The Second Pregnancy Hits Different

I quite enjoyed my first pregnancy, only had a couple of weeks of nausea (which was solved by strawberries and cheese bread!), and didn’t feel too much pain in the end and would have happily gone the extra two weeks.

But this pregnancy has been really hard on me, physically and emotionally. The morning (ahem, all day and night) sickness ripped through me for months, and when I finally rid myself of that side effect, my belly grew at the speed of lightning, resulting in a ton of stretch marks to remind me of the sheer physical pain it brought on. And for the last month or so, I’ve been basically bed-ridden without being able to rest, expressly saving my energy up for sessions and suffering miserably afterward as I need to also care for my toddler daily. Bring on the mom guilt and emotional trauma!

I’ve been rather quiet lately, not talking about it, but after hearing a fellow expectant mama complain about the exact same thing to me, I realized I wasn’t alone and if my sharing my experience could help another mama feel a little better about the resentment they currently feel towards their companion, knowing it will fade and transform into love, then I absolutely had to share.

Photography by Pure Natural Newborn Photography of Ottawa (Almonte, Ontario)

I have been letting my feelings out on paper about how I have the double-edged sword capability of turning off any emotions towards my fetus because it has helped me process my own thoughts, but also so that it can help others who may be feeling something similar. It started out as protecting my heart from another loss, but it came at the cost of not feeling that “rush of love” everyone seems to the minute their baby is born for MONTHS. Don’t get me wrong, my mama bear instincts were ON and I did feel happiness and protectiveness over her, but I didn’t feel overjoyed and wholeheartedly in love with the crying, sleeping, pooping machine until she was almost sitting up on her own. Although to be fair, I also never felt that “YES!” people talk about for their wedding dress or forever home, so who knows… This ability to shut down has once again been activated for baby number two, to a point where I often feel resentful of the pain and discomfort it is causing me. Mostly physically, but I also find myself wondering if I really want the baby or if I just liked the idea of having a baby. Short-lived thoughts, but I have since learned that almost every expecting parent thinks about at least once, which is why I decided not to keep them to myself.

I regret not doing it the first time round, knowing now that I treated my pregnancy more clinically, because I don’t have many images to look back upon to finally get to enjoy that emotional journey to parenthood. So I have made sure to capture more images of this pregnancy, at different stages along the way, and I am already so thankful! As the final month is underway, I am trying to get hopeful and turn off that inner voice that tells me everything is going to go wrong and that I must constantly mentally prepare for the worst. It really is exhausting! Looking through the images has been helpful in keeping my heart open, and especially now that I have passed that “viable” turning point, and that I won’t be denied the comfort of my birth centre birth, I am trying really hard to allow myself to feel it all and it is finally becoming real. The stress is still there, a little higher to be honest, but the joy and excitement are starting to bloom, and for that I am grateful.

All to say, everyone is different, but know that you are not alone if you aren’t the movie-perfection version of an expectant parent. Most of us aren’t.

Chat soon,

stephanie de montigny SdeM handrawn initials ottawa blogger
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