“Every pregnancy is different” – a common phrase thrown around by experienced mamas who know how things work. In theory, I knew this to be true. But in reality, I find myself constantly comparing this pregnancy to my first.

I actually thought this pregnancy would be easier because I had done it before…I was wrong.

In hindsight, my first pregnancy was actually a breeze. My first trimester nausea was mild and I didn’t start having back pain until my third trimester. Really, my biggest complaint was extreme fatigue, but since I was childless, I was able to rest more.

So here I am in the middle of my third trimester, reflecting and comparing, as I’ve recently been experiencing acute ligament pain and third trimester nausea (both symptoms I didn’t experience with my first). This pregnancy brought me MAJOR first trimester nausea where I felt sick from early morning to bedtime, splitting headaches lasting multiple days, major acid reflux, and relentless back pain. I’ve also had multiple illnesses this pregnancy – it’s like my immune system just gave up on life. Although I did have an energy boost during my second trimester (something I never felt with my first), it was short lived and feels like a million years ago.

News flash to anyone who is pregnant with your first: pregnancy while also being responsible for another human SUCKS, so cherish the only pregnancy where it really is all about you. Yes, my symptoms are worse this pregnancy – but having to be a mom 24/7 is what makes this monumentally more challenging. Props to the moms out there with a brood of kids.

Feeling like crap while taking care of Porter has made it harder to feel excited about my pregnancy. Sometimes I have to double check my app to see how far along I am. With Porter, I always knew how far along I was to the day.

I really have no right to bitch about my pregnancy, because so many people have it way worse and I want to acknowledge that – but sometimes I still just need to vent. I’m tired of feeling like crap and sometimes being with a two year old all day makes me want to drink a bottle of wine to myself. Six. More. Weeks.

Yesterday was a perfect example of #secondpregnancyproblems. Desperate for rest, I laid down on my bed…but of course I was followed by my 2.5 year old stalker. He proceeded to jump on the bed right next to my aching pregnant body. He lost his footing and fell, landing knee first onto my belly. He’s hit my belly numerous times, but nothing like this – this one really HURT.

Unsure of what level of impact can actually hurt the baby, I called the advice nurse (hoping she would reassure me not to worry). “You need to be evaluated at Labor and Delivery. I can’t guarantee the baby is fine over the phone.” UGGHH! There goes our evening.

I packed Porter up and called Ryan to meet me there. Then, while in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the 80 business loop, Porter started having a coughing fit (his lingering cough strikes again) which triggered his gag reflex and thus, a massive amount of vomit. So. Much. Barf. He started crying, which was a relief at the time because it reassured me his airways were clear.

I pulled off the freeway, into a gas station parking lot. When I lifted his barf covered body out of the car seat, I felt pain in my belly where he had kneed me. I proceeded to clean the vomit using only baby wipes and a dirty workout towel I found in my trunk. Thank goodness we had a change of clothes – my mom instinct told me to grab an extra pair of pants for him when we were running out the door.

We arrived at labor and delivery, my mom took Porter to her house and I was forced to sit in a hospital bed for four hours while they monitored the baby. Ryan grabbed us some dinner, and we sat in the hospital eating cafeteria food, joking that it was the closest thing we’d had to a date in weeks. Everything turned out to be fine and I got home around 11p.m.

After this experience, I sort of already feel like I’m a mom of two, juggling the needs of both kids.

Thankfully, there have been some moments where the thrill of having another baby snuck its way into the forefront of my mind and I want to share some of what I’ve learned with any mamas out there that can relate.

  1. Cut yourself some slack. First baby butterflies cannot be reproduced, just like your first kiss butterflies can’t be. It just is what it is.
  2. Although your toddler won’t treat you any differently during your pregnancy (even as you’re heaving over the toilet), your husband should. Did he rub your back during your first pregnancy? Ask you how you’re feeling often? He should still do those things. If you need to, remind him that you need extra help with household/parental duties when you’re not feeling up to it. Ryan has basically taken over most of the nightly bath/bed routine because by the end of the day, my body just hurts and it’s not easy for me to lift a 35lb man child out of the bath. Between ligament pain, back pain and third trimester nausea, having his help in the evenings is a saving grace. Hats off to moms with hubbies who travel for work.
  3. Get a 3D ultrasound. I went to The Baby Connection with Porter because I was excited and caught up in first baby butterflies. This time around, I sort of forced myself to go because I didn’t want to give Preston a second child complex before he’s even born. I’m sooooo happy I went. I stuck Porter in daycare and had some time to focus on sweet Preston, distraction free (which was key).
  4. Take maternity photos – I almost didn’t do this one either, but I’m so happy I did. Just having a little extra attention and acknowledging my baby bump helped pull me out of my toddler mom haze and remember that I have another sweet little boy on the way.
  5. Get some new baby stuff. I’m having my second boy, so it’s tempting just to reuse everything from Porter – but that’s no fun. Try and get some new stuff for your new babe. I get so excited seeing new little outfits for Preston to wear and seeing his nautical nursery come together.
  6. Take a moment to reflect. One evening (when Porter was being particularly cray and I didn’t feel good) I left Porter with Ryan and went into Preston’s room, closed the door, listened to some Coldplay on my headphones and just rocked in my new nursing chair. I sat there for maybe fifteen minutes just thinking about this next phase of my life. It felt good.
  7. Celebrate! Some crazy people think you shouldn’t celebrate all your babies, but I strongly disagree. Whether you call it a shower or a sprinkle, just do SOMETHING.
  8. Check your pregnancy app and read about your baby’s development. I admittedly struggle with this one and am usually a few days late to read about my new week, but I always feel more emotionally connected to Preston after I do.

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Maternity Photos by Hillary Blair Photography