An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

You mean I’m not supposed to be eating raw chicken?

This week I participated in a Momversation about behaviors I’ve allowed in my second pregnancy that I didn’t during my first:

When the producers of the show first told me about this topic, I was all, wait a minute. This has to be a total set up. Do they want me to be honest? Because I still routinely break into the hospital at night just so that I can rub my belly up against the x-ray machine, and I just know that some crazy person is going to try to tell me how that’s bad for the baby.

This topic has the potential to be really divisive because some people are fanatical about their idea of what is appropriate behavior for a pregnant woman, and I am just not one of those people. A few months ago I mentioned here that I’m still working out at the gym three days a week, and more than one person wrote to tell me that I might as well cut open my belly and smother the baby with a pillow, THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. I’m not really moved by emails like this, only because I learned when I was pregnant with Leta to expect the judgmental glances and ridiculous opinions of total strangers. There’s just something about the presence of a pregnant woman that suddenly makes everyone in the room an expert on the health of unborn children.

This pregnancy has been so much more relaxing for me at least in terms of what I’ve allowed myself to worry about, which is somewhat ironic given that I suffered a miscarriage after giving birth to Leta. I think I’ve realized that most of the mechanics of this process are out of my control, and while I can ensure that I am physically and emotionally as healthy as I can be, a lot of this is left up to the mercy of nature. And I have experienced an almost overwhelming sense of freedom and calm in letting myself go to that notion.

Jon will be the first to tell you that I have never been so relaxed as I have been in the last couple of months. I’m not sure he has ever seen me so calm, and I’m not so sure I can explain it. I feel really lucky to have made it this far in pregnancy with no complications, and I’m even more eager and excited for what’s to come and have been preparing myself to work with whatever scenario plays out. I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, exactly where I want to be, and this sense of peace is nothing like what I felt in the weeks leading up to Leta’s birth. Maybe it’s experience, maybe it’s because this time I’m medicated, but I have such a better sense of who I am going into this. And I’m so grateful to have been given a second chance to feel this way.

How did you guys feel during your subsequent pregnancies?

  • I completely echo your sentiments. I felt so much calmer and confident the second time around and also allowed myself to indulge in some pregnancy no-no’s. I had one cup of coffee every day, continued to exercise, ate tuna, slept on my back, even had a glass of champagne on my anniversary. I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy girl, every bit as beautiful and healthy as my son (who came from a pregnancy where I did everything by the book). My OB said it best when he told me that pregnancy is the most natural process in the world; just do what you normally do and your body will take of the rest.

    Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy… soon you’ll have TWO princesses!

  • Jenn

    2nd pregnancy I allowed myself one glass of wine per month – and ate sushi on a regular basis. I mean – what do pregnant Japanese women eat? Exactly.

    Perfectly healthy 8 1/2 pounder.

  • Erin

    The woman at my gym with a lovely, round pregnant belly who worked out every day until she gave birth was totally my hero. Not only did I think it must be very good for her body and her baby to keep herself fit, but she was very inspiring to me. I figured if the pregnant lady could do it, what excuse did I have not to?

    So who knows? Not only are you keeping your body healthy for delivery and caring for a newborn, but you could be inspiring some fat girl to stay on the elliptical another half hour!

  • Erika

    You know what? If you *weren’t* working out, someone would be yelling at you for that, instead.

    Anyway, I drank wine while pregnant. At least twice. And coffee every day after the first trimester. And feta, too.

    Also, I had beer while breastfeeding–several times.

    My daughter is fine. Never been a great sleeper, though. Maybe it was the coffee?

  • Well, it’s good to know you haven’t lost your sense of humor in all that peace.

    I will most likely get more hate mail than you will for what I am about to say…

    I’ve had four kids and I drank coffee and smoked cigarettes through each pregnancy. My OBGYN gave me the lecture, so you can all close your mouths now, thanks!

    My oldest is 18 and my youngest is 18 months and each pregnancy was completely different for me. I was fine with the first, sick for 9 months with the second, felt on top of the world with the third, and was diagnosed with gestational diabetes with the fourth.

    You’re in the home stretch now and I can’t wait to see pics of the new baby. Have you decided on a name yet?

