As the finish line of this pregnancy starts to come into view, I can’t help but try to remember what my life was like at this point the last time I was pregnant.
For one thing, I had zero children, so when I came home exhausted and tired of wearing pants, I could park my butt on the couch and watch endless hours of television without a second thought. If I didn’t make dinner, it wasn’t the end of the world. If I didn’t get a walk or quick trip to the gym in, it didn’t really matter because there was always tomorrow. This time around, when I come home and want to drop everything, there is a toddler in tow, needing my attention and care. My husband and I also have to balance who can do what in the afternoon because someone has to be on pick-up duty while the other does errands or works later.
People also seem to forget that I am, in fact, pregnant. [This baffles me because at 32 weeks pregnant I am told on pretty much a daily basis that I look like I’m ready to give birth any day now — nope, another two months, but that’s basically pretty much almost the same as tomorrow.] At school people can’t forget, because the previously mentioned toddler is not hanging on my leg, but when I’m with family they seem to forget that I’m creating another human being for them to love and care for as much as the first one. My students are also probably counting down the days until I leave them with a sub to torture.
I have noticed that this time around I am much more eager to not be pregnant. Anyone who has known me for a few years can attest to the fact that I did not love pregnancy the first time around either. This time though, I can’t wait to get back to my former self. I love running and exercise, and playing trucks and dinosaurs like a maniac with my son. I have been counting down the days until I can really work out again and when I can sit down on the floor or give my son a bath without having to maneuver around a baby belly.
As far as I can tell, this pregnancy has helped me to confirm that we will be a two-kid family. I used to think I wanted three children. Even after being told we were having another boy, I thought hard about whether or not I wanted to go through this again to attempt to “try for a girl,” and so far, the answer has been no. I forgot that I’m basically giving up my body for a year. I forgot that I wouldn’t be able to put on socks without sitting down, or that I’d be out of breath after trying to conduct a class discussion. I also didn’t anticipate how much I would feel differently as my first son grew older. We’ve realized that we want to be able to take our children on vacation and do other fun things, and if we had another newborn two or three years down the road that might be more difficult. My husband and I also know that We want to be able to go away alone, like we were able to do last year for a few days. And we’ve also thought hard about what we can truly afford in terms of childcare and preschool, and that has influenced our decision as well.
I didn’t expect this pregnancy to be the same as the first one, but I didn’t anticipate the things that are actually different this time.
I should have known when I broke out in teenage acne and oily hair before I even saw a positive test result!