So as I write this I’m 29 and a half weeks pregnant and now into the third trimester, aka that bit at the end that’s scarily close to the big bit *right* at the end.
Do we feel ready? Well we have made a start now, and it’s starting to feel exciting, but it’s ages away, isn’t it? Isn’t it? Does it seem any more real yet? Hmm, not quite sure…
It’s been a surprisingly trouble-free pregnancy so far this time round, so it does feel like I’ve been coasting along, somewhat. Second-time round there’s no unlimited hours of free time to obsess, deliberate and contemplate. And luckily enough, no medical scares or unexpected hospital visits this time. Life has pretty much continued as normal, as it has to when you have a toddler.
And that’s the thing. I am so used to having a toddler now that I’m worried I won’t remember what it’s like to have to have a new baby. Getting all the tiny things out of storage has made me remember lots of things about newborns I’d completely forgotten.
It’s a whole other language to the one we’re currently speaking. There’s a different dictionary of lost words and terms; winding, colic, cradle cap, cracked nipples, mastitis. Plus a medicine cabinet that still needs to be rammed with all the remedies.
There’s whole map of unchartered places. Baby clinic with the red book entry ticket. Doctors surgeries and the nurses’s office for vaccinations. Breastfeeding drop-ins, rhyme time and baby groups.
And sleep. They’re awake when you want to be asleep, and vice-versa. Just when we’d got used to the luxury of full nights and a toddler who puts herself into bed.
Then there’s the sheer amount of stuff that comes with newborns. The proper pram and baby insert. Car seats, adapters, monitors, blankets and 50,000 tiny baby gros. And even if you breastfeed there’s sterilisers, pumps, milk bags, nursing bras…
You have to worry constantly about temperature control. Hot weather doesn’t just equal getting the paddling pool out and having another ice lolly. How do we work the baby thermometer again?
Outfit choices are more about the practicality of ‘how many layers?’ rather than ‘this looks good AND it works for potty training’
You can’t just turn Peppa on when you want five minutes to sit down and check your email. And you can’t just let them watch Go Diego Go on the iPad when they wake up at 5.45am and you’re not ready to face the day yet for a few hours.
When they cry, you can’t say “what’s wrong?” and get an answer. Or make it better with a magic plaster. They cry and cry and you have no idea why (pretty similar to my pregnant self, really).
But on the plus side, you won’t put them down and find them wearing your most expensive lipstick on their toes two minutes later, they won’t eat your cake, and you don’t have to chase them round the house with a toothbrush each evening.
And, of course, there’s also all the great bits about newborns I’ve also forgotten. How warm and squishy they are. The nuzzling. The new baby smell. Getting to know this tiny and amazing little creature. The sheer surreal amazement of it all.
Every second-time mum I’ve met tells me it’s much easier the next time round. Relief. But do you just remember what it’s all like and what to do? I’m hoping it all comes flooding back. The good news, though, is I can’t possibly be as clueless as I was first time round.
The photo is ‘vintage’ Instagram, of Eliza’s newborn socks. How tiny? I’m Gill_C if you want to follow me.