A coworker who has been out most of the first semester came back to school recently and excitedly hugged me and said “oh, you’re expecting, how wonderful!” In that moment I realized how much I prefer that word to “pregnant.” Maybe because of who said it and the endearing tone she used, or maybe I just like it better. Ever since then I’ve been thinking about all that the word expecting really means for me and this pregnancy.
Expecting: to anticipate or look forward to.
We are certainly looking forward to meeting this busy little one and the anticipation is building as we finish up the 30th week already! WOW! I feel torn between wanting it to hurry up so we can meet our new baby, and wanting it to slow WAY DOWN so I can get a little more on top of life before we get thrown into the beautiful chaos of newborn land. I do feel a bit guilty though, as I’ve spent less time tracking the progress, reading every book that exists on the subject of pregnancy, and savoring each new experience this journey brings. Life is just a little different this time around. I know the whole parenting experience will continue to be an evolving adventure and it’s just not fair to compare. So I’ll have to let go of my expectations of keeping things equal and try to remember what has made this pregnancy unique.
Being that this is my second pregnancy my expectations have been different. Well, really I just HAD expectations this time around, whereas last time I had no clue what I was getting into! I expected to feel nauseous for the first 20 weeks. Luckily my low expectation was off, and I only had to endure “morning sickness” (AKA all day sickness) from 6-16 weeks this time. Bonus points for baby #2! I then expected to immediately jump from nausea to major heartburn...once again bonus points for baby, as I didn’t get heartburn until more like week 25, and it hasn’t been constant. Both of these pregnancy symptoms had me nervous to jump on the pregnancy band wagon again, but I think I was more prepared to tackle them this time around. Based on my last pregnancy I wasn’t expecting to need my maternity clothes until close to 20 weeks, however by 8 weeks I was already using a rubberband to keep my pants up since I couldn’t quite button them. And it became difficult to hide my belly, so we began telling our friends and co-workers by 10 or 12 weeks. I kept asking my dear friend Krista if she had “outgrown” any clothes as she neared the end of her pregnancy! Even with the expanding belly coming so soon I wasn’t expecting to feel baby move until 20 weeks, but I actually think I started to feel baby as early as 13 weeks! I didn’t believe it at first, but soon it became clear that I really was feeling baby (and not strange gas bubbles)---such a wonderful feeling! And boy does baby love to move, all hours of the day and night. Lucky me, I always know that baby is there! One day I tried to track the “kicks” and it was about every 1.5 hours for 10 to 20 min each time. My tummy was visibly moving by 20 weeks and now I catch it JUMP out of the corner of my eye. When the doctor listens to it’s heartbeat baby always kicks or pushes back. Early on, I could always feel baby move a ton when I was in a sitting position as if to say “Hey, you’re invading my space!” Baby is extremely low and loves to test the strength of my bladder. I’m so thankful to have a part time working schedule because I am WORN OUT every day. I don’t remember being so exhausted last time, but I also was able to come home and totally veg out, and this time I have a fun 2 year old to keep me on my toes. I’m fortunate that she still takes a decent nap most days, during which time I usually try to get a nap in, too. I had visions of that nap time being super productive for school or my pro-teach, but the fatigue always wins! This pregnancy has me craving Arby’s Classic Roast Beef sandwiches, and I generally lean toward salty vs. sweets. That is so not me! I love chocolate, and last time I couldn’t get enough strawberries. Hey, they say you crave what your body needs---I can’t fight it---Arby’s it is (perhaps contributing to the faster growing belly???). The most challenging part of this pregnancy has been SLEEP! In the beginning I was getting up a lot to use the bathroom or get something to eat and then it would take forever to fall back to sleep. I thought by the 2nd trimester I would get caught up but I still had occasional sleepless nights. And now I'm back to peeing and eating at all hours and struggling to get comfortable and fall back to sleep. The best part of this pregnancy, that I truly love, is experiencing this journey through the eyes of a toddler. Kendall tells me daily “Mommy, I love the baby in your belly.” For a while, early on, she also believed she (and Keith for that matter) had a baby in her belly. Now she knows there is only one in me, and she'll say things like "I can do ____ cause I don't have a baby in my belly." Kendall also seems to be under the impression that this baby is a girl (which we won't know until birth) and that we will be naming the baby Caillou (shocker---it's NOT on our list of possible names). She'll be heartbroken, but only for a bit. We actually don't have our names secured yet. We're fairly settled on the boy name, but are open to suggestions for the girl name. I even have a boy outfit chosen for coming home, but not a girl outfit---mother's intuition? Generally it's been an uneventful pregnancy, for which I'm grateful. If I can just fight off this nagging cold/cough I think I can totally hang for the next 10 or so weeks. Hard to believe it, but just 10 weeks left in this state of expectation.
|17 or 18 weeks|
|Baby Ross 20 weeks|
|28 weeks (Kendall wanted a belly picture, too!)|