Tuesday, January 26, 2016

My Experience Of Being Pregnant Whilst Having A Toddler In Tow ♥

When I found out I was pregnant I was filled with immediate joy. We had longed for a second child ever since I suffered a miscarriage back in February 2014 and at one stage I thought I would never experience pregnancy again. The one thing that made me incredibly emotional after I had found out about my pregnancy was the fact that my little boy would become a big brother, in fact, that was the thing that filled me with joy the most - that my super sociable little boy would have a sibling to love, play and grow with.

However, as the weeks went on and I began feeling quite ill with my pregnancy I began to worry about not being able to function properly and not being able to give my son the time, care and attention he needed, especially as there were days when all I could do was lie in bed feeling completely nauseous. I'm sure I'm not the only pregnant woman to have these worries, especially when there's an active and needy little toddler to look after too. I'll be honest, the mummy guilt completely kicked in on those days when I couldn't do much, a two year old doesn't understand why mummy doesn't want to leave the house or why we can't go and do fun things - the bad winter weather didn't help in this instance either, and I felt absolutely awful that we couldn't go out and about as much as he wanted to.

During my pregnancy with my son I suffered from terrible morning sickness, couldn't eat, had no energy at all and stayed in bed all day watching my favourite TV shows online. It was a leisurely experience (apart from the sickness of course!), but then I didn't have anyone to look after or think about but myself. I was terrified of suffering with severe morning sickness during this pregnancy too because if it happened I really wouldn't be able to mother my child as much as he deserves. Luckily, I escaped the sickness this time round but I've suffered with chest pain, suspected gallstones and other aches and pains along the way, which haven't been fun but I'm just grateful that I haven't been in the bathroom constantly throwing up every morsel of my being!

I honestly believe that having a toddler or other children in the house instantly makes you want to function and programmes your mind and body to do so, there's no other choice, you just have to be okay for the children you already have. There are days when I've felt absolutely awful but thankfully I've been able to get into a routine with my son and do things so that I don't have to exert myself too much on days where the nausea or aches and pains are bad. My other half works the majority of the time so I'm my sons primary caregiver, there's no sick days with this vocation and there's no one to rely on to mind him either but myself so I just have to function each day.

There are some things which have helped me so far through the experience of pregnancy whilst having a toddler in tow and I thought I would share them for anyone else who had worries like I did.

I nap/have a lie down when my son naps (I know I'm completely blessed in the fact that he still naps at the age of almost three!). Now I know what you're thinking, when do I get time to do any housework, etc. if I sleep when he does? He helps me out when he wakes up or I do it when he's watching something on the tablet and honestly, if you're feeling awful you're not going to be doing housework are you?

I involve him in the tidying up/housework. Luckily my boy loves the washing machine, tumble dryer and vaccum cleaner. He likes nothing better than taking the clothes out of the washing basket, popping them in the washing machine and pressing the button once I've put in the detergent, etc. It's great to have a little helper and it saves me bending down to get the clothes out of the basket and machine.

I put him in his buggy or trike when we're out and about. My son is extremely active and would run off when we're out and about if he got the chance! Before I could chase after him but now my pregnant self isn't fit for running after my toddler who could give Usain Bolt a run for his money! I put him into his buggy if we have to go to the city or shopping and thankfully he doesn't mind being in it at all. If we go for walks around home or to parks I pop him in his trike that I can push along and he loves this too.

I don't lift him as much as I used to. I used to lift my son up and down the stairs, into the car, etc. but that's all changed now. Instead I just hold his hand and let him walk up and down the stairs beside me. He's now able to hop into his car seat with just a little leg up from me and now I only find myself lifting him into his cot or into his chair for meal times. It's taken a lot of exertion off my sore back and has given him a sense of being a 'big boy' too so it's win-win for us both.

