Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Second Time Around

It has been so interesting to be pregnant this second time. I still can't believe how quickly the weeks have flown we are just 2 weeks from baby #2's due date! For some reason all along I've felt like I wouldn't even make it to the due date (it just seems like this little one will come early!) but I guess we'll see what actually happens. 

When it comes to physical changes this second time around, oddly enough I don't feel as HUGE at this point in the pregnancy as I did with Jack. (This is odd considering the fact that I've gained 50+ lbs! Even as I type that, which I do because I might as well claim it since it's already happened, I can hardly believe it!). With Jack I gained much less but I just felt like this massive version of myself. I remember thinking that the bump just extended so far from my body that it might explode. This time it is still a big fat bump (and we are expecting a big fat baby!) but it feels more normal, because now I know that a fully developed human is hanging out in there, so of course I should have a good sized baby bump. This is not to say that I am enjoying being a very pregnant woman...I'm not...but at least I feel more at home in my body as this second baby makes a home there.

As far as emotions this pregnancy, I am equally excited to meet this little babe. And that's a good thing, because I would be so sad if I was less excited just because we've been here before! This little baby is so precious to us. I actually had two showers thrown for me this pregnancy, and both were really special. I was so glad that we took the time to celebrate our second child in just the same way we did with our first. My Aunt Nitzi threw me the first shower, a lovely lunch with close family and friends, and as I opened each gift I still had the same awe and excitement that I had when we were expecting Jack. Then at work today my coworkers threw me a wonderful baby shower as well! Everyone's love and generosity meant so much to me. Originally I thought that since this was our second child a shower wouldn't be necessary, but aside from being so appreciative because of the lovely things that everyone gifted the baby, I was really appreciative because of the way that it made me feel! Even though I've given birth before, as I near my due date, I find myself very anxious about labor and delivery and the first few postpartum weeks because as I mentioned...I've been here before. I know what to expect. And that is a beautiful, precious baby, after hours of pain and discomfort, and then weeks of sleep deprivation and sacrifice. Every minute is worth it but that doesn't make it easy or enjoyable. My point is that little did I know how much I needed to celebrate (again) the exciting parts about having a newborn: the cute (and oh so small!) little outfits, the warm and cuddly blankets, the sweet smelling baby bath & lotion. Holding these things in my arms reminds me of what I get at the end of nearly 10 months of pregnancy...another child in those same arms! And for me at least that helps quiet the anxiety and fear and for that I am incredibly grateful.

When it comes to my career, I definitely am doing things differently this time around as well. Instead of going out two weeks before my due date (which I did with Jack), I'm planning on being in the office through 39 weeks and then working from home until I go into labor. Although it's been exhausting, it's also been invigorating in many ways. I love my job and I've been so busy accomplishing things and organizing coverage for my leave that the days are literally flying by. And that is no cause for complaint from me because each day that passes brings us closer to meeting this baby! The only downside is that I definitely am experiencing quite a few more unpleasant remarks since I am still working away. For example, someone stopped me at the office yesterday and said, "you just get bigger and bigger every day!!!" She had a big smile on her face and I would like to assume good intentions, but as a big fat pregnant woman, that doesn't make it much easier to hear. I also hear a lot of "what are you still doing here?! you must be due any day now! when are you going on leave???" Ultimately I am happy to still be working because I'm taking nearly four months off after the baby arrives, and that time at home with a baby in my arms is a bit more valuable to me than time at home waiting for baby to arrive!

This second time around, I feel just as blessed to be bringing life into the world. Sometimes I still can't believe that we have another baby in our family! 

The baby bump @ 37 weeks!

One other huge difference with the second can watch Baby #1 sleep while you think about what Baby #2 will look like, be like, act like. I can't wait to see the two of them together!

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