For those of you who are going through a pregnancy while also juggling a toddler, I thought you would appreciate this...
Now that I'm on my second pregnancy, I feel as if I'm qualified to give a newbie the pros and cons of pregnancy with and without a toddler.
The first time around, pregnancy was tough, harder than the second mostly because I had no idea what to expect. Such bizarre thoughts had crossed my mind and I'm kind of embarrassed to admit them...
Would I even like my new baby?
What if the baby comes out totally weird looking?
Would I get my body back?
What exactly does a contraction feel like? For the record, let me tell you that not ONE person had the answer to this one right, as far as I'm concerned. A contraction felt NOTHING like a period cramp. NOTHING. Maybe amplified by one billion, but I don't find the two comparable AT ALL. These might be the same people who say that they loved being pregnant and "glowed" the entire time. And more power to them. I can't say I'm one of them. Instead, I'm a hot mess when my body is creating life.
While these questions and worries sound off the wall now, they were rational to me at the time as a person who had never been there before. There is a first time for everything, and I would've had just as many questions albeit different ones, had I been running a marathon for the first time, or flying on an airplane for the first time or planning a wedding. It is in our nature to surround ourselves with what we are going through at the time...and then, we forget all about it, once it's passed.
So, while the worries of my first pregnancy are long gone (I know now that labor is the worst pain in the world, and having a baby is the hardest work I will ever do but so worth it), the stresses of a second pregnancy bring on a completely different set of issues.
While pregnant with Emily, I had the advantage of being able to simply veg out and watch TV all day if I was tired, but my little red-haired diva keeps me on my toes and always has me going. So, on a mission to wear her out one day last week, I took he to the Children's Museum. It was a crisp but sunny day, so the walk from the train to the museum was enjoyable. But, I had to pee soooo bad, and I was feeling extra short on brain cells this particular day (one of pregnancies many symptoms). While pushing her in the stroller, I accidentally stepped on the wheel and slipped. I caught myself before I hit the ground but I had an entirely different problem to deal with: somewhere during my big wheel slip I peed my pants. Literally wet myself. Luckily I was wearing my go-to "active wear," and I don't think it showed through my black yoga pants, but it was quite uncomfortable walking through the museum for a couple of hours with pee pants.
It's a known fact that late in pregnancy, a woman can be a bit absent-minded. Well, this is me on an average day, so imagine me when I'm 32 weeks pregnant. It's scary. Later that afternoon, when it was time for Em and I to leave the museum and head back to the train, I reached in my purse for my keys. But, I couldn't find them anywhere. I could feel my heart start to race and the frustration grow, and soon I was sitting on the cement sidewalk emptying out the belongings inside my purse. Had anyone given me the wrong look at this point, I'm pretty sure I'd have gone wild on them.
After not finding my keys in my purse, I reluctantly pushed Em in the stroller back to the museum and spoke with a lovely gal who said she would look out for them and call me if she found them. I walked back out into the fresh air, took a deep breath and sat down at a nearby table so Em could have her picnic lunch. I had succumbed to the idea that I'd be leaving my car at the train station and walking back to the house and I was fine with it. And then, as I was pulling one of Em's snacks out of my purse, I realized there was another pocket that I hadn't checked. Sure enough the keys were right were I left them...in the front pocket that I somehow didn't check because I was too flustered.
Your mind tends to be filled a little more during a second pregnancy, because you've got your older kid to think about and their needs to tend to.
The worst part about this story is that I notified my husband about losing my keys and I had to tell him they were with me all along. This isn't anything new for him as he has seen me lose stuff in the past, and he is one of those really nice people that never gets frustrated. He's so nice in fact, that he probably would've blamed the pocket for magically moving at some point during the museum trip, just to make me feel better.
So, while I may have the experience of a first pregnancy under my belt, I've got a little one to suck more brain cells from my already diminishing mind.
So, I can't help but laugh at this video. Yes, the girl was at the point of being inappropriately drunk and she should have not been behind the wheel. We all know that. But, the fact that she decides to bust out in cartwheels, is so over the top I can't take it. What rational thought seeped into her brain at that moment saying that she should totally disregard the officer and work on her gymnastic skills? None obviously because she was wasted but man, this clip is going to follow this chick around for the rest of her life.
When I was a kid, there was nothing better than a snow day. Anyone who lived in New England as a child can relate to the anticipation of sitting by the television waiting to see your school listed on the long scroll of delays and cancellations. Nowadays...word travels a little faster. The decision makers simply post it on social media, usual the night before and it spreads from lip to ear like wildfire.
I work from home everyday so when my daughter sees my face upon waking up, she's not all that excited. But, today daddy was working from home and she was thrilled to see him when she stumbled down the stairs in her footie pajamas, wiping the sleep from her eyes.
But, it wasn't all glamour for the little girl. She had to learn a few lessons today. For starters she had to learn how to entertain herself for quite some time. This meant destroying our house, but hey...we managed to get the job done.
She also learned how to work the remote and the DVD player, because we all know that countless hours of television is the key to proper parenting. ;) Don't judge...nobody's perfect.
Daddy and mommy learned a valuable lesson too...weathermen are not always on point. The predicted 12-18 inches turned out to be three inches of snow followed by a whole lotta rain.
Here is a summary of the valuable life lessons that Emily learned during today's storm...
We could all use a little more doggie love in our lives. Here's today's photo of Barnacle William reviewing my latest novel...
Someone once shared a quote with me that summed up a feeling that is so very hard to describe...
“Making the decision to have a child is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."
I don't think there is any quote in the world that is more fitting in relation to a human feeling than this one.
Immediately following the birth of my daughter, I felt this overwhelming sense of vulnerability. As Oprah says...it was an "AHA moment."
I was scared because I instantly knew that if anything happened to her I would be lost, as if my life wasn't actually complete until she arrived. Who was I before?
It's my responsibility to keep her safe and protected from this insanely scary world, and that is a frightening feeling. When I was pregnant with Emily, I remember asking a friend if having a kid is as stressful as they say, and she said "you will be up at night worrying and your life will completely change, but it's worth it."
Well, to be honest...it didn't sound all that fun. Did I really want to spend every night losing sleep over some tiny person I didn't know yet?It sounded absolutely depressing and until Emily was placed in my arms I questioned if I was doing the right thing...wrinkling the perfectly smooth life that I was living with my husband and my dogs. We had our steady jobs, our long sessions at the gym, and money that could be spent on us and only us. We had the option to pack up and go wherever we wanted WHENEVER we pleased, and hangovers could easily be cured with endless hours of television and laying on the couch all day. Those words sound kind of foreign to me now.
And then she came...and if you are a parent...you know the rest. It's a ridiculous amount of work and stress and not a ton of glamorous reward. But, there is something magical about being a parent, and I haven't been able to describe it other than by comparing it to the above quote. Maybe it's that sense of purpose that goes along with having a particular focus every single day...even if it just means that you did your best to keep your kid fed, clothed and well...alive, to put it bluntly.
I'd love to hear your parenting stories...your ups and downs and everything in between.