This pregnancy has been both very similar and completely different from my last one. For one thing, this one seems to have flown by... but at the same time, I feel like I have been pregnant for at least ten years. I realized the other day that I have been pregnant the entire time we've lived in Utah. The first time I met one of my closest Utah friends we got to talking about when/if we were thinking about second kids, and I admitted that I was already kind of six weeks pregnant. I feel pretty settled here, which is really nice. And I've been pregnant for this entire segment of our lives, which is insane.
People ask me if I've got the baby's room all ready (ha ha ha... yeah, no) and I want to laugh because I have PLENTY of time. Are these people nuts? And then I get a glimpse of myself in the mirror and holy shit. I look like I'm about to deliver any day now. Objectively, I'm three-quarters of the way through this pregnancy. That's... a lot. Whoah. Where did the time go?
Symptoms-wise, I feel like things have been... pretty good? I had the same first trimester nausea and crippling tiredness as I did last time, but that seems like ages ago now and has been pretty easy to forget. (Selective amnesia! It's pretty great!) Every one, including me, seemed to think that being pregnant-sick with a toddler sounded like about the worst thing ever, but honestly? I think it was better than having to go to an office job being pregnant-sick. Yeah, chasing a toddler around was rough. There is one particular instance I remember when I asked another mom at the playground who I had just met five minutes before to watch Hannah while I ran to dry heave in bush. That was not pleasant. BUT! Toddlers don't require you to put on business casual outfits and sit in meetings and pretend to be a professional type person who is paying attention to what other adults are saying. Not having to wear pants and sit upright like an adult all day helped an awful lot. Getting in an afternoon nap almost every day helped quite a bit too. The minute I had Hannah in her crib, I shoved some sort of food product in my mouth, checked off "lunch" on my to-do list, and launched myself into bed. I always planned to just rest and listen to my audiobook because I usually have trouble falling asleep for naps and then want to scream when I waste my only free time all day trying to fall asleep -- and then two hours later I'd wake up in a puddle of drool, feeling almost ready to take on the rest of the day. So overall, I honestly think being pregnant-sick while caring for a toddler was easier than working at an office job.
(Unisom and B6 helped a lot too -- how did I not know about these magical friends last time? It just kind of never occured to me that there were things you could take to help with nausea. Um. Durr.)
Once I crossed that invisible second trimester line I again felt so, so, so much better -- just like last time. And now I'm officially in the third trimester and... things are pretty OK. I am huge. Very huge. Possibly even huger than last time. I gained 39lbs with Hannah, which I thought was A LOT (the healthy guidlines for my height are supposedly 25-35lbs). I'm already up 36lbs this time. So. That's terrifying. But thanks to not working in an office full of clueless males, I have only been asked if I am having twins/hippos twice so far. Progress!
I've had some heartburn, and some back pain, and some pregnancy insomnia, blah blah blah. The carpal tunnel I had last time never fully went away after Hannah was born, but it's not bothering me nearly as much as it did last time -- probably because I no longer sit at a computer typing all day. I had a few rough days, uh, intestinally speaking, but I don't think the constipation is as bad as it was last time. And at least this time I don't share a tiny bathroom with my boss and my boss's boss and my boss's boss's boss. (I do have a tiny ladies' maid who enjoys accompanying me to the bathroom, but hey! She rips off my toilet paper and flushes the toilet for me. It's actually quite helpful!) My ankles are still present and accounted for, though I know that might change any day if my body suddenly decides it needs to hang on to a few pounds of water.
New stuff this time around... I have this wierd mole/dark spot on my face that I was convinced was cancer, but my dermatologist assures me is just "pregnancy weirdness" (his words) that will not kill me. And I have been dizzy a lot. So much so that I actually fainted one time and fell down the stairs. Good story, right? It was not a great time, but I am fine. Baby is fine. Hannah was momentarily traumatized, but moved on to doing dramatic re-enactments of mommy falling down and bonking her head by the next day. I no longer do yoga squats to stretch my back first thing in the morning next to the stairs.
Best off all, I don't feel the panic I felt last time. I never really felt excited last time, the way other people seemed to, about meeting the baby. I just kind of wanted that baby to stay in for as long as possible because I didn't know how to take care of a baby. I expected that would all resolve the moment I saw Hannah's tiny face, like it does in the movies. It didn't. I didn't feel connected to her. And that made me feel like a pretty terrible failure as a mom, and things were not great.
I'm not deluding myself into thinking that taking care of an infant and a toddler is going to be easy, but I'm hoping that things will be a little less bleak with perspective on my side. I... don't really like infants. They are a lot of work (understatement) and they don't do anything. They're like sacks of potatoes that you have to feed and diaper and they cry all the time and don't let you sleep. People who love tiny newborns? I don't understand them. They're kind of... not that great? Can I say that? But this time around I really know that it WILL end. I didn't really believe, in the darkest weeks of no-sleep and colicky crying, that a day would really come when breastfeeding woes didn't rule my life. That Hannah would actually sleep through the night... in her own crib. In her own ROOM. It truly felt like I would spend the rest of my life trying to get a tiny, angry person to stop crying.
I'm actually excited to set up New Baby's room. And while I'd like her to stay inside for as long as possible (I'd happily gestate babies until they were a year old if that were physically possible), I'm actually excited to meet her. To see what she looks like. To see Hannah be a big sister. I can't tell you how great it feels to feel... normal.
And huge. Let's not forget the huge.