The pregnancy journey . . . boy versus girl, or #2 versus #1?

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This pregnancy has been so different from my pregnancy with Alice. I’ve been wondering how much of that is my slightly different lifestyle (less walking and more driving, less–read “no”–yoga classes, more Kraft macaroni and cheese), how much is because I’m pregnant with a boy instead of a girl, and how much is just part of a second (as opposed to a first) pregnancy.

What are these differences, you may ask? Lemme give you the skinny.

-MORE WEIGHT. I just had to put that in caps, because it’s really affecting how I feel. As of my appointment today–at 27 weeks, the cusp of the third trimester–I’ve gained 21 pounds. That’s reasonable and fine, I realize this, but it’s also more than I gained in my entire pregnancy with Alice (20 pounds). The mirror tells me I look fine, but I just feel heavy, large, gross, and generally unattractive.

When I was pregnant with Alice I heard other pregnant women say things like, “I feel so ugly,” or “I don’t feel sexy at all.” Huh, I thought. Poor things. I guess I got the magical pregnancy gene. Because I felt great–beautiful, sexy, and (at least after the first trimester) plenty energetic.

This is not the same.

I am a whale. In my mind. Which is where it counts. And whales, though endearing, endangered, and graceful in their own balloon-like way, are not sexy.

-More Kraft macaroni and cheese.

-Less documenting. Alas for the days when I had time and energy to blog and blog and blog . . . it was fun. And I love looking back on each week of my pregnancy with Alice. But what with work, writing novels, taking care of an energetic, galloping almost two-and-a-half year old who has been cooped up inside for far too long and a myriad of other things, little Benjamin just isn’t getting the same type of thorough analysis.

(Yes! His name is Benjamin!)

-Back to the whale part–this really hit me when my sister Heidi mailed me a box full of maternity jeans, that both she and my sister Erica had used throughout their pregnancies. Still living under the delusion that my sisters and I all have the same body (regardless of what our adult experience has taught us), I joyously stripped down and pulled on the first pair.

“Pulled on” is a misnomer–it implies I was actually able to, well, pull them on. To my body.

Let me give you the short version:

I couldn’t get into a single pair. And I was only halfway through my pregnancy at the time.

Hmm. I can’t fit into any of these jeans at 20 weeks, and both my sisters wore them through 40 weeks, I thought.


My conclusion? My sisters and I all totally have the same body.

Can’t stop believin’.

-More indigestion. Evenings of stomach-related misery, though a recent purchase of almond milk may have been the ticket–it seems to calm things down. I love the Califia vanilla stuff–not too sweet, and it makes me feel like maybe my stomach isn’t trying to grow up to be The Hulk anymore.

-More Kraft macaroni and cheese. Did I mention that yet?

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-Less energy. I’m not romping about at 8pm anymore–I’m looking at the clock and thinking, “hmmm, is it embarrassingly early to go to bed?” Then I realize that I don’t have the energy to even ponder that question, at which point I pass out on the couch.

Anyway, that’s the short version. The long version also includes what makes this an emotionally different journey: a Downs syndrome scare that turned out to be a false alarm, a lot of uncertainty about what we’ll be doing and where we’ll be living this fall, and all kinds of intense tear-inducing stuff like that. But you know what? Tonight, friends are coming over to our apartment, we’re eating an Indian feast from our favorite restaurant, and then we get to go to bed (isn’t it amazing that we get to do that every night??? I LOVE BEDTIME). So . . . hurray!


5 thoughts on “The pregnancy journey . . . boy versus girl, or #2 versus #1?

  1. Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef

    no pregnancy experience here but my first thought when i saw the first picture was “she looks pretty. and happy.” <3!
    and i love the name benjamin! i might be biased because i happen to have a benjamin too…but it's a pretty great name. 🙂

  2. Veronica

    Well you may not fit into any of the jeans you hoped to, but you still look amaze to us outsiders, despite how you feel. Amaze! I’m so happy for you and your family. 🙂

  3. Stephanie

    You look beautiful! And yes-in your mind is totally where it counts. I just love it when people tell me “Oh that’s not so bad!” As I’m thinking, “Well not compared to you/your experience! But this is my reality and I’m still the one that’s gotta deal with it.” And congrats on the boy! Fun times ahead.

  4. Twinky Satterthwaite

    Oh, you blessed girl, woman, daughter! You are beautiful, and your weight gain does NOT make you look like “Jenna la Ballena”!!!


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