Going through your second pregnancy and having your second baby is a whole new ‘pain-in-the-balls’ game.
A part of me desperately misses being a first time mum. Not the permanent state of tiredness or near death experiences due to utter exhaustion. Nah.
You can read all about my struggles and hopeless moments as a first time mum here.
I simply miss the first time hype of being a mum.
You know what I mean?
Because, to be perfectly honest, no one really gives a rat’s bum about any of your subsequent spawn – and I don’t really blame them.
On the real though, you probably won’t even remember you’re pregnant yourself until you’ve eaten three rolls of sushi and then curse yourself for forgetting, all the while thinking, ‘Totally fucking worth it. That raw tuna doe.’
Welcome to the second child syndrome – if you thought your life was already going downhill, well, it’s about to crumble like a Kardashian marriage.
YOU WON’T NEED A PREGNANCY TEST TO KNOW YOU’RE PREGNANT
No, really. You don’t.
Chances are, you’re going to start looking pregnant the morning after conception.
Save yourself 10 bucks on a pregnancy test and listen to your body attempting to tell you that it’s not the half dozen Nutella doughnuts you devoured all on your own last night, it’s a freakin’ human growing inside of you.
Your now highly attuned Mumma bod seems to think it’s completely acceptable to make you look like the 90s video game, Kirby, at 5 weeks pregnant.
Thanks, Mother Nature. I never intended to fit back into my skinny jeans anyway. I guess jeggings will do for the remainder of my life until I’m senile and grandma slacks become my OOTD.
Read More: The Truth About Childbirth & Babies
FRIENDS AND FAMILY WILL FORGET YOU’RE PREGNANT
The most likely reaction you’ll receive from friends after breaking your exciting news will be, “You’re pregnant? No way. I thought you were still shedding weight from your last pregnancy.”
Thinking of making an announcement post on Facebook? Don’t bother. Unless you’re emotionally prepared for half the amount of likes and engagement. If any.
Even your own mother’s excitement will be pale in comparison to your first. After all, she’s trying to enjoy her retirement, and it’s a little hard to ‘c’est la vie’ when you keep adding to the squad and seem to be in the process of converting her home into a daycare centre.
VISITORS? WHAT VISITORS.
Friends and family will come up with excuses of all sorts after you have your second baby. After all, there are more pressing matters to attend to, like, binge watching the second season of Stranger Things.
I heard my maternity ward roomie, who was a first time mum at the time, breathe a sigh of relief after visiting hours finished because her entire day was scheduled with visits from family and friends from the moment she popped open her eyes.
I could barely even find her in the sea of gifts, flowers and cards that she was buried beneath.
I looked at her wistfully, grabbed her shoulders and told her to embrace the fuck out of it because the next time she gives birth again, she will wind up like me – nostalgic and lonely AF.
Look at me, woman. My only company is that Daddy Long Leg spider hanging off the ceiling.
Friend: “I’m, like, super busy tonight. Promise to come visit tomorrow. Or when your kid graduates.”
YOU’LL EITHER BECOME AN ALCOHOLIC OR HAVE A HEART ATTACK
Overdose on caffeine or drown your sorrows with red wine – which do you choose?
Yeah, I’d go both, too.
I can honestly say that I spend a large portion of my waking hours brainstorming creative ways of getting more caffeine inside of me.
Ground coffee beans sprinkled over my toast like 100s and 1000s?
Us mums are genuinely trying our hardest to not turn into ice addicts. I mean, let’s be real. The effects of ice sound pretty good when you’re teetering on the brink of exhaustion and can’t seem to complete a single task around the house because your mum brain is so darn scattered.
(Disclaimer: I am, by no means, encouraging or condoning the use of methamphetamine. There’s other ways to find focus, motivation and clarity, like, patiently wait until your kids are 18 and move out. Just sayin’.)
Realistically, you’re either going to be on your twelfth shot of coffee and on the brink of cardiac arrest, or, you’re going to YOLO it on a Monday night and raid the wine cabinet after you’ve put the kids to bed.
YOU MIGHT GET CONFUSED FOR BEING AN ANTI-VAXXER
At any given moment with your first baby, you’ll know his exact head circumference, precise weight and how many nanometres he’s grown in the past week.
That’s how insanely obsessed I was with charting the growth of my first baby.
Not a single appointment with your maternal child and health nurse or doctor was missed, in fact, you were probably adding more appointments on top of appointments.
When it comes to your second baby, you can hardly even remember what you named him, let alone how much he’s grown.
Look, he’s alive, alright? He appears to be eating, shitting and batting his eyelids.. I’m going to assume he’s growing somewhere in between those things.
