5 Things I Want To Do Differently In My Second Pregnancy

I just got back from my 24 week ante-natal appointment and I was honestly surprised to see that I’ve not gained 10 kilos, haven’t developed Gestational Diabetes and my blood pressure is, if anything, a little on the low side. Thank goodness my placenta is so awesome, because I am doing a terrible job of doing things differently in my second pregnancy. Which is a shame, because I started out with the best of intentions.

1. Cut the crap and eat healthy, low GI foods.

During my first pregnancy I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes at some ridiculously early time like 20 weeks. Basically, I was still seeing a normal GP who, after ripping me a new one for eating four pieces of white toast smothered in strawberry jam for breakfast, sent me off to the Ob/Gyn, where I was given an absolute tonne of great resources on how to manage my diet, was referred to a fantastic dietitian, and had more than a few run-ins with jerk specialists who thought that because I was young and fat, clearly I was also stupid.

Well, I showed all them haters when not only did I manage to control my GD with nothing but diet and exercise (They said that Insulin injections would be unavoidable because I was diagnosed so early), but I also did not have to be induced at 38 weeks and my baby wasn’t a complete monster at birth (He was born weighing 3.62kg/8lb — still on the larger end of the spectrum, but not a beast with a heart condition by any means).

With this pregnancy I had no intention of waiting until I got GD to pull my head in and eat good food. I started off so well, too, but when my appetite finally came back after morning sickness had effectively killed it off, it was like I had regressed back to my obese days where the unhealthier it was, the more I just HAD to have it.

Throw in a previously unheard of sweet tooth and I just do not understand how the scales aren’t screaming my dirty little secret from the rooftops: bad mama here has been eating from the wrong end of the food pyramid.

Just put it all in my mouth, please. [Source]
Just put it all in my mouth, please. [Source]

2. Don’t bail on exercise

The day I found out I was pregnant I was on my way to a Roller Derby training session. I was regularly walking the dog. I was contemplating robbing a bank so I could start Michelle Bridges again. Basically, I was well on my way to kicking my couch potato ways — something that I really wish I had been doing when I fell pregnant the first time around.

At my first appointment my doctor asked me what exercise I was doing and I said I was walking the dog. She encouraged me to keep it up… and I don’t think I’ve walked the dog in a good three months now. I’m not completely lazy; my son’s school is just down the road at the bottom of a hill and we walk there every day. But, it would be lucky to be 20 minutes each day. Definitely not enough to prepare my body for childbirth!

I absolutely wanted to have a strong core (Pregnancy the first time around gave me a lovely umbilical hernia – more on that later) and an even stronger pelvic floor, but I have been a lazy little shit this entire pregnancy. I can’t wait for my entire body to just give up on life when I go into labour!

Oh hey, they did let me eat! Clearly I hit the gas a little too hard because I don't remember this picture being taken at all.
Clearly I hit the gas a little too hard because I don’t remember this picture being taken at all.

[Edit: My doctor has strongly recommended that I join a pregnancy Pilates class because my back and hips are already causing me problems. Considering how much I like moving, I’m actually going to listen to her and follow through with it. So, yeah. Me. At a class. With other people. Exercising in public. Oh to be a fly on the wall…]

3. Drown my body in Bio-Oil

It will come as no surprise that, considering how fat and lazy I was when I fell pregnant the first time, I ended up with the stretchmarks from hell. For some reason, I also had about a gallon of that Palmers Cocoa Butter for Stretchmarks that I used religiously, even though everyone ever told me that Bio-Oil was better. Pssh, whatever. I didn’t even get stretchmarks for the first 34 weeks!

And then this happened:

Yes, they go WAY above my belly button. SO HAWT.
Yes, they go WAY above my belly button. SO HAWT.

Needless to say, when I found out I was pregnant this time around I made sure I had some Bio-Oil and I put it on regularly. Still, it’s not the twice a day like the bottle recommends, so I could do much better. I know that there is no fixing the damage that has been done already, but hopefully I can avoid THE INSANE ITCHING FROM HELL that I developed in my last few days of pregnancy with Liam.

4. Speaking of baby bump photos…

For some unknown reason — probably born from a desire to not be one of those people that spams Facebook with bump pictures — there are approximately two pictures of me when I was pregnant with Liam out there on the internet (Three now that the abomination above has seen the light of day). This time around I was adamant that I would take more pictures, maybe even do a week by week snap for my own personal album. Dreams To Do looks absolutely stunning in her weekly journal, and I would dearly like to have pictures like that of my own.

Well, remember that umbilical hernia I mentioned earlier? Apparently my uterus is pushing on it in such a way that it’s about a billion times larger than before. If I look at my stomach side on, it looks like I have a second nose. In fact, it’s so bad that I am sorely tempted to get a permanent marker and draw a face onto my gut. Hell, with all the stretch mark damage from baby one, I reckon I could pull off quite the convincing it’s-a-stomach-that-looks-like-an-old-man photo shoot.