  • I too was much more relaxed in the second pregnancy…and you’ll probably find the same with child rearing. I think there is a lot to be said about having experience with one child already, knowing that they are still alive after the food is on the floor for more than 10 seconds. I was much more relaxed to begin with than most moms with our first, but even more so with #2. I think it’s important to find a happy medium between OCD behaviors and living life as it comes…

  • I agree totally. I am 15 weeks into this second one, and well, lets just say the benign neglect had already kicked in. While I am experiencing a repeat of my 40 weeks of morning sickness I had with my first, it just doesn’t seem to phase me. Granted I have way more help this time with my husband not deployed for most of it, and the guarantee he will be here for delivery, but it is more than that. Somehow I just figure it will all be just fine, it was with my daughter after all… Naive? Sure. But it works for us!

    Now, I could wax nostalgic about my belief that all the “rules” about pregnancy and motherhood are just the last bastions of the anti-feminist movement…but that might just be the hormones bleating.

    Best wishes for your growing family.

  • Perhaps I shouldn’t be commenting, as I’ve only had the one pregnancy, but I just can’t hold in my laughter.

    People got upset that you’re working out? Folks, research shows that it’s BEST for women to get exercise (as long as there are no complicating factors).

    Did these people also warn you to not reach stuff on high shelves because you might strangle the baby with her umbilical cord? Or, perhaps no swimming, or else you’ll drown the baby?

    Reminds me of people’s reactions when they saw me at the climbing gym at 8 months pregnant. I carried small, they assumed six months. Loved the looks on their faces when I told them when the baby was due, then started to climb!

  • I felt waaaaay more tired and cranky for the second. He’s more dramatic, too, even at 14 months old.

    I remember crying more, and feeling hopeless & trapped in my body more. That may have had something to do with being in poor shape- kudos on that awesome healthy gym routine. I’m better now, but even though I knew it wouldn’t last it still sucked. I felt a little like I was letting the second down already by taking that time for granted and not savoring. And I was letting the first guy down by being tired and cranky.

    It surprised me that having a second child actually challenged my identity more. I sort of though I had the hang of it already.

    One thing that was wonderful, though, was when he arrived and I held him and I knew how quickly the little hamster phase would go. So there were some amazing moments of loving just the peach-fuzz head and all those goofy firsts.

    Congrats to your whole family.

  • I was much more relaxed during the second pregnancy. I did not exercise as much, did not worry about my diet as much, did not do as much research. On the other hand, I had more heartburn (allegedly a sign of a full head of hair on the baby), less sleep (true about the no more naps blurb on the video), and less downtime (my first child was 1.5 years old).

    The delivery was soooooo much easier. The first baby took three hours of pushing, tearing, sheer agony. The second one took about 2 seconds.

    Best of luck to you! And make sure the baby gets Leta an awesome present before you come home. 😀

  • Anonymous

    I’m definitely not as all-consumed about being pregnant this time as I was with my first. I was more concerned at the beginning of this pregnancy (my second) than I have any recollection of being with my first. I have had some odd pregnancy-related health issues this time around, but it SEEMS that all is fine and well. I have found myself smiling and laughing to myself about the stress, concern, over-reacting, planning, etc. two of my friends are experiencing right now with their first pregnancies. I guess that’s a good sign!! I am weary/wary of lifting things that are too heavy or carrying them for too long, but that’s more because I know my back will complain loudly, not because I’m afraid to make the baby fall out. It’s funny: I’m less conscious of “good” eating habits this time around – I’ve got a toddler to feed now, too! – and I’ve gained less weight so far than I did with my first (somehow, too, my belly is much larger – go figure!).

  • Christy Wood

    With my first, I really took everything extremely seriously…no alcohol, no caffeine, almost no sugar….I was obsessed with making it the safest and most perfect place to be for my little unborn.

    I was definitely a lot more at ease the 2nd time around…I had a sip or two of wine late in the game, way too many chocolates and a hint of caffeine.

    For the most part, the health nut in me remained unchanged. I also exercised regularly the first time around, but found it hard to squeeze it in with my toddler running around during my second pregnancy.

    I always felt more prepared, in every aspect, with the second. From the drive to the hospital, to the drive home. We actually sped home from the hospital to pick up big sis from pre-school…which was a big change from stopping every time we hit a bump to make sure the first born was still okay.

