Twenty weeks and we’re half way there!
It feels like it was just last week that we found out the unbelievable news; it’s going by so quickly this time, and yet there’s still so far to go. I forgot you’re basically pregnant for a year.
I didn’t have Lilies and Lambs when I was pregnant with MM, and as a result I didn’t document really any part of those nine months- in pictures or words. So there’s little in terms of physical memories of that part of our journey.
So this time around I’ve forced myself to take some photos and write down some thoughts on our pregnancy with baby girl #2.
And now that we’re half way there, I thought I’d share a little bit on our journey thus far.
20 Week Bumpdate
Well, folks, it’s been a roller coaster. When I found out we were pregnant so unexpectedly a few people asked me, “But you’re happy, right?” It took me aback every single time.
No, I’m not happy. Happy doesn’t do this emotion justice. This emotion is bigger, greater, more all consuming; and it is comes with so much history and so many prayers. So much trial and error. So many tears and so much sacrifice and waiting and wanting. Years of it all. And after everything, she’s finally coming. And I can’t think of a word big enough to describe the joy we feel.
But there are times that I still can’t believe it. Even this week- after our 20 week anatomy scan where we saw her clearly with her tiny heart beating, dancing around- I still can’t believe it. And, in some small ways, I don’t think I will fully until she’s here in my arms.
On a Second Child
It is wild how different pregnancy has been for me with this time around; while raising another human. For both pregnancies extreme tiredness tortured my first trimesters. But, boy, is it different when you can take a nap whenever you want, as opposed to when you have another person to take care of. So this time around it felt magnified times 10. Thankfully, my family stepped in big time to give me breaks and naps whenever they could.
When I was pregnant with Maddie I paid much more attention to her, and the pregnancy in general. I spoke to her from the day of our transfer. I had prepared for her for months. I knew her name before she was conceived. I had countless quiet moments with her where I would just hold my belly and imagine who she would be. And I’m not sure if it’s how we got here this time around, or because she’s number two, but I haven’t had as many of those moments with our second girl. Yes, I’ve had dreams of what she’ll be like and I’ve had a silent conversation with her here and there. But it hasn’t been to the extent that it was with baby number one. And that has made me feel so guilty at times, even if it’s only because we’re just so busy.
But busyness, in some ways, has also been my greatest gift this time around. It’s going by so much quicker- YAY- which I’m so grateful for. But it’s also been the ultimate cure for my pregnancy anxiety. I don’t have time to google every scenario, or symptom or weird thought that comes into my mind. I physically can’t sit and ruminate on the what-if’s, like I did so often the first time. And that has made ALL the difference.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I don’t like being pregnant. As I mentioned here, I know this is something we aren’t supposed to say out loud. I run the risk of people thinking I’m ungrateful or a bad mom.
But I now know that it’s OK: to not love this particular phase of life, but to love the outcome at the end.
I don’t like how I feel when pregnant- I don’t have the easiest pregnancies, and, once again, I can’t do a lot of the things I love to do that make me feel like “me”- picking up Maddie, riding at Soul Cycle.
I don’t like the process of watching my body change and not loving what I see or how I feel. I get heavy fast; I often compare myself to other pregnant ladies- the kind that don’t swell or look pregnant from behind. But I guess that’s just not in the cards for me. And that’s OK, too. Because there are so many other parts of pregnancy to be thankful for. And there’s some solace that comes with this being the second time around; and knowing that at the end, none of this will matter. The stretch marks and rolls and soft skin will be overshadowed by baby toes and so much love. And my body will go back to some new version of normal in the end. What’s twenty more weeks of swollen limbs and waddling around and clothes not fitting just right when I have a lifetime of joy with another girl right around the corner?
photos by Julia Dags