I’m now almost nineteen weeks pregnant with baby number two and just cannot believe how quickly that time’s passed.
When I was pregnant with Ted (or Axy the axolotl as he was then) it was all I could think about, all I wanted to talk about, all I thought mattered in the world.
This time I just haven’t had the time or energy to obsess over the little wriggler in my belly. Of course, that means I’ve already had a lot of Mummy-guilt to contend with (“did I care more about Ted? Will the baby know?!”) but there’s Mummy-guilt everywhere – will Ted accept the new baby? Will I be able to pay enough attention to them both at once? Are they both going to miss out?
I took a year off with Ted and there’s no way I can do that this time so I’m also worrying that I won’t get the same opportunity to bond. I feel guilty about Ted missing out to the baby and I feel guilty about the baby missing out to Ted.
But, Mummy-guilt aside, this pregnancy has been a dream. With Ted I had terrible sickness but I’ve had none this time. With Ted I had bouts of bleeding where I was convinced I was losing him but this time it’s only happened once. With Ted I had dreadful SPD from 12wks but so far this time I’ve only had twinges.
Now that I’ve got a bump I feel pregnant and it’s making it all feel real at last. My students at school know and are excited, my students at college know and are using it as an opportunity to scare each other with tales of childbirth and placentas, the people I work with have stopped pretending they don’t know and strangers have started asking when I’m due. The social loveliness of pregnancy makes me happy.
The only real negative for me this time has been that my epilepsy has been harder to control so I’ve been having to increase my medication regularly, leaving me exhausted long after I should have perked up. It’s making it difficult to juggle my jobs and my increasingly-wilful toddler but at least I know I’m keeping the baby safe.
The hardest thing I’ve found has been worrying myself silly about the practicalities of having a two year old and a baby, but a few days ago I held a four week old baby and remembered that it’s not all nappies and sleepless nights – there’s plenty of that but there’s also a beautiful baby you’ve fallen in love with and would do anything for.
In just over a week I hope to find out the sex of the baby. I wonder how that will change the experience of second-time pregnancy?