Second time around…

I’ve realised that I haven’t written anything about being pregnant this time around, (who am I kidding, I’m not writing anything about anything really, blame the nesting!) so thought it was time I did! I’m well into my third trimester and I’m not going to lie, pregnancy has really taken it out of me this time. In all honesty last time I can say that I barely noticed I was pregnant. This time has been so much harder and I’m sure that 90% of that is going through it with a toddler thrown into the mix too. I became pregnant about a month before Bea turned 2 and whilst it’s a lovely and fun age, it’s certainly one you could do with being on your toes for!

Third trimester! #babybump #thirdtrimester #icarriedawatermelon #bigsister

A photo posted by Rebecca Norris (@rebecca_norris) on

Physically, I feel the same as with Bea. I had very little nausea, and a problem free first trimester for which I still feel very lucky! I definitely ‘popped out’ earlier – I think it was only by about 20 weeks I had a is-she, isn’t-she type bump last time and this time it was fairly convincing at least a month earlier. I blame the lack of effort I put into core exercises last time… nothing to do with the cake. ;) Seriously speaking though, this time around I have definitely put less weight on. I haven’t given myself quite the same license to eat EVERYTHING as I did last time, though I’m by no means resisting much! I actually haven’t been as hungry I think and I have certainly reached the feeling ‘full of baby’ stage much earlier.

26 weeks and feeling massive! I'm sure I wasn't this big with Bea! #26weeks

A photo posted by Rebecca Norris (@rebecca_norris) on

Last time I never experienced any braxton hicks (practice contractions when the womb gets tight and hard briefly) and this time they started around 20 weeks. It actually took me a few weeks to work out what was going on then I’ve had a good few weeks with none again and now they are back. Hopefully it’s all getting my body ready for labour as I plan to try and have a natural delivery this time (Bea was a planned C-Section as she was Breech.) Unfortunately the main thing that has bothered me has been my back and pelvis. My back has always been a bit iffy if I don’t take care of it and I do tend to over do things. Towards the end of my last pregnancy my sacro-iliac joints (lower back) were a bit sore but I blamed too much DIY as we were completing work on our kitchen and guest room. In all honesty it never really recovered as I think the pregnancy hormone relaxin affected me quite a lot, then it’s effects were perpetuated by breast feeding for so long – I only stopped when I was pregnant again this time. Going straight into another pregnancy clearly hasn’t helped and picking Bea up a lot still really takes its toll. Added to that I’ve had some very strange Pelvic Girdle Pain (the new name for what was formerly known as SPD or Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction) which has been really unpleasant at times. Thankfully it seems to come and go without warning and has mainly cleared up but I’ve had to take a massive reality check on what its sensible for me to keep doing.

27weeks: having 'cuddles on the sofa' with 'my baby'. Me too Bea, me too.

A photo posted by Rebecca Norris (@rebecca_norris) on

The funny thing about this pregnancy has been that it is at once more real and more distant than last time. This time around I’m excited and desperate to meet this baby in a way I never was with Bea because I had no idea how amazing it was going to be. My placenta is at the back this time which means I’ve had loads of fun with amazing big movements and many a happy hour with Pete talking about the future whilst we feel our next little love wriggling in there. But at the same time it’s flown by with barely a thought towards preparation or time to think much about ‘being pregnant’. The weeks blur into months and compared to my weekly bump watch last time I have about a handful of photos this time – I keep having to remind myself to take one! Its bittersweet too. Bea is so excited about ‘the baby’ but I’m starting to really worry how she will cope with sharing me. I know she will gain so much from having a sibling but I don’t think there’s any denying she will find it tough for a while first. And it will break my heart I know.

I’d love to hear from any of you readers who are preparing for a second baby or who have already crossed that bridge. Was it the same for you?

Love, Rebecca.

19 thoughts on “Second time around…

  1. Hi Rebecca, firstly huge congratulations!

    I just wanted to share my experience of my second (who’s just a few weeks younger than Bea.)

    When she was born my eldest was just 3 (like a couple of days before) and she was A-mazing. Such a huge help when I forgot a muslin or baby wipes, and from day 1 she was entirely besotted. Before the birth I got 6 little storage boxes and filled them with a couple of activities we could do at feeding time, like little puzzles, books etc. We never really used them but it was good to have a fall back.

    I also suffered from PGP and found that if I laid on my back with my ankles crossed, and then clenched my bum cheeks together really hard, (then swapped over) the pain went instantly.

