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P1 v P2: Part three; The third trimester

As my second pregnancy draws to a close it seems appropriate that I write this post now, while I am still pregnant and waiting and while I still have a skerrick of time on my hands. As excited as I am for this pregnancy to be over and to meet whoever has been taking over my body for the last nine months, I am also a tad bit sad it is coming to an end. Last night I was lying in bed, my unborn child kicking the living daylight out of me and I remembered how much I missed the little kicks after Leo was born. As hard as pregnancy is physically, emotionally and mentally, I love it and I am as shocked as anyone to admit that I will actually miss it.

The third trimester of my first pregnancy seems like such a long time ago, either I have blocked it out or it gets blurred into the memory of Leo being born and that memory is far greater and as far more important as moments in my life go.
So despite having limited memory of P1’s last trimester here is, the third edition of my series P1 v P2; the countdown is on.

Body
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At risk of sounding repetitive, P2 is WAAAAYY harder on the body, and with a husband who has had spinal surgery in the last month of our pregnancy, rendering him unable to lift anything heavier than a kilo, my body is just about ready for this to be over. Surprisingly I have held up quite well, we have an excellent climber and like any nearly two-year old, Leo loves his independence so walking everywhere is not too much of an issue.
I think my belly size has now plateaued and I have reached the limit of how far I can stretch, although I may be proved wrong if this baby decides it wants to camp out in there much longer.
As I say, I can not remember that much about this stage of P1, I do not remember Braxton Hicks being as uncomfortable as they are, what I remember of P1 is labour just started and when it started it was on. The last few days have been filled with on and off contractions, hopefully warning signs of something that is to come in the next few days.

Movements
We make very wriggly babies. P1 and P2 are the same on this scale. I am being kicked what feels like all the time, the baby has found its favourite place under my ribs and it looks like the only way I am getting relief from this pain is by giving birth.

Sickness
P1 all sickness at this stage was well and truly over. P2 I have been lucky enough to experience morning sickness all the way up to week 39, fortunately the sickness is restricted to the mornings and is only every other day but it has made me appreciate how quickly I can move as a tired and pregnant woman.

Fatigue
P1 I was spoilt, finishing work at 36 weeks and only working half days from about 34 weeks onwards. P2 I worked up until I was 38 weeks, albeit I was only working one and a half days a week, but as any mother of a nearly two-year old will tell you, the days when I weren’t at work seemed a lot longer and harder than those spent working. “Rest when your child is resting’ is good in theory but in practice is not very appropriate. The last few weeks have been spent doing lots of colouring, building and indoor activities as well as having extremely early nights all round.

Anxiety
While the start of this trimester was filled with worry about how I will cope with the labour this time around and how I will cope with a toddler and baby, as the due date nears closer and closer I am no longer as worried and reaching the stage of uncomfortable desperation to get this baby out. Yes, I am still curious as to how I will cope, how my body handle labour this time, if I will have a similar labour and all those burning questions that every pregnant woman has, but the excitement of wanting to know who is inside me has begun to take over and I am getting to the stage where I just want it all to begin.

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So there we are, I think it is safe to say that every pregnancy will get harder. The body is weaker, the list of people to look after is longer and longer each time and the naivety of labour has been taken away from you. As my forty weeks is officially up tomorrow and my due date will be here I can only hope the next time I write one of these posts I am writing to introduce a gorgeous bundle and not having a whine about waiting for an over cooked baby to come.

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Packing is hard to do

Scrolling through my Facebook feed last night I was delighted to see an article pop up; “Preparing for Baby: What to pack in your hospital bag.” Perfect. I’m 37 weeks pregnant, being a serial procrastinator, this is something I am yet to do and know I really should.
Upon clicking on this link you can imagine my disappointment when I discovered it was an article that I had written for another site. When I wasn’t pregnant. When I hadn’t packed a hospital bag in ten months. When I had a word limit and a target of five items to work towards in this so called hospital bag.

Every day I wake up and put ‘packing the bag’ on the list of jobs to do for the day. The end of each day comes and still I am yet to have that bag ready and waiting. There are nineteen days until due date, we are now in the window of “any day now” and maybe it is because this is the second time around or because we live literally two minutes from the hospital, I am taking a very relaxed approach on what to bring with us when the moment does come.

