Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's Different This Time

... isn't it?" Chad asked hesitantly while rubbing my belly the other night.

That statement/question has been bouncing around inside my head all week. I have to agree with my husband, it is different this time. I've been trying to wrap my brain around the differences. How it's different. Why it's different. What's different about it.

Oh, and by this time, I am referring to my second pregnancy ... just in case I lost you along the way, which is likely to happen when things have been bouncing around my head for any amount of time.

The only thing that seems remotely comparable ... the only way I can think to explain it ... is to think about the first kiss I shared with my (now) husband.

That first kiss was anticipation
and electricity (almost tangible)
and blissful ignorance
and blind hopefulness
and trust all wrapped up with a big red bow.

Now, don't get me wrong, there have been plenty of other amazing, memorable, electrifying kisses shared between us ... in our 6 years of courtship and 11 years of marriage. But that first kiss - on my parent's front porch in a March snowstorm - is forever etched in my memory. Actually, it so much deeper than just my brain; it's engraved in my senses. It was a first, and there's something truly special about a first.

My first pregnancy was so much the same way.

The anticipation was like Christmas morning over and over again. Each milestone (doctor appointments, ultrasounds, movement, belly growth) was relished and documented and celebrated. I was constantly learning about the changes my body was going through, and then I was left to wonder when it would happen and what it would feel like.

And, I swear I was literally buzzing for the majority of my pregnancy. I felt like I was emitting my own wavelengths of energy. I was glowing from the inside out. There were times when I tingled from head-to-toe ... just like that first kiss that I felt all the way in my toes! So much of my energy was spent thinking about that baby growing inside me.

As much as I read and researched during my first pregnancy, I also remained blissfully unaware (or at least unconcerned) of the potential complications women experience - all the time. I truly believed that conception was the tough part and as long as I took care of myself, that baby growing inside me would take care of the rest. I never seriously considered the possibility of anything other than giving birth to a healthy baby ... happily ever after.

All of this is not to say - not even imply - that my second pregnancy hasn't been joyful (aside from the contractions starting at 22 weeks). It's just different ... mainly because I know what I know, I've experienced what I've experienced, I've been there, done that.

Rather than pioneering a new frontier, I am revisiting a familiar place.

  • I know the rig-a-ma-roll of each OB appointment.
  • I know that first trimester kicks your tail.
  • I know the energy burst - and need to nest- of the second trimester.
  • I know the discomforts and agonizing wait of the third trimester.
  • I know that there is little choice in cravings - resistance is futile.
  • I know what fetal movement and contractions feel like.
  • I know the sensation of my water breaking.
  • I know the indescribable feelings of holding your baby for the first time.

I can't un-know those things, a fact that is both reassuring and disheartening. I guess that's how it's different this time. I know what I know (and I like not knowing as much as I like knowing).

There's still anticipation; I cannot wait to meet my second daughter.

There's still an electricity - but it's somewhat dulled by the demands of caring for a two year old.

The ignorance has been replaced by many, many stories of friends and fellow bloggers who had a much different pregnancy and birth story from my own. I have a deeper appreciation but also a stronger level of concern.

Of course, I am still emphatically hopeful of a healthy outcome. And I trust my body to see me through another pregnancy and delivery just as it did the first time.

From one pregnancy to the next, some things never change ... like the fact that your baby and belly grow larger and larger with each passing day ...

As I've been typing this, Baby V 2.0 has been having a little dance party in my belly. No matter how many times I feel that movement, I can't help but enjoy every bump and marvel at the fact that I am growing a baby! Within a matter of months, I will have another daughter. First time. Second time. I don't care who you are, that's exciting!


JosiahsMommy said...

What a sweet post. There are a lot of things that get better with time. Like your wonderful marriage, and experiencing pregnancy again. Personally I can't wait to have another baby. I felt so special when I was pregnant, and I can't wait to do it again.

Stopping by from SITS. I'm following you now. Feel free to stop by and check out my blog!

BJ_Mama said...

I totally relate! Although we're not pregnant with #2 yet....we're TRYING...and that's already different. Our Samantha was a surprise! It's hard to be patient...waiting, wondering. (kinda backwards, huh?)

Miss Mel said...

Yep, crying :) Great post. Great description!

Raising Z said...

I too am in tears....this was a wonderful post that really hit home for me. I blogged about something very similar when I was about 21 weeks pregnant. Check it out if you want.....

I have 6 more weeks to go and now I am going through a whole new phase....dread! How am I going to deal with two children??? :)

Yankee Girl said...

What a beautifully written post. It seems your mommy brain isn't to outta whack today!

I'm not a parent yet and can't wait for all of those experiences!

Janelle said...

Great insights! It is so different each time and it's hard to not feel bad about it but as you said caring for another little one takes your mind of the things that used to occupy your mind with the first one. It's all wonderful though! Can't wait to meet your little girl.

Jennifer said...

It is different with the second but by knowing I was definately calmer the second time around :)
Sweet post!

Emmett Joseph said...

That was beautiful. I know she isn't your first, but I can't wait to meet that amazing little girl, nonetheless. I love you all!

Chief said...

Wonderful post! enjoy every second

Eva Gallant said...

you brought back memories! I loved being pregnant and giving birth. Such a miracle!

just dropped by from SITS to say hi; hope you'll do the same.

Laura and Kelly Allen said...

Lovely. I'm loving that belly shot. I sort of want to kick you for being so tiny and adorable though.

Jessica said...

I know just how you feel! I haven't picked up "What to Expect" at all this pregnancy. I don't have time to think/dream about it while caring for another child. I've been here before. I find comfort in having that experience under my belt. But like you, I also worry a lot more this time around. I know much more about what could go wrong.

Chi-town momma said...

First off, I love to read your writing. You have such a special gift for capturing emotion and expressing it in words.
And yes, pregnancy is totally different the second time around. I remember in the very beginning not even thinking about the fact that I was pregnant until I climbed into bed that night! With #1 it was baby on the brain 24/7! Think of it is excellent preparation for how totally different life is with 2 children. Some days beyond your most perfect dreams (and to be honest, others your worst nightmares). But just like the unexpected joy you felt with your first pregnancy, you feel it as you make your way through mothering two! You will be great momma friend! Love you!

Chi-town momma said...

Oh, yeah - love the belly shot. :)

Epiphius said...

Hate to be the one to break it to you, but you already have another daughter! :) It's just that you're the only one who gets to hold her yet. She's still alive, growing, thinking, and being loved. Isn't that what she'll be after birth too? And it is very exciting!

MommyBrain said...

"tru dat," Monica ... I could've phrased that line better ... now and after birth and forever, she is my second daughter :)

S3XinthePantry said...

You capured that well....different yet so exciting.

Stopping by through SITS!

Big Mama Cass said...

What an awesome blog!!! I am so early right now that I am still in petrified am i going to stay pregnant mode and that is exactly like the first one... BUT... you are right... it is different.

Oh and I just have to say... You are SOOOO tiny!!! By 24 weeks I looked like I was hiding a hippo under my shirt!!! Seriously!! I need to find a picture. You would laugh so hard!! lol

Kathy said...

so sweet - about your first kiss with Chad :)

Stesha said...

I love this post:) Each time was different for me too, but still full of joy and excitement of the impending birth!

Hugs and Mocha,

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