Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What My Second Pregnancy Has Taught Me

I was showering last night when this post popped into my head. (I get some of my best ideas/thoughts while I shower - anyone else?) Really, what initially started the dialogue in my brain was a futile attempt at shaving my legs. See, I don't recall ever having trouble shaving my legs while I was pregnant with Ella. Maybe if I had carried her to 40+ weeks, I would have? But at 37 weeks, when she joined us earthside, I wasn't all that big (I can say now, looking back - I certainly didn't feel that way then).

So, having some major trouble reaching some key spots got me thinking about the differences between my pregnancies, and what this pregnancy has taught me.

  1. Every pregnancy is different. Duh, you say. Except that I just didn't expect for mine to be so completely opposite one another! It's like I'm pregnant for the first time all over again. Except this time I KNOW what labor feels like.
  2. Surprises are fun! Although we choose not to find out the sex of our babies in utero, we both really are planners. Super Type-A people, Mr. Lukie and I are. Our label maker gets used regularly and we can't live without our synched (and color coded) iCal's. That being said, my first pregnancy was very much planned. I charted and temped and used Ovulation Predictor Kits. When we got the BFP, it wasn't a surprise as in, "OMG, I'm pregnant! HOW did that happen?!?" as much as it was a surprise in that we had been waiting for three months for one and just didn't know for sure-for sure that we would get the positive at that exact moment. This pregnancy, however, was very much a surprise. At first, we were overwhelmed with the thought of adding to our family, but now? We are so thankful for this surprise! It took every bit of the weight of decision-making off of our shoulders. And since we believe that God's plan is greater than any plan we could ever have for ourselves, we just know what a blessing this is.
  3. Second-child syndrome begins in the womb. I do feel kind of guilty about this one. But from everything I've read and everyone I've talked to - it's normal. It happens. You no longer have all the time in the world to stare at your buddah belly, rub it, talk to it, and daydream about becoming a mama all day long. There is this other little creature, bouncing off the walls, demanding your attention every.single.second until bedtime, every.single.day. In all honesty, it wasn't until I could feel this baby moving around inside of me that I gave it a second thought during the day. I simply didn't have time, between working 50 hours per week, taking care of a toddler, doing this solo parenting thing while Mr. Lukie is at the fire station, and trying to maintain some semblance of cleanliness in the house. But, just like everything I've read and everyone I've talked to says - I'm pretty certain that our love for this baby will be out of this world crazy, just like it is for big sister.
  4. Time goes by at warp speed x2. I used to roll my eyes when people would tell me that having a baby speeds up time. And then I used to stifle laughter when people would tell me to "soak it all up" and "savor this time" with a brand new baby (had they honestly forgotten what it was like to survive on no sleep, smelling like spit up, and eating cold food?) I hate to admit it, but they were all correct. (Except I would still never tell a brand new mom to enjoy those early days - it's hard to do when you're in the thick of it). And then, add in a toddler and a pregnancy, along with your every day life activities and responsibilities? One week=one day in this new life. No wonder I feel like I should still have another 9 months left in this pregnancy ...
  5. Having a toddler is tiring. Having a toddler AND being pregnant? Exhausting. Juuuuuust as Ella started sleeping through the night (at 17 months old - yes, we were some of the lucky ones who have a child who decided to torture us for that long), I got pregnant. Apparently, child who sleeps through the night + parents who are finally getting some sleep = new found appreciation for one another. Sure, I had bouts of being tired when I was pregnant with Ella (first trimester just about wiped me out, second trimester was smooth sailing, and third trimester was pretty decent, up until the last few weeks). Chasing after a very busy, very curious, very fast toddler while growing another baby is crazy exhausting. And again, add in every day life and I'm ready for bed by 4pm most days.
  6. So, shaving your legs is hard. I will admit. I kinda laughed a little bit when friends joked about just giving up on shaving anything below their bellies while pregnant. I didn't understand - I had no issues with shaving my legs during my first pregnancy. Or putting shoes on. Or doing much of anything, really. There wasn't much that could slow me down. I was still CrossFitting fast and furiously up until about five days before I went into labor with Ella. I didn't see what the big deal was. And here we are - 30 weeks pregnant - and I was sweating in the shower, trying to shave my legs. While I was getting dressed to go out for a date night a few weeks ago, I had to call Mr. Lukie into the bedroom to buckle the ankle strap on my wedges. Mopping and scrubbing the tubs/showers is something that happens only when absolutely necessary (like when the toddler poops in the tub during bath time). Otherwise, I figure they get a decent cleaning when we're in there showering. No? And as for exercise this time around, I aim for three times per week and I do what feels good that day. Sometimes, it's CrossFit. Other times, it's what would normally be considered my warm up. And yet other times, it's a rest day, even if I've had three consecutive rest days in a row.
  7. People still give you unsolicited advice. That part doesn't change the second time around. Except this time, it's about how to make your toddler feel involved. Or how you should get your toddler potty trained before baby gets here. Or out of their crib before baby gets here. Or how maybe breastfeeding isn't the best choice the second time around because of how much time it takes away from spending with your first born. But then, you'll get the few and far between tidbits about how amazing it is to see your first born interact with their new sibling. Or how they're built in playmates and how wonderful it is (after about the first year or so). And that it seems you're doing a great job with baby #1, so they're just certain that baby #2 will be just as wonderful a human being.
All of that to say - pregnancy is a crazy ride, no matter how many times you experience it. I can say with nearly 100% certainty that this will be my last pregnancy. I love being pregnant and I will miss it almost immediately after giving birth. I'll miss feeling the baby moving around inside of me. I'll miss my belly. I'll miss wearing a bikini without having to constantly suck my tummy in ever again. But I'm excited to meet this little one and I can't wait to see how s/he and Ella interact with one another. I'm pretty sure that will trump any complaint there ever was about being pregnant. Ever.

