This pregnancy has been different from my pregnancy with Maya for a whole host of reasons.
1) Anxiety levels = DOWN. While I was an anxious mess all nine months of my pregnancy with Maya (with just cause), this go around, it’s not that I’m not anxious this time, but rather it isn’t consuming my thoughts. To put my mind at ease, I did do the prenatal testing I said I would, but I have a toddler demanding my time (rightfully so) and she is my top priority. In fact, unless I catch sight of my belly in a mirror or someone asks how I’m feeling, aside from the constant need to use the ladies room, it’s easy for me to forget I am six months pregnant. Last time I obsessed over each BabyCenter weekly update; this time I’ve only read a couple and don’t even know what size fruit/veggie Baby Boy is unless someone asks and I check TheBump.com (this week: cauliflower!).
Another thing working in my favor is though all kids are different and this kid could be the total opposite of our easygoing baby Maya, I won’t be a new mom this go around. And though I don’t pretend to be an expert, I will have nearly three years of institutional knowledge on stuff like sleep training, the 5Ss, nursing, swaddling, growth/development … so that puts my mind at ease. Before, we knew nothing. Now, we know a lot. Maya is a an adventurous eater and a great sleeper, and has been since early on. I hope we had something to do with that — nature and nuture 😉
2) Fitness levels = UP. I worked out with Maya, but not like this. Then it was mostly just elliptical and usually at night (Luis was traveling to Ann Arbor 2-3 times a week for his MBA then so the gym became my nightly activity). This time, I’m much more focused on strength training and group fitness classes and early AM workouts (so I can spend evenings with my family). While it’s too early to say, I hope all the effort I am putting in now — while I still feel good and strong — will help with my post-partum recovery and, yes, eventually–weight loss. Plus, I remember reading last time that moms who work out during pregnancy have better sleepers and Maya was/is a great sleeper … so I am all for making that association!
3) Physical changes = UP. I am much bigger than I was with Maya at this stage but carrying similarly–pretty low. I’ve also gained more weight this time, in spite of being so active. I never got huge with Maya, but I did have extra inches of fat around my hips with her. This time, while my waist is totally gone (as it should be!) and while I surely have some extra body fat, I haven’t noticed a ton of extra — perhaps because of all the strength training? — yet my belly feels enormous and heavy … and my back hurts a lot more than it did with her. My guess is he will be closer to 8 lbs or so, whereas she was just over 6 lbs. Also, though I haven’t swelled up, I am going to be at my biggest at the end of summer and therefore expect to see some swelling in my future … something I didn’t experience at all with my first, a mid-December baby.
4) Movement = UP. Since around 13 weeks, I’ve been feeling movement which then became kicks, rolls and punches. This little boy is constantly on the go. (a prelude of what’s to come?). Sure, Maya used to kick and hiccup, but I don’t remember it being a distraction. His movement, however, can be a distraction: at work, when I’m trying to sleep … he definitely likes it when I eat — all of a sudden, his movement picks up even more. And though I can’t be sure without an ultrasound to confirm (and no, I’m not about to ask for one) but I am pretty sure this time I have a posterior placenta, whereas last time it was anterior. The reason I think this is because the kicks are so much more prominent and frequent, and placenta placement can have something to do with this.
5) Emotional connection = DOWN. It sounds weird — and a bit sad — but I still don’t feel very connected to him. I’m not sure if it’s because we don’t have a name yet; if it’s because I have a toddler I’m 100% focused on; if it’s because we just moved and are stressing about selling our other house/finances; or if it’s because his room isn’t set up yet … but I haven’t had those daydreaming visions of who he will be/look like/what he’ll be like yet. It’s not that I don’t love him or care about him — of course I do! I’m super-excited to meet him. In all honesty, it saddens me I don’t feel a big connection yet … I just wonder if maybe I won’t feel anything major til he’s here, and tangible?? A lot of my friends have shared similar feelings so it’s good to know I’m not alone but I do feel bad for not feeling more towards him yet. I also wonder if part of it is because, subconsciously, I don’t want to be thinking so much about him when I have Maya right here, right now, wanting me/needing me (when she feels like it ;))?? Like I want to be able to devote myself–all of me — to her now, knowing we won’t have this time back? Who knows, but it does make me sad. She is our everything … and it’s crazy to think that she’ll have to share our love soon. I know it will be a good thing — sharing us — but still, it’s daunting.
6) Excitement levels = NEUTRAL. On this I feel mixed. With Maya, it was pure excitement and a lot of fear of the unknown. Our life as a couple was about to change and we were about to become parents. Naturally, that is overwhelming. Plus, I was worried: would I be able to breastfeed? (yes). Would she be a good eater/sleeper? (yes/yes). I remember just sitting up at night, imagining her … who she would look like, how her voice would sound, what she would be like … (as it turns out, she looks like me, has the world’s sweetest voice, and has personality traits of both of us).
This time, I am so excited to become a family of five (yes, Rocco is a family member!) but also a bit nervous to see how Maya does as a big sister. She is obsessed with feeding/dressing/diapering her babies; tells perfect strangers she is having a baby brother; love her Big Sister books (and asks for them); and has given him multiple names, according to her teachers … including–but not limited to — Pierre, Liam, Baby Sister and Michael … but til he’s here, she is the center of our universe and she knows it. And while I LOVE the snuggliness and intimacy of the newborn phase — especially since Maya is soooo darn independent now and not so much into cuddles like she used to be even a couple months ago — I would be lying if I said I wasn’t dreading the zombie-like sleepless nights, breastfeeding/pumping (post on that to come), and am frankly a little worried about how to divide my love among two kids. I know I will do it — all parents of multiple kids have to — but it is something that keeps me up at night.
5) Readiness levels = NEUTRAL. The readiness factor is slowly coming together. We moved last month (holy stress!) and are getting settled into our new house; it finally feels like home. We got Maya her big girl bed and dresser last week and Baby Boy’s bedding came so hoping to get both rooms ready over the next couple of weeks. Buying his bedding seemed to make him real now, at 25 weeks. Like, he is really coming home … this random room in our house will become HIS room! I’ve got some decorating ideas in mind now, too, and that helps. Unlike with Maya, though, we have practically no clothes yet for him. But on the flip side, the kid will never need a toy to play with and we have bottles and burp cloths and all those early newborn essentials, so I feel prepared in that sense. And, with nearly 100% certainty, we know he will be delivered via C-section and we will be scheduling his birth date at my 28-week appt in a couple weeks. So that’s a big plus in terms of readiness. I don’t feel like if he came tomorrow we’d be set, but I also feel like, as a second time mom, I know what things we need right away and what we don’t and, more importantly, I know how to be a mom.
6) Naps = NONEXISTENT. This last one is half in jest but totally true. During my pregnancy with Maya, no one else was demanding my time. Luis was always at school or studying and Rocco was a puppy who, yes, needed walks and love … but he also loved a good snooze at my feet. So I was able to crash on the couch after work or during the weekends … but now? HA. I think I’ve napped three times this whole pregnancy, and all three times were during her naps. Toddlers are little dictators and with Luis doing so much to maintain both houses, I’ve not been able to catch a break. I’m hoping it makes me stronger in the end 😉 It has to, right?!
How about you? Did you feel your pregnancies were similar or different?