Pregnancy – The Difference Between The First and The Second

The day after I found out I was pregnant with Carter I dragged Barry to Baby City and we spent close to an hour in the store, looking at and touching each and every product whilst gushing on repeat ‘OhMyGodICantBelieveWeWillBeNeedingTheseSoon!’. I am now (on Saturday) 8 months pregnant with ‘Pip’ and have yet to step foot in a Baby City, or do anything else for that matter.

I used to be so judgmental of parents who slacked off with their second and third pregnancies, and now I am one of those slackers.

So, what are the biggest differences between the first and following pregnancies?

  1. No one really cares as much. And it’s totally OK. When you’re expecting your first, your bump is an automatic talking point. It’s expected that people will always ask you how far you are and what you’re having. It’s like there’s an invisible neon sign on you that reads ‘I’m new here, make me feel welcome’. With number 2, it’s almost as if even complete strangers can sense that your womb is used goods. It’s safe to say that a drop off interest rate of atleast 75% will occur. Hell, I’m not blaming them. I often go days without remembering I’m knocked up. In fact, if it wasn’t for my heavy reliance on wine, I think sometimes I might altogether forget.
  2. You are slow off the mark. With baby 1 you have Googled your gynaes CV before the pee is even dry on the stick. With baby 2 it takes weeks to book that first appointment. The one commonality however, for me atleast, is the excitement that comes with each scan. I don’t care how many baby’s I bake, the thought of knowing I have a visit with them is still always the highlight of that month. I still haven’t booked the hospital bed and just yesterday had to ask someone to ‘remind me’ how to have a baby. For the life of me I cant remember the logistics that lead up until D-Day.
  3. The nursery goes from Glamour! to YOU. Carters room was featured in a magazine, and I feel, rightly so, It was gorgeous, personal and entailed hours and hours of blood sweat and tears from me. I would trawl the shops for the perfect addition and Pinterest was my go to reference for all things baby. And with number 2? We may or may not have even taken the cot out of the garage. It’s not because we aren’t excited, it’s because you just never find the time. Which leads me to…
  4. You never have the time. With your first pregnancy you are allowed the luxury of down time. First trimester nausea can be handled with a relaxing TV session on the couch after work. Exhaustion can be treated with early bed times and late weekend lie ins. With a second kid, unless your first is a teenager, you have no such luxury. Time waits for no one, and nor does your toddler. They could not give two tiddly shits if mommy is tired, puking into her cereal bowl or her back is so sore that she cant see straight. You need to get home from work and make dinner and play with them and sort the house out and remind them how to stay in their bed and do this every single night until your second baby is born.
  5. You are so distracted. Things like taking monthly belly pics, filling out UIF forms and other such necessaries and niceties fall by the wayside as you’re just too busy trying to keep your other kid alive.
  6. The preciousness of it is gone. Not that pregnancy is an ailment, and god help me when I’m around those delicate flowers who treat it as such, but the general rule of pregnancy is that you should never really exert yourself too much. Again, whoever wrote that rule book forgot one vital thing – toddlers weigh a lot, and toddlers want to be carried all the time. So if I can hoist my 15 kilogram son on my hip you can sure as hell bet that I will now be called upon to help with other every day tasks around the house as well. Just last week I was helping my husband remove a fridge off the back of his bakkie.
  7. You don’t do the research. Second time rounders live in a bubble of false security. With Carter we attended pre-natal classes, did a hospital tour and I would greedily inhale app data, articles and chapters from ‘What To Expect’ every night. I could, at any given time, tell you how many weeks I was and what fruit-size the foetus was. I am under no illusion that I have forgotten pretty much everything about bringing a newborn into this world. I really should be reading and researching but I can’t, because, time.
  8. Money becomes even more of an issue. I always said I would take longer than 4 months maternity leave the second time around. Dropping Carter off at school at the age of 16 weeks broke me, and I wasn’t ready to leave him. This time round though, the reality is that if I thought I was poor then, I really am going to kak off financially now. I’ve already agreed with my boss to start working after the first month (luckily from home) and am only taking time off shoots for the first 30 days. You gotta do what you gotta do, so a lot of my maternity leave will be more hustling and less cuddling.
  9. You feel so guilty. Because all of the above. Because as much as you looked at other second time moms doing it, you swore you would never be that mom who treated baby 2 differently, just because they were number 2. This baby has maybe one new outfit waiting for her. We have been so fortunate to receive some amazing hand me downs, but already – she’s the second-hand-baby.