I make days when we're stuck inside fun. There are days when I just can't leave the house (the days after a gallstone flair up or when I feel faint and my other half isn't around to come with us), but I make these days fun for my son by setting up his teepee with all his cuddly toys in it for little tea parties, putting on films for us both to watch while we're cuddled up on the couch, taking out toys that usually have to be put away in boxes because they're too big or bulky to leave out day to day, getting crafty and painting, etc. He loves all these things and it makes the thought of being stuck inside a bit more bearable for him.

I catch up with work when he's at preschool. My son goes to preschool three mornings a week and it's during this time that I get blogging and housework done the most. By catching up on these things while he's out of the house, it means that I have the time to sit with him and give him all the attention he needs once he's home. Ever since we've told him about the new baby he's been quite needy, always wanting to be near me and wanting to sit on my lap. Being free when he's at home means that I can give him the reassurance and time he needs.

These things have really helped me so far in this pregnancy whilst having my toddler in tow to look after too. Hopefully they can be helpful to other expectant ladies out there too.



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16 comments

  1. Hi Fiona, I love your post!! I just recently had a baby, he is 10 weeks old and further down the line i would love to have another but it does make me think about how i could possibly find more time to look after another little one, i barely get time to brush my hair at the moment!! You manage though dont you?! My son is at his gran's today and i feel a bit bad for enjoying my baby free time, but i can get so much more done!! Great blog xx

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    1. Thanks for reading and taking the time to leave a comment Charlene and congratulations on your new baby! It's honestly not as bad as I thought it would be, luckily this pregnancy hasn't been as hard as my first and that's helped a lot. I do manage and it can be done! :)

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  2. I think you are coping great with having a toddler and being pregnant. I really struggled with my daughter when I was pregnant as she was only 5 months old when I fell pregnant so I suffered major mummy guilt. I bet Tyler Lee will make an amazing big brother xx

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    1. Oh I can imagine with that small age gap it was much harder. Thank you, he loves babies so hopefully he showers his baby sibling with love :)

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  3. I am sure you are really enjoying your time with him before the new baby arrives, I am sure you will have it all worked out though x

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    1. Yes we're making the most of our last few months together of him being an only child :)

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  4. I think it's hard in a lot of ways, to keep up the same level of attention when you're pregnant. I had quite a gap between my first and second (6 years) but I still felt bad because Síomha was so used to having my full attention and I felt really torn sometimes. I very much like your tips to get around this, x

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    1. Yeah I'm not going to lie, I've had some tears at times from mummy guilt thinking that perhaps three years of him being an only child wasn't enough x

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  5. Some great tips here. I can only imagine how tiring it must be being pregnant and running around after a 3-year-old. It was hard enough as a dad!

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    1. I actually have a good bit of energy these days, although the toddler isn't sleeping too well this week so it has been a challenge!

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  6. Love this post! My children are very close in age, so I was pregnant while looking after a child under one. I had really bad SPD and could barely walk, and it was so hard for me to bend down and pick up my son, but I had no choice because he wasn't old enough to walk on his own. It can be tough, but it sounds like you are doing great!

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    1. Oh I can imagine it was much harder being pregnant with a child under one. It can be tough but I think he understands a bit of what's going on.

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  7. Sounds like you're doing a brilliant job at looking after a toddler and being pregnant! I can't imagine how tough it is sometimes, when I was pregnant with Freddie I was similar to how you were when you were pregnant with Tyler-Lee, I could nap frequently and watch my favourite TV shows, but god knows how I will cope when we have another one!

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  8. My last pregnancy was tough so I can relate to this. I was really poorly, but I was lucky in some respects that my daughter was at nursery. It was awful not having her with me but it was so much better for having her needs met too

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  9. Sounds like a difficult situation. You seem to be handling it really well though, and he'll be ok-not going out as much as he wants to, whilst not idea, won't matter in the long run

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  10. I too was always poorly during pregnancys but don't worry the little people soon forget that. You are doing brilliantly.

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Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to comment. I appreciate all your comments and try to reply whenever I can.

Peace & love,
Fiona
xo

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