Monday, January 26, 2015

I'm 31, not 26 (like last time)

Pregnancy is different at 31 than it is at 26 - when I was last pregnant. I'm finding myself thinking: "maybe I do want a pack and play with a changing table thing" instead of the 23 year old who found a changing table on craigslist while pregnant for the first time ... and quickly sold it on craigslist when said changing table was barely used. It's not like we lived in a huge home where it was tucked off in a corner - our apartment was about 600 sqft. It was just more convenient to plop down on the floor with the first baby (and the next one) for diaper changes, instead of wrangling a squirmy baby and the various diapering supplies on a raised surface. The jury is still out, but my guess is the floor will still be the defacto changing table.

But other than that - morning sickness was minimal - no puking, some nausea, no biggie (with Noah I puked once a day, with Del I puked 6 times total). I craved salt like CRAZY in the first trimester for this pregnancy. But mostly, I forget that I'm pregnant. It was so unexpected, and the symptoms so mild, that I forget. I mean, it's nice not having a period for months on end, and my belly is bigger - but I could just tell myself I'm gaining belly weight for some reason.

The bigger difference though, between a pregnancy (for me) at 26 (when I was last pregnant) and 31 is that a bajillion of my friends are pregnant or have recently birthed. How novel! The last two times all of my pre-mommy-ing friends were doing their 20's thing and it didn't include making babies. And now they are (or are choosing not to)! It's exciting to have peers to ride this ride with - but also interesting to see different perspectives. I recently met up with a group of moms who were all mostly my age and had all recently birthed their first kid or were pregnant with their second. The conversation around the group was the same type of conversations I'd hashed out with my playgroup friends back in Providence ... when we were having our second babies (or in my case - had recently had a second baby). I thought I'd always enjoy these type of conversations - but I was over it. I didn't need to talk about the merits of breastfeeding or cloth diapering (again). I just live my parenting life and it happens to include co-sleeping and baby-lead-feeding.

So maybe the biggest difference between a pregnancy at 26 versus a pregnancy at 31 is that you're more comfortable in your own skin. You know what works for you and your family but you don't feel the need to process it constantly and reassess. You're also more confident in what the future might hold - namely, not another pregnancy - and you see every day how this time does slip by faster than you expect. You see it every day when that eight year old you birthed yesterday, you know, the one you thought would never sleep through the night, walks by and you realize he's almost as tall as you are. You cherish every movement in utero because you'll never feel this baby (or any baby) in this unique way again. Pregnancy is so short. You'll never have heartburn like this again or feel the urge to pee again(!!) when you swear you were just in the bathroom.

Another difference - this baby already has older siblings. It is so fun to have a two year old rubbing my belly because "the baby is sad" (and also freaks me out - does she know something I don't!?!?), or a 3.5 year old announcing to everyone "there's a baby in my mommy's tummy and it's a girl! We're having a girl baby!!" (really?! News to me!), or a 6 year old grinning big and proud when anyone asks her about the baby, or a 6.5 year old gently rubbing my belly and asking if I need some water or reminding me that I need to minimize my sugar intake (thank you gestational diabetes), or the 8.5 year old who daily yells into my belly because he knows the baby can hear him. I'm so excited to see how the baby is integrated into our family. I expect it will be overwhelmed with hugs, kisses, and being read to!

The most important difference - at 26 I had no interest in alcohol or coffee. Now I'm like: I could kill for a margarita or a creamy sweet coffee!

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