Fair warning: there is a certain level of detail in this post that may make some readers (especially if they happen to be male, and probably particularly if they happen to be male and related to me) uncomfortable. Read at your own risk. J
This pregnancy was a surprise. We were planning for a second, and soon, but the Lord decided to get things started a little faster than we expected. Getting pregnant with Aria was a bit difficult. Soon after we started trying I started to feel strange twinges. A visit to the doctor and subsequent ultrasound revealed that not only was I not pregnant, but on my own I wasn’t going to get pregnant very easily, because every month I was developing cysts (those strange twinges) rather than ovulating properly. My midwife put me on a medicine to help, and told me that most couples get pregnant quickly once they’re on it. Of course, that’s contingent on the medicine solving the problem, which was by no means a given. Sure enough, it did solve the problem, and two months later we were expecting Aria.
This time around I took the medicine for about 10 days. One morning I woke up with a “feeling”, so I took a home pregnancy test. It came back so faintly positive I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. The next two days I took two more tests, and they were also positive, also with faint lines. But the lines were getting darker. I only ever took one test with Aria, but this time I just didn’t expect it, and the lines were so faint…but I couldn’t deny three positive pregnancy tests. Andy, it turns out, could. He informed me they were “not convincing”, and proceeded to take another 24-48 hours to decide that he would accept that we were, indeed, having another child.
Pregnancy is so different this time around. I have to say, I like it better. Five differences this time around:
- It’s not as scary. Yes, I have times when I think “Oh no, I don’t feel any symptoms! What if something happened?!” But, by and large, it’s just not as frightening this time around. My first pregnancy I was nervous over everything, because it was all new. This time I have a frame of reference, so I know those strange feelings are normal and have an explanation.
- The nausea is worse. Of course I know this isn’t a second pregnancy thing, but it’s the way things are working for me right now. I am nauseated far too much of the time. I’ve had food cravings and aversions since, like, week four. It’s ridiculous. When I was pregnant with Aria the nausea disappeared at week 10. Today I hit week 14, and so far, no such luck. I find that, when I am nauseated, hauling around a 24ish pound baby/toddler makes me feel worse. That’s sort of a bummer, but thankfully Aria is independent, so we make it work. And, you know, the flip side of a day full of nausea is that I still get to spend the entire time with Aria, and she is such a delight.
- It’s going by so much faster. Not only am I not obsessing over it every minute of every day because it’s now “old hat” (what does that mean?) I’m also not obsessing because I do not have time. Right when I might be thinking “I can’t do anything else, I have to collapse on the couch”, Aria starts telling me it’s time to feed her lunch. Or change her diaper. Or play with her. Also, I still have my job and various other responsibilities. So, yeah, time is flying by.
- I know how I want things to go this time. The first time was sort of an experiment. I was seeing what pregnancy was like, and what I could/couldn’t do. I followed all the rules. This time I know my body better. I know things I want to do differently, including that I no longer follow all the rules. Honestly, the list of things you are not supposed to do when you are pregnant is absurd, and some of them are actually impossible if you wish to be a good parent to the children you already have. I feel so much more freedom this time, and that makes it more fun.
- I already have one. Duh. But I’m learning some things, such as that if she is still nursing at the end of the pregnancy, it can help keep the size of the baby down, not to mention induce labor when the time is right. How cool is that? Pregnancy and childbirth are giant signs pointing to the Creator. The more I have learned about the way our bodies naturally work, the more awed I am.
And then there’s the list of things I’m looking forward to:
- Seeing my midwife so often again. I just love her. Seriously. One reason I was excited to be pregnant again was to have regular appointments to hang out with her. She is awesome. I think the best thing would be if every woman in the world could go to her for prenatal care and child birth.
- Getting another attempt at a natural birth. Call me crazy, but I am excited to see how labor goes this time. If you know the story (which is over 36 hours long, so best left for another time), you know that my labor with Aria did not go as planned. Despite all our planning, training, and doing everything “right”, we had to move from the beautiful birth center to the hospital and get Pitocin and an epidural. When I got the epidural I was so disappointed, even though I knew I needed it. At that point I was irrational, and I felt like I’d failed. Many, many hours later, when Aria finally arrived after 4 hours of pushing, I knew that if I had not had the epidural I would not have had the stamina to birth her and we would have ended up with a C-section. In retrospect, I don’t regret that epidural at all. I needed it in that situation. But I would really love to have a natural birth this time, so that will be the goal again. Of course, there’s no way to know what will happen, but they say second births are usually much faster than first. If we can keep the size of the baby down, hopefully we will have an uneventful birth this time (that’s a big “if” with a Hobbs baby).
- Feeling the baby move. I LOVED this part of pregnancy the first time. It was probably the best thing about pregnancy to me. Yesterday I started feeling some regular movements for the first time, movements I am sure are the baby. How exciting! So, today, I’m tempted to eat sugar all day to make it happen again…thus far I have resisted…
- Watching Aria learn about the baby. She’s at a great stage for this process, because she will gain words and a little understanding of the situation as she gets older and I get bigger. She’s also young enough that she won’t feel the need to give us a lot of opinions about what she thinks/wants regarding her little sibling. 😉
- Having a baby at Christmas who was not born the day before. I am already looking forward to next Christmas. It will be fun to actually get to use things that say “Baby’s First Christmas”, and to, you know, remember Christmas.
FYI, I love pregnancy and birth stories. I don’t freak out (I haven’t met many people who can top my story, so what’s to freak out about?). Hearing about other women’s experiences is so interesting and educational. Feel free to tell me all those stories you always want to tell pregnant women, but feel you shouldn’t so you don’t cause them trauma. I’ll love it, I promise.