Recently a friend asked me what it feels like to be expecting our third child. (I'm now 25 weeks!) Lots of people have three or more kids (but fewer than most) and I don't feel like I'm uniquely capable of sharing what it's like because it's so different for everyone, but I do have a few thoughts now that some of the pregnancy fogginess has cleared in the second trimester.
1. It's awesome.
It's awesome just like it was the first time. I mean awesome in its purest sense; "causing or inducing awe; inspiring an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear" Yep, conception, pregnancy, birth, and parenthood does all that. The first kick, the growing belly, all of that is just as amazing. What's been different is how fast it feels its going. It's flying by! I also haven't taken any pregnancy pictures of myself or journaled the pregnancy as much as the other boys. There's just more going on so I can't devote as much time to recording or "cute stuff" like I once did.
Haven't touched/probably won't touch a pregnancy or birth book. It's a beautiful thing to feel more confident and knowledge about how your body labors and what works for you when you deliver.
I do have the What to Expect app so I can show videos of the baby's development to my kids and track the baby's size. (I really wish there was a better pregnancy app out there.)
2. It's uncomfortable.
In every way, but not all the time. 62% of the time I do not think about being pregnant. I'm just doing my thing, as me, and honestly only remember that I am with child when somebody comments or I'm doing something otherwise normal and it's more difficult than it normally would be. (i.e. picking up a glass on the floor, buckling my sandals, carrying my two year old.) One of the strangest things about being pregnant is feeling like you haven't changed, but realizing that to everyone else, YOU'RE PREGNANT. It's the number one topic and commentary everywhere. It's mostly fine and fun and I don't care but sometimes I do feel like, Alright. I've had quite enough pregnancy talk.
It's also just more uncomfortable. Whereas I could fly under the radar (which I prefer) with Silas until about six months, I've been showing with this one since mid-first trimester. Pregnancy-related pain is just more, too. Back pain, leg aches, stiffness, bruised rib. It's all happening.
3. No one has tried to touch my belly.
I'm good with this. Maybe I have a little RBF this time around...?
4. Advice Magnet
Almost everyone offers advice. Old me used to care, new me laughs and only cares 2% of the time when it's hard to let that especially insensitive or stupid comment roll of your back. People mean the best and are just trying to relate. Sometimes they give legit good advice, so you never know. If I'm in the mood, I beg for advice and wisdom from friends who have 3+ kids. These people know things and I want in.
5. Nice Magnet
Almost everyone smiles, says congratulations, compliments my two boys, or says God Bless or Good luck or You've got your hands full or No girl? And frowns. (I'm very happy we'll have three boys, for the record. 200% okay with it)
6. It's easier asking for help.
Most people are overwhelmed at even the sight of two toddlers and a pregnant belly and are more than willing to do whatever to help you out. I get my groceries (Costco, Target, TJs, EVERYWHERE) carried out, UPS and FEDex guys carry packages in for me, etc. It saves my back and is a nice little way to bond with a store employee. :)
Our oldest is in preschool (Bless Preschool!) and we also participate in weekly park groups and a nature preschool. My friends are the best and we all like each other's kids so we help each other out during play dates, or a random afternoon. Mom friends and scheduled weekly activities for the win! I also love local Facebook groups and listservs for meeting people and hanging out.
7. You take care of yourself.
It's no one else's job to take care of your health (duh), but for some reason I've just let things roll before now. Now I say "no" as much as I need to, talk to my doctor often and never feel like I'm inconveniencing her to ask questions or email her, hold sleep as the holy grail and get a good fat chunk every night, buy giant pregnancy pillows, buy clothes that fit and flatter(questionable but trying!), read good books, and eat what sounds/feels good to me.
It's easy to forget that pregnancy is an ideal time for extra introspection, self-discovery, and self-nurturing. But for me at least, it's like I gain this sixth sense for what's important to me and what I want. There's more meaning in the every day things, and since my physical body is slowing me down a little, and my brain is sedated with hormones, I live in the small moments because I can't even with more than that.
8. You savor it.
It could be the last time I'm pregnant. For every stage and in-utero development, I think about that and want to freeze it in my memory. The first time my oldest felt the baby kick. The first time he jumped in response to the boys'. The way I look and feel.
9. You know your baby.
Let's see if I can even write this without crying. The second I held Silas, I knew he knew me. And I knew him. He was crying like a little pink piggie and turned his head to me, stopped crying, and stared. Then snuggled against my neck. It was the same with Sondre. The nurses placed him right on my neck and chest and we just snuggled and loved each other, finally. Oh man. We already knew one another—we just happened to be meeting for the first time face to face. Circumstance, you know. I feel the same way with this baby boy. I feel him with me all the time and feel like we're just getting to know each other until our actual sit-down date in January. When we get real close, real fast. I cannot wait to meet this little guy.
10. You know it's a miracle.
Although we have had three healthy pregnancies and babies, we have experienced loss and high risk during the last four years. Anything can happen at any time and every day I am so grateful that this growing baby and I have made it another day. I can't even wrap my mind around how incredible it is that a woman's body can grow a child. It's the most miraculous, beautiful gift and I am honored to be pregnant with this little boy. *cue lots of kicks in my ribs*