My pre-pregnancy jeans can no longer be buttoned, let alone zipped up. And wearing the belly band attempting to hold them in place feels like an exercise in futility. Nearly four years ago and pregnant for the first time, I was happy my non-maternity clothing still fit me, albeit a bit more snug, at my 17-week mark. I was waiting for the day I would “pop” and people would notice that I was actually pregnant instead of just wondering if I had just had a big lunch. This time around? There is absolutely no mistaking my belly for an overzealous meal. To be honest, I couldn’t be happier about it! I get to sport this bump earlier, which means I get to have fun playing around with the clothes in my closet and experiment in making them chic yet comfortable, fashionable yet practical. Plus, it makes weekly bump photos that much more exciting! I don’t just feel pregnant—I actually look the part, too! I’ve also welcomed better skin (thank you, vitamins and liters upon liters of water), stronger nails and hair (thank you, again, vitamins), and bigger boobs (I don’t hear anyone complaining!).
On the other hand, there is also the less glamorous side of pregnancy. Sure, my morning sickness is gone. But have I mentioned that indigestion is now par for the course? When did sleeping become a (literal) pain? What about backaches and weird hip twinges? How about waking up throughout the night to pee? Constipation and more discharge? TMI? Just a few minutes ago, I poured myself an ice cold glass of lemonade and proceeded to walk away from it, immediately wondering where my lemonade had gone. (True story; see also “pregnancy brain”). If someone were to ask me to raise my hand if I’ve experienced any of the aforementioned thrills that come along with carrying a baby in your belly, I would be reaching for the stars. Yet, nothing would ever sway me from the joy of knowing that the end result is the most perfect reason for it all.
We’ve got another 23 weeks to go (give or take), and with each one that passes I become giddy at the thought of meeting our little bean. It’s funny how with my daughter, I was on pins and needles, feeling impatient and wanting to know everything that went on with her at any given moment. With this one, I’m just as excited, but I’m much more patient. I don’t need to know everything. I don’t think I’m explaining it quite as well as I’d like, but it’s a general feeling of being at peace with all of the changes happening. It’s actually pretty nice to be able to relax and let this baby do its own thing. Maybe it’s because I’m older or maybe it’s because I know that the best thing I can do for myself and for this baby is to stay calm and coast. Whatever it is, it’s been an amazing feeling so far.