second pregnancy

Ye Old Fatso

I couldn’t be happier to report that this pregnancy has only gotten better within the last four
weeks. I have been more energized, more enthusiastic, and DEFINITELY feeling pregnant. I
definitely look pregnant too. Everyone from family members to strangers are commenting on
how big I am for being just over halfway through the pregnancy.

What’s it like to be told I look big? Well, I’m happy to report that, for the first time in my life, I
find it incredibly relieving and validating.

Have I necessarily enjoyed people telling me, “Wow, you popped early this time!” or “You’re
only 20 weeks?!” or calling me Fatso? To tell you the truth, no, I didn’t. However, I do truly
enjoy looking and feeling pregnant. But it’s not only what’s happening on the outside that
matters to me. The bigger I get, the more I enjoy pregnancy because of what’s happening on
the inside.

In my last post, I wrote that I was experiencing a lot of anxiety about this pregnancy in general,
but specifically around not feeling the baby move as early as I did with my first child. I am
overjoyed to say that now I am feeling the baby move literally whenever I sit down.
Who knew that getting kicked in the belly could be so comforting? It’s the best part of
pregnancy as far as I’m concerned.

Even going to visit the midwife is better at this point.

During our last visit, we ran through the routine – pee in a cup, weigh yourself, take your blood
pressure, and the “How are you doing” questions – but it is the prenatal massage that makes
my heart go pitter pat. At Sweetwater Midwifery, after you do “the medical stuff” you are
invited to hop up onto a massage table. Heidi measures your belly, and you listen for your
baby’s heartbeat. I can’t help but smile when I hear that quick thump-thump-thump-thump-
thump-thump. What I look forward to the most though, is the massage.

Heidi works around your stomach to help keep your large intestine unblocked, and your
muscles feeling relaxed. Then, you’re positioned on your side in preparation for what I believe
to be a heavenly backrub. I know there has to be something more medical than just relaxing
happening while she works away at your muscles, but when you get to have 30 minutes of
being cared for by a deeply capable and knowledgeable person without distraction (aka, a
toddler running around, or throwing balls at you, or threatening to break windows with, I don’t
know, anything), it doesn’t matter. The relaxation is the biggest benefit to my health as far as
I’m concerned.

The visits are super simple, there aren’t ultrasounds or beepy things, or invasive vaginal gazing
unless there is a need for it. Heidi’s office is a homey environment that feels less like a clinical
visit and more like a living room chat. The visits are intimate, they engender trust, and her clinic feels like a place where a pregnant woman can be a pregnant woman instead of a medical case.

From what I’ve read, that’s very uncommon for something as common as giving birth.

So, is pregnancy round two all doom-and-gloom like I made it out to be in the first post?

Absolutely not.

It’s only getting more and more beautiful with each passing day, even if people do call me Fatso
prematurely.

Baby Number 2: A First Trimester Recap

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.