Pregnancy With a Toddler in Towby Kerry Edney
Don’t get me wrong, I am super excited to be expecting our second bundle of joy at the end of this crazy year but WOW, the anxiety has really caught up with me this time around, as I am sure it has with many of us right now. I have also experienced a whole lot more raw emotion and added pressure which is probably due to having a very wild toddler to contend with and I think just everyday life to be honest.
Life with a toddler
Life is very fast-paced with a toddler in tow and I think I just expected my second pregnancy to be the same as my first. You know, take a nap when I can, keep hydrated as much as possible, eat all of the right things at the right times of the day, take up some pregnancy exercise classes and go for those nice coffee mornings with your new mum to be friends. Well, that doesn’t happen this time around and if I try doing any of those things I get really bad ‘mum guilt’ as I frustratingly try and tell my wild toddler that it's her nap time or time to eat or ‘mummy just needs 5 minutes, she’s not feeling great’, when all she wants to do is use me as her personal climbing frame or wants me to sit on the floor and play for hours on end. I get stressed and start to raise my voice and then 5 minutes later I’m sat in floods of tears because I want to play with her, I want to be the best mummy possible, and then I doubt myself, I question the way I parent, and all along I am growing another tiny human who will come into this world needing me to be the best I can be, and that’s all I want to be, that’s all any of us wants to be.
It’s ok to have a meltdown but ask for help!
When I went for my 12-week blood tests, my results came back with a ‘Low PAPP-A’ reading, which I don’t even think I was tested for with my first, so already feeling emotional this to me was mind-blowing, what did it mean, what happened now? This pregnancy has felt very different and very real from day 1, so I just knew that something was going to happen this time around. It’s actually not the end of the world and is more common than I first thought, it’s one of those things that the more people you mention it to, the more people have actually had it during one of their pregnancies. With this in mind, I am trying to relax and enjoy my pregnancy, as I love being pregnant, I am also trying to enjoy and cherish the last few months with my beautiful curly haired almost 2 year old, before her brother comes along and turns her little world upside down. I feel like I have grown bigger so much faster this time around, and feel deflated so much quicker, so what felt easy a few months ago really doesn’t now. I love the end of the day when my little girl crawls onto my knee for a cuddle and a bottle before bed, but it’s a real struggle with a growing bump mixed with little bony elbows, when she falls over and wants picking up for a cuddle, I can’t bend down quick enough to make it better, and then trying to get back up, well that’s a different struggle! I like to think that I can do everything and I really put myself down if I feel something slips, and I think that’s why I have felt so much more emotion this time around, plus the added benefit of those pregnancy hormones doesn’t help. My husband is a chef so works ridiculous hours, my hat really goes off to all single parents out there, I know that I’m not, but it really can feel lonely when you’ve not had a great day and your little one finally goes down at 11 pm, and all you want is a cuddle and some reassurance before you get into bed. My family have been an amazing support to me, there was a time I wouldn’t ‘have given in’ and admitted defeat but I really needed to for me, my husband and my little girl. We spend half of the week ‘back home’, where I grew up, and my little girl loves it, she’s so happy and I feel less guilty if I can't walk around with her for an hour showing her the animals on the farm, because there is always someone there that can and will. I just feel that a weight is lifted, and I can mentally and physically prepare for the time when 3 become 4.
If like me you are experiencing different emotions or feeling the added pressure the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, time around, trust me when I say just ask for help, whether it be talking to your partner more, relying on friends and family more than usual, speaking to your midwife about any concerns, that’s what they are all there for and hopefully, you can start to relax and enjoy being a mum and also being pregnant a bit more.