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December 6, 2012

A Different Pregnancy, a Different Me

Whether you’ve been following this blog or you’ve simply taken a look at me, there’s no doubt that I’m nearing the end of this pregnancy. My personal proof is that I’ve started making mental notes not to forget zipping the flies on my jeans once I’m back in pants that don’t involve elastic. It’s been a long time.


As tired and cranky as I feel sometimes, now is a pretty great time to hang out with me. In subtle ways, I think that everyone around me is a world-class gymnast. Everyone seems to be in great shape, and incredibly agile, to boot. On more than one occasion, I have had to consciously keep myself from commending John on his ability to effortlessly pick something up from the floor.


Perhaps this means that I am simply too self-centered; I am comparing non-pregnant people—men and women alike—to myself. I am seeing the best in them because of it. Still, this doesn’t strike me as the healthiest mindset to have. At least not for an extended period of time.


Recently, someone asked me how this pregnancy has compared to that with Jacob. I told him that the first twelve weeks were terrifying, after having lost Ethan within that time period. After that, it’s been relatively similar. Apart from the hot flashes I had early on, the main physical difference is that this pregnancy is, quite frankly, more painful.


My doctor tells me this is a good sign. I feel the kicks and whatnot more because my abdominal wall has slackened, which is normal. I didn’t think “slackening” was a direction I had much room to take, but there it is.


On a personal level, this pregnancy has been very different from that with Jacob. Rather than sitting at a desk every day and struggling for a few months with the decision to leave my job, I am caring for a toddler, confident in taking time to put my freelance business on hold for my boys and hopeful about other writing projects in progress. Instead of wondering about how in the world I will ever nurse or change a diaper anywhere outside our home, I am envisioning feeding our little boy in the early hours of the morning, wondering which song will become his favorite lullaby.


When we made the decision to induce labor with Jacob, I am ashamed to say that my biggest concern was how other moms—the moms who spoke proudly of their drug-free labor and deliveries—would react. I knew it was stupid at the time, but either their pride or my insecurity or a combination of the two made me uneasy. I didn’t let the fear win, or even stick around for long, but even an instant was too long. A wise friend pointed out to me later that a hundred years ago, had I not elected to be induced, either Jacob or I might not have survived.


This time, without going into details, we’re essentially inducing labor two weeks early. My doctor’s experience and expertise is enough for me to trust him completely—with both my life and our baby’s. It was an easy decision to make, because John and I are a team, and we have our family’s best interest in mind. I’m sure not everyone agrees with this or thinks they would do it themselves. But like nursing, co-sleeping, discipline, food, and so on, these are decisions each family has to make for itself.


I guess the short answer to our friend’s question about how this pregnancy differed from that with Jacob is this: This time around, I am confident that John and I know what is right for our family.

  1. Rach says:

    Love that you guys have so much confidence in your choices this time around. I think that is so important! I think I’ll be the same way with my first – unsure and hoping I don’t get looked down on for whatever decisions I do or don’t make. But hopefully by the time my second comes around I’ll be more confident in our decisions. 🙂

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