It’s so interesting being pregnant again! The first time around everything was so new. Every little change brought on either excitement or fear or something in between. This experience has been so vastly different from my first. I’ve been contemplating this since about halfway through my first trimester. And so it’s time to summarize the differences between my two first trimester experiences!
From a physical standpoint, I couldn’t have lucked out more with this pregnancy. I’ve read everywhere that you often feel the first trimester woes much more intensely the second time around. I have had the exact opposite experience. With my first pregnancy I was dry heaving, throwing up a little, and wondering how in God’s name anyone decides to do this more than once in their lives. This time around the mild waves of nausea that I experienced for about a week or two were more likely psychosomatic than physical. I mean, I found out I’m pregnant, obviously I feel like puking… Don’t I? Turns out I didn’t. I had a few intense and specific food cravings, but all in all nothing too extreme or note worthy, other than my incessant Polish sausage cravings. Being a vegetarian is hard during times like these. I feel like Phoebe when she was pregnant with the triplets (Friends, anyone?). I haven’t been free from the first trimester fatigue. In fact that’s the only thing I can really complain about. The lethargy and sleepiness was real. I wonder though, is that from the pregnancy alone? Or the pregnancy and the compounding effect of working part time, and being a toddler mom? It’s not like I can just rest whenever I want this time around.
Emotionally, I wouldn’t say it’s been easier, but it’s been easier to cope with. I expect the mood swings. I understand that they are due to the hormones and that I’m not just a raging bitch by nature. I also do try to be more mindful of when I’m being triggered, which is really fucking hard. Do I cry in the shower? Oh yeah, definitely every so often! But I mean, what mom doesn’t? So I don’t really dwell on those ups and downs like I did the first time.
Another thing I’m not dwelling on that has been the most liberating thing ever is my body. Experiencing such a massive change is scary the first time around. Especially for someone with body image issues from the past. But this time around I’m welcoming the changes with open arms. I’m embracing my awkward belly size and not even trying to cover it. I’m looking forward to watching my belly grow and move and transform from the life within it! I don’t care if I get stretch marks, or don’t “bounce back” as quickly as last time (God, I hate that term! That’s a rant for another day).
Becoming a mother has healed me of my body image anxieties. It has softened me (literally, and figuratively). I’m very well aware of how lucky I am. I know that there are so many women that struggle with their body image postpartum. The light switch flipped in my head when I realized that I don’t have enough energy to pour into my insecurities AND raising a child AND caring for my husband, cat, home, and sanity. One of them had to give, and my family wins over what my stomach looks like in a bikini. I am also very aware of the fact that my genetics played a huge role in what my body looked like postpartum. I am naturally thin, and even if my skin doesn’t return back to it’s original state, I’ll most likely return to my stable weight with very little effort even this second time around.
No matter your size before of after baby, YOU are a superhero, mama. You grew a child, and you are now raising one! How is that not worthy of praise? It’s ok to be a little softer, a little bigger, or even a little smaller than before you had your baby. Your body has transformed. You have transformed. Embrace it with grace and compassion.
Again, I could go on and on and on about that topic… And I probably will in the future.
Okay, back to the topic at hand! Let’s see here, what else? Salad. Yes. Cold, crispy, green salad. The thought of anything green and leafy repulsed me last time. This time I crave the crunch and the freshness. I’d say my fry-to-salad ratio is about 1:1 this time around, so that’s cool! Oh, and varicose veins. I’m starting to get one of those suckers on the back of one of my legs. I’m currently taking recommendations for good compression socks that won’t break the bank.
Second time mamas, I’m lookin’ at you! What have been the major differences between your first trimester experiences? Comment below 🙂