I haven’t done a very good job of documenting this pregnancy.
I started with a wealth of enthusiasm, with worlds of post ideas, with creativity coming out of my fingertips like hot bombs of awesome.
And then I got tired.
So, so very tired.
I feel this intense pressure to write EXCELLENT stuff, to put something out there that is truly meaningful, that captures the immensity of the Bullet, being in this place after all we’ve lost. And honestly, I don’t know that I am capable of it.
I’m tired, and I’m happy, I’m stressed and I’m a little bit nervous. With Hudson I didn’t even think about the unthinkable, but this time I’ve faced it and I know how real it is, how unexpectedly it can strike. After Hudson and pre-Bullet, I was okay with facing the darkest places of my grief, with exploring hard topics and going to places that might make me cry, because I found all of that to be cathartic and healing. Now, with Bullet on board, I don’t want to go to those places anymore. I am happy and I want to just BE HAPPY.
A tiny nagging little bit of me feels guilty for this new level of happiness. The only tears I’ve shed since June 13 were tears of happiness. I didn’t cry on Hudson’s birthday or on the anniversary of her death. I’ve been too happy to be sad. And for the most part, I’ve been too happy to feel guilty. And even though there’s that guilty nag, I know that Hudson would want me to be happy, not guilty.
I have felt inadequate as a writer because I’ve been unwilling to go to the places that differentiate this experience from the last. With Hudson, I could write silly little posts about craving ice cream and about being itchy and about getting fat because I was under no pressure to be profound. After Hudson, I could write unabashedly about the grittiest parts of loss, because I was under no pressure to beautify the experience.
I can’t go back to silly, and I don’t want to stay gritty. I feel like there is a lot to be said about pregnancy after a loss, but I don’t feel equipped to write it. Or at least, to write it and do it justice.
I know that not everything I write can be profound, nor should it be. I knew that when I got pregnant again, I couldn’t spend all my time worrying about the worst. I also knew that I’d never be able to go back to the innocence of Round 1, when everything was fresh and hopeful and you just knew that every pregnancy ended with a bouncing baby to bring home with you.
I don’t feel equipped yet to write about the emotional differences, so perhaps I can focus on some of the physical differences. We’ll dip a toe or two in the waters and see if we can’t get into a comfort zone.
#1. Um, you get fatter faster.
No ifs, ands or big-butts about it, I’ve been rocking maternity shorts since 8 weeks along, and I have a 20-week bump at 14 weeks. I was talking about the phenomenon of the “warmed up effect” with a friend of mine who is also on her second pregnancy, and she said it best:
“Your body is like, Oh I’ve been here before.*”
*This was accompanied by a “rotund belly” gesture and said in a deep, Walrus-like voice.
#2. You feel baby move sooner.
I’m sure I will get a few people telling me that this is impossible, but I will tell you with certainty that I have felt Bullet move since 11 weeks. I defy you to contradict me here. I told my doctor about it and she said it was totally possible. Then we saw Bullet on the ultrasound screen, twirling and flipping around, and I was like, “No wonder!”
#3. You’re more tired.
But I maintain that this is also because you are older. Inevitably you are older the second time you get pregnant, right? It’s science. Older = less vim and vigor.
#4. No two pregnancies are the same.
I didn’t have any food aversions with Hudson. With Bullet, I developed a disdain for unmelted cheese. Those who know me understand that this is a true travesty, and that under normal circumstances cheese would be on the menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, not relegated to the “only melted and if I can’t see it” camp. What the?!
Also, one day the only thing that sounded good to me for dinner was mashed potatoes. So I ate JUST mashed potatoes for dinner. I ate anything and everything when I was pregnant with Hudson.
#5. You aren’t so concerned with rushing to every milestone.
This time around, I don’t believe in a “safe zone.” I’ve made it full term and still not brought my baby home, so there are no milestones that sing to me “We’re home free!” I’m enjoying every week of this pregnancy, relishing the lemon-sized status we are at today. Sure, I’m still a little preoccupied with time passing (Shoot man! I gotta wait until February to have this baby? I can’t find out gender until OCTOBER!?) but I don’t feel like “GOD, this pregnancy is taking FOREVER” which was how it felt a little bit with Hudson.
Pregnancy is no longer a means to an end. I’m just enjoying every day with my baby.