The Second Pregnancy

Mother & children

I have been anticipating my second pregnancy since my first. I thought it might be easier with experience. Everything would be perfect: daily exercise, religious prenatal yoga practice, no empty calories, journaling to baby often. Come to think of it, I assumed the second pregnancy would be like the first because I did all of those things. But I imagined I could do them even better.

I was wrong. The second time around is harder. My body has been depleted by four years of motherhood. Pregnancy and extended breastfeeding and interrupted sleep and constant vigilance and that unavoidable loss of the carefree spirit. I always had cares, for myself and my loved ones and the whole wide world, but thanks to my own attentive parents and extraordinary opportunities and transformative experiences, I had a good hold on my heart. And when I met my husband, he buttressed my heart. I was in control, more so than ever before in my 24 year-old life.

Once I birthed Giovanna, everything changed. My heart landed in another person’s body. My daughter and the people who surrounded us became my everything. My priorities shifted from fun and adventure to this tiny little girl with caramel skin and a sweet disposition.

I know I am the same person deep deep down, but motherhood has changed everything.

I am now expecting my second baby who is due to arrive in February. Another winter child, another sweet babe to love. I am one happy mama. Not unlike my first pregnancy, I can’t help but examine my growing belly every day. I anticipate my child. I savor the glow and the miracle. I try to grasp the facts.

There is a baby growing inside of me. Another person. It is so mind-blowing that I have a hard time understanding how it can be true. And then I feel the flutter of little feet in my womb and it is like the flapping of angel wings. Pieces of my heart, once again, are taking up residence inside another person.

The female body makes miracles. While pregnant, our blood volume doubles and our heart grows in size. Our bodies transform before our eyes, under our skin, and we don’t have to do anything but take care of ourselves. With great power comes great responsibility and we have been charged with the task of proliferating our species. Some of us have partners that provide only DNA and others have partners that give so much more, they bolster us with their mental and emotional support. They rub our backs and our bellies and whisper secrets into our tired bones.

I know this pregnancy is harder for me because I have more responsibilities and less time. When I backed into the dark room that is the first trimester, I stopped exercising and cooking at home. I ate what I could bare to eat, which wasn’t much. I forced down yogurt and vegetables. I chewed carbs without enjoying them. I scrambled eggs for the choline. I breathed through my mouth to stop the smells. I napped and I vomited and I stayed awake all night and I journaled only a few times. I put aside my work and I put down my head. I would rest and relax and give this baby my everything.

Now, several weeks into my second trimester, I am unfolding. I am becoming me again. I am writing and editing stories. I am blogging at Tipsy Lit, at my fiction and poetry blog, and here. I have set some weekly goals. I have slowly started a gentle exercise regime of walking and yoga. I have returned to Barre3 for one class, which was nerve wrecking but wonderful. I am planning meals, sometimes. I am struggling with sleep, but such is life with the pregnancy hormones. I have just finished reading The Power of Habit and I am brainstorming all of the new habits I want to create. I am unafraid of growing and changing along with this baby.

I am ready to be a birth mother of two and a mama to three.


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