I'm halfway through pregnancy for our second baby, due in August, and wanted to share a little recap of how it's going so far -- mostly because I enjoy reading pregnancy updates from other bloggers for some reason, and I want to remember some of the details since it's going reallyyyy fast this time. (Also, I say second baby even though technically it's a third pregnancy post-miscarriage last fall; it's not that that baby doesn't "count," of course, but more so in my head keeps things a little clearer. Totally understand and respect that some people handle number of pregnancies differently, though!)
Things that are the same . . .
Gaining weight is complicated at best. Even when your body is doing exactly what it's supposed to, your body is also doing exactly what society says it's not. I don't mind the weight at all, because again, it is the marker of a healthy pregnancy and very normal, but there are moments when I'm like whoa, hello boobs, belly and butt. And I think almost every single pregnant woman experiences this sense of disconnect with their body, at the same time they may feel more in tune with their body than ever. Combined with frizzy hair and hormonal acne, I'm here to tell you that the pregnancy glow takes a while to set in, and doesn't last long. Sorry, I warned you.
Maternity clothes: usually expensive, ill-fitting and ugly. Where are all my simple basics that don't cost $250 a pop and make you look like you have a cute bump versus a wide ass? That is my question. I bought a bunch of options, returned 95% of them, shrunk the one shirt I actually liked, and ended up ordering two pairs of maternity jeans online and living in tanks and cardigans for now. Super ready for warmer weather, so I can rock flow-y dresses instead of staring into my closet each day wondering if it's fine to wear that gray top a fourth day in a row. (Answer: if it doesn't smell or have visible stains, then yes.)
Feeling your baby kick? Amazing. I love, love, love this part of pregnancy; it is reassuring to feel those little pushes, and always makes me very happy.
Pregnancy brain. I feel dumb sometimes, but pregnancy brain is real. In the past week alone, I completely spaced on some pitches I meant to send an editor (like, I had it written down in my planner three times and still had an "oh shit" moment once I realized I 100% forgot about it). I called a co-worker the wrong name in front of people, which was embarrassing because I've worked with her for years and I know that's not her name. And I've told about ten stories to random people where I literally lose track of my own thoughts halfway through and cannot even remember what I was trying to talk about. #babiesstealyoursmarts
We aren't finding out the sex. People ask us all the time how we can possibly wait, but the truth is, we like the anticipation. I think it's fun to not know, and the good kind of true surprises in life are sometimes hard to come by. TMI: not knowing also proved to be useful motivation during labor and delivery, so I'm gonna rely on that once more to get through it.
We have one boy name and no set girl name. Last time, we felt strongly about our son's name with no other real contenders; for girls, we had about four we liked. So it worked out well after E was born! Similarly, we have another boy name we really like for our second babe, and several girl names, none of which I feel confident about.
Cravings. Red meat, everything bagels with cream cheese, orange juice, fizzy drinks, sour candy, all the bread in general.
Things that are different:
First trimester nausea. ROUGH. I spent the first 12 weeks trying not to puke every day. Nothing sounded good to eat except bread and sometimes cheese or fruit. I didn't actually throw up once, thank god, but the low-level nausea sucked. I mostly went to work and came home and went to bed as soon as possible. Once I got into my second trimester, it got better. I experienced zero nausea, save one week of feeling "off" in my third trimester, with E, so this was a whole new ballgame for me!
You start showing a LOT faster. I remember at 16 weeks the first time around having a tiny little bump that maaaaaybe showed if I ate too many tacos. Now, I'm at 22 weeks and the belly is out, loud and proud. Other moms, including my own, told me this would happen, and I believed them, but I didn't realize how fast I would show. It's all good. But, um, I'm curious what the end of pregnancy belly might look like in comparison, ha!
I'm exhausted. When pregnant with E, I thought I was really tired. I took lots of naps and felt worn out most days. Now, while chasing a two-year-old around, working full-time and freelancing on the side, I am beyond tired. It is a whole new level. I'm not complaining, because on the work front, I'm choosing that road, and on the parenting front, toddlers are simply full of energy, but I am stunned by how many days I get home from work and literally can only manage dinner and bath (with the help of my wonderful husband) and then the couch, a bath and bed. The days I happen to work out do give an extra energy burst for a few hours, which is great, but I've been much more mindful this time around regarding rest days. It's strange, when you're a type-A personality, to feel like you really didn't "do" much in a given morning/afternoon/evening but you're also maxed out.
I sorta forget I'm pregnant. Remember as a kid, when you'd ask your parents how old they were and they'd be like, "37? 38? I can't remember, hang on"? Maybe that didn't happen to you, but to me, I could not fathom how they could just "forget" their age. Well, now, I get it. Not only does it take me a moment to quickly calculate my age (I'm turning 32 this year, right? What year was I born?), but pregnancy has compounded similar details. The first round, I looked at my pregnancy app every damn day and could tell any stranger exactly what week I was and what fruit the baby's size matched. Now, someone will ask how far along I am, and I'm like, ". . . hang on, let me count backward. Um . . ." I'm sure it's due to having another little one running around, but it's funny how it feels much more like an afterthought versus the most significant thing in my life. (And I say that with much love for those women who are trying to conceive, as I know how lucky I am to be pregnant in general.)
I haven't planned a thing. Baby showers, nursery decor, clothes, toys, names -- eh, it'll get sorted out. I admittedly wasn't too big on planning with the first kid, either, but with number two, I really just don't care that much. We have plenty of stuff already, which is a blessing, and I feel confident we'll figure it all out once the baby is here. Or I'll have a minor freakout two months before and we'll figure it out then, ha.
I'm really excited. I spent much of my first pregnancy trying to make peace with being pregnant in the first place. It was an emotional roller-coaster, and I wanted to feel like myself as much as possible. This time, I'm just glad to be pregnant, and even though I'm nervous about the transition of adding another little soul to our family -- and everything I can't control, like childbirth a second time, a healthy baby a second time, breastfeeding (or not) a second time, potential postpartum anxiety a second time, work-life balance a second time, etc. -- I know we'll survive. I'm not perfect, but I'm a good mom, and I can't wait to meet no. 2.