I can't believe I am nearly half way done with this pregnancy and Friday is our ultrasound appointment. This week was a lot of fun. We threw a party for New Year's and I have been trying to recover from that the past few days. I'm almost there. I didn't make any resolutions. I don't believe in them. Just because it's a new year doesn't mean that I am all of the sudden going to get motivated to do something better or make a change in my life. I can make a new life commitment any time and have it be just as important as if it were New Year's. One commitment I made several weeks ago is to get our house in order. I'd like to be nice and say I'm not much of a housekeeper and have it just be that I don't dust regularly or we have mail all over the kitchen table and leave it at that. The truth is . . . I'm a slob. I leave dirty clothes all over the floor, I leave papers and mail scattered on the couch. I start organizing projects and leave them strewn all over the bed or floor for weeks, until they get shoved aside and left on the floor. Our basement and office are so packed with boxes and junk that there is a small foot path from one end to the other and I only clean the master bath once or twice a month.
But, starting about 3 weeks ago all that changed!!!! That was my commitment, New Year or not. Things have been spectacular since then. The main floor has been spotless most of the time. Some things have set over night after a party or night out but were cleaned up within 24 hours. The bathrooms have been cleaned at least once a week and the only rooms that still need to be worked on (besides the basement and garage) are the office (papers to file and organize) and our bedroom (clothes to be organized and put into storage). It feels so good to have our house regularly in order that Sean and I have had a better relationship than we have in a long time. We don't argue as much (not that we argued a lot to begin with but the irritations we've had with each other have kind of disappeared), we have more energy, we're both motivated to work together on the house and we're even more flirtatious and romantic with each other.
Along with cleaning, this week I have been contemplating the difference between this pregnancy and my pregnancy with Hannah. I'm not talking about how I've been feeling but what the real differences are between a first and subsequent pregnancy . . .
Item 1: Showing i.e. Growing out of your 'normal' clothes. Being overweight, I know it will take a while for the baby inside me to be apparent to the outside world. That's where maternity clothes come in handy. No matter how pregnant you are, they make it obvious. When I was pregnant with Hannah I didn't switch to all maternity clothes till around the 23rd week. This time I've been wearing my maternity clothes for a week now and it's not that I've gained a lot of weight. I'm still down 4 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. So . . . it's a fact, subsequent babies show earlier.
Item 2: Breast Tenderness. With subsequent babies they don't hurt as much, yay!!! This is also a fact, even my doctor confirmed it. Early on with this pregnancy I hadn't felt this symptom, which worried me a little so I asked my doctor about it. He said that the milk ducts had already grown and produced milk with baby #1 so with future babies it would be less apparent since the foundation work was already done. I've still had some aching, especially when my bra comes off at night but this time around has been much less painful.
Item 3: You can feel the baby sooner. This has been a fact for me. It can vary depending on the positioning of the baby and the placenta but this time around I have definitely been able to feel the baby earlier than I did with Hannah. I think a lot of it was that I knew what I was supposed to feel. Even with this baby it took me about a week to be sure it was the baby I was feeling but having had the experience before made it much more apparent this time that it was the baby.
Item 4: Less worrying. This one is a complete myth. There is always something to worry about. I thought that after having one baby I'd be a pro at this and just be able to sit back and enjoy this pregnancy without worry. This time I've worried about different things. With Hannah I was very worried about how she was growing and the fact that I wasn't gaining weight. That isn't a concern for me this time, even though I still haven't had a weight gain. But I have started worrying about Hannah adjusting and getting prepared physically and emotionally for this baby, knowing that my attention won't be 100% on just this baby like it was with Hannah.
I think that with this pregnancy I have taken a lot for granted. Feeling the baby kick was amazing and I have enjoyed it a lot. But I don't have the feeling of awe that I had with Hannah. I've dreaded going into maternity clothes rather than being proud of my expanding waistline. Part of me feels guilty for not having the wide eyed feelings I had the first time but I'm also enjoying the low key experience of not having everyone badger me with questions and constantly ask how I'm feeling.
This time I feel more like a grown up, rather than a child having a baby. I feel like it's more of a family experience for Sean, Hannah and me, rather than an experience for everyone we know. Thinking about the differences between the pregnancies also makes me excited for the next time. How will it be when Hannah is older, used to being a big sister and can really be a part of things?
We have our ultrasound appointment on Friday morning. I'm still not sure if I want to find out the gender of this little one. Sean REALLY wants to know so that he can be more prepared. We did find out with Hannah and I think everyone expects us to do the same this time as well. My sister already called to find out the exact time of the appointment so she can be one of the first to know. It was nice knowing that Hannah was a girl; I think it helped me bond with her. But part of me wants to know what it's like to be surprised. I feel like this is my last chance to do that. With any other babies we have it will be a much easier adjustment if the kids can know if we're having a boy or a girl and help pick out a name and be part of the process of having a new baby. I think I will probably ask to find out but I won't be crushed if the little one decides not to cooperate with us.
Sean and I discussed it at length and we have decided to bring Hannah into the ultrasound with us. I don't think she'll have any clue what is going on but she likes looking at the pictures of the 9 week ultrasound and this might be interesting to her. When I show her the pictures of our first ultrasound and ask who it is she says, “Baby”. Well, this past week it's been “Mommy” but she's right on both accounts. She's well behaved and patient so I think she'll be okay as long as we bring some books and a sippy cup with us. We'll see how it goes. I just hope the baby is healthy.