A Second Pregnancy Primer
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 morning news shows. And And
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