cartoon from babygaga.com
Well, I’ve finally entered the elusive Week Fourteen, otherwise known as The Second Trimester of Awesome. I guess that compared to my first trimester I am feeling awesome – my energy has at least doubled, which is not to say that I feel normal, just not completely utterly exhausted all the time. I don’t have morning sickness, but I do still seem to have this all day queasiness explicitly detailed awareness of every process of my digestion thing going on, which hubby swears I complained about in my first pregnancy, but I seem to have blocked out. I’m still sore in all those normal places, still going to the bathroom with more frequency than should be normal, and I’m still a bit of a basket case, just only in my own mind now since I’ve gotten fairly good at keeping my crazies under wrap.
I feel like this must have been true with my first pregnancy, which was unplanned and full of drama (unlike this one which was very much planned and very much accepted and welcomed by everyone we know), but my biggest feeling these days is doubt – was this really what I signed up for? Am I really ready? Is this going to work? And I have this ridiculously small lack of confidence in the pregnancy and the prospect of a second child. I signed up for this, but I haven’t come to terms yet that it’s actually happening. At least… not every hour of the day. I’d expect that there are probably several hours in the day when I’m happy to be pregnant, feeling optimistic and looking forward to my future. But damned if I can remember them. What I disctinctly take away from this pregnancy these days is the fear, paranoia and sometimes aggravation with the whole thing.
My boobs hurt all the time and it sucks. I try to remind myself that my body is simply paving the way towards nursing this summer. I can’t imagine the frustration of going through all this pain if you weren’t even planning to nurse – just torture for tortures sake with no real purpose. I watch my two year old son and burst to the brim with love for him and wonder if I’m making the right choice – will a second child be good for him? Will it lessen our bond? Will he resent me for having another child? I know that these things happen to people all the time but I was raised an only child and have a hard time perceiving the idea of a sibling – the idea of being able to divide my love equally among multiple children. It seems impossible, but I know it happens. Most of the time, I know. Other times I worry – what if I don’t have that capacity? Will this child have a good life, the life it deserves? Am I good enough mother to raise two children at least as well as I’ve raised one?
I think of all the pitfalls I’ve had with MM and try to imagine them with 2 children. The tantrums, the potty training, the sleeping through the night. I remember all the negative aspects of my last birth experience with bitter clarity and although my plans for this one are different, I know things likely won’t go exactly as planned. What will go wrong? What will keep me up all night, years later, remembering and never forgetting? Will nursing go better for this child? It took me an impossibly long time to get MM nursing and I don’t think I can go through that again. It needs to work or not work – I’ll be a mother of 2 and won’t be able to lay on the couch in a stuper, going back and forth between nursing, pumping, bottle feeding, and back again. I need to be on my feet this time. When I make mistakes, (and god help my sanity, I know I will) will I be as lucky this time? There won’t be in-laws making my meals and cleaning the house and giving me small breaks. This time it’s all on me.
I signed up for this folks. This was my choice. I know that I still want it, but it scares me. It seems absurd that having raised one decent kid, I could worry that I’ve already hit my limit – my glass ceiling. I know this must be possible, lots of people raise 2 or more children and love them all and do fine and it’s wonderful. I want my son to have siblings – I admire the relationship my husband has with his three siblings, envy their relationships with one another. I want that for MM (and the next child, obviously). But I’m scared. And then I feel guilty of my fear – like dude, you’re in your second trimester, it’s too late for doubts – your stuck with this, so get a grip. And I know that… and I am committed, trust me, I am. I’m just waiting for all this nagging worry to dissipate and for the baby to get here and for me to be once again amazed at how quickly and completely that mother love can fill you.
Then I think about some of the stories I’ve read online, in the media, from friends. I could still lose this baby. Miscarriages happen every day and I don’t think that notion was remotely so clear to me in my pregnancy with MM. In this pregnancy? I think about it every day. I have to censor myself reading some of your blogs, because I know your stories, and what you are going through and I’m sorry that I can’t embrace your stories and send you thoughts of comfort, because your stories just fill me with fears that I didn’t need – I have enough of my own. If this baby makes it to full term, will the birth be successful? Will they survive infancy? Not all children do. You’d think seeing my one perfectly healthy two year old would be proof enough that it very likely will go fine, but it doesn’t. It just shows me what kind of loss I could be up against if this isn’t meant to be. I don’t know if I’m strong enough for that, and I have no choice in the matter of what happens. I know I’m being a wee bit ridiculous here, but I honestly think about this stuff every day. Every day. And it breaks my heart and it scares me. So in between being a moderately happy glowy expectant momma, I’m mostly just cautious, scared and hoping for the best.
And this was supposed to be a bump report. I’ll leave you with some optimistic statistics before I end this. Sorry if this was not at all what you came to read. But I really have had a hard time holding that in and I needed to put it somewhere. Anyway – stats on BB this week courtesy of babycenter.com:
This week’s big developments: BB can now squint, frown, grimace, pee, and possibly suck their thumb! They can grasp, too, and if I had an ultrasound now, I might even catch them sucking their thumb. From head to bottom, BB measures 3 1/2 inches — about the size of a lemon — and weighs 1 1/2 ounces.
BB Kumquat the Lemon/Lime Shrimp is roughly 3.5 inches long and weighs 1.5 ounces
Their body’s growing faster than their head, which now sits upon a more distinct neck. By the end of this week, their arms will have grown to a length that’s in proportion to the rest of their body. (Their legs still have some lengthening to do.) Though I can’t feel their tiny punches and kicks yet, my little pugilist’s hands and feet (which now measure about 1/2 inch long) are more flexible and active.