Posted by: Elizabeth | January 5, 2012

A Tale of Two Pregnancies

We’re 5 days from our due date, and I’m realizing I haven’t really blogged about this pregnancy at all.  And while I didn’t blog about my first pregnancy either (didn’t start the blog until after Caroline was born), I certainly shared more publicly about it.  So I started to think about all the ways that this second pregnancy has been different than the first one.  Here are a few:

When I was pregnant with Caroline, I took weekly belly photos and posted them on facebook.  I kept a journal of my weight gain, food cravings, general demeanor, fears/anxieties, and other milestones.  I spent a GREAT deal of time thinking about being pregnant.  Many of my friends, who have blogs during pregnancy, also do this during their first pregnancy.  They even share each week whether or not they’ve gotten any stretch marks and what they have received at their baby showers.

That’s a first pregnancy for ‘ya.  You know why I didn’t do any of those things this time around?  Because I have a 2-year-old and a congregation to look after in addition to being a wife and a housekeeper and all the other things I’m supposed to be.  But the big difference is that 2-year-old.  Who has time to take belly photos?  And when on earth would I take them?  At 9:00 p.m. after rocking my sweet girl after her 700th trip out of bed, when the bags under my eyes are growing darker by the second and the only thing I want to do in the world is put my feet up on the couch?  No, thanks.  I can do without the weekly updates, and apparently all of my family and friends can, too.  [Plus, let’s be honest: some of that stuff that people share is none of your darn business, if you ask me…]

But in addition to having a small, fantastic, high-maintenance additional family member this time around, this pregnancy has just been totally different than the first one.  With C, I was sick for almost five months.  Like I eventually got a prescription for nausea so I might be able to eat something.  Like I had to lie down on the floor in my office sometimes in the middle of the day. Super-sick.  And then, when I could bear the thought of eating food, even though I ate pretty healthy meals and stayed active, working out with a trainer 3 days a week, I gained 60 pounds.

That is totally unfathomable to me right now, having gained less than half that amount and feeling gargantuan just the same.  How could I have been TWICE this big last time??  No wonder people on the street stopped and argued with me about how many babies I was carrying.  This time has been quite easier: very little nausea, very little joint pain, very little sleeplessness (perhaps because I’m exhausted by my 2-year-old and my job?), and no swelling.  Even this morning, at my 39-week appointment, my blood pressure was 100/42.  With Caroline, I couldn’t wear my wedding ring for the last couple of months.  No problem getting it on and off right now.

Another added dimension to Pregnancy #2 is sharing it with our toddler.  Caroline will tell you there’s a baby in HER round little belly, a little brother.  And we talk about her brother a lot.  I don’t think she quite grasps what’s about to happen, or how her life will change, but it’s been so fun sharing all this with her and imagining her as a fantastic big sister.  And, of course, she loves giving the baby high fives and fist bumps (which is basically slapping and punching my belly, but she means well).

There’s also just a beautiful peace about Baby #2.  We know what we need in terms of “stuff” and preparation, and we know all the things we don’t need or can decide about later.  There’s way less pressure to visit Babies R Us every five minutes and load up our cart with everything on their suggested registry list.  I have a good idea of what’s ahead in terms of birth and being the mom of a newborn, and am not afraid of it (even though labor and delivery will hopefully be a different and more positive experience than the first time, with no medical induction).

And I feel MUCH more patient about this baby.  Do I want him to come soon?  Absolutely.  Am I eager to kiss his squishy fat cheeks in person and not just in my dreams?  Very much so.  Do I want him to be born before he reaches toddler size?  Yep, I do.  But I’m also realizing what a gift these days are with my little girl (even when she’s being difficult) and my husband, when most of my church work is wrapped up and I actually CAN put my feet up on the couch.  I remember being almost angry with Caroline when her due date passed.  With this baby, I am much more relaxed, waking every morning and saying, “What do you think, little guy, maybe today?” and every night, “Alright, buddy – maybe tomorrow!”

So there ‘ya go.  Two VERY different pregnancy experiences.  Both beautiful, both miraculous, both utter gift.  One chronicled in detail over 9 months, one summarized on a Thursday afternoon.  For both, I am grateful.

Just a little comparison...

 

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Responses

  1. Loved your reflections on two pregnancies! I miss you, and am sending thoughts and prayers for an easy and joyful transition as you move into being a family of four!


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