    Having one gave me the experience to feel much more equipped, but nothing could’ve prepared me for how different they would be. Sisters…night and day…but equally as brilliant. It’s amazing to watch them grow and to see how different they are..I’m so happy that they were not exactly alike. Might’ve been pretty boring around here.

    Also, we had a false positive test result for down’s syndrome, so we were really dealing with the idea of having a child with special needs and what that would mean for our family. When she was born, completely healthy…it was such a relief. With a big scare like that, a lot of the little things didn’t matter as much. Pre-natal yoga was not going to change her risk of being born with down’s syndrome.

    Enough about me…I am really excited to see your next bundle. Can’t wait.

  • I had an entire 13 years between pregnancies (hence my toddler-and-teen-with-none-in-between status) and being *cough* older definitely played a role. I was not quite as energetic and despite continuing my workouts managed to pack on a ridiculous amount of poundadge–still trying to get those last few off! I didn’t have complications until the very end and though it all eventually worked out fine the stress in my pregnancy was very hard to live with and could be what caused the PIH near the end. My first pregnancy back in my early 20’s was much easier overall.

  • I’m pregnant with my first and I’ve felt incredibly relaxed about the whole thing. (I’m 15 weeks in.) My anxieties were more about feeling like I’d have to give up my lifestyle and traveling. I’m not a person who goes on week long vacations, I’m a person who goes off to foreign countries for weeks on end and wanted to do a month in Asia.

    Honestly, I think having lived in Europe for 3 years has had a huge impact on how I feel about pregnancy. I feel like here, in the States, people are so uptight and freak out about every little thing. I continue to have a glass of wine every now and then. I still drink my coffee (I never drank that much to begin with.) I’ve always done yoga and walking, I’ve just stepped it up a notch. And I’ve recently become hooked on the idea of raw milk & it’s astounding benefits – I refuse to believe all the nonsense and hype about how scary that is. (My theory is that they drink wine, eat unpasteurized cheese, drink raw milk, etc, everywhere else, and their babies are FINE.) If we go out for sushi, I’ll have a few bites because we only go to reputable sushi places, we don’t eat it that often, I’ve always avoided the fish that’s high in mercury, fish is GOOD for you, and quite frankly, I feel like there’s plenty of other foods out there that could be far more dangerous. There’s enough of “DON’T EAT SUSHI WHILE PREGNANT!!!” that’s been pounded into my head from living in the States that I only have a few bites, versus eating entire, multiple pieces of sashimi, though pregnant Japanese women don’t stop eating it while pregant, so…?

    It might also be worth mentioning that I’m pretty strict about being organic and all natural, and to me, that’s far more important than any of the other things we’re “supposed” to worry about.

    Of course, the fact that this pregnancy also came as a surprise probably has something to do with being relaxed. I worry about things that I plan for, but if you take me off guard, I can go with the flow. Strangely enough, I think that being pregnant has made me feel MUCH calmer than I’ve ever been. I’ve always been a bit of a self-destructive, neurotic wild child, but lately I’ve been feeling a hell of a lot more peaceful and centered – as I think someone else said, too.

  • aj

    HAHAHAHA – Good.. because cocaine during the week would force me to call social services.

  • I don’t remember either pregnancy. It might be because it was 10 years ago or because I was too busy filling my face. But I do know that the second baby was easier…I was in my pajamas for 10 days with the first and with the second I was at the grocery store the next day. Life just keeps marching on, doesn’t it?

  • I felt pretty much like you do. There was just something so right about waddling along, pregnant with the second one and holding the first one’s hand. And I had two miscarriages between my two, so I should have been doubly nervous, but meh. I was not.

  • Anonymous

    I am 7 months pregnant with my first and swim all the time – nobody has given me weird looks or told me not to do it! I can’t believe people would be uptight about that nowadays…maybe it’s a Utah vs. socal thing? Odd!

  • shandsh

    During my first pregnancy I was very closed off from my husband. I didn’t want to be seen naked at all. Basically my body stopped belonging to me and even less to my husband and it was all about the pregnancy. That attitude continued for about a year after my son was born and it almost cost me my marriage. Second time around was completely different and I felt sexy as hell with my big fat beautiful belly!

  • CajunSoleil

    I am a new reader of your blog, and I have to say I love it! The lovely pic of you with the cig, beer, and powdered donuts had me sold!

