There are things you do differently with experience. Even if you do them exactly the same, the second time you do it with conviction. You are more certain that this path is the right path. Or perhaps you are more certain that you stumbled down the right path the first time quite by accident and that you will surely stumble down the path that is right again.
“No two pregnancies are the same!” say the cheerful women in the grocery store. And the midwife. And the woman at Em’s school. And my mother! (So, of course it is true!) This has certainly been the case. Everything about this first few months has been different. I think in large part because this time I know.
I know that this little being I am cooking will change my life in unimaginable ways. That I will love them in a way that I did not know was possible. That I will continue to feel their every movement, anticipate their every feeling long after I share my body with them.
Knowing this brings with it a fear I never had with Emily. I was never particularly afraid of miscarriage or a birth defect with Emily. Because I only loved the “idea” of a baby then. I could get pregnant again. And at 29 the red flags of “advanced maternal age” were not lurking behind every corner. But this time I know that I don’t want to get pregnant again. I want THIS baby. And I certainly do not want to shoulder the guilt of feeling that it was MY age that brought pain in to their less than PERFECT life. So there is Fear.
And with that Fear comes a deeper reverence.
I know I can do it. That is different this time, too. There is fear, certainly. But there is more Confidence than fear. My body grew a little human that grew up to be a sassy little thing that I adore. And my body will very likely not let me down. I can do it. I know this.
And I know it will not last forever. When I came home from work those first few weeks and could not imagine cooking dinner I knew that I’d not spend the next nine months on my couch. And I knew that my baby would be just fine if I did not eat anything but Cheerios and peanut butter jelly sandwiches for a week straight.
I know that I am not actually losing my mind. My first pregnancy I wondered if I’d ever be able to watch an SPCA commercial without hysterics. Or if I would ever be able to get out the door in less than five trips. I know now that my hormones will level out and eventually I will go back to just having quiet tears roll down my face all the god damn time instead of full on bawling. I will get out the door to get to work in only three trips, just like normal.
I know that I probably won’t pee in my pants. And that I won’t have to pee every 30 minutes forever. This is of particular importance to me today. The toilet in my office is broken, so I have to run next door to pee. And this is different now than it was when I was pregnant with Em. I’d never have been able to pee in a bathroom that was closer to a conference table filled with four people than it was to the sink. And I’d definitely not have been able to have done it three times during one 90 minute meeting, but this girl has got to go! And my first pregnancy did change that. I can pee anywhere now. Any time. On command, it is quite a skill.
Lastly… I know my shoes won’t fit in a few more months. And I love my shoes. So while I may comfortably settle in to wearing the same damn pair of jeans every day and a black shirt of my choosing I will be wearing fanfuckingtastic shoes until I am either too afraid I will topple over or I can’t jam my big fat pregnant feet in to them.