Hi, self. I hope you are enjoying life with two children. I’m guessing you are feeling slightly overwhelmed, but totally in love with Cordy and the new baby.
At this point, you may be looking at the new baby, possibly now turning into a toddler and leaving his/her babyness behind. You may miss that sweet new baby scent, melt at seeing the two children play together, and slowly begin the process of getting rid of that baby stuff. Your mind may be drifting to the thought of baby #3.
And if you do think of having a third child, I hope you will read this and put that thought right out of your delusional head.
Oh sure, you may think, pregnancy wasn’t really that bad. Newborns really aren’t that difficult to deal with. That’s nature playing her trick on you. You’re suffering from the amnesia that comes from giving birth to a child and surviving those first hard months.
So should you have forgotten what pregnancy is like, I’d like to refresh your memory of what it is like for you.
24/7 nausea – Your first trimester is not kind to you. The label “morning sickness” is probably the most misleading name for a symptom ever. For 6-10 weeks, you are in a constant state of being just sick enough that any food looks and smells like toxic waste, yet not sick enough to vomit, even though you wish you could. However, you must eat to feel even slightly better, even though the process of eating is so hard. It’s like a 6 week long flu.
Fatigue – You may not have been this tired when pregnant for the first time, but with a toddler who constantly seeks out doom, you barely have enough energy to do the necessary tasks this time around. Think about what a third pregnancy would be like with two children to chase after. The kids would win the battle, with you asleep on the floor while they dance around you, decorate you with markers, and give you a beauty shop hair-cut that only a child could achieve.
The belly – Again, the second pregnancy is so much different from the first. While you had no noticeable belly with your first pregnancy until the fourth month, your belly popped right around 7 weeks this time. Seven friggin’ weeks. That fetus is the size of a kidney bean, yet is already making room. If you try for a third child, will it pop a full month before you’re actually pregnant?
Lack of sympathy – Ah, your first time is always the special time. When you were pregnant the first time, everyone cared about how you felt? First time mom feeling some nausea? Here, have some ginger ale and crackers. It’s like a first time mom has a crown of roses on her head, and everyone falls over themselves to be extra nice to the new first-time mom. Pregnant with a toddler? Heh, reality sets in. Feeling sick? Get over it and change your kid’s diaper. Looking for some sympathy? You’re not going to get it. You’ve been through it before, and you should know what you’re getting yourself into.
Sex – Remember when you actually wanted to have sex? When you looked forward to advances from your husband? When a good night together ended in cuddles in bed and satisfied sighs? The ravages of the first trimester strip all that away. At this point in pregnancy, even though I love my husband dearly, I carefully monitor every action and word so that he doesn’t think I’m even remotely suggesting I want sex. Because with the pain in my boobs and the constant nausea, sex is the last thing on my mind. So, uh, future Aaron, you might want to read this too if we ever consider a third child. That might change your mind and solidify the decision for the big snip.
Spreading – This is something that will be even more important as this pregnancy progresses, but sadly the spread is beginning early this time. And while I can live with the appearance issues, the pain is starting to bother me. My lower back, right where the pelvis joins the tailbone, feels as if my pelvis is being pulled apart, with shooting pains down my legs. It is probably sciatic nerve pain, but whatever it is, it hurts and sometimes makes walking difficult.
And this is just the first trimester. Sure, it’ll get better in a few weeks, when I enter the “golden trimester” of pregnancy, but for now, it’s difficult and I’m really tired of staring at the inside of my toilet.
For other readers, this post may come off as whiny and dull. But it is important that I remind myself of why I don’t want to go through this again. Yes, I chose to do this again, and I am glad that I’m having another child, but I know I forgot a lot of this the first time. And we are both pretty sure we only want two children. But after you get past the most labor intensive part of babyhood, it seems way too easy to fall back into thinking, “what if we had just one more…”
So, future self, if your second child has been a dream child (oh, how I hope this turns out to be true) and you think a third might not be a big deal, please read this and reconsider. Resist the baby siren’s call. Spend time with other people’s babies to get your fix, and leave it at that. Leave yourself some sanity and free time, and remember, the more kids you have, the harder it will be getting relatives to babysit.