My second pregnancy (coming so fast on the heels of my first) has brought back so many wonderful memories of stuff that I had blocked out for my own emotional and psychological well-being. Not to mention some new experiences that are no doubt exclusive to the repeat pregnancy offender.
First of all, I had forgotten how much fun it is to be in the grocery store, with a cart full of stuff and have to go to the bathroom RIGHT NOW. No doubt I didn't block this memory out from the last pregnancy; its just that having to dash into the Publix restroom, leaving my cart full of stuff outside the door, while being inconvenient and slightly embarassing, was not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. Now when it happens though, I have a 13 month old in the cart and have to furiously struggle to release her from the seatbelt (which I have to use on her since one of her favorite things to do these days is get into a standing position in the grocery cart, thereby giving me and those in the immediate vacinity a heart attack of the very first order), yank her out of the thing and take her into the bathroom with me, get my fat pregnant girl pants down while holding her and then...ahem, do my business with an inquisitive and slightly talkative toddler in my lap. Fun. Worthy of run-on sentences fun, I tell ya.
Another thing that I didn't get to experience the first time around was the discussion about the dreaded pregnancy belt with my doctor. I'm not sure if this little chat is typically reserved for the second time around or if I just lucked out the first time since my doctor is a guy and pretty much doesn't think about stuff like abdominal girthiness and the stressing out of the "natural girdle muscles" of the abodminal region. I saw a different doctor for my last visit since my own doctor was out of town and it was a girl doctor. She spent 20 minutes, with Hugo in the room, describing the necessity of getting a good maternity belt to support the sagging abdominal muscles. The description, though apt, of my medial region, was enough to send even the most stallwart of gestating females into paroxisms of "why didn't I do more crunches during the 5 minutes that I wasn't pregnant" lamentations. Hugo offered to take me maternity belt shopping that weekend. I still haven't taken him up on his offer. If I pretend my abdominal musculature doesn't exist, ...
Another joy that I think is actually a unique experience for me alone is the nosebleeds. For some reason, I get nosebleeds during pregnancy. It happened last time with Sofia. The nosebleed always emanated from the left nostril for that pregnancy and for this one, it always emanates from the right one. This has prompted the helpful speculation of my doctor that this must mean I'm having a boy. Other than making meaningful remarks such as this, my doctor has been fairly useless in dealing with this problem. Since they aren't being caused by hypertension, they really don't concern him too much. Imagine if you will, being at home alone with a small child. The small child falls down, hurts herself, and requires maternal comforting and cuddling. At the same time, the mother's nose starts spurting blood. It always happens at a most convenient time like this. The mother is then trying to awkwardly (is any action not akward when one is in the third trimester?) hold and comfort the small child while holding a tissue to her nose and a bag of frozen peas to her neck (for some reason it helps to stop the bleeding). This wasn't addressed in "What to Expect When You're Expecting". Not even the most recent edition, which features a much-updated picture of a pregnant woman wearing sassy maternity jeans rather than the previous one that shows her wearing a floral maternity dress,the likes of which has not been worn by any non-Duggers in the last 20 years.
There are many other fun things I could talk about. Such as, when people at work ask me when I'm due and I tell them and they act, well, clearly horrified. As in, "You're not due till OCTOBER?!" That's a real self-esteem booster I tell ya. And a word to the wise; It is NEVER appropriate to ask a pregnant woman if she is expecting multiples. This is on par with the faux pas of asking a non-pregnant woman if she is expecting. It doesn't matter if the woman in question is Kate and her abdomen protrudes out so far that she clearly has a litter of children in there...DO NOT DO IT. The only appropriate thing to say about a pregnant woman's size is, "Oh my goodness, you don't even look pregnant from behind." Even when we are lumbering along like a mack truck with a double load, we love to hear that our posterior hasn't totally kept up with the growth going on out front. Even if we know its a lie. Honesty is extremely over-rated when it comes to pregnancy.
To be fair, I imagine that the questions, comments and observations that I get to endure on a nightly basis at work are worst then they would be for someone who worked, say, in an office or something. Someone with an office job would work with the same people every day, and presumably, after some initial curiosity and interest, everyone would eventually get tired of talking about so and so's ever-expanding abdominal region and move on to something else for the remainder of the pregnancy. Not so with my job. I work with a large number of people on a constantly rotating schedule, so every time I work, I have to answer the same questions. I'm due October 1st. No, it isn't twins. I don't know what I'm having, its going to be a surprise. My friend Kayla is threatening to have a pin or a t-shirt made for me with these things printed on it to save me from having to repeat myself ad-nauseum. And by the time I work with someone again, they have forgotten the answers to these questions and have to ask them all over again.
One of the things that,suprisingly, doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would, is having people touch my belly. It isn't fun, during the first trimester, when you haven't even begun to show and people are just grabbing at your own belly flab of course. Which they do. But now, my belly honestly feels like such a foreign thing to me that it really doesn't feel at all overly intimate for people to touch me there. Its kind of like watching someone paw over a clearance table at Bed Bath and Beyond. You might think to yourself, "Boy, they are really making a mess of that clearance table," but it doesn't concern you, so why get bent out of shape? Mind you, that isn't an invitation for anyone. The only people I actually enjoy having rub my belly are Hugo and Sofia. Though I sort of suspect that even though its really cute when Sofia does it, she'll probably keep on doing it, to my eventual public embarassment, after the baby is born.
While there is much more to be said on the subject (I could write a book if I thought anyone would actually read it, the only people that can get away with writing books about their own pregnancies are celebrities), I think I better stop now. Ranting is only good for the fetus in very small doses. Besides, I have to pee.