From the moment we found out we were having our second child, I had wonderful ideas in my head of how smoothly this pregnancy would go. After all, I had a relatively easy pregnancy with my first son, and all pregnancies are the same, right?
From about six weeks on, this pregnancy has been so hard for me, and I think I understand some of the reasons why. You remember all those pregnancy rules? You know, the do’s and don’ts of a healthy pregnancy? Well, let me break down how realistic those are once you already have a young child at home.
Rule 1: See your doctor on a regular basis.
Reality: Super important but be prepared. Some of these appointments now include a psychotic preschooler that refuses to sit in his chair, or anything else resembling good behavior. And in my case included him climbing up my legs for “snuggles” while I’m spread eagle on the examination table. If there is a silver lining here, this won’t be anything new to the nursing staff and a simple apology will usually suffice.
Rule 2: Don’t drink alcohol.
Reality: Sure, I completely understand the rationale behind this one, and I have honored it, but man oh man, could I have used a glass (or 5) of wine just for being home all summer long with the first child, even without the pregnancy. Potty training during the late stages of a difficult pregnancy isn’t a walk in the park. (Seriously, how many times can a child sit on the potty and not let one drop of pee out? My boy must have been doing his Kegels of Steel workout while I wasn’t looking. Don’t even get me started on the state of my own Kegel muscles…)
Rule 3: Get lots of rest.
Reality: I’d laugh at this notion, if I wasn’t already crying on the inside. Good luck getting any rest, especially when your preschooler has made it clear that he no longer needs a daily nap nor will he go to sleep until 10:00 PM. And don’t forget that you need to limit your caffeine intake, so no afternoon coffee pick me up for the inevitable exhaustion you will feel. FML.
Rule 4: Don’t lift over 25 pounds.
Reality: Unless of course it’s the forty pound sack of potatoes you call your first child that just has to be picked up and held every 5 minutes.
Rule 5: Try to limit your stress.
Reality: Did you hear anything I have said about dealing with a fussy, non potty-training preschooler? Talk about stress central.
And don’t forget – all your normal stress relievers are a no go. Glass of wine after a long day? Nope. Long hot bath to relax your mind? Double nope. A nap? Only if you can do it in full motion. Netflix binge once the kid is in bed? Sure – as long as it’s got car chases and kung fu, because your husband, the domestic ninja, has suddenly reappeared.
Listen guys, I am all about the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth and cannot even tell you how excited I am for my son to meet his baby brother. But seriously, someone should have better prepared me for the realities of these nine months.
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