That being said, she is no less loved. She may be sleeping in a cardboard box for the first few weeks of her life, but it wont mean too much in the bigger picture. I don’t know who is more excited to meet her at this rate – but I think it’s Carter who keeps asking me to ‘open my tummy and take the baby out’ so he can see her. Not long to go my boy, and then it will be mommy’s turn to ask a nice Dr to open her tummy and stitch it up niiice and tight. And maybe fix her boobs at the same time 😉

PS – Everyone has however, been commenting on how I’ve been carrying this baby compared to my first. And by ‘commenting’ I mean telling me I’m not nearly as fat. ha! I thought it would be fun to compare the 2 pregnancies, month by month. The first pics are all Carter and the second pics are all baby #2. Apart from how far my photographic skills have improved, I also think the 2 babies look extremely different. What do you think?

Announcing Carter & Announcing Pip
12 weeks Carter & 12 weeks Pip
16 weeks Carter & 16 weeks Pip
20 weeks Carter & 20 weeks Pip
24 weeks Carter & 24 weeks Pip
28 weeks carter and 28 weeks Pip
Carter at 7 months vs. Pip at 7 months
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Dear Daughter.

Daughter. Daughter. Daughter.

I can say it a hundred times and yet it doesn’t feel real. I am so used to being a boy mom. I buy shorts and dinosaur t-shirts and endless spades and diggers and trucks. We spend our time peeing in the garden and our bath time ritual consists of ‘bum and ball cleaning’. Boys are easy and laid back and get on with it. Girls? Well, they terrify me.

I’ve been referring to this baby as ‘Pip’ since conception and up until Wednesday as ‘it’. Even though doc has confirmed multiple times (Kate, see no penis) I’m still in denial that I will be bringing a female into this world, and just what that means.

I don’t know if you’ve seen this ‘Rules for my daughter’ post that has been circulating the Internet lately – it’s a list of 35 ‘instructions’ for girls, from their moms. I’ve read a few and whilst some are sweet (“Reserve I’m sorry for when you truly are” and “Question everything except your own intuition.”) there are some that are just so bullshitty. Like ‘always wear good underwear’. Please, I’m not even wearing a bra today (sorry, colleagues) and I can promise you that doesn’t make me less smart or womanly than someone in a R1000 boulder holder from La Senza.

So, whilst you may not be nearly ready to enter the world, your turns and flops and kicks remind me that, ready or not, in 3.5 months you will be here and I need to chat to you about the kind of person I want you to be, and the kind of girl mom that I want to be.

My Rules Advice, For My Daughter. 

  1. Don’t let them take advantage of you. Ever. Take this from someone who, for 33 years, has been a people pleaser. It gets you nowhere
  2. That being said, be generous. Not with money alone, with time and character and kindness.
  3. Don’t let the sexist win. Again, from experience and something I am still dealing with daily. Do you know that I got this in an email last week:

Bad of him, right? Even worse of me. I have done nothing about it. Remember this when your turn comes, as it will. Do not let people bully you on account of you having a vagina, a pretty face or double x chromosomes. Do not accept discrimination, lesser pay or lesser respect. Only you, and your peers, can change inequality around.

4. Lunch with me, call me, Let’s hang out. Sure – I am and will always be your mom but I want us – at a reasonable age – to be friends as well. I want us to talk and laugh and do stuff together, not for any occasion, just because. I am going to love your company.

