Family life

Operation Joyful (22 weeks): S*** nobody tells you

Katie Dupuis writes candidly about how her second pregnancy differs from her first (and shares her second belly shot!).

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S#*t Nobody Told You box from MommiesFirst. Photo: Katie Dupuis

Today’s Parent managing editor Katie Dupuis likes structure and organization. A lot. Now, imagine this Type A editor with a baby. Funny, right? We’re sure you’ll love Katie’s musings on life with Sophie and husband Blaine.

After my daughter Sophie was born, I wrote a post outlining the things I’d wished I’d known about postpartum recovery—that it’s messy and painful, and just when you think you’ve turned a corner, you end up crying in Costco. (True story.) It took months for me to feel like myself again.

So, I don’t know why I was surprised to learn that second pregnancies are sort of the same deal. I thought I knew what to expect—I had the nausea, fatigue and swollen everything the first time around and thought it would be similar—but I was wrong. This time is a different ball game altogether. (Like instead of baseball, I’m playing cricket. A saggier, leakier game of cricket.)

Read more: Most embarrassing pregnancy symptoms >

Almost overnight at the end of the first trimester, my skin went haywire. I have a ring of blemishes around the outside of my face. And do not even ask me about my back. I was spared back-ne as a teenager (which only seemed fair, given the state of my cheeks and forehead) but it’s more than making up for it now.

Read more: Pregnancy: Must-have natural beauty remedies >

With Sophie, I was nauseous until 14 weeks or so, and never to the point of debilitation. With this one, I spent one grueling Friday, during production, editing from a prone position on the floor of our offices. I felt like I had a serious hangover (like I’d been on a months-long bender) until 17 weeks, when it finally started to subside.

The biggest difference, I suppose, should have been the most obvious: Life doesn’t stop when your Eggo is preggo. With Sophie, I could come home from work and pass out on the couch, because Blaine could fend for himself. This time around, we come home to the dinner and bath routine, usually coupled with some bedtime stalling, and then lights out before I can actually sit for longer than a minute-and-a-half. Then we do lunch prep, laundry, etc. It’s life, basically, which makes pregnancy fatigue even worse.

So, needless to say, I was intrigued when a mint green box arrived in the office for me, with an attached card explaining that this was the “S*** nobody told you” box from MommiesFirst. (MommiesFirst is a Toronto-based home delivery gift service, where recipients receive boxes of monthly goodies appropriate for their stages of pregnancy or the ages of their babies.)

I laughed out loud—and secretly hoped something in the box would work—as I pulled the items out. The box included Shea Butter Market hand and foot salve for the inevitable dry skin; Thera Wise hemorrhoid ointment (you laugh now, but, trust me, you likely won’t when you’re nine months preggo or a few weeks postpartum); Thera Wise acne ointment (which does have some salicylic acid, so check with your doc before using); Knock out! wicking panties (not pictured—I’m not showing you my skivvies, but they’re very cute); and Preggie Pop Drops for nausea.

Phew. A box of remedies for pretty well everything happening to my bod. Best piece of mail ever. Operation Joyful mail, if I do say so myself.

So, on to Week 23. And here’s the 22-week shot for your viewing pleasure.

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Originally published on May 2, 2014.