Oh I feel sorry for my second child already. And I should know, I’m a second child myself. The firstborn gets obsessed about by its mother, from the day its conceived to the day it first enters the world, and for months and years after that too.
When I was pregnant for the first time, I bought a copious amount of books, read every website, chatted on forums and even took a picture of my belly every week to keep on record. With this pregnancy, I’ve only consulted a reference book twice, haven’t photographed my growing stomach at all or even written up a birth plan. And I’ve been less strict with myself too. If I’ve felt like a piece of soft cheese, I’ve eaten it. If a cup of tea was what I was craving, I’ve had one. I’m very aware I’m behaving differently and wonder: is it because I’ve got so much more on my plate now (including a demanding toddler), or is it because I’m just more relaxed about the whole thing?
Besides my interesting behaviour, my body is also up to some crafty tricks. Let’s just say I’m becoming even better acquainted with those lovely visitors called varicose veins and stretchmarks. If you’re lucky enough to have the kind of body that bounced back after your first pregnancy (yes I’m told these people do exist), this time it may not be as obliging. It may go “Hey! You did this to me once and I was kind of nice to you but this time I’m not that resilient (or young). Here’s a stretchmark to make my point”. Why Gee, thanks old body of mine – that’s very generous.
There also seems to be less fanfare about the whole thing. You don’t often have a second baby shower, so there are fewer sparkly new toys and fewer gorgeous, adorable outfits. In fact, if this is your second child, you may already be digging out your firstborn’s pink babygros and convincing yourself that yes, it’s perfectly okay for your son to appear in grubby, slightly feminine garments – those will do just fine.
But there are certainly plus sides to becoming a mother for the second time. You’re less anxious about the little things and more confident about the big. And hopefully, in those first difficult weeks, this time I’ll go easier on myself and be less overwhelmed, allowing me to focus on enjoying the great adventure that is motherhood.
Here’s to second children, less obsessed over (perhaps), but never less adored.