    The first time I was pregnant I did not live with my husband until the last month. It’s easier to endure a pregnancy when you can choose who you spend your time with, including the hubby… especially when you have not had a good day.

    My first son was a difficult baby. I didn’t find out until after I gave birth to the second that my first has high functioning autism/Asperger’s. But I was extremely scared to have the second because my first son was so difficult… even though I did everything so PERFECTLY the first time. I figured if I could do everything “perfectly” and something still went wrong, why even try?

    So the second time around I ate crawfish, which supposedly has mercury in it. I ate crab, which also might have mercury. I used cleaning chemicals, I painted walls, and I caulked my own tub without a mask. I – GASP! – ate unpasteurized cheese. I ate tuna. I slept on my back and right side every night instead of the left. I even took baths! I was one wild rebel! I also ate less than I did the first time, even skipping meals if I wasn’t hungry, b/c I didn’t want to gain as much weight as I did the first time. I even took a sip of my husband’s mojito one day at the Cheesecake Factory, thinking maybe it might mellow this baby out. And it was yummy!! Finally, I gave birth to my second at home with a midwife. I didn’t want bitchy nurses telling me what to do and controlling when I could see my baby the second time around. It was so nice and relaxing to never leave my own home to have my beautiful baby boy!

    And guess what!! My second son is an absolute angel! He is so laid back and has such a calming presence. A complete 180 degree opposite of his brother when it comes to temperament.

  • Cass


    Heather, I LOVE when you said “You know what I mean” in such an *awesome* Southern way in the Momversation. I am from Texas, and my husband says he knows when I’m serious or angry because I start talking with a Texas accent. The other day, he said “ain’t” (which he never says) when he was obviously lying about something, and I said, “Don’t be using ‘ain’t’ when you’re lying!” Ain’t is -serious-.

  • Krystl

    Hi Heather,

    I’ve never been pregnant, but what you describe in your post is so much like what I’m feeling now. I’ve spent several years trying to figure out why I felt the way I did and what was going to help me feel like the person I knew was inside of me.

    Recently, things have come together and I feel like I’ve woken up to my own life and to the validity of me just as I am. It feels very much like a second chance–or even a first chance–to really live my life rather than just survive it.

    I feel so much more prepared to dive into whatever may come tomorrow or next week or next month. And I’m looking forward to it so much, to my own birth as what I always was inside.

    I’m so lucky to be able to afford my own mental health, and my heart breaks for everybody who never gets that chance.

  • Sandra

    HOT. My 2nd was born at the end of Aug in one of the hottest, dryest summers we’ve ever had. I bitched about the heat alot.

    The 2nd pregnancy was easier, the delivery was easier, and the followup was easier. And the kid is nicer, cuter and easier too.

    Yes, I have a favorite. Everyone does, whether they admit it or not. You will too. (now there’s a Momversation topic for you)

  • Anonymous

    I’m 26 weeks into pregnancy 2, and have done a horrible job working out. I also don’t take my prenatal vitamins because I puke every time they go down. I eat sandwiches, lunch meat, caffeine…all the things I didn’t do with Baby#1. It’s not that I don’t care, but I just don’t stress out about all the things that society tried to freak me out about the first time.

    I felt better when I asked my doctor if my caffeine intake was ok, and her response was, “Don’t worry – my labor and delivery nurses chug Mountain Dew when they are pregnant and on the night shift…just try to balance it out with water.”

    I’m so impressed with everything you put up with, go through, and how you manage to make everything funny. Thank you thank you!

  • Andi

    I’ve been relatively healthy with all of my pregs, not strict or completely by the book, but not totally careless either. 1 caffeinated bev a day. Lots of fruits & vegi’s & milk. I’ve worked with all of mine until late in preg.

    Pregnancy one was great, I was 22, very healthy but in a horrible, stressful relationship. The birth was LONG with no pain meds. Have a beautiful 14 yr old daughter. Pregnancies 2 was ok, in a much better marriage, birth was easy, just a few hours. Amazing 10 yr old son. Was depressed and stressed out afterward. Pregnancy 3 was combined with a blown out ACL that I was supposed to have surgery on but didn’t because SURPRISE we’re pregnant, easy easy birth. Have darling 7 yr old girl. Cut to now, 7 1/2 years later, and I’m pregnant (8 weeks, 36 yrs OLD) with #4. I’m not stressed at all. In fact I was a wreck before I found out I was pregnant, the past 16 months have been torturous. Of course, I am on zoloft, and will be for a long, long, long time. I feel so blessed to be carrying another child, I’m positively blissed out. Even though I’m sick every night, I couldn’t be any happier to be having another child & I know it’s in control by a larger force then me.

