(Clarification: We have one little girl with us and another little person who we never got to meet in this life due to a miscarriage. This is our third pregnancy).
When I found out I was pregnant this time, my reaction was completely different from when I found out I was carrying River. I was thrilled instead of petrified, and not at all surprised rather than flabbergasted. Also, since I went crazy researching EVERYTHING about pregnancy last time, I feel a lot more relaxed about this one.
Still, this pregnancy is shockingly different from the last one. Here are some comparisons:
- awful morning sickness but decent, steady energy levels throughout
- huge appetite
- terrifyingly effortless weight gain (20 lbs)
- worked full time outside the home
- no libido whatsoever
- craved sweets like nobody’s business AND had a chocolate aversion for several months (I’m normally a chocoholic)
- knew I was carrying a girl, but was afraid to believe it because I wanted a daughter so badly
- frequent headaches and back pain
- Virtually no nausea, and when it DOES appear, it’s more like a vague, background feeling. Shockingly low energy levels most of the time, combined with occasional, 1 day spurts of crazy energy and productivity.
- Very low appetite.
- No weight gain (yet!!), but my tummy keeps getting bigger!
- full time Mom–SOOOO much harder than working my paid full time job. :)
- Remember what I said about opposites? ;-)
- Virtually no sugar cravings (weird, as I’ve battled these my entire adult life). No chocolate aversion.
- Am convinced that I’m carrying a boy, and since I’ll be equally happy to have a boy or a girl, I have no qualms about trusting my instincts this time around.
- And, unfortunately, the last factor remains the same: still battling almost daily headaches and back pain. Massage and chiropractor visits help a bit, as does the Fioricet prescribed by my OB.
I have a lot of optimism about this pregnancy and hope that it will go well with no pre-eclampsia this time. (I have a 10% chance of getting it again, which means there’s a 90% chance that I WON’T). :) I’m much less stressed with this pregnancy even though I’m working much harder as a pregnant, full-time mom.
The novelty of eating when I’m hungry without guilt no longer exists, as I’ve been eating that way since River was born. I think this is helping me keep my weight at a healthier level early on.
Now that I have an extraordinary little one running around, I’m grieving more for the first pregnancy that we lost and I’m also much more emotionally invested in this pregnancy. While I’m able to intellectually say, “What will be will be,” my heart screams, “I want this baby to be born healthy and whole and I want to get to know him in this life!”
I’ve also been looking back at the NICU experience and thinking about the consequences that another such experience would have for River. I know that we’ll pull through anything that comes our way–we have a great hospital, fabulous support network, and lots of orneriness. :) Still, as a toddler, River is still extremely attached to us (me, in particular), and having to divide our time between her and a NICU baby would be a heart-wrenching, energy-sucking challenge that I’d prefer not to have to endure.
On a completely shallow note, I’m REALLY enjoying my pregnancy induced cleavage–SO MUCH FUN, given that I normally have none! :)
What does River think?
River doesn’t have much concept of time yet, so when I tell her there’s a baby in my tummy, she gets very excited and asks to see it. She then gets confused when she can’t see it through my skin and promptly loses interest and forgets all about it. I think that once the baby is a lot bigger and moves enough so that River can feel him through my skin, the concept of a baby joining our family will be much more real. We’re not talking about it with her specifically at this point (other than the occasional, “There’s a baby in Mom’s tummy!”) because we don’t want her to be sick of the concept by the time the baby arrives–we want it to be a fun, exciting surprise that she can look forward to. So, we’ll probably talk about it more in the last few weeks before the baby arrives.
To our little one:
I’ve felt a deep, emotional connection to you since before I got an official, “positive” pregnancy test. We’re so excited that you’re joining our family. Stay put and grow, OK, little one?