I have been asked many a time in the last 24 weeks…….How are you feeling….Do you feel different this time????? I have been politely answering these questions with the typical ‘good thanks’…..storing away all the thoughts and questions that pop up.
I am 24 weeks pregnant with my second little buba. My first Buba girl is now approaching fifteen months.. She is a delightfully energetic, affectionate, adventurous little munchkin who makes me feel grateful and blessed and yes challenged each and every day.
My first pregnancy was I guess what most would call ‘smooth sailing’ as far as pregnancies go. My body coped well and our little bubba grew healthy and strong until she was full term and ready to enter the world. Yup I had the ‘not just morning’ sickness, which thankfully improved during the second trimester. Yup we were those parents taking belly shots every few weeks, and noting down each and every movement and hiccup. We were in love with our growing bump.
I also experienced, what I think many new time mama to be’s experience….the nesting MY HOUSE NEEDS TO LOOK LIKE THIS and the OH MY GOODNESS there is so much to GET GET GET!!!!! I had an ongoing list of what to buy which included the OH SO IMPORTANT finer details like baby ear buds..(Which I promise at the time seemed super important). I had an exact picture of what the nursery would look like and how my hospital and baby bag would be packed.
So…..when the thoughtful and well meaning people around you ask….Is it different this time??? I find myself saying ‘yes I guess so’….and my mind thinking ‘how can I answer such a complex question in a polite, honest, well meaning way’. And when chatting with other second and third time mamas to be….these emotional experiences seem to be another of those shared parts of the mamahood journey….
So….this is a Mama being Frank….about her second journey of pregnancy. A journey that has felt different in so many ways, and a journey that has been filled with just as much love and adoration over the growing bump as the first.
When reflecting on the seemingly emotionally charged question…..I find myself thinking…the truth is YES I feel different…….and then questioning…. does different mean better?? does different mean worse?? Does different mean im less invested in this pregnancy or more?? I find myself once again catching those thoughts, which push you to place judgment on your experiences and often create a range of complex emotions.
Here are some more truths about my second pregnancy and our journey so far…
Bub and I are as blessed in being healthy….just like #1
I experienced ‘not just morning sickness’ during the first trimester…which seemed easier to manage (I’m adamant that this is because chasing after active one year old doesn’t leave much time for you to notice).
I don’t have an extensive list of ‘what to do’ or ‘what to buy’ as I did with #1 (although for those who know me, you wont be surpised to hear that I have a small list of items for bubba #2).
We haven’t taken Belly shots every few weeks, like we did for #1.
I haven’t noted down every movement and hiccup like we did for #1.
Sometimes I have to think before answering….the question, how far along are you?
After reflecting….and choosing to write this blog piece, I have accepted that this is another emotionally charged experience in the journey of motherhood where I have found myself fighting the urge to judge my experience as good or bad….and what this means for me, for who I am as a mama and for my babies.
Do the differences listed above mean something about my investment in buba #2… To this question, just like I answered YES to the question above, I can as confidently say ‘No’ it does not. I yearn to meet bubba #2, just like I yearned to meet bubba #1.
Although the mama guilt and doubt creep in. When I sit and reflect and mindfully notice these thoughts and emotions, I can let them keep moving and reflect truly on how I feel….
These differences are not a reflection of the love I have for this growing being inside me….it is however a reflection on the learnt experiences of my journey so far as a mama. A journey which has taught me that no matter how much you plan, no matter how much you attempt to prepare…there is not much that can brace you for the unconditional and endless love you will have for your bubba when they enter this world. Or for the challenges and life lessons you will be faced with. All of a sudden, how tidy the cupboards are, what colour the nursery is, and whether or not your list was completed..doesnt seem to matter as much. What matters is the beautiful little being looking up at you, and how much you want shower them with love, shiled them with a force field of protection and somehow press pause on the precious moments, making all the beautiful moments of time stand still…
And yup….mama being frank…its also a reflection of how busy a part time working mama of a one year old is…asking myself the with the constant question….’what on earth did I do in my spare time before I became a Mama’…..(write lists and rearrange cupboards J)
So..frankly..yes there is so much about this pregnancy journey that feels different to my first..and I yes its normal to once again have those thoughts and feelings of mama guilt arise in response to those differences….but I remind myself as I hope I can reassure and remind other mamas… I love this growing bubba just as much as I love my first….and bubba #2…I cannot wait to meet you.