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1st Child vs. 3rd Child – Part I – Pregnancy

My 1st and my 3rd pregnancies have been 8 years apart.  Maybe it’s because I am 8 years older.  Maybe it’s because I am 8 years wiser.  Maybe it’s because I don’t have time or care to obsess about the right way and wrong way to do things anymore.  Whatever it is, I have made a few observations on how my 3rd pregnancy has differed greatly from my 1st pregnancy.  If you are one of the sane people with only 2 children, you can totally apply my experience to your 2nd baby. 

My Experience: 1st Pregnancy vs. 2nd/3rd Pregnancy 

  1st Pregnancy 2nd/3rd Pregnancy
Home Pregnancy Test Wow, I can’t believe this is really happening!  We are going to be parents!  I cannot hold in my excitement.  I want to tell everyone I know, right this minute! Oh crap, this can’t be really happening?  What are we going to do?  Are you sure there are 2 blue lines?
People’s Reaction to Pregnancy Announcement Oh my gosh!  Congratulations!!  You are going to make great parents!!  Oh my gosh! Congratulations!!  You are going to have your hands full!! 
Baby Registry For the 1st baby registry, I was a woman on a mission.  We visited Babies R’ Us no less than 3 times to survey the store to register.  I walked up and down every isle, comparing reviews, safety guidelines, colors.  I asked to bring a car seat out to the parking lot to see if it fit in my car.  I registered for every damn thing on the BRU checklist.  I registered at more than one store. I would update the list as new things came out in the market.  It was like a labor of love. Target.com

1:00 am

Click. Click. Click.  Done.

 

The only reason I made a registry was so I could remind myself to buy a car seat, double stroller, and diapers before the baby came.

OB Appointments My husband happily and excitedly accompanied on every OB appointment, if only just to wait for me to pee in a cup and stand on the scale.  It was like a fun little date. My husband accompanied me on the first OB appointment; he wanted proof with his own eyes that this ship was really about to sail.  He came to the 20 week appointment to see the ultrasound.  The next time he saw my OB was in the delivery room.
Exercise My first pregnancy, I was 27.  The phrase “metabolism slows down as you age” meant nothing to me at this point.  I tried to exercise when I could, but I was too happy downing Sprites and cake pops to care about my postpartum figure. I exercised 3 times a week and continued to run/jog all the way up to delivery.  My slow metabolism and I weren’t messing around this time.  It took me 9 months to put on the weight with my 1st kid and 5 years to lose it.  If you are one of those “#blessed” women whose pregnancy weight “just falls right off” after giving birth, please just lie to the rest of us and tell us that it took a lot of work. 
Food There is a list of anxiety-inducing foods that all the pregnancy websites and boards talk about to avoid.  These include cold cuts, sushi, tuna, coffee, soft cheeses, and caffeine, just to name a few.  For my 1st pregnancy, I pretty much avoided all of these things. For my 2nd and 3rd pregnancies, I admit that I still avoided all these food items.  I know some women ease up on their food restrictions during their subsequent pregnancies, but this is one area that I actually became more uptight about. 
Fatigue I’m so tired.  I think I need a nap.

 

*Goes to take a nap.*

I’m so freaking tired. I think I need a nap or I may reach the point of delirium.

 

Oldest child needs you to make him a snack.  Middle child needs his butt wiped.  Oldest child can’t find his tablet because he didn’t plug it in to the charger overnight.  Middle child is jumping on the couch.  Oldest child taunts middle child.  Both children begin to bicker.  Dinner needs to be made.  Then cleaned up.  Help with homework.  Then baths.  Brush teeth.  Bedtime snack.  Bedtime drink. Read a book. Child needs to poop again.  And get his butt wiped again.  Children sense that it is bedtime so decide to amp up their energy level and somehow can communicate in loud howls across the house to one another.  Children finally crash due to exhaustion. 

 

Ok, now I can finally sleep.

 

Until one child hops into my bed in the middle of the night and pees in it.   