5. You are not a princess. Don’t let people treat you softer because you are a girl. If you start it, finish it. if you fall down, pick yourself up. I will treat you the same way I do your bother – with a fierce sternness and love. I vow to not go soft on you just because you are pink and he is blue. Don’t lessen yourself because of your gender.

6. Work really hard. Please don’t go by the ‘marry rich’ mantra that some may.

7. Learn how to manage money. I was never taught and at the tender age of 21 plus some I am now finindg myself drenched in sweat on sleeless nights as I worry about my financial future.

8. That being said – treat yourself and buy nice things. I will try to not berate these decisions, but will try respect and encourage your financial independence.

9. Be polite, always.

10. Be interested. Learn. Explore, Be inquisitive. Check your facts and do your research and don’t just let a question linger. be so hungry for information that you feel like you will never be satiated.

11. Eat healthily. Enjoy your food. Splurge on junk but long for balance. It’s all about the 80/20

12. Hug me. All the time

13. Never ever let yourself be in a position where you feel like you are being a bully or are amongst bullies. These people are not good for you, despite what you may think or feel at the time. Be fair to everyone. Support the underdog. Always take the position of empathy.

14. If you are ever being bullied, tell me. I want you to talk openly and freely with me without fear of feeling judged.

15. If you want to play with trucks and diggers and spades, I encourage that. If you want to dress in pink tutus for 8 days in a row, I also encourage that (slighly less ;)). Try not to be defined by gender – your brother has a doll that he adores and I am so proud of him.

16. Use your wit and brain and character to get ahead.

17. Enjoy being a kid. Dont rush to grow up too fast. Adulthood is a no return purchase that really isn’t as fun as they all make it out to be.

18. Look after yourself but don’t feel bad about your weight, your looks or your figure. There are much bigger things to worry about – like which country to explore, which book to read or which retirement village to put me in when I’m old and crazy.

19. You are amazing, And fiercely loved. And you always will be.

I get to see you every 4 weeks, and it is the romantic date of my life. I can’t wait to be able to see you daily, for the rest of our lives. You are going to be the perfect addition to this little triangle-turned-square.

 

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We’re Having A…

At our 12 week scan I asked the doc to whisper in my ear what he thought we were having. I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous as when I opened the folded pice of paper he handed me after the appointment. I waited until Barry and I had parted ways and then opened it…

I was ecstatic! I have always dreamed of a little pigeon pair and was so excited (and terrified, because girls frighten the bejeesus out of me) that Carter would be getting a little sister. I wanted to surprise Barry so I pulled a typical Pinterest move and had some helium balloons hidden in a box. I arrived unannounced at his office and even though the ‘70%’ uncertainty was there, I revealed to him (and 13 inquisitive colleagues) the big news. The reveal itself was a bit of a dud. Barry was too busy talking and the balloons were too stubborn, but just one little ‘pinkie’ was enough to announce.

But, then I started thinking, and worrying. I mean – 70% is a pass mark, but it’s not exactly 100 is it? I began to wonder if I had put the gender cart before the horse, so upon the suggestion of a friend I went and bought a kit from Dischem promising accurate gender results. And whaddya know, it told me I was having a boy. Ha!

Don’t try this at home, kids.

So, it was with much relief and joy this morning (and not that I was at all stressing, or woke up at 4 am riddled with anxiety or anything) when my Doc confidently told me if it wasn’t  girl then he would wear the pink clothes I bought for her.

So, there you have it, Pip Rankin will be a little sister to big brother Carter.

Also, if anyone wants to give me girl-rearing tips I would be eternally grateful. Boys are simple man. Girls are complex creatures and I feel like we are in for a wild ride. Buckle your seat belts kids, this blog is about to become a lot more curse-filled.

