Being pregnant is a wonderful, amazing, miracle of an experience. You get to create this life inside of you, and then feel it grow and develop. Eventually you baby grows to become a tiny person that you will grow to love more than you ever thought was humanly possible. Plus, there is nothing quite as wonderful as new baby snuggles.
Pregnancy may be a wonderful, amazing, miracle, but it’s also the most goddamn exhausting experience of your life.
That is until you give birth and bring home your newborn and then you enter a fresh new hell where you long for the exhaustion of your pregnancy. It’s kind of cruel, that first pregnancy, and how it tricks you into thinking that things will get better as soon as the baby comes (no more back ache, no more leg cramps, wine comes back into the equation)… but like I said, after pregnancy comes the baby and all the love and snuggles that you can shake a stick at. It almost makes you want to do it again.
So you do, and then you discover that there is something worse than that first pregnancy and all the exhaustion that you thought would be the death of you… being pregnant while chasing around a toddler.
Talk about exhaustion. There were moments in the first trimester that I thought I would actually die* if everyone in our house didn’t immediately sit down and shut up (myself included).
And like all apex predators, your toddler can sense weakness. They wait to strike until right when they feel their prey is at their most vulnerable, which it turns out begins somewhere around week five and goes through week forty… so, you know, pretty much your entire pregnancy. Which is why I find myself now explaining to you why toddlers are the very worst pregnancy wingmen.
Dirty diapers smell. I mean, duh, but when you’re pregnant they smell. I am not one to gag lightly. I have been puked on at some point by pretty much everyone I know. I have gotten my grandmothers poop on my foot twice, on two separate occasions, and there was nary a gag between them. Now, even a thoroughly soaked pee diaper is enough to make the bile begin to rise.
Sleep regressions, sleep regressions everywhere. Sometimes I just want to scream at my daughter to take a nap, go to bed, or just sit down and watch a god damn TV show for longer than two minutes. I need to rest. My feet need to go up, my ass needs to go down, and I need to eat that second breakfast that I have been dreaming about for the past hour.
And on that note, no, I don’t want to share my food with you. Yeah, I know that the strawberries on my plate look so much better than the strawberries on your plate, but I’m not giving them to you.
Seriously, TODDLERS DON’T SLEEP. Everything must be at full volume at all times. My daughter’s toys somehow all end up set at the maximum level, her voice reaches an octave that I didn’t know she could reach previously, and all of the sudden I find her walking through the kitchen with actual tiny pots and pans that she drops over and over again. I would complain that I can’t even hear myself think anymore, but that implies that I do much thinking beyond WHY IS IT SO LOUD IN HERE?! Suddenly your stomach has a giant target on it. It’s the place where all head butts land, it’s the best seat possible for snuggles, and it’s the first place any wayward arms and legs hit. I am legitimately concerned that this baby is going to be born dented.
Thanks to pregnancy hormones, you cry at everything. You know what my daughter does when I cry? Mocks me with very dramatic, very obnoxious, fake sobs. Then she laughs and runs around cackling like a mad woman. There is no sympathy there anymore. Apparently I used up all of the gentle pats on the knee in the first few weeks. By the middle of my pregnancy she had no more patience for my hysterical bull shit.
Toddlers make you VERY thirsty. But, you can’t drink while you’re pregnant, so you just silently rage at the fact that you have asked your kid to pick up their blocks for the past ten minutes. And toddlers don’t listen, so now you have to get your fat ass down on your hands and knees next to them and physically show them how to clean up their toys. We’re sure that drinking is still a no-no while pregnant, right? That hasn’t changed in the last hour or anything? Had to ask.
Your immune system is compromised. A situation which is exacerbated by the fact that all toddlers are basically that little monkey from the movie Outbreak. I have never in my life had strep throat until this pregnancy. Now, at 27 weeks I’ve had it twice. Seriously, your immune system is garbage. You know what else I never had in my life? Pink eye. Guess what I woke up with one morning last month? If you guessed pink eye, then you win a prize (and that prize may or may not also be pink eye)!!!!
Obviously I love my daughter (despite her goblin like tendencies), and I can’t wait to watch her become a big sister.
Is there going to be an adjustment period? A learning curve? A whole lot of making sure she doesn’t try and turn herself back into an only child? Yes, yes, and lord yes, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to this next chapter in our lives.
*I assume that in approximately three and a half months you can expect a piece about how thinking that this time was the hard part was just stupid. I predict that the working title will be “Toddlers and newborns; holy hell what the shit.”