I had my first baby in the spring of 2017. My pregnancy came quickly after my wedding (and when I say quickly, I mean that I can nail the timing of the whole conception part of the process down to several hours after our ceremony ended), so I went from blissful newlywed to being slammed into the throes of my first First Trimester. And guess what? It was fabulous.
I rarely felt sick, I slept when I wanted to, I traveled, I skied (albeit with some nasty repercussions, but in the moment, it was really good). Labor, I am grateful to report, was a relative breeze too. I even told the midwife that it was way easier than running a marathon (which got me a questioning look – no I have never run a marathon, but I would rather go through labor again than run just two miles). I had a beautiful, healthy boy, no complications, and I even came away from the experience wishing that I was still pregnant. Yes, ladies, it’s true. I LOVED being pregnant. So, a month after my son was born, I said to my husband, “When should we start trying again?”
Fast forward 12 months, almost to the day of my son’s birth, and I found out that I was pregnant. Again. The bliss that had accompanied my first pregnancy was not totally gone, but it was heavily masked by the F word – FEAR.
Maybe it was the fact that my son was still nursing through the night, or that he required me to be touching him what felt like 90% of the time. Or maybe it’s that I was exhausted and felt like I was either going to faint, or throw up, or both. Maybe I was just realizing that being pregnant with a toddler was actually going to be a lot harder than being pregnant without one.
WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME? Not that it would have mattered – I wouldn’t have believed them anyway.
This pregnancy has been riddled with different struggles. So far (and I’m just barely into my second trimester), I’ve actually experienced more anxiety – why can’t I feel this one moving as much as the first one (because this is not your first child…this is a different child)? Did I drink too many glasses of wine before I found out I was pregnant (probably not)? Is my anxiety causing more damage than my actions (probably)?
WAIT. AM I ACTUALLY PREGNANT? The answer is yes.
I am moodier. I am more tired than I was the first time around, which I did not think could be possible. I get kicked in the belly more because I’m still breastfeeding. I get confused looks from people when I tell them I’m still breastfeeding (but I’d get that whether there was pregnant or not, I’m sure).
And you know what? It’s. All. Fine.
While I don’t have the luxury to sit and meditate for 30 minutes before I do an hour of yoga and then go for an hour long walk anymore, and I don’t have the time to document and analyze every change and wiggle that I feel in my body like I did with the first pregnancy, I know that I am growing a child, and I positive that I am raising a child, and that is pretty amazing. It’s another adaptation for my body, for my psyche, and for my development as a mother. It is showing me my strengths and my weaknesses. It is opening doors for me to figure out how to manage my responsibilities with my son’s need to play and be outside, and it is asking me to ask for more help. Besides, it makes the time I do spend focused on the baby that’s inside of me very special, very intentional, and filled with love.
Clearly, I still have more to give. So, bring it on, pregnancy. Apparently, I’m tougher than I feel.