Morning Sickness: Never any fun, but milder with this pregnancy. With Westley, I was puking daily well into my second trimester. This time, despite feeling pretty awful for a few weeks, I didn't throw up even once. (This has me completely convinced that I will vomit in labor, by the way.)
Weight: I started 5 lbs. lighter (and probably fitter) than I did the first time. I'm currently tipping the scales at 172 lbs.—for a total of 32 lbs. gained—which is 11 lbs. lighter than I was when I delivered Westley. More interestingly, however, I'm a completely different shape.
This time, I think I started to look more uniformly round in front at about 21 weeks.
But it's hard to tell on the belly front, because...
Wardrobe: ...I was dreading the return of the "double belly," and planned from the beginning to disguise it with clothes. Early on, high-waisted leggings (worn folded over at first and then truly high-waisted later) and unitards ruled the day for their midsection-smoothing properties. Seriously, good quality leggings are shapewear lite. They hold everything in while still managing to be very comfortable in those early stages of pregnancy, when nothing really fits the way it should.
And speaking of nothing fitting, maternity jeans are dead to me. I'm keeping a couple of pairs on hand to wear postpartum, because I think the wide waistband will work nicely over a binder. However, maternity jeans for pregnancy? Are a joke. Mine did nothing but slip down so I was yanking on them constantly, or cut in to my non-waist for some maternity muffin-top action. Maybe this is a brand thing, or a body-type thing (or both), but maternity jeans and I could not be friends.
Instead, it was all skirts and dresses all the time. This is one thing this pregnancy and my pregnancy with Westley have in common, actually—except that this time, I was prepared. Over the past year, I thrift-shopped with an eye to "Will this work during pregnancy?" I did it even when I was ambivalent about getting pregnant again (in the same way that I "shop" for baby names more or less all the time). I had a week's worth of maxi dresses just waiting to be filled up with pregnant belly well in advance.
Most of what I bought during pregnancy was underwear. Early on, right around the time I needed—and I mean needed—new bras, my underwear also started to drive me crazy. And I bought a black maternity tank top that I wear at least four times a week.
Food and Cravings: With Westley, it was salt, salt, and more salt. I ate pretzels constantly to stave off nausea, and I went on food jags where I'd eat (almost) nothing but bagels for a week...and then nothing but pasta, or tomato sandwiches, or burritos. Late in my pregnancy, I wanted nothing but veggie burgers and fries, and indulged twice a week at least.
Now that I'm not living off gluten, I not only feel much, much better, but I "crave" things that are more balanced. I've had very few all-consuming, OHMYGOD must eat it NOW cravings this pregnancy. In the beginning, it was fruit. I could eat pounds of raw mango in a sitting, and it was the only thing I actually wanted to eat. I also have a serious sweet tooth for the first time in my life, so our house has been filled with baked goods recently. In fact, there are gluten-free peanut butter blondies calling to me from the fridge right now. But the watermelon is also calling me, so there you go.
Prenatal Care and "Risk": Between my pregnancy with Westley and this pregnancy, I:
- developed chronic low back pain.
- was diagnosed with a bicornuate uterus.
- had a miscarriage.
These three things (but especially that middle one) are enough to make health care providers want to watch you extra closely, even if you've already had a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. And then I had to go and have bleeding and spotting all through my first trimester—just to make things that much more interesting!
My pregnancy with Westley was totally uncomplicated, except for testing positive for Group B Strep. I had regular midwife appointments and one ultrasound at 20 weeks.
I've lost count of the number of ultrasounds I've had during this pregnancy. While I'm still seeing my midwives for prenatal care, I've probably logged just as many hours in the perinatologist's office. It makes me feel higher risk than I really am. At least I'm GBS negative this time!
And I have to admit that I love seeing my little girl on a regular basis.
Sexy Stuff: After my experience the first time, I was really looking forward to another nine months of wild and wacky sex dreams. Sadly, it did not happen that way. In fact, it still isn't happening much, period.
Life Stuff: Life is less stressful now than it was four and a half years ago, but also more challenging in many ways. When I remember taking the bus to work downtown at seven months pregnant while Rob was unemployed, I can't believe how much more relaxed and easy this pregnancy seems.
Then again, being pregnant while also caring for an older child is a completely different kind of gestational adventure.
Regrets: I know people like to say "no regrets," and while I think that's very nice, it just doesn't fit with my thought-process. I suppose, technically, there might be a difference between "regret" and "I wish I'd done that differently, but oh well, life goes on." In any case, I wish I had taken more pictures when I was pregnant with Westley (hence the weekly photos this time). And I wish I'd eaten fewer veggie burgers and fries.
I'm already trying to anticipate what I might "regret" not doing during this pregnancy (which will probably be my last). In a way, it's like borrowing trouble—especially since I can't go back in time and workout with weights more, or plan a weekend getaway. But imagining the things I might later feel I missed out on during pregnancy also keeps me focused on the present. I can better enjoy what I have right now, and not wish for it to end any sooner than it has to.