 

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A Pink and White Themed Baby Shower

So we all know that one of my favourite things in the word to do is plan a party – and after our wedding my fingers were itching to get crafty and creative again. Luckily my sister in law Bev is very close to popping out a baby girl and so a pink and white themed baby shower was in order!

The theme of “Baby Raisins”(Name to be revealed) room is “Tatty Bear” – so the decision to have the same theme for the baby shower was a no brainer.

I decided to paint her a Tatty Bear for the baby room:

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The Baby Shower was scheduled for a Sunday morning – and as with most events I decided to make use of my parents gorgeous garden. I hate being restricted by venues and their rules and food – so this was the perfect choice. The day started out very rainy and overcast but thankfully the sky cleared and the sun came out to play.

The guests were also all asked to wear a touch of pink, grey or white.

Here are just a few things I did decor wise. A huge thanks to Bevs bestie Lauren from the UK who brought out a bunch of Tatty Bear themed goodies – as well as pink MnMs (apparently they have a 4 storey MnM store close to them…jellies much?)

Balloons on the deck
Balloons on the deck

I bought tons of pink and white sweets and filled all my old jars and containers (some call me a hoarder, I call it up-cycling) and used these as the centerpiece for the table.

Marshmallows
Marshmallows
Pink sweets
Pink sweets
Pink and White Sweets
Pink and White Sweets
Pink and White Sweets
Pink and White Sweets

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Thanks for the cake pops Welly – YUM!

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I looked everywhere for pink and white popcorn boxes with no luck – so eventually settled on those grey toasted sarmie bags – you know the ones you used to get at the school tuckshop? To brighten these up a bit I made small little ‘Ready To Pop’ (get it?) labels which I stuck on – these were then filled with salt and vinegar popcorn. (Side story – the night before as I was making all this popcorn I had a few girlfriends round for drinks… things got pretty out of hand and I think for every bowl of popcorn I made, we ate 3!)

"Ready To Pop" Popcorn
“Ready To Pop” Popcorn
Popcorn
Popcorn

The food was all delicious and a huge thanks to my mom in law and Lauren’s mom in law for the platters as well as Maureen – ‘The Cake Lady’ for the awesome cupcakes and Tatty Bear cake – genius!

Tatty Bear Cupcakes
Tatty Bear Cupcakes
Tatty Bear Cake
Tatty Bear Cake
The Table
The Table

For the drinks I filled small glass bottles with berry juice and made little labels which I glued on. Finished with a pink and white straw these were a really cute welcome cocktail for the guests.

Consol Bottle Cocktails
Consol Bottle Cocktails
Consol Bottle Cocktails

I thought a cute keepsake for the mom-to-be would be a fingerprint from each of the guests. I decided to draw the outline of a Tatty Bear on a canvas square and the fingerprints would then become the balloons. I joined these up and it turned out quite nicely.

Tatty Bear Fingerprint Painting - Before
Tatty Bear Fingerprint Painting – Before
Tatty Bear Fingerprint Painting
Tatty Bear Fingerprint Painting
Tatty Bear Fingerprint Painting
Tatty Bear Fingerprint Painting
Tatty Bear Fingerprint Painting - After
Tatty Bear Fingerprint Painting – After

To make the photo booth I brought a plastic table cloth and cut out coloured hearts to stick on (Confession – I ‘stole’ some paint colour samples from the hardware store in various pinks and purples and greys – and think it turned out quite well!). I also brought chalk and chalkboard hearts for the guests to write personalised messages on.

Posing at the photo booth
Posing at the photo booth
Photo Booth Background
Photo Booth Background

 

To complete the look I strung white lanterns from the trees and roofs and put big clumps of pink and white balloons all over.

Balloons and Decor
Balloons and Decor
Balloons and Decor
Balloons and Decor

We also played ‘The Price is Right” and the gals filled out “Wishes for Baby” cards for Bev and Raisin.

The Price is Right
The Price is Right
Wishes For Baby
Wishes For Baby

Now we sit back and wait for baby to arrive!

xxx

 

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