You know what to expect
At least this time around you know what to expect. Or so I thought. Really it is more like thinking you are headed back to Rome, IL, but accidently booking a trip to Rome, Italy. You got on the plane thinking you had this all figured out, but once your feet hit the ground you know you are in for a whole new journey.
Yes, I’ve had a baby before, but this time it is completely different. The body changes, stressors, and emotions don’t match up to the first experience. You never really know what to expect in pregnancy.
With the first pregnancy, working full time was no big deal. As I maneuvered career and expecting (or as much as you can expect the biggest disruption to occur in your life) I thought, “I got this”. Work during the day, relax a little at night, and spend weekends blissfully getting the nursery ready.
This go around I feel like something has to give and if I “lean in” any farther I will land flat on my face. Being pregnant the second time means working full-time while juggling things such as drop-offs and pick-ups at daycare, evening activities for a rambunctious toddler, and prepping the house for a second child.
Like everyone else I have days where I stop and think, “I can’t do this. What was I thinking!” But, then I stop and I remember the many friends who can’t have a first, let alone a second child. I think about my niece and nephew and how they look at each other and can understand each other in a way no one else can. I think about my own siblings and how we share memories that only growing up in the same house can provide. Or how we can look at each other and instantly know what the other is thinking.
I think of the way my daughter quietly asks to touch the baby and gently places her hands on my growing belly. Or how she talks about all of the things she is going to give to her baby brother.
Maybe the bigger truth isn’t that the second one is easier – it is just different. Different like everything else in life is distinguished from the first time we did this. Different just like each child will be different and take their own journey.