5 comments:

  1. So true! Each pregnancy is amazingly different (well, except for the fact that I was downright miserable with ALL of mine, haha) and the same goes for each child. I'm just dumbfounded that you can have multiple kids in the SAME environment and they are all so so sooo different. I mean, obviously that's how God designed us, but it's still mind boggling cool. They are such little individual personalities, and what works for one doesn't always work for the other. Keeps you on your toes (or rather, on your knees!). It is a total blast getting to see your older child interact with the younger ones. Such a blessing to witness, and worth every discomfort, ever sleepless night, etc.

    I have NEVER heard someone discourage bf'ing your second because it takes time away from your first?! Crazy people! My kids might sometimes get into a little more trouble when they know I'm nursing, but for the most part they like to come sit with me and hang out at the same time. Love that. :)

    You'll do great! Children are such a blessing, I'm honored God hand picks each one for us. :)

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  2. I'm glad my toddler isn't the only one pooping in the tub! :) I love what you said about being thankful that #2 was a surprise so it relieved the burden of "planning". Our #2 was a HUGE surprise (positive preggo test 4 months after #1 was born). And I also felt that way, but wasn't able to put it into words like you just did. Plans going awry are usually an occasion to buck, but it's a gift when God plans something different than us!

    I love having two, and they love each other. It makes you appreciate your oldest in a whole new light when you see them with their little sibling--when they're affectionate, AND even when they are wrestling with selfishness. God's plan of family community is so cool to watch in the lives of your kids!

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  3. I'm glad you're always ahead of me enough that I can hit you up for *solicited* advice! ;)

    And glad everything is going well for you.

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  4. Hi new to your blog.

    Your list is really spot on.

    I was so annoyed at not being able to shave my legs that I had my hubby shave them for me. Yes, it was funny and yes it really did take a lot of trust that he was not going to accidently rip my skin off. I did not want to have hairy legs in the delivery room. Like the people in the delivery room don't have better things to worry about.

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    1. I don't think my comments came out right. What I meant was that I thought the people in the delivery room would think I had bad hygiene if my legs were hairy. I'm sure they have "seen it all" and probably don't think anything of hairy legs.

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