19 March 2013, by Tan Yi Lin
I’ve had people ask me how this pregnancy compares to my first when I was carrying Coco.
I would have thought that since both my babies are girls, both pregnancies would be more or less similar.
Like how I would have none of that famously big, swollen nose or bad complexion that supposedly come with carrying a boy.
Like how my belly would be round like a basketball once again – just like the first time – instead of sharp and pointed.
Most of the pregnancies symptoms – or lack thereof – haven’t deviated from when I first experienced them: decent hair and skin, no signs of swelling in the hands or feet, no nausea, no stretch marks (yes, it’s possible), the unbearable pregnancy heat.
And yet, my second pregnancy couldn’t be more different from my first in many ways.
This time round….
I had always thought that second babies would be bigger than the first. Not in the case of Colette and Claire.
Coco was a textbook baby who weighed in at the 50th percentile throughout the pregnancy and arrived in a neat 3.0 kg bundle.
As mentioned in earlier entries, Claire lagged far behind her sister for most of this pregnancy at a puny 3rd percentile.
It wasn’t just Claire who wasn’t putting on weight quickly enough. With Coco, I was huge – hitting almost 70 kg in my 40th week. In comparison, I’ve been an entire 4 kg lighter throughout this pregnancy. Even Maryann, our Bloom photographer at The Studio Loft, commented when she saw me last week that I was significantly smaller this time round.
Now I know why well-meaning mothers kept reminding me to enjoy my first pregnancy.
Back then, there were no milk bottles to wash every night; no toddler to run after; no need to squat by the bath for 30 minutes because your firstborn refuses to get out of the water; no exhausting games of catch and London Bridge and football; no one to drag you onto the swing or down the slide; no needy babies to rock and cradle – on top of the one that you’re carrying inside you.
On hindsight, pregnant life was easy back then.
…I’m more relaxed.
Despite having more chores and activities to do while pregnant, I’m more relaxed about Claire’s arrival than I was with Coco’s.
With less than four weeks to Claire’s EDD, we haven’t prepared any clothes for her; nor diapers; nor her cot; nor items such as the sterilizer or the changing table.
After all, all I need to do is to unearth all of Coco’s stuff from storage and re-use them for Claire. Erm, there really isn’t anything more to it right?
As for the hospital bag that we packed and drove around with weeks before Coco’s arrival – it’s now stuffed with swimming gear and Coco’s arm floats. Hardly the most appropriate items to bring to the hospital.
Unlike the last round where I had planned to take a few days off work in preparation for Coco’s arrival, I’ve indicated 19 April – Claire’s EDD – as the start date for my maternity leave.
We haven’t attended any refresher course on how to give birth. I’m hoping to recall how to breathe and push a baby out when the time comes.
My mum has said that, unlike the first time round, she can’t be at home with me throughout my entire month-long confinement when Claire is born. Don’t worry, I told her, I can manage. I know what to do now. We’ll be fine.
How capable and confident we’ve become over the past 18 months (or so we delude ourselves into thinking…)
…We’re more active.
‘We’ – meaning me and Claire.
With Coco, I waddled around at a leisurely pace. She also took things slowly in utero, rolling around in gentle, nudging, languid movements.
This time round, being lighter and leaner and toting a smaller baby bump means that I am more mobile. I strut quickly – big impatient strides – in my haste to get home to Coco, overtaking other slower-moving commuters (who mosey along with their noses glued to their mobile phones. Tsk.) Once I get home, I dash around the house attending to Coco.
Claire, it seems, is perpetually bouncing off walls too – my uterine walls. This energetic little Aries already shows signs of the fierce battling ram (or ewe) that her fiery constellation is said to be. My insides are so tired and sore from being kicked and pummelled and head butted incessantly.
With the first pregnancy, I only had one job to do: take good care of myself and by default, take good of Coco too.
But now when both Coco and Claire demand for my attention, who should I tend to first?
Do I remain pinned to the bed by the feverish, needy toddler clinging to me for warmth and comfort because her stuffed nose is causing her utter misery?
Or should I attempt to pry myself out from under her so that I can feed the hungry baby inside me who is demanding that I eat NOW NOW NOW despite the fact that it’s already 11 pm and that I just had dinner not long ago?
And oh yes, there’s also the husband whom I want to snuggle up with and swap stories about our respective days at work.
While it’s true that love multiplies, time and attention, unfortunately, have to be divided.
…She’s arriving earlier.
Coco stayed in and baked nicely for almost 40 weeks, choosing to arrive just two days shy of her EDD.
Claire, it seems, is not so patient.
In my last entry, I shared my gut feel that this baby is going to come early.
On Monday, Dr G confirmed my hunch: Claire is descending quickly and putting pressure on my pelvic region. In preparation for her arrival, she has gone through a growth spurt – gaining 650 grams in three weeks instead of the usual 300 grams – bringing her weight up from 1.65 kg on 25 February to 2.3 kg on 18 March.
Dr G says we can expect her to arrive at about 37.5 weeks in early April.
That, folks, is in two weeks time…..