    Hope the birth of Armstrong Girl 2 is wonderful for you & John & big sister Leta. Love.

  • Anonymous

    Honestly, I tried to be super mellow during both of my pregnancies because I watched my sister be a complete neurotic maniac and her baby had colic. I know there’s no correlation there, but I made one in my pregnancy-addled brain.
    The second time around I drank coffee and diet coke daily, ate soft cheese, and, in general, didn’t worry that much at all. I had a 10 lb. 2 oz. baby a whole week early.

  • victoria

    With my first I did all the things you were “supposed” to; no deli meat, no soft cheeses, no sushi, no standing on concrete under the rain or whatever other stupid rules they have…And now? I’m just glad I’m over my nausea and can eat whatever I want. And do. My only problem is that a good friend of mine just had her first and she’s incredibly crazy about all the rules and will remind me all the time. Usually during lunch. After I’ve ordered the exact thing that will kill the baby.

  • I was just as sick, just as big, probably twice as tired, and I thought the 2nd pregnancy was a total breeze compared to the first. I felt like my first child was sucking the spirit right out me. The 2nd daughter “felt” far more calm, and I felt far more calm. Wouldn’t you know, that’s exactly who they are as people: I call my first daughter my journey, and my second my joy.

    People are never afraid to look at my 2nd daughter and say, “Wow, you earned her.” What’s funny is as different as they are, I love them both exactly the same. Mothers love their girls!

    Best wishes always,

    Indiana Lori

  • diane

    surprisingly relaxed the second time; despite my first being born 8 weeks early and post-partum depression afterward. I found people gave me less unsolicited advice too, which could be from the death glare I gave them when they tried to tell me info I did not ask for.

  • I was young & adopted a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy with my 1st pregnancy (& even then I also had a ‘you can go ahead & ask but I still won’t tell’ policy thrown in there). I was lucky in that major swelling, a 60 lbs weight gain, and no one wanting me to ride in their car (on the off-hand that I would sneeze) were my only pregnancy complications. The 2nd pregnancy was definitely different & quite a bit more stressful for me. I worried a lot about taking better care of myself during that one. My ‘complications’ were that I had massive weight loss in the 1st & 2nd trimesters (which actually turned out to be nothing, but could someone have let me in on that little secret? NO!) & gestational diabetes in the 3rd (so I was induced early).

    I think you have the right attitude about dealing with some people’s irrational advice. I’m so glad that you’ve had such peace with this pregnancy. I hope it gave you the chance to really enjoy it (Did I really just say that? ENJOY a pregnancy?). I also hope that the rest of your pregnancy goes as smoothly.

  • Not cracking a pregnancy book sounds awesome. Now I kind of wish I’d had (would have) a second pregnancy, b/c I hated the first one.

    Then again, if I got *more* relaxed, I’d probably start shooting heroin. I had a big chip on my shoulder about the “do nots” the first time round, and I totally smoked and drank for the first two months (okay, I didn’t know I was pregnant), had the occasional drink and the odd cigarette throughout the pregnancy, drank coffee, dyed my hair, ate bacon, indulged cravings for Big Macs, and ate sushi like 3-5 times a week. God, the sushi cravings….

  • Tracey

    I wish I’d had the energy to work out while I was pregnant both times, that’s great that you are able to Heather. My second pregnancy was kind of interesting, it started out fine, though I, like you did not pick up a single pregnancy or baby care book the whole time. I also ate chocolate, I would put my almost two year old down for her nap, then go and get my two dove dark chocolates, I waited until she was asleep so I didn’t have to share. I pretty much ate what I wanted, I had chronic nausea and it was the best way to keep it at bay. I worried much less, having done it all before or so I thought, until 28 weeks when my pregnancy turned high risk, with all the attendant monitoring and tests. It was hard, I had to take one day at a time and was grateful for each one my baby had to bake. Our second daughter came early, but thankfully healthy.

