Yesterday’s post was actually supposed to be about this, but then I derailed myself about other things. I’ve been starting this post in my mind for the last few weeks now. How is this time different than last time? What is it like to be pregnant with a child to care for?
I was really anxious that this pregnancy would be super different. I felt like, ok… the only upper hand I could possibly have is being able to anticipate what crazy shit was going to happen to me. But what if I couldn’t?! I guess the truth is, you never can fully, but sometimes you catch a lucky break.
The biggest difference between last pregnancy and this pregnancy is this: Last pregnancy I hated it and the internal dialogue running through my brain was, “God, this SUCKS. I can’t believe I have to do this again.” Because I knew without a doubt I’d be having more than 1 kid. And once Gabe popped out that was even more solidified. This time around the internal dialogue is, “God, I HATE THIS and I am NEVER doing this again.”
I think there is a huge difference between understanding what pregnancy is and understanding what it feels like to recover from it completely. I know what it is to have my body back, to regain my core, to feel on top of my shit, to be ultra productive mom-kickassery! All that gets put on hold when you’re pregnant. And seeing that life slip away is rough. I really don’t want to see this cycle repeat anymore. The problem is, I really desperately want this kid and I know that my family is not complete yet, and I absolutely adore giving birth. I love it. It is magical, I wish I could do it once a week. I would gladly do it once a week for a year if I never had to be pregnant ever again.
Other differences/things I am doing differently:
- A nightly Unisom+B6 to fight morning sickness has made a huge difference for me. Still sick, still flu-y but way more high functioning.
- NO Zofran. No matter what. That was so constipating it made my life miserable.
- More driving to combat motion sickness.
- No saltines/other constipating foods. Eating whole grains, sucking on jolly ranchers, eating apples, etc to help with constant nausea as really been a game changer.
- I am showing earlier. At 9 weeks I am already in maternity pants and LOVING IT. So comfortable and yet no one can tell at work! I have 0 need to live in my “real” pants for longer than necessary. Maternity pants are so awesome and comfortable and I got them at the Gap during the black friday sale, so YES. YES TO MAGIC SPANDEX WAISTBANDS!
Overall, it is really hard being pregnant with a toddler. The first few weeks I really mourned the fact that I couldn’t be the best mom ever to him. I had to let things slide, I had to bow out, I had to let Kamel take over for a bit. And I felt like I was betraying Gabriel. I felt like Kamel and I had made this choice that would be affecting him so much, and he didn’t even get a say. I had guilt about that.
And how do you physically DO this while caring for another? I rely HEAVILY on Kamel. And I mean HEAVILY. I don’t change diapers (vom), I don’t do bed time, I don’t do wake ups, I don’t do breakfast, I don’t get him dressed for school. I have to advocate and care for ME in order to simply make it through my work day and Kamel does the rest. He gets up before me, he makes me toast, he gets the baby up and dressed and fed all while I am willing myself to get up and take a shower and put on clothes. Even when I can do those normal morning routines I have to take lots of sit down breaks and Kamel is holding it DOWN. That is truly the only way this functions. I still come home and cook dinner, and eat dinner like a normal human, but then I am on the couch until bed time. Couch parenting… I am a master at it. This whole set up is not pretty. My house is hanging on by a thin thin thread. But it is real and it is temporary. Things are already starting to get a little better.
Someone asked me about the exhaustion that comes with the first trimester. That is FOR REAL. I just don’t remember it being as bad as this last time!! I have fallen asleep on the couch MANY times at 7:30pm while Gabe and Kamel play. I am freaking tired. So tired. But you push through. When Kamel had a work dinner, I had my best friend come over to help me with Gabe in the evening. You pull in reinforcements. I had to cancel a really awesome birthday dinner for my mom. And we had to sell 2nd row Brandi Carlisle tickets on Craigslist because they were for a Sunday night and there was just no way I could have done it. I’m recognizing my limits and planning accordingly. I say no to things, I rearrange my schedule, Kamel picks up the slack, I sleep. This is a finite period of time, and even though there have been moments of despair, I know that it is not forever. And honestly, while Kamel wrangles our first kid, I’m handling our second. So, division of labor? I’d say pretty equal.
And as far as why we chose to do this now – I want them close in age, I want to have the baby years and then be done with the baby years, I don’t want to have a 4 year old and a newborn. I definitely see those perks, it’s just not for me. And ultimately, I want to get this over with. I want my baby having years to come and go and then I can move on to other awesome parts of my life. But pregnancy? It has not been an experience I enjoy (Although I do really enjoy babies), so having it as an always possibility looming in my future, no thanks. Let’s get to it and get it done. And then I can stop having to reboot my wardrobe constantly. I can stop having to rebuild my body. I can stop having the constant (and jarring) transitions and changes of pregnancy + new human. Am I saying 100% I am never having another kid? Ehhh… More like 95%? Let’s get this one healthy and out of me, and then we’ll have that real talk discussion.