It used to be that when I thought of pregnancy, I thought of people like Gwynneth, Brittney, Liv, Angelina and Katie. This is because I used to spend my days working in a little shop and reading magazines. Sure I read things like Harper's and the New Yorker, I read Bust, Bitch and Ready Made, but my dirty little secret was I also read Star, the Enquirer, People and US.
My addiction started in earnest as I prepared for my wedding - I would pick up the usual wedding magazines for inspiration (really I would just lust over Vera Wang dresses and Martha's cakes) and something on the cover of People or In Style would catch my eye. Suddenly I cared about the lives of people I had absolutely no actual connection to. I started to notice "baby bumps" and marvel at how cool these parents were.
I already had baby fever - I would stare longingly at new parents with their perfect, wonderful little clones. I would sigh and giggle at the adorable baby clothes that were seemingly everywhere. I started noticing all the fashionable accessories babies came with. Funky strollers and diaper bags and shirts that proclaimed cute things like "boob man" and "party at my crib". But now I was starting to get pregnancy fever.
I wanted the adorable pregnancy clothes, I wanted a baby bump of my very own. I wanted the attention of strangers, I wanted that adoration and attention that is especially reserved for pregnant women. But most of all I wanted the clothes, fat clothes designed for skinny people who are only temporarily fat - so much more stylish than typical "plus size" clothes, more "au courant".
Andrew and I really wanted to start a family, I couldn't figure out how to step forward in my life career-wise, so the timing was good. I figured it would make things pretty easy if I didn't have a career to mourn, plus Andrew and I agreed that having kids early would likely mean greater freedom later in life when we would, theoretically, be more financially stable and able to do things like travel. We got married in May and were pregnant by August. I could not wait to look pregnant and to have people notice me as a pregnant woman, I couldn't wait to feel a little life inside me. I read pregnancy books and magazines with the same voracious appetite I had for food. We decided to cloth diaper and have a natural birth, I signed up for weekly e-mails that let me know how big my baby was and what wonderful things were happening inside me.
I was fascinated by the immense power of my body to grow a baby. I had never successfully grown anything before - so this was *huge*. I felt really connected to the life inside of me, everything I did was done while considering the life inside of me. I talked to my little peanut all the time, had conversations with it in my head, played it music and got lots of belly rubs. I spent my spare time figuring out what we needed for the baby, finding the "best" stroller, mobile (he hated it, by the way), clothes, diaper covers, bottles, and breast pump (we cheaped on this and I hated it). I rarely left the house without getting something for the baby or for me. I spent my days on the look-out for perfect names, eventually compiling a very large and detailed spreadsheet (only to pick a name in the car mere days before Sebastian's birth).
Pregnancy was my life for 8 months. Since then motherhood has been my life for two years. I love it, I love my little boy and I love being a mom. I love the fact that as much as we struggle, we can make ends meet with a single income. I love our home and I love the love that fills it, and I really, really want to love being pregnant again.
But I don't. It isn't that I hate it, I don't really feel much about it, actually. I worry about how I will parent a second child, I feel like I can hardly keep up with the one I have. I think about how Sebastian, who we had initially intended to be an only child, will adjust to having a sibling. I also suddenly feel like my life is being put on hold in a way I didn't last time around. Mostly, though, I worry that something will go wrong.
I don't know if feeling ambivalent about this pregnancy is caused by that worry or if I worry because I feel so ambivalent. Either way the feeling, while allowing me to function perfectly well, has left me out of step. I am searching for ways to shake this feeling - and it does leave me for moments or hours every day... and the smart, logical part of me tells me it is perfectly normal to feel like this, especially given the stresses of parenting a pre-schooler, a recent move, the recent dissolution of a very old friendship and the recent minor bumps in my marriage.
It still sucks.
I am having heaps of trouble staying mindful and centred through all of this. Hell, I am having trouble staying showered and fed. I have an appointment with my midwife tomorrow that Andrew will be taking the morning off of work for, and I am at the midway point of my pregnancy - I have a feeling that everyday that passes now will make this pregnancy feel more real.