I spent my first pregnancy reveling in its blissful magic. I glowed and was amazed by everything that was happening. My husband and I followed the progress with online apps religiously, setting dates in our diaries for the next progress stage video. Second time around this is definitely not the case. In my mind, pregnancy was a wonderful thing to be treasured and my son would hug and kiss my bump while telling his unborn sibling stories about his day. Here is what I did not expect.
1. To be simultaneously kicked from both the inside and outside.
There is a party in my womb between the hours of midnight and 4 and, like irritating neighbours having a garden rave, I am not going to get any sleep while it is going on. Second pregnancy is making me hyper-aware of the night time movements anyway. What I did not expect was that having a 3 year old in the bed due to a house guest would mean getting kicked from both sides for 8 hours solid, often at the same time. I am not sure which is more preferable, dislodging a heel from my eye socket at 2am or kicked in the bladder for an hour making me feel like I need a wee, when I do not for the whole night.
2. Climbing the Soft Play Mountain.
Six months into my first pregnancy I very proudly climbed a mountain in Spain. Sure it had steps and hand rails but I did it, rather than get a bus to the top with all the old folks. Woe betide my husband when he tells people it was less of a mountain and more of a ‘rocky outcrop’. What I did not expect to be doing this time around was sliding my bump through a snaking ladder of soft play centre made to fit a 2-6 year old around and not a 30 year old pregnant woman. My son decided to take the steepest slide into the ball pool that even my husband said was a pain in the coccyx and ‘Mummy has to come too’. I could even see from the peak that my coffee was going cold and my magazine unread.
3. Using my bump as a lever.
First time, I wished for a cattle prod to keep people at a half-metre radius from my bump. Second time the bump is instead used to lever my son into and onto various places as he is now too heavy to lift. The bath tub and various walls to walk on being most popular. It has a great second use pivoting him up into the air that I was not expecting.
4. To not give a crap about the ‘rules’.
Pregnant women are not allowed to do anything fun in the slightest. Rollercoasters, petting zoos, drinking, and gardening are apparently all risky and should be avoided. Caffeine is also outlawed in normal amounts. At your most tired, when you could do with a coffee drip you are advised to limit your intake. Yeah sod that. The best day of my pregnancy so far has been hopped up on at least 5 cups of tea and coffee plus copious amounts of cake. I managed to get the boy to a toddler party, charge around doing the shopping and still find energy to dance around my living room to some probably inappropriate music while teaching my son the lyrics. This is not a normal day. A normal 3 cup-limit day consists of me passing out on the boy’s bed whilst trying to encourage a nap while he climbs over me and destroys the flat for an hour before getting bored and throwing books at my head to wake me up.
I have also been having pretty much every negative side-effect possible of pregnancy. This all seemed to resolve itself when I resolved to have a glass of wine. The up side is that because I am only having a glass, I had better make it a really good glass.
5. To spend most of pregnancy in a semi-crouched position.
First pregnancy was spent in the sitting on the couch position, second pregnancy in the ‘clearing up toys’ position. I am sure I had 6 months of back problems last time around from sitting at work on a chair older than time itself. This time, in spite of spending most of my day collecting things off the floor from standing, not even a twinge. If you see me walking down the street looking like I am impersonating the missing link, you’ll know I got stuck in that position.