I am pregnant again. I should have known the first time I saw that my husband was back on the gherkins. His stomach seemed to be finely tuned to mine the first time around. But, before I even knew I could complain about morning sickness and tiredness again, his ‘sympathetic cravings’ were back. It was only when my appetite for chocolate disappeared about a week later that I really suspected what was going on.
Although this pregnancy has come as a surprise, I have to say we couldn’t be happier. But as the months fly by, I am starting to panic a little bit. How exactly am I supposed to run around after a toddler while breastfeeding a newborn? Pre-Sam I could lay about towards the due date feeling smug, happily pregnant and pretty relaxed and pleased with myself. I rested when I was tired. I watched trashy TV, I went to bed early and I got up late.
Now I have to get up at 7am and then crawl around the floor trying to stop the TV being pulled over or DVDs being scattered across the floor. No mean feat when your belly is actually touching the tiles. Then it’s lunch time and as Sam flicks, spits and hurls food at me I try not to show how sick I feel in fear of giving him some kind of crazy food phobia. After a short nap it’s playtime and while I put all the discarded and crumpled books back on the shelves, Sam expertly empties drawers of clothes. Then it’s dinnertime, bath time and bed, a time when, most nights, I am back in control, but dead on my feet.
I am pretty baffled as to how I am going to manage two babies. I know people do it all the time, so I am hoping the next batch of motherly instincts kick in by December and it all comes naturally. At the moment, though, my way of dealing with it is denial. And right now I am not finding that too difficult.
This time around my memory has completely gone. I can’t even seem to understand basic questions, like, ‘Do you want some tea?’ or ‘Are you hungry?’ I simply don’t have the answers. It has got so bad that a couple of times I have looked down at my bump and my first response has been, ‘Blimey, I’ve let myself go.’ I’m so much in denial, I worry I could be one of these people who gives birth on the bathroom floor and then swears blind they never knew they were pregnant. My non-existent waistline and the random flip-flop feelings inside my stomach are clearly not enough to help it all sink in.
I would have thought the first pregnancy would be great preparation for this one, but it really is a completely different experience this time around. Morning sickness has been out of control, I have swollen feet, I am exhausted beyond belief and my hormones are so far out that the theme tune at the end of In The Night Garden makes me burst into tears. I have cravings for spicy food, which I couldn’t eat before, and I would rather have a greasy fry-up than a healthy salad.
Having Sam is obviously the biggest difference in this pregnancy. Right now, Sam is too young to really understand that I am going to have a baby. I do say it sometimes, but he doesn’t take it in. He is also too young to understand that his world is going to be turned upside down, and that makes me sad. That said, I do think he understands that something is going on. Mummy’s getting fatter by the day for starters. My ever-increasing belly has become a focal point for playful kicks and the occasional bite and my sticky-out belly button seems to be a cause for great amusement.
My main concern is what he’ll do when I bring the new baby home. He has seen his three-month-old cousin and that seemed to go pretty well – but the cousin went home and then Sam was the centre of attention once more. But what happens when the new baby doesn’t go home? What is he going to think about me breastfeeding another child? I have been told that sometimes the older babies regress. How can I tell him that he has absolutely no chance of being breastfed with his mouthful of teeth?
But, despite my worries and concerns – which, let’s face it, don’t last for long because of my memory problems – I am very excited. I am relishing the challenge of it all and as long as Sam is OK and the new baby is fine then everything will slot into place. I just hope my memory comes back sufficiently so I am not tempted to do it all for a third time.