My pre-pregnancy list was fair enough, it included things like clothes for baby, clothes for mum, sanitary items, breastfeeding supplies and toiletries, including makeup and shampoo, two things I had forgotten on my first visit to hospital. This time around I am taking two bags. One for baby and one for me.
Baby’s bag is packed. I can see it now over by the door, ready to go. It is packed because it is an exciting bag to pack, tiny clothes, a pink beanie, a blue beanie, bunny wraps and teeny tiny nappies that seem like they would be too small to fit anything for very long at all. I can’t wait to unpack this bag, what outfits will our little baby wear first? Will they fit into the petite 0000 sized clothes, or will it be like its big brother and be straight into the 000’s? And the ultimate question, what colour beanie will we be pulling out to put on its undoubtedly bald head?
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My bag, sits empty and waiting. Maybe because it is going to be filled with things I am not looking forward to using (maternity pads, nursing pads, compression shorts etc), but mostly because I know labour doesn’t just happen, I know I will have time to get these things if labour starts without the bag already being packed. So what will I be putting in to a bag hopefully at some stage over the next couple of days? Not changing much from my original hospital bag list, here is what I will be taking to hospital, no doubt over packing for my short stay there but I figure it’s always better to be prepared.
Clothes: clothes for labour, pyjamas (a few pairs and all button up tops for night feeds), leggings/yoga pants, maternity singlets, loose tops, compression shorts and maternity bras and undies.
Toiletries: as I said I completely forgot some of this topic last time. Body wash, shampoo and conditioner (because you will want to wash your sweat filled hair!), toothbrush/paste, makeup, maternity pads, nursing pads, nipple cream (Lansinoh my cream of choice) and chapstick as that hospital air seems to dry everything out.
Other: snacks for husband during labour- rollups (Duncan’s “labour treat”), phone charger, camera (this comes with husband not necessarily packed in my bag), books to read with first-born when comes in to visit second born. Some people like to BYO pillow but I remember being that tired after Leo was born it wouldn’t have mattered if the hospital made me sleep on a phone book I would’ve been OK so I am saving my pillow the trip.

I’m sure there are other little bits and pieces that I have forgotten/overlooked but I am lucky to say that I have an extremely competent husband and family who will be happy to bring me in anything I have forgotten or buy me magazines/ timtams/ lollies when I am in desperate need.

Looking over that list, it’s not that hard, I should really just go and pack that bag, but as a heavily pregnant lady I have done enough for today and there is always tomorrow…or the weekend. Either way I know I will not be walking in to that hospital empty-handed and besides I was reading today it is good to “distract” yourself in the early stages of labour, packing my hospital bag seems as good of a distraction as any.
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5 things you initially thought were cute but soon realise they are not

“Big Kid” clothes
There is nothing cuter than a small child dressed up like an old man. I am the first to run out and search for incredibly cute and I am sure incredibly impractical outfits once my friends have babies. But the moving on from one pieces to two or three can bring on a number of problems;
– what to wear with what
– cleaning 3 times as much
– the tantrums it takes to get a child dressed each morning
– and the sudden look of ‘child’ rather than ‘baby’

Feeding oneself
Initially very cute. They can use a spoon- how adorable. Until you realise feeding them was not only a much quicker, but cleaner option.

The constant need to “help”
So cute when they first start doing this, bringing their chair around to the sink to help you do the dishes, or passing you the pegs when you’re hanging out the washing. That is, until they get bored with helping and want to actually do the job you are doing.
What used to be a five minute job has now become a twenty five minute job and it usually involves some form of frustration or tears; not necessarily the childs.

The use of the phrase “one more”
Initially we loved this one as it was even accompanied by a little finger being held up to his chin, but as we have learned very quickly one more never just means one more, it means ‘as many times as I ask until you say no’ more. And, as all parents know, there are some books you can only read so many times before they begin to drive you insane.

Wanting to sleep on mum instead of the cot
So this one may be my own fault. Let a child do something a few days in a row and that is what they think is the norm.
It is adorable. How many years as parents do we get where your child finds you their most comfortable place? It is peaceful, it is beautiful, but it is also extremely heavy and awkward and with a new baby on the way it cannot be happening. Time will still be made for cuddles, just not two hour sleepy cuddles. So for now, my dear sleepy, heavy child the battle to get you back into the cot for that daytime sleep is on.

There will be more and more things along the way. But the truth is even when they are annoying or even a bit of a nuisance, you let them do it because you find it cute and funny, even if no one else does, because they are yours and you know that these moments won’t last forever.

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P1 v P2: Part two; The second trimester

Trimester Two, or as my husband likes to call it, the “pudding” trimester. Where you don’t really look pregnant, you just look like you are getting a bit of a pudding belly.
The twelve or so weeks where you go from looking not pregnant at all, to a little bit chubby, to a definite baby bump.
After surviving trimester two it is that time again to compare, P1 v P2: Achy pudding days.

Body

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P2 seems harder on the body than P1 ever was. Second time around the phase from looking not pregnant at all to definite baby bump happens a whole lot quicker than the first time. This may be due to a combination of relaxed pre-stretched tummy muscles, the difference in fitness pre-pregnacies and the lack of time to consciously think to ‘switch on’ your abdominals when walking around. Personally I have felt huge from about week 25, probably because I did the silly thing of looking back at photos of P1 at the same time and realising just how much bigger I am. I know compared to some others, I am not huge, but I feel it, P2 is definitely measuring about two-three weeks bigger than P1 did on the belly size scale.
It goes without saying, but with a bigger belly comes bigger aches and pains. P2 has caused my back to pack up on itself. Muscle spasms, seizing and cramping all down my right side, have caused a few sleepless, teary nights and my new saviour to become the heat pack, heated up just that bit hotter than recommended.