You will have lost count of all the appointments you have missed and the vaccines he was due to have. Your doctor will probably start to think that you’ve joined the anti-vax movement, despite being completely pro-vax. It’s just that on top of caring for two kids and trying to keep yourself alive in the process, shit gets overlooked.
BABY? WAIT. WHAT BABY?
The truth of the matter is that most waking times of the day, you’ll be so preoccupied with your toddler and trying to remember what you were doing in the first place, that you’ll 100% forget the fact that you gave birth to a second child.
Was it all a lucid dream? Were you even pregnant? Is this life even real?
All I know is that having kids is comparable to coming down from a massive trip or suffering a hangover that lasts for a decade, except – you don’t get to sleep it off.
You’re constantly dehydrated, your ears are always ringing from the yelling and screaming, and you have a pounding headache the second you wake up.
Then, out of nowhere, you hear a baby’s cry emanate from somewhere within your house and it dawns on you that you are now responsible for the livelihood of two miniature human beings.
Yes. Right. I had a baby. Where did I put him again?
LET THE HUNGER GAMES BEGIN
Having your second child with a toddler in the mix may have seemed like a good idea at the time – your brain construes this heartwarming image of your two children playing happily together, sharing toys and exchanging adorable smiles at one another.
Truth is, you have just welcomed The Hunger Games into your home.
Most daylight hours are spent ensuring that they don’t somehow kill one another, because the moment you turn your head, your toddler will most likely come up with the brilliant idea to leap off the couch and use the baby as a landing pad.
GET USED TO THAT MUFFIN TOP OF YOURS
It sure ain’t going nowhere.
The retention of unwanted weight after your second pregnancy is a bizarre phenomenon, considering that your postpartum diet consists of 12 cups of coffee, your toddler’s leftovers, and a mushed blueberry you found on the floor.
So, the question lingers – why the flipping hell do I still look 6 months pregnant?
Here’s my theory.
The female body is a clever thang, for it’s well aware that the probability of starving to death from looking after two children is so dangerously high, that we have now evolved into bears with the ability to put our bodies into hibernation.
Hence, why we have such hard time losing weight. I mean, your body’s probably stocked up on a few winter seasons worth of fats for survival purposes to make up for all the times coffee and wine become your meal replacements.
EXPOSING INTIMATE BODY PARTS WILL BE SECOND NATURE
Breastfeeding my first baby was an exercise carried out with great precaution.
Attempting to be as discreet as possible, I spent precious time carefully ensuring that no amount of boob was visible from any given angle. Preparing yourself to nurse a baby without exposing yourself is like diffusing a bomb.
Once your milk let-down is triggered and your other boob is erupting like an active volcano, all hell breaks loose. You frantically use your free hand to catch breastmilk and prevent it from spraying everywhere, while from a stranger’s perspective it looks like you’re fondling your boob.
It’s not what it looks like, I swear.
It’s a very delicate situation.
Come second baby and you’ve grown so used to people seeing your tits ‘n’ bits that you begin to wonder why you even wear clothes anymore.
You probably haven’t worn a bra and shirt since you left the hospital, but there’s no need. You’re ready to latch a baby on any time, anywhere because you are now the mother of all mothers. Come to me, babies. My nips are always ready and my supply steady.
I remember there were days where I didn’t even realise that I walked out of my bedroom with my bongos hanging out of my bra.
LEAVE THE HOUSE, YOU SAY?
As a Mum desperately trying to remain sane, you’re constantly on the lookout for activities for toddlers to undertake so you can take a breather, or a micronap.
Yes. Some of these activities will require you to leave the house.
I know.. fuck me, right?
Other than taking the entire morning trying to convince your 2-year old to put on his shoes, you’re also going to spend most of your time packing the nappy bag. It’s easier to prepare for an apocalypse than it is to leave the house with kids.
Of course, your now ‘independent’ toddler will insist on climbing into the car seat all on his own. Brilliant.
Two Christmases later, he finally manages to wriggle his way into the seat. You can literally feel yourself ageing in the process.
Oh, snap. You left the baby in the house. When you return home to retrieve bubba, you peer at the time and realise that it’s probably time to start cooking dinner.
After taking an entire day to pack and ready your kids for a trip outdoors, you realise it was the worst idea that you’ve ever come up with and resign yourself to spending the rest of your life within the four walls of your home.
If you’re in Melbourne and looking for motivation to get outside while on Maternity Leave, take a look at my Melbourne on Mat Leave Vlog Series for tips, guides and inspiration on where to go and what to do to help you stay sane as a first time or stay-at-home mum.