Most pregnant women have heard at some point during their pregnancy: “Every pregnancy is different.” Usually they are given this sage wisdom just after they make one of two declarations: “I love being pregnant, and I can’t wait to have another!” or “Ugh, I never want to be pregnant again, this is awful!”
I never really put too much thought into the phrase. That is, until I was faced with a second pregnancy that is so very different from the first.
Sure, there are similarities: how it happened and the simple fact that there is a baby growing in there are the two most obvious ones. But there are other more subtle similarities that I hadn’t even realized until I started taking note of the differences.
For example: I am terrified. The last time, I was scared that something would go wrong because I was a year out from a miscarriage, and that loss was still very fresh in my mind. I also had the very bad habit of reading too much. I was quite possibly a little too informed (if that’s even possible.)
This time, I’m afraid of all the change this new baby will bring. I don’t know that it will have a big impact on my relationship with my husband. I got used to sharing him a long time ago. I’m more concerned with the impact on my relationship with my daughter. As I’ve mentioned before, she doesn’t share well.
I’m also worried about the impact it will have on my relationship with myself. I’m only just now starting to feel “normal” again after the last addition to our family.
Last time, I had complete confidence in my ability to have a healthy baby at home with a midwife. After a very traumatic emergency c-section because of complications late in my pregnancy, I didn’t even get to try to birth at home. This time, the option to birth at home in a relaxed environment is not open to me. I am currently fighting tooth and nail to have a VBAC, and dealing with the daily worry that complications will arise again, and I will once again have to endure a surgical delivery. More proof that too much information can be a bad thing.
With The Angry Midget, I never wanted the pregnancy to end. I loved being pregnant and feeling her move around. I was in no hurry to meet her, and she was in no hurry to come out. This time, I can’t wait for it to be over. I can’t wait to meet this person, and hold him for the first time. On the other hand, I’m 23 weeks into this, well into the second trimester, and I’m still dealing with the fatigue and nausea of the first trimester. Not fun.
Now I’m adding to that a growing belly that is starting to make everyday tasks difficult. Washing your feet or shaving your legs, is not so easy when you can’t really bend over any more (not to mention the danger level of being off balance in a very slippery shower), and I am now remembering the difficulty of putting on a pair of underwear or socks. If someone wants to invent truly genius panties for pregnant ladies, they should have Velcro sides, or pretty ribbon ties so you don’t have to bend over to put them on. Another genius service would be someone to come and put your socks on for you every day. Right now, I’m lucky because it’s hot and I can wear flip flops. No socks needed. The down side is I’m not due until early November, and as we all know, October and November are not flip flop months in Iowa. Perhaps I should start looking for a nice cozy pair of slippers that could pass as shoes for a few weeks. You know, just until I can touch my toes again.
This baby’s movement is different from The Angry Midget’s, too. She was, well, hyper. Once she started moving, she didn’t stop. Though I was able to sleep through it, she would wake my husband up at night with all her kicking and squirming. When this baby moves, it feels different because he seems to really like my incision from the C-section. I feel movement along the incision site often, and when he kicks, he seems to be aiming right for it. He is more of a stretch and roll kind of baby while The Angry Midget was a jumping-jack kind of baby. She could poke out in four different directions at once, and do a flip at the same time. The cats did not appreciate this particular talent, and would often hiss or grump at my belly when they were prematurely rousted from their naps.
Yes, this time it is very different. I’m older, I wasn’t ready for this, I wasn’t happy about this for a long time, but despite all of that, I’m adapting. I’m finding the pleasure in it where I can, and I’m trying to be more like a duck and just let it all roll off. That may end up being nearly impossible, but I still think it’s worth a try.
Does the phrase “Every pregnancy is different” still hold true? Sure.
Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. As with all things in life, it depends heavily on your perspective. Don’t get hung up on the unimportant stuff, or you’ll miss the really great stuff.