Around the 20th week of my pregnancy I sat at my doctor’s office, chatting with my husband as we waited for her to join us. When she finally did, I pulled out my iPhone with my list of reminders to talk to the doctor about. The only thing on my list was “why is this so much harder and why does everything hurt so much?”
Because, peeps, it’s just so much harder this time around and every muscle in my body hurts. I mean, sure there is a toddler, and sure, there is a lot on my plate with the holidays, but this is really hard! What’s up with that, doc?
She laughed. I’m serious. She just laughed as we looked at her and then she said, “it’s not going to get any easier”. You see, my midwife has had 3 kids on top of watching probably hundreds if not thousands born.
She went on to tell me about how different my body is with a second pregnancy and how the muscles aren’t the same and how “things” just aren’t as…tight…as they once were. So, in other words, everything is just a little worn, possibly torn, and tired. Considering the fact that I actually feel my stomach muscles be tired and my head gets to be too heavy to sit on top of my neck by about 6pm, I believe her.
(don’t worry, it’s fake wine,but I just love this picture – the big wine glass, the belly, and the sippy cup – perfect way to ring in the New Year)
So how do you survive your second pregnancy? I have come up with a list for you.
- Lower your standards. If you’re like me, a type A personality, you are used to having things just so. Well, get unused to it. Because honestly, a few things out of place, an unloaded dishwasher, and one extra night of take out isn’t really going to make a difference in your lifestyle, but it will make a huge difference on your stress level and your energy.
- Prioritize. Okay, this one’s mostly for those of us who are type A to begin with. This is my answer to most things that overwhelm or bog me down – prioritize. Holiday shopping, 2nd birthday party, hubby’s 30th, v-day and all the other things rolled into one, I was starting to lose it. So I prioritized. Holidays were here first so I concentrated on that and didn’t tend to the others. Now that they’re done with, I can start un-burying myself slowly from the rest of my to-do list, one thing at a time.
- Just say “no.” This one goes hand in hand with the one above. When your plate is full, don’t take on more. If something is more important, choose that more important thing and say “no” to the rest. This one is especially hard for me since I’m more of a do-everything kind of person, but I’m taking small steps.
- Loosen up on some of your rules. If you have a rule of bringing your lunch to work every day or that your toddler can only watch 15 minutes of television or no toddler snacks on the couch, it’s probably not the worst idea to loosen up at this point. Peanut is about to reach her second birthday and I’m proud of our TV restrictions to date, but while I’m trying to grow another little human, more TV is OK! In fact, I think it’s helping her learn new words – a bonus! So while I’m usually trying to entertain our toddler or find something for us to do, now I’m okay with turning on Nemo for the 2nd millionth time for an hour or two while I lounge on the couch with my feet up.
- Teach your toddler to play on their own. This one’s only really applicable to those of us with a young toddler running around, but even if you’re not pregnant, it’s probably a good idea to teach your tot to entertain himself. Jon and I have been working extra hard on teaching Peanut to play on her own and to be more independent. One of the tricks that we find to work well is to start an activity together and when she’s playing well, leave her to continue while you go on about your business. The other saviors in our household have been stickers and coloring. It’s Peanut’s new most favorite activity. We bought some markers that only color on special pages and some stickers and let her play. It’s wonderful to see her be creative while I, once again, lounge on the couch, wishing my head would stop being so darn heavy.
Any advice on surviving a pregnancy?
- Size of baby: size of a papaya, 8 inches long and 1.2 lbs in weight
- Total Weight Gain/Loss: 14 pounds
- Movement: Feeling the baby move pretty regularly now. She’s been a pretty big fan of kicking me directly in the bladder.
- Cravings: No real cravings but this pregnancy I’ve developed a real liking of Thai food.
- Great Moment this week: Asking Peanut to tell me where the baby is and watching her point to my belly. I think that maybe she’s finally starting to understand it? Then, when I told her, yes, there’s a baby in mommy’s belly she proceeded to lift my shirt to find the baby. Okay, maybe a little more time.