Thankfully, on certain angles, I can make it almost look hidden. Almost. I took the photo below a few weeks ago, before my belly button decided to launch a full-scale revolution against me.

Yours truly at 23 weeks pregnant with number 2. Such amazing photography skillz, amirite?!
Yours truly at 22 weeks pregnant with number 2. Such amazing photography skillz, amirite?!

5. Be Positive

My first pregnancy was marred with so much self-doubt and worry that I seemed downright miserable. I had just come to terms with the reality that I was actually pregnant when, boom, the 20 week scan revealed that Liam had something wrong with one of his kidneys. You know, in addition the the raging Diabetes that I had been diagnosed with.

This time around I have so many more reasons why I should be stressed out. We need to move house a month before baby is due, we are living on a much stricter budget, my husband falls just over a month short of being eligible for paternity leave and I could be forced to have a C-Section because my placenta went and implanted itself in the completely wrong spot.

All of this and yet I am just so optimistic. I know that things could be so much worse, but they aren’t. We handled moving to the other side of the country with a one year old and no support network to rely on. We handled watching our son lose his kidney at 18 months old. Even now, we’re putting food on the table, have kept our little indulgences like Pay TV and World of Warcraft subscriptions, and sometimes we even put money in savings. Things are not perfect by any means, but we’re both feeling positive about the future.

It feels amazing to simply enjoy being pregnant instead of resenting it.

Wheeeeeeee!
Wheeeeeeee! [Source]
So, there are the five things I wanted to do differently this time around. I know I could improve on pretty much, well, everything, but mostly I’m just incredibly grateful that everything is working out well so far.

Fingers crossed it stays that way.

Did you want to do anything differently when you fell pregnant again? How did it work out for you? Share your stories in the comments below.

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  • gamerwife

    I think that that last one, is the most important. We could always do things a little better, don’t sell yourself short on the things you are doing great.

    • Thanks for your kind words 🙂

      It really is a wonderful feeling just being able to relax and enjoy the ride! I suspect that may also be why I’m not as strict on myself as I was last time; there’s no overwhelming feeling of imminent doom (Though I’m going to wear a tonne of guilt if something does go wrong!)

  • Rhiannon

    I hope that this one goes smoothly for you. Embrace it completely! And yes to baby bump photos! I so wished I had done that with mine x

    • Thank you. So far, so good!

      We are crazy for not taking more snaps! This time around I was even contemplating a proper pregnancy shoot with a photographer, but I’m just way too self-conscious about my hernia to do it now. On the plus side, any picture I get is going to be an improvement on the last pregnancy. I might even lash out and take a few in decent lighting 😛

  • Syrco

    You’re playing roller derby? I’ve always wanted to try it! They’ve just started a team in my city 😀 Roller derby isn’t very big in Norway yet.
    Does oil really help to prevent stretch marks?

    • By the time I had bought all the gear and was confident enough on my skates to consider signing up for Fresh Meat, I found out I was knocked up! So, I -almost- played Roller Derby 😛

      Most of my friends swear by Bio-Oil (https://www.bio-oil.com/en-us/product/introduction) and not just for stretch marks. In fact, when my son had his kidney removed, the doctor recommended I apply it daily to the scar to speed up the repair and help it fade away.

      • Syrco

        Hm, that sounds great. I don’t know where to get that here. But I’ve heard of many other similar products people say work. My friend who just had a little boy didn’t get any stretch marks. Bet I’ll get tons. Already got some which I got when I grew and gained some weight 🙁
        I bought new skates a few years back, rollerblades, think I should learn to use those some day 😛 I’m scared of falling on my ass.

        • Isn’t that always the way! My best friend had TWINS and didn’t get a single stretch mark either! I openly curse her for having amazing genes 😛

          Strap on your skates and just have a try! It really amazed me just how quickly it all came back to me. Just be prepared for more than your fair share of, “Oh, $%^&!” moments when you start to get a little too confident!

  • Oh, I hope this second pregnancy goes real smooth for ya. I never used a wink of cocoa butter until AFTER my pregnancy with my daughter, but then people told me I should have used it during my pregnancy (which I proceeded to feel angry about because how was I suppose to know something like that being a brand new mom and all?). The last point is so important, to stay positive, or try to anyway… and it’s so hard for a lot of people because pregnancy can be so overwhelming! I wish you a wonderful and enjoyable pregnancy (as much as you can, anyway!)

    • I bet you were peeved! I had a few moments like that, when people would tell me something like it was supposedly common knowledge and I would just look at them blankly because, as you say, new mum!

      I have the Gestational Diabetes check coming up in a few weeks, so I imagine that is going to be a big test of my new-found positive attitude to pregnancy! Fingers crossed I’ve avoided it this time.

      Thanks for your kind words 🙂