    All the best for your remaining weeks and I look forward to happy news!

    Rachel x

    • Interesting! Bea is very helpful and generally talks about ‘the baby’ a lot, so I’m hoping she will be great but after an incident on the stairs last night when I had to threaten putting her doll in the bin, (not my finest hour) if she didn’t pick her up and take her to the bedroom (because my hands were full!) my strong willed little madam makes me a bit terrified for the future!

  2. I found pregnancy tough the second time too. Having a toddler thrown in the mix is no joke. I got pregnant when Ellie turned two, and man was she hard work. Now she’s three she’s a hundred times better, but the terrible twos was a battle, not easy when you are expecting!

    Bar acting out a bit in the first week, Ellie has coped well. Kids are so adaptable. There are three main things we did that I think have really helped Ellie :

    1. Involved her from the start, no secrets, she knew when I was in labour and I got her to help from day one. When she acted out I say down and was honest with her – I said I was really tired from having a baby and I really needed her to help me. She seemed to listen to that and got much better.

    2. Got her a little point and shoot camera off ebay as a “present” from the baby and told her it was her responsibility to take baby pictures. It was a great distraction in the first few weeks.

    3. I found myself craving one on one time with Ellie so much in the first few weeks as Audrey was a really demanding newborn, much more than I was expecting. So I carved out time every day where it was just me and Ellie, even if just reading a book or doing a bath. It was not easy as Audrey fed pretty much constantly, but I was strict about it and i made a point about putting Ellie first, and I think she saw that and appreciated it. I also dropped Ellie down a day at nursery so I could have a day with both girls because I missed time with Ellie so much. I love Wednesdays,they are the joy of my week.

    Huge huge luck with it all. I only feel now like I’m coming out the other side – Audrey had knocked me for six a bit for a while – but looking at them together now, I understand why people say siblings are the best thing you can give your kid.

    • That is a fantastic idea as a present from the baby! I have never really bought into the idea of presents from the new baby to older one as I know myself presents only stay in favour a short time and the sentiment doesn’t really have any lasting effect at this age but I can see how this would work – thanks for a great idea!
      Planning for time with the first and or second seems so hard. On the one hand I want the second to have all the time and attention I gave to Bea, without being cast aside for Bea, but equally I cant stand the thought of pushing Bea aside. In reality I know I will have to just muddle through and I’m probably being to precious Everyone will be fine. But you can’t beat a bit of mama guilt!
      Glad you feel you’re coming out the other side Anna!

  3. Congratulations! My son was 2 and 3 months when his brother arrived 2 months ago. I was an emotional hormonal wreck throughout the final trimester. Like you I planned for a VBAC but it didn’t work out and I spent the day in hospital waiting for a c section sobbing because I was so upset about “losing” my eldest. When my baby was born I fell deeply in love with him much faster than the first time around, but it didn’t stop
    me from crying every time I said my eldest’s name! We’re both adapting now. We’ve had our wobbles and I really miss him some days, when the baby is demanding and I just don’t feel I’ve cuddled him enough but we’re working on it. Being a mum to two is demanding in the most ridiculous ways. Today I had to manage a toddler in a freezing playground whilst giving my baby a complete outfit change and I ended up feeding whilst talking about a forklift truck we were watching on a building site. It’s crazy. But then you see the relationship building between your babies and it’s just amazing. Very best of luck!

  4. Congratulations Rebecca! I have exactly the same gap as you and my youngest is now 18 months. I actually shed the odd tear in the final weeks of my second pregnancy when I thought that never again would it be just me and my girl. I held her as tight as I possibly could. However, once my son was here it was so very different. The interaction between the two of them, even from a few days old, is just the best thing in the world to observe, even when biting and hair pulling is involved! I very rarely feel guilty about not spending the time I spent with his sister with him, because having a sibling is so much better than just having a mum (and dad) it seems.

    Since day one I have tried to ensure that when the youngest is napping, that is special girl time and we bake (so many cakes!), draw or simply watch a bit of a film cuddled up. I’m now at work again so slightly different but in the first year this made a massive difference to my eldest’s behaviour and on days when I couldn’t do this for one reason or another her behaviour was definitely a lot worse.

    best of luck for the coming months. So very exciting! x

  5. I have the same age gap as Becks and my second is now six months. I actually found pregnancy much easier second time – first time I spent the whole time feeling horrendous but everything (except PGP, which was worse) was better second time and I regularly forgot that I was pregnant.

