okay, i am still rather early on in this pregnancy, but i can share what wisdom i have gleaned so far. first of all, for the most part, peoples' reactions to our news were about spot on both times. greg's mom instantly started crying, my mom made some annoying comment insinuating that she already somehow knew or expected it or was responsible for it, and people, in general, were equally happy for us. a big difference for me this time, is that, since i write this blog, i pretty much instantly shared the news on the internet, a risky gamble, whereas last time, i waited until i was past twenty weeks to post anything about it on facebook. my other pregnancy was a personal experience, as is this one, but i am sharing a lot of that experience here on my blog with you. welcome along for the ride.(p.s. i have no idea what i did to this portion of text to fuck it up so bad. please excuse.)
a lot of the sensations, symptoms, and thoughts have been the same or at least similar, but they are quintessentially different experiences, these first and second pregnancies. mainly because i’ve changed. last time, i wasn’t yet a parent, and my burgeoning belly felt like a scarlet letter in some way. i was a marked woman, open to peoples’ comments, judgements, stares. yet, i scarcely knew what i was in for, what it meant that i was pregnant, that i would soon be a mother. and i felt self-conscious about that. it was a weight that would hold me back in ways that i had yet to understand. my belly was like a pair of cement shoes, pulling me down into the depths of a mysterious river, the world above me passing by like nothing had happened, not missing me. this time, i feel differently toward my belly. i know what’s in there, and am much more aware of what it can be and that, no matter what, it is going to surprise me in crazy, but also wonderful ways. i feel proud of my belly, not like it is something to hide, but rather, if i catch someone looking my way, i stick it out further. “you want an eye-full? well, i’ll give you one. drink it in.” this time, i’m already a mother. i’m there. i’m not in some kind of metamorphosis like i was last time, caught between two worlds, waiting for fate to smack me in the face. i’ve done it once before, and i’ve lived to tell the tale.
the second big difference, is that, although i feel, in a way, better prepared and more aware of what the whole thing means, in a different sense, i am more afraid. people have told me, other mothers, that, while during the first pregnancy you have all the time in the world to worry and dwell on your pregnancy. during the second, as you already have a baby/toddler to entertain all day, it is easier not to torment yourself with thoughts of “what if”. but somehow, i manage to find the time. personally, i’ve gotten much better at multitasking since ruth has been around and can squeeze in as many as five different catastrophic scenarios into a few short moments of dead air time. i have to laugh when i think of myself in my former pregnancy, just walking around like some preordained miracle, it ain’t no thang, like christ on water, like, “what’s the big deal? i can walk on water.” (i’m sorry, all, for my bible references. that’s what happens when you are raised catholic for the first fifteen or more years of your life. greg and i get a laugh by sometimes bursting into one of the old church songs together we must’ve sang a billion and one times and that we remember every word and note to). it amazes me when i think of all of the different things that never even crossed my mind before, all of the things that i just took for granted.
the last way that this pregnancy is different than the first is the most fun one. last time, it was just greg and waiting for the other shoe to drop, like sitting ducks, a couple of dummies with our mouths hanging open, like, “duh?” this time is much more exciting because ruth is so excited about it. she is always coming up to me and patting my belly and talking about “baby sister”. the other day, we were driving in the car, and she said, “baby sister, come out of mommy’s belly so i can see you.” i mean….right? how fuckin’ cute is that? ruth lends balance to our lives. for all of the weighty ominous things i pile on one end of the scale, just a simple comment like that from ruth can tip the scale back in the other direction. the power of kids. crazy.
here is me at 13 weeks, not in goodwill clothing, but macy’s maternity, if you can believe it, thank-you, mother-in-law. i don’t even wanna guess how much this outfit cost.