So, I am now 26 weeks pregnant. I have to say, this pregnancy has already felt much longer than the first. When I was pregnant with my first daughter, Penelope, it was very different to this. I know that some mothers have very similar pregnancies with all their children, with little bits of ups and downs here and there. But mine, this time, I can categorically say, has been much harder than the first.
Before I was pregnant with Penelope, I had a miscarriage at about 12 weeks. I had what is termed a ‘missed miscarriage’, and it was only confirmed at my 12 week scan. It was awful. It may sound strange, but I was especially sad that I had thought I was actually pregnant for around 12 weeks. I had been excited, and filled with joy and anticipation at learning to be this new thing called a ‘mother’ for 12 weeks. It was a tough time, but what I found out soon after, is how many women suffer through this and don’t talk about it, and how it is actually far more common than I had realised. Many friends of mine turned out to have experienced the sad loss of a baby, and I felt that I wasn't alone. Wojtek and I decided quite quickly to just get ‘back on the horse’ again, and - fortunately - we managed to get pregnant again really soon. I was naturally more anxious second time around, so we went for a private scan early on to find out if there was actually something there this time. Hearing Penelope’s little heart beat for the first time was one of the most amazing moments in my life. Luckily, the pregnancy continued to go really well. I was never nauseous or ill, had none of the usual pregnancy related complaints that I heard about, and had the time to relax and sleep whenever I wanted. Towards the very end of my pregnancy I did suffer from a very painful coccyx, and you do just want to get the baby out towards the end, but overall I thought it was all pretty easy and relatively painless.
The pregnancy I’m currently going through is such a different story. I am not sure if it is purely because the pregnancy itself is somehow different, or if it is because I’m a little older, or have a toddler to look after, or a combination of everything. Early on I was very nauseous, and the fatigue this time has been far worse. Thankfully the really bad nausea disappeared around 12 weeks, but the fatigue has lingered, and my painful coccyx has started playing up right from the beginning. I feel like I am double the size already, and I am really looking forward to have my body back again after this one. Our bodies change after pregnancy, and if you are happy to accept your body and move on that is wonderful, but after this pregnancy, personally, I think I am going to make an effort to get back in to shape. After Penelope, the thought of having another child was always somewhat in the back of my mind, and maybe that made me feel that there was no point doing anything seriously until after the second one. I’ve never been a huge fan of cardio, but I do love walking, and really enjoy yoga. My core strength is totally non-existent at this point, and I desperately want that back. It’s amazing how much core strength supports your back and your posture - I feel like a bit of a slug at the moment!
When I was pregnant with Penelope, I read every weekly update on my iPhone app about the size of my developing baby and the various phases that were happening, and it’s a little sad, but nowadays I barely remember how far along I am, never mind thinking about what’s actually going on in there. I don't take weekly bump photos this time, and I am not excited about maternity clothes. Penelope and work take up all my time, and when I have a spare moment to myself, I just want to do absolutely nothing. I have a little person who is my priority (and pride and joy), but unfortunately that makes me sometimes forget that I’m pregnant, and that I need to take care of myself. Other than these niggles, and all the usual daily complaining, I have to remind myself that everything is actually going very well. The baby is healthy, and that really is the most important thing.
It’s very difficult to imagine what life is going to be like with two little monkeys to keep us busy soon. I’m so excited for Penelope to have a sister, and I’m looking forward to what being a family of four will feel like. There’s a little bit of sadness to say goodbye to this time in our lives, when we experienced parenthood for the first time, and it’ll be a little sad to hold Penelope for the last time as my only daughter, before we become four. Never have I felt the truth of that old saying more keenly, that when one door closes, another opens. Here’s to the next bit!