Once upon a time, I was a naive, newly-pregnant person with stars in my eyes and the belief in my heart that I was embarking upon the single most beautiful, personal experience that a woman can ever have. As it turned out, pregnancy would be arguably the most undignified time of my entire life. The leg spreading, secret sharing, belly prodding, the gas, the heartburn, the hormones. It ain’t pretty, folks. Insisting that I’m glowing, I have hair like a horse’s mane, and my boobs are glorious is just another way of saying that I’m a sweaty, sore farm animal.
One especially undignified fact the second time around is that I’ve noticed just how very much my toddler and I have in common. Hear me out:
Food is a disaster. My toddler will not touch a blueberry but eats pickles by the fistful. One minute cheese is her favorite, the next minute her Polly-O is sailing across our living room like a javelin. I, on the other hand, have at least enough sense not to throw precious food, but I’m either in tears because I can’t decide what to eat, I’m eating the entire fridge, or the one thing I desperately want is 3 states away. It’s sad. I cry. One important distinction: My toddler’s cravings include crap off the floor. My cravings are mostly things on the “must not eat during pregnancy” blacklist.
Sleep is unpredictable. Some nights I can’t fall asleep. Some nights I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep. Other nights, I’m dozing just after dinner. I think this is my body’s way of getting me ready for the craziness of having a newborn again, but it’s just plain cruel! I already have a 1-year-old who keeps my sleep irregular as it is. A bad dream, a stuffy nose, a lost binky, or an arm stuck between crib slats? Yup, there’s nothing like hearing “MAMAAAAA!” screeched at 2:00 am in a tone that is barely audible to humans. One important distinction: She makes up for lost sleep on every car ride. I make up for lost sleep every time I’ve overpaid to watch a terrible movie.
I’m on constant poop and pee watch. For both of us, it’s the constant, “Did I/she poop today???” question. And as far as pee goes, well, we’re both pretty leaky to say the least. I need at least 30 seconds to brace myself properly for a sneeze, and I plan all our outings around where I can go to the bathroom and change my daughter. One important distinction: Every time I poop, I celebrate like I won the damn lotto. Every time she poops, she denies, denies, denies.
Clothes are AWESOME! I’m probably in the minority here, but I LOVE maternity clothes! I just don’t understand why I ever have to go back to wearing a non-elastic waistband and shirts that hug my midsection in any way. Serious, have you ever looked at toddler clothes? They are basically just tiny versions of my maternity stuff – flowy and stretchy. One important distinction: My one annoying pair of maternity skinny jeans that are stretched out after 2 hours of wear cost as much as my daughter’s entire summer wardrobe.
Neither of us can drink, but we could both really use a chill pill. I am not in any way advocating for moving the drinking age from 21 years to 21 months. I just find it really ironic that toddlers and pregnant ladies, AKA two of the most high strung groups of people in our population, are not safely able to partake in any liquid relaxation. As I always say, “NO ONE NEEDS A DRINK RIGHT NOW MORE THAN I DO!!!!!” One important distinction: OK, I do sneak a sip on occasion. My daughter’s main relaxation method is standing 4 inches from Elmo’s World.
Never did I expect my second pregnancy to be such a bonding experience with my daughter. We’re practically the same person!