I’ve figured it out!
I think I’ve figured out the difference between my first pregnancy and this one–don’t laugh! The difference is–um, I have a child now.
Short of some basic randomness involved in the biology of the thing–baby might be positioned differently, so the kicks might feel different, etc.–I think for me the big difference is really the presence of my son.
Here’s what I mean by that. . . .
The first time around, I definitely had a little bit of morning sickness in the first trimester, but it was very manageable and very mild. This time, I am sure that my sensations are the same–that is, the morning sickness didn’t feel stronger, etc.–but the contexts that prompted them are different. Hustling out the door in the morning, getting me to work and a toddler to preschool, I had less time to eat a protein-laden breakfast, this time around, that could help manage the symptoms of morning sickness for me.
Now, sitting in the back seat of the car next to my son’s carseat (he is and always has been a terrible car passenger and will scream–earlier, just wordless cries, now, things like, “THE BUCKLE IS HURTING ME! I WANT TO GET OUT! I WANT TO GET OUT OF THE CAR! THIS IS TOO TIGHT!”–unless constantly soothed), the feelings of carsickness and vague dizziness that pregnancy induces in some women come to the fore for me, whereas the first time around, sitting blithely in the front passenger seat with no one screaming and no back-seat bumpiness, I barely noticed them at all.
This time, the third-trimester aches and general large, awkward movements that pregnancy brings are intensified when I put my son to bed at night, lying down beside him on his very low-to-the-ground mattress. . . and then rolling strangely and stiffly off it when he’s asleep and I get up to go on with my evening. The first time around, I got to just sit in the living room with my feet up every evening, though such a concept now seems laughable to me.
Anyway, I write this all with humor, but also with a bit of reality behind it–I don’t think this pregnancy is harder, or anything like that, on its own, but I do think that the situations we are in shape the way we perceive our experiences, and that idea is certainly proving true for me now, at least.
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