Ups, downs and superpowers – the diary of a 2nd pregnancy

24 weeks

So here I am again. Still only 24 weeks along the road to baby number 2… Potentially another 18 to go! Surely not? I was pregnant throughout the summer with my first, who arrived on 1st September, so I keep sort of assuming that once the summer is over, it’s baby time! Nope. I keep having to remind myself that it will technically be winter by the time the little one comes along. With a due date of 3rd November I’m quite keen on the idea of a fireworks night baby. It would feel like everyone’s celebrating his or her birth and will be quite a nice reward for all my hard work during labour. ‘Oh those fireworks are for me? You shouldn’t have! People are burning effigies of a man on bonfires? Well, it’s a strange tribute to my newborn offspring but okay, I’ll take it!’

I’ve been passing the time by compiling a spreadsheet of baby classes (yes I’m really that much of a nerd) as well as the small matter of juggling a part time job, part time Masters degree and every-other-time toddler. My life could literally not get any busier and I am already yearning for the beginning of my second maternity leave. A year back at work is quite enough for me, thank you very much!

So, what have I learnt in the last four weeks? Let’s talk about cravings. I’ve never really experienced any weird pregnancy cravings but in the first trimester I certainly craved hard for certain things – I had a week of literally needing a cheese omelette a day, a week of drinking milk like it was going out of fashion, and more than one day where red jelly was the only thing that would do. (The desire for pizza and ice-cream have been omnipresent). But I thought the fierce cravings had died off, until week 21, that is. Sat at my desk at work, a colleague happened to mention they had had croissants for breakfast. Oh, croissants. Hot buttery, jam-smothered croissants. Dribble ensued. Later the very same morning I could have laid waste to some hot freshly sliced toast with Philadelphia on, and/or (but preferably ‘and’) a Greggs sausage and bean melt (other cream cheese providers and pasty purveyors are available). I needed all these things. And all I had was a banana, some grapes and a can of tomato soup. Not good enough. I felt like a junkie looking for my next fix. I contrived ways of escaping from work to get my hands on at least one of the aforementioned treats. I failed. I ate my banana and grumped. It all seemed very unnecessary for someone midway through her second trimester whose body should blooming well know better. Two weeks later and I appear to be back to normal again. In fact, food seems even less interesting to me right now than it would un-pregnant.

Which sucks as I love to love my food. I mean, I’m not going to say no to a plate of cake or a cheese scone (let’s face it, who would?). But it’s not thrilling me to the core like the thought of those croissants on that long, long day at work. Here’s to the next passionate craving – assuming I have access to it, of course.

Forgetfulness. That’s a thing that’s happening. Of words, usually. Normally mid-sentence, when I’m in full flow and find myself suddenly stopping short and begging whichever poor individual I happen to be engaged in conversation with to help me reach the end of my train of thought. And it’s not even hard words. Thankfully, the affliction doesn’t seem to extend to the written word. Handy that.

But it’s not just words. The other day at work I forgot whether I’d been for a wee or not. I’d totally meant to go, but back at my desk and distracted by some mundane task or other and I couldn’t remember if I’d actually done the deed. And as this baby seems to find my bladder a more than comfy place to reside I honestly couldn’t tell. Too much information? Probably. But seriously, come on. I’ve discovered vicious hip and pelvic pain, diligently been to the GP about it only to be told I needed to contact my midwife, which I promptly forgot to do, repeatedly. And the forgetting I’m pregnant thing – yes, that’s happening too. In fact, so much so that in week 22 I became absolutely convinced the bump was a boy. Why? Well… it’s a bit lazy (sorry boys!). I’m not just forgetting I’m pregnant because I’m pregnant and forgetful, but I’ll go for hours at a time without feeling anything.

Then a few cursory kicks and wiggles as if to say ‘oh hi Mum, yeah… was just sleeping.’

On the subject of gender speculation, I’ve heard rumblings online which seem to have some scientific grounding suggesting that the extra female hormones required to build a baby girl cause additional, well, female hormonal-ness in pregnancy. And as I’m waaay more emotionally stable this time around than I was with my daughter (when I broke down about five times a day about the most ridiculous of things) I concluded that it had to be a boy. I’m chilled out and unemotional – it fits, right? I’ve consulted properly scientific sources, like Netmums forums, so it has to be true, no? But then again, my skin is worse this time around and I felt sick more in the early days. Both of which signal a girl, apparently! These are the joys of not finding out the baby’s gender – ultimately, I won’t know for sure until that magical moment when I first have a gander at the freshly squeezed one’s bits and bobs, and that’s fine by me. It’s still great fun to speculate, though, and those old wives did not slack in coming up with a raft of frankly bizarre and ridiculous methods to predict the dangly bits (or lack thereof) of your soon-to-be-hatched humanling (whether or not your pillow faces north when you sleep, anyone?! For me, it usually depends on which area of the bed the toddler has taken up residence in so possibly not the most accurate of indicators…)

Speaking of toddlers. My little angel is becoming more Mummy-obsessed by the day which is lovely, but rather trying as she has no notion of the ever-expanding area that is my tummy, and what not to stick into it (elbows, knees, elbows some more), yet she desires nothing more than to be permanently spread-eagled across me, pummelling her poor brother or sister into submission. The new baby already seems like less trouble than my firstborn (we’ll call her A.), having a kick and a wriggle every few hours and then presumably going back to sleep, unlike A. who was constantly on the move as a bump, spinning around like an LP (ooh, remember those?!) and trampolining on my bladder long in to the night. This one has a kick on it, that’s for sure, but doesn’t choose to exercise its impressive little leg muscles very often. This means it will sleep well from the get-go, right? And be really easy-going and chilled, of course? A. is going to have a field day. She’s already the boss of two fully grown adults, no doubt her little sibling is going to be next.

Having said all that, we had another ‘chat’ the other day and I explained to her again what was in mummy’s tummy and what it meant, and actually she really seemed to take it all in this time and was rather proud to learn that she would be a ‘big’ sister. That evening she snuggled up to me on the sofa and started stroking my bump and gave it a kiss. My heart melted and I suddenly knew that her stubborn, determined streak (nothing to do with me of course) would combine with the lovely affectionate nature she has been developing over the last few months to equal the most kick-ass of big sisters. One of the biggest but most anticipated unknowns about having another child, for me, is to see them interact and grow up as friends, adversaries, but mainly as each other’s number one supporters. Being an only child I never had that growing up and my heart is full of excitement about seeing my children develop a bond.

Anyway, I’ll leave it there for now. I’m sure there was more I had to tell you… but I’ve forgotten it.

What am I doing here again?


About Janine 664 Articles
As an experienced and qualified practitioner, I specialise in pregnancy, birth and parent support - my aim is to listen, inform, support and reassure when needed. I have worked with parents since 2002 and I set up Birth, Baby & Family in 2011 to provide good information, different voices and links to the best products and services for families.

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