    I completely agree about it feeling more and less real second time. I found that I was more connected with my bump as a baby and more excited, but at the same time (and completely contradictory) I couldn’t believe that I was actually going to have another baby because, well, I already HAD my baby!

    I have also found it much easier going from one to two than I did going from none to one. Knowing what to expect makes such a big difference! Yes, there are tough days, but I have more perspective now that they won’t last for ever (first time I was convinced after each bad night that the baby would never sleep again!). I’m also kinder to myself and don’t expect perfection – first time I went to every baby group going, felt I had to entertain the baby every second of the day and felt I had to do everything myself (e.g. making everything she ate from scratch, ironing her clothes, not asking for help or accepting any offers of help). Second time this isn’t possible – I can’t entertain both children with separate age-appropriate activities simultaneously and sometimes one has to wait while I help the other. This has made me feel able to not dance on attendance on them the entire time and to take five minutes to read a blog and comment (baby two is happily being ignored in her jumperoo as I type!). I don’t feel I have to be perfect all the time and as a result I’m enjoying it all so much more (to the point where I’d quite like another…).

    My first has also adjusted really well to having a sister. I think having a smallish age gap helped with this (and the fact that my second has generally been an easy calm baby) as well as the fact that she got very into dolls shortly before so was excited to “help” with nappies and baths. We haven’t had any obvious jealousy, although just before the second was born she started refusing to wear nappies (hello potty training), learned to climb out of her cot (hello toddler bed) and stopped napping – I have no idea if that was her way of reacting to the changes (I stopped work and she knew the baby was being born soon) or a stage she would have reached anyway.

    Congratulations with your second, I hope all goes well. It really is magic, especially watching a relationship develop between siblings!

  6. Congratulations Rebecca! Such lovely news.

    My ‘baby’ J is now nearly 14 months and my big boy just turned 3 last week. The age gap was 22 months which was tricky as M didn’t really understand what was happening so when he started acting up a bit when J was born it was hard to talk to him about it. I think it would be easier in some ways now he understands everything and is a little chatter box.

    Pregnancy was really hard for me with a toddler in tow, I had crippling SPD and really struggled to walk at all the last trimester. I found having a newborn and a toddler WAY easier than being pregnant with a toddler which I hope is good news!

    On the making time for both thing – I have both boys at home every day and still manage to spend ‘quality’ time with both. I really worried before J was born but there’s always a way to make it work.

    Lots of luck for the next few months, so so exciting! Xx

  7. Stella was just 2 when Monty arrived and honestly, they were the best weeks of my life. We were phenomenally lucky in that she really did take to the ‘big sister’ role like a duck to water – I’m now a couple of weeks away from number three’s arrival and can’t say I’m expecting the same seamless transition into big siblingdom from Monty (the first time he ever saw me pick up another baby he growled like a dog and tried to climb out of an open window

  8. oops…!

    My biggest tip? Your toddler comes first. The baby needs a clean bum and boob/bottle. Your big girl needs time/explanations/hugs/reassurance/you. I never told S she had to wait or to ‘hold on’ and I think it really cemented her confidence and security within our new family set-up. Plus Monty is the happiest, easy-goingest little sausage in the land, possibly due to the low-level neglect he endured as a newborn!

    Another thought – Monty was born by section due to unstable lie. I had a fantastic recovery with zero issues and never felt I was compromised in taking care of the kids whilst recovering. I did discover you REALLY need your core muscles to slice cheese, who knew?! I’m going for a birth centre VBAC this time but just wanted to reassure you that a section will be ok too

    • Ah that’s interesting to know Aisling! I hope you get your VBAC. I can’t complain in anyway abut my section, but I remember it being fine when I rested (ie sat and gazed at/fed Bea) and then also fine going out but I paid for it later/the next day in the early days. And I remember struggling to get up and feed at night. So I’ve assumed that having a toddler who likes being picked up/carries might not be quite the same smooth recovery. So good to know you feel it was ok, in case it does go that way.

  9. Congratulations! So nice to read a post after such a long time.
    I managed a VBAC but was still in hospital for a couple of nights due to tear so not ideal. I hope it goes well for you.

    My oldest went crazy at bedtime, went from brilliant bedtimes to getting up numerous times (my husband was putting him back while I fed downstairs and one night counted 50+ getting out of bed before falling asleep!). It eventually improved, like everything does!

    I liked the book “siblings without rivalry” for tips and general vibe for successful sibling relationships.

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