 

Nursery Décor My first child’s nursery décor was a labor of love.  I skimmed books, magazine, and Pinterest.  My husband and I began the office to nursery transformation as soon as we found out the gender at 20 weeks.  We installed a chair rail.  We painted the top half of the room baby blue.  The bottom half was blue and white stripes.  We made ocean waves around the room using a creative circular template.  We almost had to sign the divorce papers over those ocean waves because I made my husband redo them about 10 times before I was satisfied.  I splurged and purchased  Pottery Barn bedding.  The crib and furniture I researched became my unofficial part-time job.  Black and white photos of our family hung above the changing table.  Clothes were separated by size dividers.  Drawers were lined with baby powder scented liners.  I ordered special made hanging letters in the theme of the nursery.  At 28 weeks pregnant, I finally screamed at my husband to get the crib down from the attic.  The paint in the room would remain solid blue from his middle brother’s nursery because expectations have a linear decline with each subsequent child.  I couldn’t afford Pottery Barn Kids this time, but guilt overcame me, so I made it my part-time job this pregnancy to find PBK pieces from sellers on Ebay and Craigslist.  The nursery is a combination of nursery pieces, toddler toy storage, and office supplies.  The hanging letters over the baby’s crib read “CARTER.”  That would be cute and all except this new baby’s name is “Eli.”

 

Belly Shots The growing baby bump was documented on a week by week basis.  A synopsis of my weekly symptoms was recorded.  I could create a 5 minute time lapse video of my pregnancy with all the pictures I took.  With my 2nd pregnancy, I think I remembered to take a belly shot at least once in each trimester.  The synopsis of my symptoms were just copied and pasted from the previous entry, 3 months ago.
Epidural Consent Back in the day, you used to have to go to an offsite office to view the epidural education video and sign the papers giving your consent.  I, of course, followed through and did this. I signed my papers and had them neatly tucked into my hospital bag ready to submit to whomever when the time was needed. I filled out the papers while I was getting admitted for labor on the day of delivery.
Advice When people find out you are pregnant with your first child, it seems like the advice given comes at you in droves.  Everyone has an opinion and offers advice, and everyone has a condescending tone when they offer the advice.  Look, I know it’s going to be hard as hell.  I know I have no idea what it feels like until the moment they hand the baby over to me.  But, instead of telling me how “I have no idea” what I’m getting into, how’s about you offer some words of support? Nope, none.

 

Now I am the condescending veteran mom, making snarky comments about how hard it must be to try to get things done during someone’s first pregnancy.

 

It’s called coming full circle. 

Hospital Bag The hospital bag was packed at 32 weeks pregnant.  I took the BabyCenter checklist seriously.  Pajamas for mom, robe, slippers, makeup, mints, change for vending machine, a book for while you “wait” in labor, 3 newborn outfits, nail clippers, mittens, a hat, diapers, wipes.  An outfit for me.

An outfit for baby to come home in.

Toothbrush.

Diaper Bag The diaper bag has been packed for weeks.  Extensive research led to the cutest, over-the-shoulder, monogrammed diaper bag I could find.  It is filled with essentials such as name brand diapers and wipes, butt cream, pacifiers, matching change pad, warm weather change of clothes, sunglasses, bathing suit, cold weather change of clothes, hat, mittens, winter jackets, blankets, burp clothes.  You never know what baby will need on a run to Target!  I walked around town looking chic and put together with my designer diaper bag. It’s perfect – one shoulder to hold the baby and one shoulder to carry the diaper bag.  I had no official diaper bag for the first 2 weeks because I forgot to order one.  I grab a few diapers and stuff them in my purse.  Thank goodness the hospital lets you take the extra wipes home with you because they fit perfectly into the purse too.  I grab a change of clothes.  If the baby spits up, I can always just use the sleeve of my shirt to wipe it up.  When I finally order a diaper bag, there is no question that is it of the backpack style because you need every ounce of arm leverage to corral your other children in public.  I don’t care that I walk around town looking like a college-age tourist with your backpack diaper bag because functionality > style at this point in life. 
Birth Plan The birth plan has been extensively researched down to the detail.   It has been printed and safely tucked into my hospital bag.  When my water breaks at home, I will labor in the comforts of my home.  My husband will massage my back.  He will draw me a warm bubble bath to help ease the contractions.  He will blot my forehead with a washcloth every 3-5 minutes.  We will head to the hospital, where I will have an un-medicated, natural child birth.  I will have aromatherapy candles burning.  I will decline the epidural and request delayed cord clamping.  The baby will be placed on my chest immediately after birth.  I will welcome visitors after the baby and I get a full night’s rest. Ha. Ha. Ha.

 

Please note:  These observations are from my personal experience.  Some statements are exaggerated for humorous purposes. 

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