By Daja, Contributing Writer
It’s no secret that having a baby changes you. No one starts out being an experienced mother. It’s all hands-on learning. I gave birth to our ninth child just two months ago and have been reflecting on the difference between having the first baby and the ninth baby. Here’s a few of the changes we’ve been through:
Trying to conceive:
First child: You take your temperature, check your cervical mucous, and spend 20 minutes with your legs up in the air after sex.
Ninth child: “We’re so tired, did we just have sex in our sleep?”
Finding out you’re pregnant:
First child: You take a pregnancy test when your period is half an hour late.
Ninth child: Too exhausted and busy to notice, you realize you’re pregnant halfway through the first trimester.
First Child: On the day you find out you’re pregnant you go to the library and check out every book about what to expect, nutrition and labor. You read them all the first week.
Ninth child: You read crunchy mommy blogs written by real mothers in the trenches.
First child: You track your pregnancy via apps promoted by corporate sponsored websites.
Ninth child: You track your pregnancy via which clothes you’re in. And you own everything from small to large in maternity and non-maternity lines.
First child: You take adorable pictures to announce your pregnancy and make extra copies for Grandma.
Ninth child: You update your Facebook status to “Guess what?” And that about handles it.
First Child: When you have your first contraction your husband starts taking pictures, you phone the grandparents and all your friends, fix your make-up and update Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Ninth Child: You have your first contraction and you go to take a nap. Maybe just this once you can give birth in your sleep.
First Child: In transition you tell your husband, “It’s all your fault you ^&*#*@#!!!!!”
Ninth Child: In transition you say, “Hey, I am feeling really bitchy, so I apologize. It must be time. Someone go call the midwife, she’s napping in the guest room.”
First Child: You have no idea how labor is going to be and that kind of freaks you out.
Ninth Child: You have no idea how labor is going to be and you’re OK with that.
First Child: You can’t wait to take your baby out and show him off!
Ninth Child: You stay inside with your baby until you need groceries so bad that your dinner options include a half a jar of peanut butter, tomato paste, stale cereal and some cranberry sauce. You can make something out of that right?
First Child: When someone asks to hold the baby you make sure they do not have a cold, whip out the hand-sanitizer, and you’re still nervous.
Ninth Child: When someone asks to hold the baby you wonder if they will hold him long enough for you to take a shower and have a latte.
First Child: Bath time is a daily ritual that you both enjoy so much, complete with a plushy baby towel that looks like a duck and bath time songs.
Ninth Child: You lovingly kiss the neck of your infant and realize he smells like cheese. When is the last time we bathed the baby? you ask.
First Child: You don’t have time for anything except maybe sneaking in a shower. You nurse and hold the baby all day and live off take-out because who can find the time to cook?
Ninth Child: You wish you had back all the time you thought you didn’t have when you had only one child.
First Child: People ask “How old is he?”
First Child: You sign-up for Mommy-and-Me music classes and Mommy-and-Me Yoga and Stroller Walks and Mommy Clubs. You probably also had a long stroller buying checklist.
Ninth Child: You are the club.
First Child: When you need to nurse while out you find a quiet spot somewhere, cover yourself with a hooter-hider the size of a tablecloth and still glance around nervously to see if anyone notices.
Ninth Child: Whip it out. If anyone says anything you hand them the baby blanket and tell them if nursing offends them they are welcomed to cover their heads.
First Child: You carefully plan which breast to use by switching a safety pin from one side of your blouse to another.
Ninth Child: You use the left one so that your can use your right hand to correct the older kids math papers and blog at the same time. You’ll catch up on the right one later.
First Child: You wonder and worry and plan about weaning.
Ninth Child: You are still nursing the four year old and two year old when the new baby arrives. Can a girl sprout a third breast already?!
First Child: You introduce foods one at a time, starting with the recommended vegetables and progressing one-by-one.
Ninth Child: Here, play with this. And give them a spoonful of whatever you are eating.
First Child: You love your child so much you wonder how you can possibly love another child equally.
Ninth Child: You know that love never divides. It always multiples.
Do You Have Multiple Children? How Has Your Perspective Changed Since the First Baby?