  • Stephanie

    Second pregnancy was much easier and more relaxed. There was no fear of the “unknown” and there was too much going on with the first kid to worry about what was going on with the belly baby. This will continue too once the baby is born……there is no time to micro-manage like we all did the first time around….


  • Lauri

    I have been pregnant twice – miscarried the first time, the second resulted in the most gorgeous and gifted little girl you’ve ever met.

    But the “second” time around I spent the first trimester in complete fear, having miscarried the first time, that I didn’t get to enjoy it. The second and third trimesters were just lovely for me…I truly loved being pregnant.

    I’m not sure what I will do second time around, but I know that I will be more vocal in responding to everyone and their dogs’ opinions on what I’m doing or not doing. That’s fo-sho.

    Have a great weekend! Can’t wait for the big day!

  • mc

    By the third? Freaking Exhausted!

  • Hmmm… interesting question. I gained a HUGE amount of weight (like 80 pounds) with my first. I gave myself every license to eat whatever the hell I wanted, since I’d been having fertility issues for the previous 5 years. I got so much crap from my OB about that. With my second, I ate more sensibly, but I also told my OB to mind his own damn business about my weight. That in itself made me more relaxed. By the time I was pregnant with my third, I finally felt confident in my own instincts and how my body is when it’s carrying a baby. My husband finally chilled the hell out about the whole process the third time around as well.

  • MsM

    Okay so I was never one of pregnant women who read the books about pregnancy or watched the shows, etc…I basically listened to my rational, awesome, mellow doc. She said stay away from mercury (read, eat all the sushi you want as long as the fish is in the nearly 0 mercury category), limit yourself to one or two glasses of wine/beer a week, know your food source, and don’t weigh yourself! 🙂 I ate lots of sushi because I craved SALT, drank at least one cup of coffee a day, and probably averaged a glass of wine a week from beginning to end (I live in N CA afterall). My girls are healthy, happy, and well-behaved typical 2 and 5 year olds. My advice is do what feels right for you and just nod nicely when everyone gives you their sage advice. Then go do whatever the heck you want to do (within reason, of course).

  • Adriana of AZ

    So you asked, right?

    First baby I had no idea, I slept most of it away and catered to my every impulse.

    12 mos later I was pregnant with number 2. I didn’t have the freedom to sleep for 2 days to get rid of a migraine. It was just completely different and I didn’t really have time to worry about if I was doing everything correctly. My husband moved down to AZ from ID midway through the pregnancy. I was left to pack up the house, clean it and move everything down. Oh yeah, and I had a low-lying placenta that they were concerned was placenta previa (sp?). But even with all that, I enjoyed it, loved being pregnant and had an awesome quick delivery as well.

    Number three was the icing on the cake. I had the whole mom thing down. I felt great. Very boring pregnancy. The delivery was phenomenal, less than three hours. No *snip-snip* as with the previous two. And OH MY GOD!!!- the sex afterwards was soooo fantastic. We resumed on day 10 post partum. So different than the first which was like 6 mos, I’m sure. Second was 5 weeks…

    And as for the prenatal vitamins, I skipped those. Couldn’t stomach them. My babies were all exceptionally healthy-birth weights of 8-4, 9-1, and 9-1

  • Becky

    Agree Agree AGREE 100% on what you can and cannot “do” when you are pregnant and whether or not other people should be your judge.

    Use common sense people!!!

    I was VERY relaxed with both of my full term pregnancy’s. They were 11 years apart. 1.5 years before my second pregnancy, I suffered a very late term loss (28 weeks) that was pretty horrific. The next regnancy was anxiety producing in many ways, but I was like you. There’s only so much control I have here on this planet. The rest is, IMO, up to God and, well life.

    So, yeah, I drank some wine. I didn’t sweat it about eating lunchmeat or tuna. I worked out some. I was in the sun. I ALWAYS took super hot hot HOT baths (listen, a glass of wine and a hot bath were my sanity. How could that hurt a baby? Seriously. We’re talking ONE glass folks)

    I cannot believe how judgemental and opinionated and all-knowing people become in the presence of a pregnancy. It’s stupid.

    Americans are perpetually paranoid.

