How does this pregnancy compare to your last one?
Physically? Pretty much the same, actually. Same amounts of morning sickness (maybe sliiiiiightly more this time around), awesome 2nd and beginning of 3rd trimesters, and then lots of fatigue now nearing the end. A bit of heartburn in both, but nothing too awful. The BIGGEST difference is having Riley to take care of this time, which makes it a lot more exhausting. I can't just nap whenever I want. I can't sleep as late as I want on the weekends. I can't lay on the couch and watch TV when I'm tired during the day. I have a toddler that wants to be held and sleep in my bed and needs to be put in and out of her car seat and picked up and down all day long. Makes me laugh at how I ever complained of being tired the first time around!!
Mentally/emotionally? Pretty darn different. Last time, from the moment I found out I was pregnant, it never left my thoughts. Everything was so exciting. I counted down each week, I kept a detailed journal, I always knew what development was going on inside me. This time? I never know what baby is doing week-to-week, at the beginning I often forgot I was pregnant, and I usually have to go back and fill in the gaps of my pregnancy journal that I totally forgot to fill out. Obviously we're excited to meet this little baby, but I don't yet feel quite as "bonded" to this little guy as I did to Riley before she was born. I've heard this is totally normal, and once baby is born everything changes and obviously it becomes really real, and that same love and joy just comes immediately. I'm expecting this will be the case for me. It's just hard to focus on this pregnancy and this baby that I can't see and touch when I have Riley to keep me so busy!
Excited? I doubt it. I doubt she's able to really comprehend enough to anticipate that there is a real live baby coming home to be her brother, and therefore able to get excited about it. As for knowing what's going on... I have a whole other post about that, but she's got an idea. She points to my belly and says "baby!", she goes into the baby's room and points to all his stuff and says "baby's seat!" baby's toys!" "baby's bed!".... She will randomly stop in the middle of the day and say to me, "Baby boy?" although I'm not totally sure what's going through her head when she says that. And, the best part is... Riley LOVES babies. She loves seeing them, touching them, she has no problems with me holding them... it makes me excited for her to be a big sister!! And she take care of all her stuffed animals like they are her little babies, it's pretty cute.
Believe it or not, we actually planned these babies to be close together! Do I expect my fair share of challenges? Of course. I'd be crazy not to. But I'm actually not really that worried about how Riley is going to respond, I actually think she's going to be a fabulous big sister and absolutely smitten with baby. My biggest concern? Sleep. Riley is still waking up at night and wanting to come in our bed. And this new little one will probably be in our room for at least a few months. What if Riley comes in and wakes the baby up? What if the baby wakes Riley up? What if they wake each other up and then I have two awake babies both needing mama in the middle of the night? I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens... We're working on trying to keep Riley in her own bed all night, but it's not going to happen overnight, and time is not exactly on our side at this point!
Yes and no. It's funny, during my labor with Riley, I definitely remember thinking "I never want to do this again!" My labor with her was fast and furious, with a failed epidural, and lots of pushing. But going through that, I actually feel very prepared now to do it again. I KNOW I can do it without pain medicine since my epidural failed last time. I have more knowledge and different coping strategies this time around. My biggest worry so far has been that my labor will be TOO fast. That I won't have time to get someone to care for Riley and then get myself to the hospital before baby is born. Also? Believe it or not, my biggest concern is Riley. What if we can't get a hold of someone to come look after her? What if we have to leave her in the middle of the night and she wakes up and we are gone, and she freaks out? What if we had to bring her with us to the hospital?? All these unknowns!!
I always thought this was a bit of a silly question. OF COURSE we're all excited about having a boy. It did take a little getting used to, since the idea of having a boy was new to me, but I'm totally thrilled to be having a boy and be giving Riley a brother.
"So now you're family is complete, right?"
This is seriously the weirdest comment I have gotten SO many times when people find out we're having a boy. Why do people assume that because we will have one boy and one girl, that BAM, our family unit is complete? So if we had two girls, or two boys, it wouldn't be? Mark and I have always wanted a big family, so I can fairly confidently say we won't be done having kids after this baby is born.