The Second Pregnancy Truth: Special in unexpected ways

pregnancyWhoever said the second pregnancy is easier than the first is a liar. Or they blissfully forgot the reality of having a toddler, expecting a baby, and still living daily life.

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.

Getting real

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.

Moments like these remind you of the important things in life.

Moments like these remind you of the important things in life.

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.

 

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5 sanity saving tips for road trippin’ with a toddler

When we decided to take two road trips in the month of June, I must admit I questioned our sanity. We had been potty training our three year old for several months and she hadn’t quite gotten the hang of it. I’ll admit I had nightmares of constant clothes changes and a urine smell permeating the air. Roadtrippin with the fam

We survived our expedition odor free and with the majority of the clothes we departed with. Here are 5 sanity saving tips for your own potty training road trips . . . if you are that travel crazy too!

  1. This is not the military. Some “men” will be left behind.

Over the years we have left onesies in San Diego and pants in Mexico. When potty training expect that not every piece of clothing you left with will make it back. Unless of course you plan on making several pit stops at laundry mats or enjoy carrying soiled clothes with you.

  1. Potty training is like poker.

Toddlers are deceptively intelligent – they seem like they don’t understand what you want them to do, but as soon as they figure something out they will play you to get what they want. They are tired of being in their seat and they instantly have to potty. The thing is, like any novice gambler they have their tell. You have to be patient and figure it out, but once you do let the real games begin.

  1. Double time and keep your trainer on board.

Badlands beginA trip is supposed to take 2 hours, double it. Until you learn their tell you will be stopping what seems like every 15 minutes. You just have to prepare yourself for this and realize that the request will come at the most inopportune time. This would be why we kept our training potty a constant fixture in our vehicle.

The middle of nowhere South Dakota . . . no problem, we can go potty.

  1. This too shall pass

As a traveler you have most likely experienced the bodily changes that occur with a change in routine. It is no different for a toddler, especially one that is already in the midst of a change in routine from diapers to underwear. Expect constipation or increased need to urinate (wow, it sounds like the disclaimers for a new medication) and just go with the flow knowing that it will normalize.

  1. Keep calm and road trip on.

mickey carWhen it is all said and done you won’t remember the seemingly endless bathroom stops. You will remember the first time they saw their buffalo and going to the zoo with great grandma. And the ones that you do remember – such as “I peed on Mickey” – will make for great graduation and wedding stories.

The sun is out, the windows are down, there are places to explore – it is road trip season!

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