Being pregnant with a toddler running around your legs in circles at the speed of light has been, shall we say… a “different” experience from being pregnant for the first time.
I have to be honest, I think I’m enjoying this pregnancy more. For one, I feel better (which I think is because we have fairly majorly changed our diet in the last 3-12 months, but more about that in another post). I have been less tired this time than the first time, which is crazy, because this time I have a toddler to run after. But it’s true. And I’m lovin’ it. I don’t get any nauseousness, which was really nice, and I’m not yet huge enough to feel beached-whale-like. Ah, the golden 2nd trimester (and if you’re me, the golden first as well… thank-you God!).
The major difference this time is that I don’t really have a whole lot of free “mental space” as I did last time. Last time I was busy, sure… I had work, household responsibilities, a husband, a commute, friends, family. But I would generally spend every waking minute with “holy-crow-i’m-having-a-BABY” chanting in the back of my mind. It was quite unbelievable to me. It felt surreal to the max.
I remember the first time I heard Isaac’s heartbeat in utero. My eyes widened, and I looked at Chris and said “What!! There really IS a baby in there!!!” (I swear I saw the doctor giving me a “what a nutcase” glance). And when it came time for the nurse to tell me that I was fully dilated and ready to push, the tears came inexplicably and uncontrollably. It was like I was expecting this whole time for someone to pop out and cry “kidding! you’re not really pregnant… it’s all been a weird/creepy/bizarre/elaborate joke!”. Not that I wanted that of course, but again, the whole idea of me having a baby was completely surreal. It was what I had wanted my whole life, and now it was *actually happening?!?!*. Before I even understood marriage, and the idea of having a husband, I was playing house and imagining that my dollies were my real babies, and what that would be like.
10 minutes of pushing later, and he was out. Apparently I’m a champion pusher, because first babies usually take much, much longer to push out (or maybe they just told me that to make me feel good, I don’t know). They put him on my chest, and it was like an out-of-body experience. I couldn’t hear anything in the room, and I couldn’t see anything through my tears, except for his perfect little face, inches from mine. “He’s real!”, I exclaimed with wonder. I couldn’t help it – the words just popped out of my mouth without me even thinking, quickly followed up with “He’s beautiful!”. I kissed his little face in wonder, and I’ve hardly stopped since.
The surreal feeling is strangely lacking this time. It feels… right. Just the way it’s supposed to be. I’m a mama, and I’m growing another life in my womb. What a ridiculously amazing thing. My life is just as I hoped it would be, when I was playing dollies all those years ago. Actually no, scratch that… it’s WAY better.
This little girlie growing in my belly is already loved in a precious and familiar way.
He was my first. He made me a mama. Everything was a first, a wonder, a learning experience.
She is my second. Her mama is already looking forward to kisses and giggles and baby toes, because she already knows just how incredible those things are. I am already savoring the beauty of what’s to come.
First and second.
Differently experienced, yet uniquely and equally loved. What a wonder!