Somehow - and I just don't know how - I'm already more than four months of the way through this pregnancy journey. I'm so much busier this time around, with a more demanding job and a very demanding toddler, that I don't have as much time to *ahem* navel gaze over myself and my pregnancy. I knew things would be different the second time around, but the differences have been remarkable. For instance:
- No photos. Seriously, we haven't taken a single "bump photo" this pregnancy. Not one. We've missed every stage from plum, peach, and lemon to orange, avocado, and pear! We seriously confused E about the baby when trying to explain its size according to fruit ("Baby is like a lellow lemon? Daddy, our baby is going to be lellow!"), so I knew we wouldn't repeat the fruit photos. That said, it's crazy (and fairly guilt-inducing) that we haven't snapped so much as a shot. We did get a few photos on vacation recently, so there's something from the early days...
- No rest. I thought I was tired last time. I talked about being tired a lot. The sheer exhaustion I feel this time, though, is indescribable. The incessant demands of keeping up with a busy, daring, and very cunning 2.5-year-old do not leave much time for me to, you know, rest. Or sit down. Ever. That said, when I rock E before bed at night, she loves nothing more than to snuggle with "our baby," tell it about her day, and singsong sweet nothings to her little brother or sister. My heart nearly bursts multiple times each day with love for my firstborn and the promise of a lifetime of such delicious sibling moments.
- No uncontrollable craving for sweets. Last pregnancy I wanted carbs - refined carbs - in any form and as often as possible. Meat, fish, eggs and many vegetables were among the most repulsive foods I could fathom. This time I just want meat and vegetables. My desire for meat is rather indiscriminate. Any meat will do, though red is best. The vegetable craving is more specific, though not in the ingredient so much as the preparation. I want raw, shaved vegetables tossed with lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper. Green salads will do, and really green leafy vegetables in any form are just generally a delight to me right now, but my heart lies with my tangy, acidic shaved raw vegetables salads. Also, french fries. I really, really craved french fries during the first trimester. That has calmed down now, thankfully! Here are a few of my favorite meals of late:
So those are a few differences this time around, but some things feel so darn similar:
- Hearing the swift and solid heartbeat at my monthly appointments.
- Feeling those first wiggly, ticklish movements deep inside, then delighting as they grow stronger and more consistent over time.
- Waiting with nervous anticipation at our nuchal translucency test, then feeling relief, joy, and awe (and tears!) at the sight of our perfectly healthy little 13-week-old babe bouncing and squirming away on the ultrasound screen.
- Having the ultrasound tech guess at the gender at that same ultrasound and - again - keeping that guess a secret until we know for sure in a few weeks.
- Seeing people who haven't heard our news do double-takes when they see me in the hallways at work.
- Wincing in anticipation when I step on the scale at the OB (+6 pounds by 17 weeks this go-around).
- Snuggling in with my giant u-shaped body pillow every night.
- Feeling the familiar ache of my pelvis spreading to make room for the life taking root inside (and shopping for a support belt to hopefully alleviate the worst of the pain I endured last time).
- Finding myself resting my hands on or rubbing my burgeoning belly.
- Feeling the love and excitement I have for this new life growing every day. Imagining what the future will hold, what our baby will be called, how our lives will be different, the sweet moments and memories we'll make together.
The magic and anticipation of this time is just as sweet as it was when we were expecting E, and in some ways, even sweeter now that we're sharing this experience with her. We can't wait to know you, Baby B #2!