Half way there – in fact, just over half way. The bump is discernible, the aches and pains are back but my taste for coffee still isn’t. Even though I can see and feel all of that – not to mention tiny kicks and punches even as I type – I still can’t quite believe it’s real. We’re going to be a family of four and one of those is going to be a tiny baby. Wow.
In some ways things are very familiar, and in some ways there are surprises. This is what I’ve found so far, second time around:
The bump: People comment on your size and shape – and the bump’s – just as much as with your first. They mainly say that it’s ‘small’, which I know I should take as a compliment but it’s not easy to. Other bloggers have written eloquently about bump etiquette and I agree with a lot of their comments. Saying it’s ‘neat’ works, but steering clear of commenting on its size at all is probably the best advice I could give.
Growing pains: My SPD is back even earlier than before. I had twinges just before 20 weeks then a horrible weekend and week which made me make a doctor’s appointment. But I’ve found some relief in the last few days. A good friend has lent me a long, bolster-type maternity pillow and I’ve been sleeping with it wrapped around me. Which means when I wake up the pain is much milder. My husband hates the pillow but he probably hates me moaning more, and honestly it’s been fantastic so far. But I’m also being referred to physio in case the pain progresses as I get bigger.
Commuting fun: People still don’t get up on the tube. That’s not strictly true – some kind people do and someone even asked another commuter to stand for me the other day. I am always very grateful. I have asked for a seat myself but you do need to be feeling pretty brave to do that as not everyone’s receptive. I’ve had some bad experiences. I’m wearing my Baby on Board badge and making sure the bump’s visible. Some sit there with headphones in, closing their eyes or hiding behind coat hoods. But the worse ones are those who see it, clock it and then pretend they haven’t. I would never do that. I hope one day they understand what it feels like to be standing, painfully or squashed up against the side of the tube.
Tiredness: The tiredness is worse this time around. I nap when I can, but as I work four days a week I can only do it sometimes. And as Scrip is starting to drop her post-lunch nap I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to do it when there’s no one else here with us. I have been known to nod off to Ben & Holly occasionally. It doesn’t really help when ‘helpful’ people tell me to bank some sleep now – it didn’t work last time and it won’t work this time.
The anticipation: I can honestly say, even given everything, it’s just as exciting this time. The first kicks I felt (and identified much more quickly this time), then other people being able to feel the movements, walking through Mothercare and seeing the tiny outfits, seeing newborns all wrapped up. It’s all about new beginnings and every now and again – between the tiredness and the toddler tantrums that are now a part of daily life – I get a warm flush of excitement.