daughter makes my heart expand two sizes in my chest (just like the Grinch!). And now we’ll have another child to love. I can hardly wait for that.

#1 REQUEST: Who’s willing to belly up to the bar?

I’ll need a designated drinker for the Wet Noodle bar get-together in Atlanta. Who’s willing to drink mojitos for two? I might even be prevailed on to treat you to that minty goodness, you lucky duck! So look for me – I’ll be the one sweating in the air-conditioned bar, wearing an extra ten pounds, a grumpy expression and an “I’m Not Fat, I’m Pregnant” t-shirt.


At 11:33 PM, Blogger Tori Scott said...

Jenna!! Did we know about this? Or is this your sneaky way of letting us know? Either way, congratulations! Yes, it's going to be hard. But it'll be fun, too, and once the new one is big enough, they'll keep each other occupied--and you too, when you have to step in to get kid #2's fist out of kid #1's hair. :)

At 9:13 AM, Blogger Diane Perkins said...

What wonderful news, Jenna! I am thrilled for you.
What I learned about child #2 was that he was incredibly easy to add to the family. Once you have adapted to needing to do something every minute for one little darling, it is not stretch to do something every minute for two.
I am so happy for you!

At 10:00 AM, Blogger bridget said...

OMG Jenna! Another baby! Congratulations! And once again, your column made me LOL. I love your attitude, and I'm sending you hugs on the 6-weeks-post-baby syndrome. Maybe this time, you will have a newborn who sleeps all the time and never cries...this happened to my sil, whose first baby never allowed them to sleep (for, like, the first two years) but who now has an infant who is treatin' her mighty fine.

I'm sending vibes!

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Jennie Lucas said...

*grin* This is my sneaky way of letting everybody know, Pam. Hehe. To be honest, I couldn't think of any other blog topic!

Thanks, Diane. I'm not very far along yet, and we've only just started telling people this week. The baby's due in early January. I've already gained 3.5 pounds. =)

At 10:04 AM, Blogger Jennie Lucas said...

Thanks, Bridget! But even if I had a baby that slept all the time and didn't cry, I know I would still find something to stress about. Why isn't my baby crying? What's wrong? *grin* Hugs to your sil for that sleepless 2 years! Whew!!

At 10:23 AM, Blogger Karen said...

Jenna! Congratulations to you and your hubby, and to Clara for soon becoming a big sister.

I know you'll sail through this pregnancy and all related joys and woes. You're a Noodler; it's what we do!

At 10:58 PM, Blogger Colleen Gleason said...

Congratulations Jenna!!!

I am so very happy for you and your family!

At 3:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

super congratulations Jenna and family! After your totally beautiful Clara you guys had a duty to have at least one more gorgeous child!

So happy for you all (and yeah, you'll sail through it, like Colleen said. Lucky little tinlid is going to have an entire bunch of noodler aunties. Who could ask for more?:-))

Trish Mo in Oz

At 7:53 AM, Blogger MaryF said...


At 2:49 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

I tried to post a comment yesterday, but I see Yahoo was hungry and ate it. Yes, this was a sneaky way to tell us, but I'm so happy for you anyway. :)

At 4:53 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Jenna, you are a sneaky thing! Congratulations. And NO, you will never sleep again. Ha! I have four kids and if the fourth one wasn't so cute, my advice to you would be to stop at THREE! :)

Enjoy this time. As they all say and "they" area all right--it does go fast!


At 7:09 PM, Blogger Jennie Lucas said...

Thanks, Karen, Colleen, Trish Mo, Trish Mi, Mary and Theresa!

And Theresa -- I'm way ahead of you on the planning. We think that 2 will be the perfect number for us. After this, the shop is closed. ;0)

Oh, and we didn't have any volunteers to do that extra drinking in Atlanta. I have a feeling that whomever drinks the most at National will be the next to sell, so maybe Trish Mi or Mary? Anyone else???

At 7:12 PM, Blogger MaryF said...

LOL, I'll take that challenge, Jenna!

At 11:14 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

Yay, Jenna! What wonderful news!

At 12:33 PM, Blogger Prisakiss said...

Jenna, I'm chiming in late, but with just as much gusto!!!

Congratulations, girl! This is so exciting!!

I won't beat around the bush, yep, it's gonna be a juggle having two. At first. But you're smart, loving, motivated. You'll get the hang of it and soon you'll be thinking, "This isn't so tough after all." :-)

No worries about finding a mojito drinker in Atlanta. I'm sure someone won't mind helping out. Mostly, we'll just be thrilled to see you!



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