Kicks
Not only did P2 give me butterflies earlier than P1 did, I have felt this baby so much more than I ever felt Leo. Whether that is purely because I have forgotten how frequent and strong Leo’s kicks were, but either way this baby is strong. The kicks are unbelievable and by far one of my favourite things about being pregnant, a constant reminder that I have someone with me and I love all the little reminders, even if they do make it hard to get to sleep some nights.

Fatigue
No surprises here. Just like in trimester one, P2 trumps P1 on all levels. Exhaustion has a whole new meaning being pregnant, working and living with a toddler. There is no doubt about it, P2 is tiring. When I used to come home and sit on the couch alone peacefully resting, I now come home and am lucky enough to have a gorgeous little boy crawl all over me and drag me everywhere. There is more kneeling, chasing and crawling around on the ground, there is more carrying a heavy load in the shape of a wriggly child and there is much more to manage around the house.

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P1 was filled with sleepless nights; anxiety and the inability to get comfy being the two main culprits.
P2 there have been few sleepless nights, although pregnancy fills my head with vivid dreams, sleeping is generally not something I have a problem doing after chasing a busy boy around all day.

Anxiety
P1 I was nervous about the baby. P2 I am nervous about getting the baby out. Possibly because the memory of labour is still fresh and I know how big my last baby was. Going in to labour naively is a much nicer way to go in to it. Yes, I know in a way this is easier because I know what to expect and have an idea of how I will manage but at the same time, I do not remember even remotely thinking about the labour this much during P1.
P2 gives you confidence that you know how to look after a baby, you know (despite being a bit worried) you will get through the labour, but how do you know how to look after a baby and a toddler? Together, at the same time, while you are stuck breastfeeding on the couch and the toddler rips your lounge room to shreds in front of your eyes. Or when you stop for a minute to make yourself a cup of tea or go to the toilet and the toddler brings you the baby in an attempt to ‘help mummy’. Little thoughts about managing two children rather than just one are the cause of small moments of anxiousness and worry, but I figure we worked it out with P1 and we had absolutely no idea about babies or children so I am sure we will manage just fine.

Sickness
P1 trimester two there was minimal sickness, I stopped having morning sickness at week 14 on the dot.
P2 has been different once again. Every few days in P2 would be greeted with sickness until about week 20. Heartburn has also been a new and surprising experience of P2, something I never once experienced during P1.  (I am trying not to read little into these two differences when guessing the sex of the baby.)

Planning
Although during the first trimester P2 trumped P1 in the planning department, besides setting up the cot and now purchasing the car seat, we haven’t really organised much else. P2 there is much less to organize, much less to buy. I have gone through Leo’s baby clothes and decided that most of it is ‘gender neutral’ even if it really isn’t and that is the extent of trimester two’s planning period.

So there you have it P1 v P2: Part two.
Overall P2 is still proving much harder than P1 in many ways, I am sore and tired in ways that I didn’t know I could be but I know that it is all worth it. Most days, P2 feels like it is nearly over, our days as a family of three are diminishing quickly. Life is really busy, time is going so fast and unbelievably, the third trimester is already here, the countdown to meet this little one is on and I am very excited.

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What’s in a name?

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As I have been told many times in both my pregnancies ‘you can just about call your baby anything these days.’ Something that often pops into my mind whenever we are discussing potential names for baby number two.

Liking a name is one thing, choosing a name for someone is another.  When it comes to choosing a name for someone for the rest of their life, we have discovered, there are a lot of things to consider before deciding on a name…
Will they suit the name?
Does the name suit both adult and child?
Do we know anyone with that name? And if so, what are they like? How will knowing this person affect our decision?
Does the name go with our surname?
Does it go with the name we gave our first child?
What will the name be shortened to? What will it’s nickname be?
How popular is the name? Will every other child in it’s class be called that name too?
What will other people think of the name? And most importantly, do we care? No matter what we call our baby there will always be that one person who says “Ooooohhh thaaaaattt’ss niiiiiccccceee” in that weird high pitched ‘I don’t really like that name’ tone.
And finally, do you both love the name? Can you come to a decision easily or does one of you have to compromise a little?

Luckily for us we both have a similar taste in names. We have had family (mostly my teacher parents) rule out names that they have associated with naughty children. At this stage, after much deliberation, we have our names. We go in with two. One for a girl and one for a boy. We keep it top secret until the birth announcement for three reasons;
One; It slightly annoys other people not knowing.
Two; Even when we think we know our names, there is always a small possibility to change.
And Three; We don’t get many secrets in our life. This is something we can keep just for us, even if it is only for another short three months.

So until some time in early October you can hold tight to hear our chosen name. (And in the meantime I will have to keep my fingers crossed that none of my pregnant friends unknowingly steal our names).