Updated: Sep 11, 2020
My second pregnancy cannot be more different than my first. (Well....technically, this will be my third, as I had a miscarriage for my first one, but who's counting.) For one, I didn't realise I was pregnant until I was about 7 weeks into the pregnancy. I had slight nausea, and I felt tired, but I just thought I was run down and exhausted from taking care of Joshua. So I didn't think much about it.
So you can imagine my surprise when I finally realised I was pregnant. It took us three years to conceive Joshua, so this was very unexpected.
Wrapping My Head Around It
I will be completely honest; I wasn't mentally prepared for this pregnancy. I just got my period back, and I was just getting the hang of motherhood. My husband and I thought we could start trying because it took us so long to get pregnant with Joshua. (We thought it would take us around a year, as people tell us that it is a lot easier to get pregnant after your first. Little did we know it would only take one try!)
Don't get me wrong, I am very happy about this pregnancy, and I cannot wait until this little one arrives. But it did take me a lot longer to wrap my head around it.
When I took the first pregnancy test, and it was positive. I was in complete denial. I was thinking, "No, it can't be. It must be a false positive, as we just started trying." Three tests later, it began to sink in that I am pregnant. However, I still wasn't 100% convinced for some bizarre reason as I wasn't feeling that bad, only headaches and nausea now and then, which is a breeze compared to when I was pregnant the last two times. (I was throwing up every day when I was carrying Joshua, so I didn't miss those days.) It only really hit home when I went to the gynecologist to have my first scan and heard the baby's heartbeat for the first time. My exact thought was, "OMG, I AM pregnant. Can I do this? Two kids under 2, am I ready?" My second thought was, "Fuck! Now I have to be careful about what I need to eat again!" LOL
Second Child Guilt
When it has finally sunk in that, I am pregnant again. I started to feel guilty.
People talk about second child guilt, how they feel less excited or care less than the first. It is not that parents think the second kid is less important, but the feeling of carrying your first is just very different. I never thought I would feel the same, but now that I am pregnant again. I am definitely feeling the second child guilt.
I think the biggest difference for me is, we tried for three long years to conceive Joshua, while the second is a complete surprise. A lovely surprise, but a surprise none the less, so I am just less prepared. It wasn't that my husband and I weren't thinking about having a second. We just had a very different mindset this time. We set ourselves a deadline when we would stop trying (when we are 38), and we were just going with the flow. I wasn't calculating when I was ovulating, we were just having fun.
I felt guilty because I didn't do all the preparation work I did with Joshua. I wasn't taking prenatal vitamins, I wasn't watching what I ate, and I was drinking tea by the gallon because I had no idea I was pregnant. Obviously, once I found out, I was very strict with myself again with what I eat and retaking my vitamins. However, I couldn't help myself but feel that I wasn't giving this child the same love and attention as I was giving to Joshua, which ate me up inside. I have always promised myself that if I have two kids, I will love them equally. So I felt I was already failing the second one from day one.
I know it might seem silly and I am overthinking it, but as mothers, you are the one carrying the child, so you feel all the pressure is on you, whether or not the baby turned out healthy or not.
It got me especially worried when I started seeing the Chinese doctor again. My Chinese doctor is a very positive and caring person, and she will always put a positive spin on everything. So when she told me I needed bed rest until the end of the first trimester, it got me worried. As the last thing I want is another miscarriage, luckily, the baby is fine, and the heartbeat is strong during our last scan.
I have to say, I was in a pretty bad mental state for a while. Feeling guilty about not being more careful during this pregnancy and feeling guilty for not spending as much time with Joshua because I needed bed rest. It was almost whatever I do; I couldn't win, and I was constantly feeling guilty because I felt like I wasn't doing enough.
Now that I am in my second trimester, and my brain seems to be thinking a bit more clearly, I feel better mentally. (Physically, I am feeling worse, as the headaches and nausea seem to be more frequent.) I started to feel more exciting about this little one's arrival and started wondering what this baby will look like, and whether it be a boy or a girl.
As much as I know, it will be a lot of hard work having two kids under two. I am thrilled that my two kids will be so close in age. I hope they will be the best of friends and have a companion for life.
Unless you are a multimillionaire, I am sure one of the issues that come across your mind when you find out that you are having a second child is, how much will this cost us.
When I was carrying Joshua, I was so excited to get the crib, the clothes, and everything that I need to get to prepare for his arrival. This time around, I am thinking about what I DON'T NEED TO BUY - the less, the better.
The first time around, we didn't have anything, so we had to buy everything. The second time around, our mindset is very much what we can reuse to cut down the cost. It is not that we don't think the second child is as important, but we are considering further along the line. Such as, we can save this money for their education and other outgoings that will come our way.
I guess this time around, we are more realistic as we know what is about to come our way.
Adjusting from a family of 3 to a family of 4
Being pregnant with your second kid, everyone in the family needs to adjust. It is only normal, as you are bringing in another human being into your life.
I think my husband's biggest worry is financially, and if our place is big enough to house another kid. My biggest worry is, am I able to cope with two kids, give it my all and still have time to do my own thing.
Joshua, as he is so young, I am not sure he knows what is going on. However, I think he has a feeling something is about to change, as he has been extra clingy. Trying to explain to a one-year-old that he is going to be a big brother is not exactly the easiest task. Apart from constantly repeating, that mummy has a baby inside, and you are going to be a big brother soon. I am not too sure there is anything else we can do to prepare him for this new chapter of his life. I am just hoping that he is young enough not to be jealous of the new arrival.
We have now accepted that we would need to rip out the study and turn it into a kid's room, and we have now hired a full-time helper to help us out. I have learnt to let go and let the helper take care of Joshua when I need to rest. Even though this was a very difficult step for me, but I have to think of the second one now. This is also a good adjustment period for Joshua because once the second one comes along, I won't be able to spend as much time with him. So it is bitter sweet.
I am not going to lie, there have been times, I have felt jealous when Joshua wants the helper instead of me. It kind of breaks my heart a little, but a the same time I know it is something I have to accept, as I just don't have the energy mentally and physically to take care of Joshua all the time. Part of being a mother of two, is that sometimes you will need to let go and let others help you when you need it. I am just grateful we manage to find such a wonderful helper to be part of our family, who is great with Joshua.
All in all, this pregnancy has been a whirlwind experience—both exciting and daunting—definitely the biggest surprise in 2020. It will be a big adjustment for everyone in the family, but we are also very happy about it. Stay tuned for my next post for the gender reveal. Do you think it will be a boy or a girl?
Sending you love & positive thoughts,