I've been thinking a lot about what's different between having your first and second baby. Not in the specific sense, like, "I craved cereal with Grace but never wanted it with Katie," but more in the general sense.
I know a lot of people really worry about adding a second child to their family- will they love the baby as much? And worry about how it totally rocks the first child's world. I really didn't worry about that- maybe because I'm the second child and it's impossible for me to believe that I am anything but the sunshine of my family's life? Heh. Probably. I did feel a little bit sad about the one-on-one time with Gabba going away- being home four days a week, we had a little routine, and lots of time together, and it did make me sad to think about losing that.
Pregnancy was much easier the second time around. I mean, objectively it really wasn't, not at all. I was much, much more tired, the nausea was worse, and there obviously wasn't as much lounging time as there was the first time. It was emotionally easier, though. I didn't expect it to all be fun, I knew it would be unpleasant, and I didn't really fight it. I knew to just kind of focus on the fun parts. I really, REALLY liked that I didn't have to build a baby registry, that people weren't so interested in my nursery theme, all of that first-baby pressure that I absolutely HATED, was gone. Good riddance. It also helped that we didn't move when I was 36 weeks pregnant.
Recovery was a LOT easier this time around, too. I am not sure how much of that was the weight difference, with Katie being over a pound smaller than Gracie, and how much of it was just coincidence? Because I can say for sure, the hormone dump was not nearly as brutal this time around as it was last time. I really don't know how much of that was sleep deprivation the first time, in retrospect.
Which leads to my next point- Katie is a much, MUCH easier baby than Gracie was. I know people want to think that Gracie's fussiness was because of our tension, and I get that. People want to think they'll never have a baby that fussy, and they think that surely you can influence your newborn and keep them from being that fussy. I would have been the same way if Katie came before Gracie. But seriously, just trust me on this: Katie is just easier. And if she were our first, we would lie in bed til noon every day, and then I'd spend the rest of the day sitting on the couch and just staring at her. But she's not our first, and I am constantly trying to figure out how much to tell Gracie to just hold on, and how often Katie just needs to fuss awhile so I can dote on Gracie. That part stinks, because no matter what, I end up feeling guilty.
The best part, though, about the second time around? People actually take you seriously. When I called the doctor to say, hey, wtf, I've been having contractions all day, but they keep spacing out and bunching up and spacing out and bunching up, the nurse skeptically asked me which baby this was for me. When I told her my second, her whole tone changed. When I took Katie for her two-week check-up and voiced concerns about her stuffy nose and puking, the response was totally different from any response I ever got about Grace. The first time, people assume you're being a spaz. The second time, people assume you probably have a point. That's a really nice change.
Well. that's the second best part, anyway.