Bennett’s birth story was a more positive experience for me than my first, which goes to show that every baby and every birth is different. Don’t be afraid the second time – everything could be different! Here’s our story:
Friday, September 7th, was already red letter day for the Conley family.
During the second trimester, when we’re really showing, all pregnant women understand what it’s like to be asked that question non-stop! There’s nothing wrong with the question, but I’m stuck on how I should go about answering it. Do they mean, how I’m feeling physically at the moment (probably fine) or mentally (losing it) or emotionally (in chaos)? Do they really want to know?
So usually I say, “Pretty good!” or “Pregnant!” Both of which are true. But here’s a more in depth recap of my second trimester, now that I’m at 31 weeks!
Q: Can you make a baby registry for a second baby? Even if the second baby is the same gender as the first?
I pondered this question for some time. Because here’s the deal, I now know things I didn’t know before. I know that the baby carrier I registered for and received was horribly uncomfortable. The rocking chair I bought online at Target also didn’t feel anything like the one in the store. And I’ve discovered new products that I wish I’d had the first time.
Hindsight is 20/20 they say – and while I’m sure I will STILL have a lot to learn after a second go-around the baby block, there’s a few things I identified early on that I want to do differently with my second, some during pregnancy and some after birth.
Pregnancy is a lot like driving from Arizona to Iowa for Christmas: it seems like a great idea at the time. Once you survive, you swear “Never again!” A couple of years go by, and somehow, you start to think, “Oh, maybe it wasn’t so bad after all,” and you decide to try it again.
And then you remember why it really is that bad!
I’m kidding … maybe…
So many experiences, emotions, and memories color a pregnancy – it’s really amazing to see how your body changes week by week, and nine months really isn’t long in the big scheme of things.
Taking “bumpies,” like selfies, but of your baby bump (I had to explain that to Brian) is one of my favorite things from when I was pregnant with Edison. So I’m hoping to continue the tradition with baby #2, and posting them on Instagram. But in addition to the short updates I’ve posted here, there’s more I want to say about how the first trimester went. Some things with this pregnancy were definitely different. Does it mean we’re having a boy, or a girl? The suspense!
Oh, pregnancy brain, I remember you. You fog that steals through my mind, obscuring thoughts and making me wonder why I’m standing in front of this particular cabinet, staring blankly at it’s shelves, no idea what I’m there for.
And then there’s the time you go to the grocery store and forget to bring the money for the groceries. And the time you do finally get home from said store and realize you got a lot of things, but none of the things that you actually needed.
Or the time you cook dinner, and realize it tastes really off. Brian and I were both confused, because we remembered really liking the particular chicken curry. “I think it needs more salt,” Brian said, which ignited something in my brain. I dashed over to the cookbook, and yes – I’d only followed half the recipe. I just forgotten to do the rest!
Two differences quickly made themselves apparent. With Edison, I remember feeling tired after a full day of work, and once, coming home and falling asleep on the couch immediately. I also remember being nauseous in the mornings, and throwing up dinner once (that shrimp alfredo will forever live in infamy).
This time, I was TIRED. Like, could not drag myself out of bed in time to get to work before 9:30 am., fell asleep at my desk, wanted to nap all afternoon, and went to bed at 8 pm TIRED. And the nausea started in the morning with lots of gagging, went away late morning, and then picked up again late afternoon and lasted through the evening. I threw up donuts – twice! Such a travesty. And a steak dinner! Baby #2 just doesn’t know that those are two of the joys of life yet – but he or she definitely wanted to keep me from enjoying them!
I also suffered from a lot of headaches, pretty much every day at about the same time each day. That’s apparently normal, with all the extra hormones. As are skin breakouts, which were also fun, and I’m pretty sure my hair is going more gray. Is that normal?!
By far, the greatest challenge for me during the first trimester was the emotional roller coaster. I remember melting into tears and dramatic flops on the floor with Edison, but this time, it’s mostly a seething anger, flaring up into loud outbursts.
I think there should be a little light installed on my forehead that changes color according to my mood, to act as a warning to those in the area. Right now, it would be green. Most of the time, yellow, because there’s some underlying frustration with something almost always. Then it turns red when it gets to the level of you-really-need-to-back-away-slowly, and blinking and beeping loudly when it reaches the now-you-asked-for-it, atomic level.
Some of those atomic blowups I can laugh about now. For example, I’d just finished cooking dinner, and Brian getting home later from work. Edison and I sat down to eat, and this particular meal required ketchup. I squeezed out the last few drops from the bottle for Edison, and then, seeing that Brian had just sent me a text saying he was leaving work, called him to ask him to stop at the store for some more. It rang, and rang, and rang. I checked, and yes, he really had just sent me a message one minute ago. I called again, and again, and still, no answer. I finally decided to leave a voicemail, which came out “ANSWER YOUR PHONE!!! AND DO NOT COME HOME WITHOUT KETCHUP!” and then I hung up.
He called me a minute or so later, hadn’t listened to my voicemail yet, but had been on the phone with someone else when my emergency arose and missed my calls. By the time he called, I was completely calm, explained the ketchup emergency, and he did bring home ketchup. And later he played the voicemail.
“What was that?!”
“No idea,” I responded.
And sometimes, I feel like a blinking red light shouldn’t even be necessary. There are just some things you don’t do.
For example, Brian’s mom asked me about how I was feeling, and I explained essentially what I’ve already written above, about it feeling worse overall this time. Brian broke in, “No, you DEFINITELY felt more sick with Edison.”
Taking the stunned silence as encouragement to continue, he said “I remember it, you threw up a lot. You were so much sicker and more tired then than you have been this time.”
“Well,” I began, “I’m glad YOU can tell ME how I FELT when I WAS THE ONE PREGNANT!”
You’d think that would have been enough. But you’d be wrong. Because Brian has persisted with correcting me in this fashion, not once, but several times, to various people who’ve asked about how I’m feeling.
Somebody really needs to get on that forehead light idea. Or just explain to my husband why telling a pregnant woman what she’s feeling is just not a good idea if you don’t want radiation poisoning from all the atomic explosions.
Other than the pregnancy rages, and physical discomfort, it was sweet to see Edison start to conceptualize of what is happening – at least, he’ll say, “Mama hab a baby in her belly!” and pretend to tickle the baby, or say “Hi baby!” when told. It’s going to be pretty interesting to see how this mama’s boy adjusts!
In two weeks, we find out if we’re having a boy or a girl, and I’m getting nervous! Based on what I’ve told you about my first trimester, what would you guess? Comment below!!!