  • michele Barasso

    WIth my first I did everything I was supposed to…and was scared out of my mind and barring the 9 months of morning sickness that had me lose 45 pounds ( and yes I had them to lose) everything was fine.
    With my second I was on bed rest from 4 months on and had a drug being pumped into my thigh 24 hrs a day and a contraction monitor on 24 hours and oddly I was much more relaxed. Not because I wasn’t worried but because I felt like in the end it was mostly out of my hands and what would happen would happen. And of course I was sick for 9 months again and lost the same 45 pounds again ( damn why don’t they stay off after the babies show up?)

    Everything was fine the second time around too…BUT i am never physically having another child pregnancy was MISERABLE.


  • Every pregnancy is so different – – me with the experience of all two of them! With my first I was neurotic, with the second I was not. Ultimately my daughter was born with kidney disease – – after a kidney transplant she is doing great. Even though the docs say there is nothing that could preven it, I still can’t help picking at the scab a little – – what IF I DIDN’T eat the sushi that one day?

  • I was a lot less naieve my second time pregnant. My first son was born very ill; he had a liver transplant when he was three months old. In the beginning of my second pregnancy, I worried a lot about “lightning striking twice”. Thankfully I got past that and was able to enjoy my second pregnancy. My second son was born perfectly healthy and will soon be one year old.

  • Heather,

    I was more relaxed during my second pregnancy too. I felt great, kept getting my highlights, and switched to Diet Coke with Splenda. My doc said 2 DCs a day was okay.

    My only concern was having my OBGYN keep a close eye on my amniotic fluid. It was low the first time and turned out it was low the second time too. But I knew what to expect so I wasn’t at all freaked out. So both times, I was induced and didn’t have to spend all that time waiting for my due date. Loved that!

    Enjoy the glow, the calm, heck even the nesting. It’s your body and your family. You’re in charge.

  • Kristy Merrill

    I felt kind of bad that I wasn’t as obsessed with every developmental milestone baby #2 was reaching.

    Who has the TIME for all that when you’re chasing a toddler?!

  • Adriana of AZ

    I’m commenter number 188 back to clarify this statement-
    “First baby I had no idea, I slept most of it away and catered to my every impulse”

    Sounds like I had no idea that I was pregnant. I knew i was pregnant, just no idea of what I was and was not supposed to be doing. Very immature. All I knew was that I wasn’t supposed to drink or smoke, that’s about it. I was pretty young and immature. Grew up a ton in a year.

  • I am not pregnant nor have I had a child (yet maybe one day). But i look forward to reading your blog while I am stuck in my cube. I Laugh literally OUT LOUD and I get weird looks from my cube mates. I don’t care. You are awesome and brighten my day! thank you for all your posts and good luck in your pregnancy.

    PS i love the photographs of Chuck!

  • debi

    Oh Heather, I love what a smartass you are. Love it! you look great by the way.

  • Kelly

    My first pregnancy was an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, which resulted in emergency surgery and only one remaining fallopian tube. After that fun, completely out-of-my-control experience, I was just extremely grateful to be pregnant again. I didn’t spend my time worrying about what might happen, just tried to take care of myself and enjoy the ride. The result was a BIG (9 lbs, 2 oz) happy, healthy baby boy. With my third pregnancy, I was even less concerned, since I was running around after a 2 y.o. boy all the time. Again the result was another (less) BIG (only 8lbs, 10 oz) healthy baby boy.

    The best part of having my second son was labor, if you can believe that one. I was so much more relaxed the second time around, and it made for a fantastic, calm birth experience. I was so afraid of the unknown the first time, that I was tense, scared, and not really “in the moment” for most of it. My second son was born in 5 hours and I was entirely present for the experience…it felt more emotional too, since I knew what to expect and looked forward to a new chapter in our family.

    Heather, I wish you that same kind of 2nd birth experience…calm, fully present, and with tons of happiness involved!!

  • Rachel

    OMG Heather you look so happy. I love it! I laughed so hard at “she knows I’m going to punch her in the face, right?” I’m going to file that away to use when I am pregnant.

  • I was pretty relaxed both times. But, even more the second time. The only thing I worried about was the fact that I was now having “a boy”. (Which despite my worst thoughts was no different than having a baby girl.)

    The first time I had the most horrible delivery experience ever. So, I always said there was no way the second time could be worse, or even equally bad. It wasn’t. In fact I would describe it as very nice… if you are allowed to say that about labor.
    Wishing you a healthy, happy delivery too.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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